Semiprozine: (R) & S

Pulp-O-Mizer_Cover_Image(1)There is a clear gap in the market for a semiprozine starting with R. I’ve also noticed that I’ve not encountered much in the way of conservative leaning SF in my semipro journey, so maybe Rabid Rightwing Robot Tales is the sweet spot for a new semipro? Actually that deserves a visit to the Pulp-o-mizer.

So only ‘S” titles in this penultimate survey, which thanks to an apparent delay in Hugo nomination website availability should be complete before nominations open!


First off the rank Sci Phi Journal

Sci Phi aims to mix philosophy and science fiction, which is a worthy endeavor. In its original more magazine like format it was available via Vox Day’s Castalia House (among other places) and hence may be perceived as leaning puppywards. It relaunched this year with regular free and subscription-only stuff, stories reviews etc (subscription via Paetron). Some free stories (all dated 2016) – this one was OK: whereas this one was not great:

What it really lacks currently is an active comment section. Yes, yes, I know that comment sections can be truly awful things, but to real get the philosophical juice out of the stories it needs people talking about them in situ.


Shimmer aspires to publish excellent fiction across lines of race, income, nationality, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, geography, and culture, and therefore encourages submissions of diverse stories from diverse authors. This includes, but is not limited to: people of color, LBGTQIA, women, the impoverished, the elderly, and those with disabilities. We are not interested in acquiring fiction that denigrates or perpetuates stereotypes of the above groups.

A list of all there 2015 stories is here  and this one was neat in a prose-poemy sort of way

Also, some really nice cover art at Shimmer.

Stone Telling is a poetry magazine.

Ah but! The last issue was entitled ‘Joke’ and featured mermaid hippos and limericks and I like limericks. (dated April 1st 2015)

There once was a mermaid named Jill,
who wanted to study xanthophyll,
But the dinoflagellates that she saw,
quite locked up her jaw —
So instead she focused on krill.

  • Mari Ness

Strange Horizons Long running magazine with a decent track record.

Archived stories are freely available. This is a nice one about a woman who dies everyday which proves inconvenient for her bees

Space and Time

Appears to be a going concern as there was a Fall 2015 issue

The website seems to be in disrepair though with a blog comment announcing in 2014 big improvements to the site in 2015.

OK, that’s it – just one more Semiprozine round up to go!


10 responses to “Semiprozine: (R) & S”

  1. Thanks for the mention, I’m working on getting Sci Phi Journal there.

    I still lean “puppyward”, that is unlikely to change because I am a fan of liberty. .


    • Not a problem. I have to say I’ve been impressed by the level of dedication and hard work put in by people like yourself with fanzines and semiprozines. It is what is keeping the genre alive and vibrant and inventive and varied.
      Best of luck with SciPhi in the future.


  2. I think Strange Horizons is a strong zine. I really liked Beyond Sapphire Glass ( which (pun intended) is an Uplifting love story. And Nine Thousand Hours ( was also good – magic has destroyed all the writing in the world, and the story does a good job of exploring both the trivial and major effects of this.

    I’ve read some decent stories from Shimmer but none got scribbled on my longlist. Looking at their 2015 list I think the one that stood out was The Mothgate ( which I liked well enough but didn’t appreciate the ending.

    I’ve never looked at Stone Telling (I’m basically immune to poetry, which is an odd superpower) or Space and Time.

    I had a look at the Red Dwarf article on Sci Phi for a taster, and I can’t say it really did anything for me. Possibly the merger of SF and philosophy isn’t for me, but it didn’t seem to do anything more than use Red Dwarf to segue into an article on Christianity, rather than actually discussing the two things together. I also tried the story That Day At Grandma’s which was pleasant enough, but slight verging on trite. It’s quite possible that the non-free stuff is better, mind you.


    • I like the idea of the SciPhi journal more than any given article. I think it is admirable in that it is doing something constructive about what they see as a lack of certain perspectives in SF/F (i.e. rather than moan about non-conservatives not writing conservative stuff).


    • Nine Thousand Hours didn’t quite work for me. I found the premise distracting. I know this is unfair for a story that is overtly magical and has a folkloric & what-if element to it but, I was straight into thinking about it as a practical problem. You could encode numbers using the arrangement of jars, an abacus (apparently) works, knots on string etc. And I know that misses the point…


      • I have that issue myself with fantasy stories, but it seems fairly random as to when I buy into the premise and when I have an attack of unhelpful rationality. The modern day setting probably makes it more likely to happen.


%d bloggers like this: