1) I've been trying to ignore the existence of the CBC radio network in Canada, averting my thoughts from the idea that its programming is probably available via live streaming and podcast just like NPR's programming. I just don't have time in my listening week to add another whole country's public radio shows. But this morning I broke down because I kept hearing of Bob McDonald's Quirks and Quarks science show. So I went to the CBC site, turned my gaze away from most of what it had to offer, zeroed in on this one show and signed up for the podcast. I am listening to it right now. It's way cool. It's sort of like Wisconsin Public Radio's To the Best of Our Knowledge but with content similar to that of NPR's Science Friday (but without the people calling in to the show). Our Canadian readers probably all know it's on at 12:06pm on Saturdays on Radio One. One of the subjects of the installment that I am listening to this morning is dark matter and efforts to detect it in a straightforward way.
You are Here: Home > Science "Friday": Quirks and Quarks/ Grand Vision continued
Saturday, March 14, 2009
2) Those interested in the bright future of the M-Brane zine, please read Thursday's post if you haven't already. I'm dead serious about what I say. There is no good reason why we can't attain that level of readership and have it be, from the writers' standpoint, a pro mag. It's only about half of what circulation one of the old-line pro digests (Analog, Asimov's, F&SF) gets, and their circulations are frankly pitiful considering that these are the "big" magazines of our genre, completely dwarfing the handful of other pro-level mags that exist. I'm also not convinced that they will successfully adapt to the new, emerging ways of doing things. The readership goal, as I stated in a comment to that earlier post, is not a prerequisite to being able to go to professional rate for the stories. That can start happening when we cross the three-to-four thousand circulation level. This is based on some calculations (don't worry, I won't bore you with them) involving what an issue of M-Brane would cost me in payments to writers at SFWA pro level and how many subscriptions or other kinds of income need to be brought in to fund it at that level. It will be a huge cost: M-Brane is always going to publish a lot of stories. There were eight in #1, nine in #2. There will be ten in #3, and I think I have eleven or twelve booked for #4. I am not ever doing a mag like the webzine Clarkesworld that only runs two stories per issue nor am I ever putting a low word-count ceiling on the writers. I want it to have both quality and quantity like the old digests. Of course, the stories won't be the sole expense when it reaches that point: I won't be able to do it all by myself like I do now if it's a prozine. The stature of the zine will draw in far, far more story submissions than I can slog through alone, so I would have to add some editorial help and pay for that, too.
Another positive aspect to having a big-time readership, is that I could more cost-effectively produce the print edition. If I had demand for even a 100 copies of it, I could get it out for little more than half its current cost (btw, a few copies remain of print #1 and #2 via the "subscribe" link, and I'll have the Lulu store open again with the release of #3 in April).
Related Articles :