The Lone Tale Paradox?

This past weekend, the well-respected print ‘zine Talebones announced that they were ceasing publication, with plans to return next year as an anthology. Last week, the equally well-regarded e-zine Lone Star Stories also ceased publication. And last month, the alt-history print ‘zine Paradox too ceased publication, with tentative plans to return as an anthology.

All three of these magazines were on my list of places to send my stories. I’m very sad to see any magazine close, but especially the “mid-level” ones. As a “mid-level” writer who hasn’t yet gotten the higher-profile markets interested in my work, I think the mid-level markets serve a very important role. All three of these magazines had published great fiction from all sorts of writers over their roughly five-year runs, which in these bleak days for short fiction is quite impressive.

I found it interesting that two of these magazines cited as their reasons not the current turbulence in publishing or the economy but rather the time commitment or needing to take a break. All three of these magazines as far as I’m aware were “sole proprietorships”– magazines run exclusively by one person. As is my magazine, Beneath Ceaseless Skies.

All of which got me thinking. I’ve certainly learned about the time commitment in running a magazine– the first five months of this year I was working seven days a week every week just to keep up with the magazine, especially the podcasts, and my own writing. Things have eased a bit lately, but only because I’ve set my writing aside for a while. And I still have plenty of other things demanding my attention, including thirty manuscripts to critique this month in addition to BCS slush.

So where might I be after five years of BCS? Or even three? I’m less concerned with where publishing in general and short fiction might be– I’m publishing a different sort of fantasy than anyone else, and I’m happy doing my own thing on the periphery. But maybe that means the state of my sole proprietor is even more important.

So we’ll see. Nothing ever lasts forever, so someday there will inevitably be a post saying that BCS is ceasing publication. But I will do every last thing I can to make it five years at least, if not ten. Hell, I’m booked through the end of this year already!

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2 Responses to “The Lone Tale Paradox?”

  1. Christopher Kastensmidt Says:

    > I will do every last thing I can to make it five years at least, if not ten.

    That makes me very, very happy to hear!

  2. scott Says:

    That makes me very, very happy to hear!

    Thanks very much! I was trying not to sound too bleak. :) The first half of this year has been brutal for me, for a number of reasons, but the time commitment of BCS is only part of that– the best part, in fact. I see no reason whatsoever that the magazine won’t continue for a long time.