Semiprozine – All the Semiprozines (almost) [Updated]

Here are all the semiprozines I looked at minus the stuff that I left out (mainly podcasts) and stuff that changed eligibility etc. I’ve updated were needed (I hope).

A big thanks to the Clarke’s World Semiprozine Directory http://semiprozine.org/semiprozine-directory/

Lots of good stuff to look at and I don’t think there is any one of them that didn’t have something that was worth reading. The amount I’ve written on each isn’t an indication of quality but rather time, effort and how I was feeling on the day 🙂

I remain deeply impressed by the effort and commitment of semiprozine editors/staff. It is their efforts that keeps the genre alive and exciting.

[Updated to remove Apex which is now pro]

Abyss & Apex http://www.abyssapexzine.com/ a semiprozine with a name easily confused with Apex Magazine which is a different semiprozine altogether. Published quarterly it carries a mix of SF and fantasy stories as well as poems and book reviews. An excellent back catalog of authors but nothing really stood out in the issue I read but sufficient quality that I’d come back for a second visit.

Abyss & Apex were a Sad Puppy nominee for a Hugo in 2015 and were highly approving in an editorial about it here: http://www.abyssapexzine.com/2015/03/sad_puppies_3/ but in the end it is the quality of the stories that matter.

Albedo One http://www.albedo1.com/albedo-one-magazine/ It contains stories by Irish authors as well as International writers as well as reviews. You have to pay for the full magazine but their website allows access to free content http://www.albedo1.com/category/online-content/ which is primarily reviews but there is also fiction here http://www.albedo1.com/albedo-2-0-showcase/ (nothing from 2015 though).

Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine http://www.andromedaspaceways.com/ is an Australian semipro. It was an unlikely inclusion on the Sad Puppy slate a fact that left some of the contributor’s bemused. Simon Petrie of ASIM amusingly attributed the nomination to them being early in the alphabet and as ‘pity sex’ https://simonpetrie.wordpress.com/2015/04/05/hugo-nominations-fan-incoming-3-2-1/ and as a whole they took the ensuing kerfuffle in good humor.

So they get to be number four on my trawl through semiprozine world because – well they are early in the alphabet 🙂 But I quite liked what I’ve seen so far.

Aurealis – which I’d assumed was a professional magazine. An active Australian SF/F magazine which also organizes the Aurealis Awards – an Australian SF/F award http://aurealisawards.org/

Some archived sample stories are available: https://aurealis.com.au/archive/monday-child/

Bard and Sages: http://www.bardsandsages.com/speculative_fiction/bards_and_sages_quarterly not much to go on from the website other than the general description and cover images.

Beneath Ceaseless Skies: A magazine specializing in secondary world fantasy fiction. Some nice stuff e.g. this story about an assassin having issues trying to assassinate somebody http://www.beneath-ceaseless-skies.com/stories/a-killer-of-dead-men/
Was nominated (slate-free) for a Hugo in 2015.

Betwixt: The latest issue has this wonderfully creepy eco-horror story called Thirst http://betwixtmagazine.com/thirst-by-leanne-olson/ a story strong enough to make me want to read more of the magazine. [Update} that story has really grown on me (pardon the pun)

The Book Smugglers: oh, nominated in 2014 for best FANzine. So off the semiprozine list.
I wrote to The Book Smugglers and they say they are a Semiprozine – so hoorah for them 🙂 Primarily a review site for SF and YA fiction. Lots of good stuff.

Bull Spec: The site has an active and regular review blog with a varied selection of books reviewed. Magazine is primarily regular columns and reviews.

The Cascadia Subduction Zone http://www.thecsz.com/

The CSZ aims to treat work by women as vital and central rather than marginal. What we see, what we talk about, and how we talk about it matters. Seeing, recognizing, and understanding is what makes the world we live in. And the world we live in is, itself, a sort of subduction zone writ large.”

Framed in terms of being a literary magazine with essays and reviews. Full issues are availble online http://www.thecsz.com/past-issues/csz-v5-n3-2015.pdf

The Colored Lens: http://thecoloredlens.com/?page_id=183

[I messed up somewhere earlier and said this only had issues up to 2014 but it is still very active. Apologies to The Colored Lens people. Sorry!]

Publishes four to five short stories per quarter. Issues available online.

http://thecoloredlens.com/?page_id=49795

Crossed Genres Magazine http://crossedgenres.com/magazine/

Magazine of a small-press publisher. Stories and reviews. Latest issue takes the pro-noun thing to new levels including this story in which personal pronouns are replaced by numbers indicating your position in a social hierarchy http://crossedgenres.com/magazine/036-at-the-sixes-and-the-sevens/

Daily Science Fiction http://dailysciencefiction.com/

Does what it says on the tin. One story a day Mondays to Thursdays, mainly flash fiction. In this one a woman attempts to kill a god http://dailysciencefiction.com/hither-and-yon/sf-fantasy/jennifer-dornan-fish/little-galaxies

The Dark Magazine http://thedarkmagazine.com/#

Magical realism and horror and other stuff http://thedarkmagazine.com/what-hands-like-ours-can-do/

Diabolical Plots http://www.diabolicalplots.com/

A general SF/F magazines: reviews + news but also publishes stories. Notable for running the Kickstarter for the ‘Hugo Longlist Anthology’ http://www.diabolicalplots.com/the-long-list-anthology-released/ – a collection of the stuff pushed off the ballot by the Puppy slates.

Expanded Horizons http://expandedhorizons.net/magazine/

The mission of this webzine is to increase diversity in the field of speculative fiction, both in the authors who contribute and in the perspectives presented. We feature speculative fiction stories and artwork, as well as essays about speculative fiction and fandom from diverse points of view.

An eclectic mix of stories. A curious variation on Snow White here http://expandedhorizons.net/magazine/?page_id=3795

Fantasy Scroll http://fantasyscrollmag.com/

A bi-monthly fiction magazine and also a blog: http://www.fantasyscroll.com/

Fireside: the link at Semiprozine was out of date. Correct link (as confirmed with Fireside) is http://www.firesidefiction.com/issue29/

Tuesdays with Molakesh the Destoyer got a lot of love from Sad Puppies last cycle but was ineligible because it was dated 2015. You can read it here http://www.firesidefiction.com/issue19/chapter/tuesdays-with-molakesh-the-destroyer/ it is fun.

Flash Fiction Online  http://flashfictiononline.com/main/

I do like sites with self-explanatory titles – this one has flash fiction and it is online. A lot of the content is SF/F but not all of it e.g. this neat story about a Nigerian man by Okafor Emmanuel Tochukwu http://flashfictiononline.com/main/article/america-america/#

The Future Fire http://futurefire.net/

The Future Fire is open to submissions of beautiful and useful short stories of Social-political and Progressive Speculative Fiction; Feminist SF; Queer SF; Eco SF; Multicultural SF; Cyberpunk. An experiment in and celebration of new writing, we shall publish issues whenever we have enough stories to fill them, approximately four times a year.

And sort of really retro web page design 🙂 And here is a story about a rice goddess http://futurefire.net/2015.35/fiction/ricemother.html

GigaNotoSaurus http://giganotosaurus.org/

GigaNotoSaurus (the webzine, edited by Rashida J. Smith) publishes one longish fantasy or science fiction story monthly. Longish meaning longer than a short story, and shorter than a novel.

A handy source for novellas and novelettes! Didn’t finish reading this story set in a industrial but magical England  because a bird got in the house http://giganotosaurus.org/2015/12/01/quarter-days/ but I do mean to go back and carry on reading it 🙂

Grimdark Magazine http://grimdarkmagazine.com/

Is this a semiprozine? Looks professional and seems to be associated with Gollancz publishing but does say “As with all positions at GdM, this is a volunteer role.” in a job advert, so I’d say that clinches it! 🙂

Holdfast Magazine http://www.holdfastmagazine.com/

Holdfast is a free, quarterly, speculative fiction magazine that explores all things fantastic. We interpret speculative fiction as an umbrella term for Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Utopian, Urban fantasy, Alt History, Dystopian, Apocalyptic, Post-apocalyptic…and as many odd, weird and bizarre variations herein.

Won Best Magazine in the 2015 British Fantasy Society Awards.  Fiction and non-fiction. http://www.holdfastmagazine.com/falling-spider-fiction-issue7/4590838673

Ideomancer http://www.ideomancer.com/

Some neat fiction and poetry http://www.ideomancer.com/?p=2996

This story really struck me “The Changeling and the Sun”, by Lee S. Hawke   http://www.ideomancer.com/?p=2939

Interzone http://ttapress.com/interzone/about/

Venerable, long-running British SF magazine with famous name contributors like Jeff Noon http://ttapress.com/1857/interzone-260/0/4/

Kaleidotrope http://www.kaleidotrope.net/archives/autumn-2015/

The usual mix – fiction and poetry. Nothing grabbed me immediately but this story was ok http://www.kaleidotrope.net/archives/summer-2015/bitter-medicine-by-c-a-l/

Lackington’s http://lackingtons.com/

Lackington’s is an online magazine that publishes speculative fiction and art four times a year. We want to help widen the space for prose poetry. We’re looking for stylized prose. Not inept purple prose, of course, but controlled and well-crafted wordsmithery that reflects the story, setting, theme, atmosphere, or philosophy it seeks to describe. http://lackingtons.com/about/

For example http://lackingtons.com/2015/07/29/facing-the-wind-by-mat-joiner/

Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet  http://www.lcrw.net/lcrw/

An Occasional Outburst, an arrow shot into the future, a harbinger. Edited since 1996 by Gavin J. Grant and Kelly Link. LCRW contributors include many writers whose names you may know (Karen Joy Fowler, Ursula K. Le Guin, Molly Gloss, Carol Emshwiller, Jeffrey Ford, Ted Chiang) and many more whose name you may not — and that there finding and reading unfamiliar voices is one of the joys of existence.

We like reading short stories and eating chocolate and are very happy to supply the best in both to readers. And, er, chocolate eaters. Does this read clearly? No. Fortunately we have better writers in the zine than we (by “we” I mean me, Gavin) have writing about the zine.

Lontar http://lontarjournal.com/

LONTAR is the world’s only biannual literary journal focusing on Southeast Asian speculative fiction. The journal was founded in 2012, in order to spread awareness of this literature to readers who might not normally be exposed to it, and to celebrate its existence and diversity within the region. http://lontarjournal.com/about/

No story links but here are the author’s comments on an interesting story http://www.gordsellar.com/2015/11/03/the-spurned-brides-tears-centuries-old-in-the-rain/

Luna Station Quarterly http://lunastationquarterly.com/

 Luna Station Quarterly is a speculative fiction magazine featuring stories by emerging women authors. Now in our 6th year!

As it says, mainly stories by newer writers, some reprints.

Neo-Opsis http://www.neo-opsis.ca/about.htm a Canadian SF magazine that aims to be about:

Entertainment – Let Neo-opsis magazine entertain you with fun and interesting stories, written from the perspective of science and fantasy.

Information – Read informative articles on science and nature. Check out the Science and Science Fiction news articles.

Interpretation – Enjoy book and movie reviews. Find out what others think, with Neo-opsis opinion columns and letters section.

I may be wrong but I think it is print only.

New York Review of Science Fiction http://www.nyrsf.com/editorial/ long running review magazine.

On Spec https://onspecmag.wordpress.com/  The link at the semiprozine directory is directed at an out-of-date page. On Spec is the ‘Canadian Magazine of the Fantastic’. An Aurora winning magazine with fiction about the fantastic plus reviews and stuff. No previews that I could find https://onspecmag.wordpress.com/current-issue/

Perihelion http://www.perihelionsf.com/ They describe themselves thusly:

WE ARE LOOKING for well-written, original science fiction, that is, science fiction with a solid plot, a beginning, a middle, and an end (but not necessarily in that order). No fantasy. No horror. No fan fiction. No poetry. Alternate history, not entirely taboo, is a difficult sale. Stories do not necessarily have to restrict themselves to robots, rocket ships, and extraterrestrials. However, the science and/or technology must be integral to the story; if you remove the science, the story falls apart, or disappears altogether. If the plot can be easily reconstituted as a western, a swashbuckler, or a bodice-ripper, it is probably not for us, either. We aren’t fixated on political correctness. We don’t object to explicit language, violence, or sexual situations, as long as it is necessary to the plot. We like humor and satire. We really don’t care if you are a minority, transgendered, or purple; the story is the focus and not the author

Is thusly a word?

Plasma Frequency http://plasmafrequencymag.com/ stories and artwork  e.g. I like this one http://plasmafrequencymag.com/Issue16/I16S10_Fullerton.html

Pornokitsch http://www.pornokitsch.com/fiction/ popular general review of popular culture site with original fiction as well.

Quantum Muse http://www.quantummuse.com/about.php fiction and art – lots of art portfolios http://www.quantummuse.com/artistlist.php

Sci Phi Journal http://www.sciphijournal.com/news-4/

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: http://www.sciphijournal.com/the-meeting-of-infinite-stairs-by-christopher-alan/ whereas this one was not great: http://www.sciphijournal.com/a-struggle-for-primacy-by-brian-cato/

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 http://www.shimmerzine.com/

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 http://www.shimmerzine.com/2015/12/29/2015-the-stories/  and this one was neat in a prose-poemy sort of way http://www.shimmerzine.com/the-law-of-the-conservation-of-hair-by-rachael-k-jones/

Also, some really nice cover art at Shimmer.

Stone Telling http://stonetelling.com/index.html is a poetry magazine.

Ah but! The last issue was entitled ‘Joke’ and featured mermaid hippos and limericks and I like limericks. http://stonetelling.com/blog/?p=220 (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 http://www.strangehorizons.com/AboutUs.shtml 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 http://www.strangehorizons.com/2015/20151221/kingfisherbees-f.shtml

Space and Time http://www.spaceandtimemagazine.com/editors-blog/

Appears to be a going concern as there was a Fall 2015 issue http://www.spaceandtimemagazine.com/past-issues/issue-124/editors-geeble/

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

Tähtivaeltaja tahtivaeltaja.com no, no those aren’t pretentious fantasy or heavy-metal umlauts but genuine Finish ones. My Soumi linguistic skills are non-existent but if you browse their site (which include online editions of the zine as well as a blog) and use Google Chrome, you can get an OK English translation e.g. Chrome served up this article on Nnedi Okorafor with only a few translation quirks:

For many, Africa represents an acacia tree, standing alone in the middle of the savanna sunset. View adorns tens or even hundreds of book covers. It seeks to stir up dormant potential reader to race in memory images of the black continent. Which is of course nonsense, since it is a mere brainwashing illusion created by the cynical market mechanism. One picture can not possibly speak of an entire continent at the mouth.

Nnedi Okoraforin (p. 1974), the production brings the African acacia tree closer to the reader. Or at least part of it, because it would be absurd to assume one writer about a compressive hundreds and thousands of tribes in one mold. Okoraforin the natural environment is in West Africa located in Nigeria, especially in the southern and eastern parts of the red maanteineen, sadekausineen and lively market.

– See more at: http://tahtivaeltaja.com/t%C3%A4htivaeltaja-415/nnedi-okorafor-artikkeli#sthash.7zouhzxw.dpuf

Great cover art also.

Uncanny http://uncannymagazine.com/ Uncanny is the one I’ve been ending up at independently of this survey of semipros. Really good mix of stories and articles. I shant say more for fear of gushing.

Utah Geek http://utahgeekmagazine.com/about-ugeek/ A very location specific ‘zine – a place for geeks in Utah. Lots of movie reviews not actually all about geeks in Utah (although that sounds like a good premise for a TV series) but rather serving SF/F news to Utah fandom.

Unlikely Story http://www.unlikely-story.com/ weird fiction and fiction using the conventions of non-fiction, presented as pseudo-scholarship in a manner both fun and whimsical. Of all the semipros I have looked at, Unlikely Story has the most fun submission guidelines.

Unlikely Story publishes three themed issues a year: The Journal of Unlikely EntomologyThe Journal of Unlikely Cryptography, and The Journal of Whatever Tickles Our Fancy This Year. We reserve the right to put out an indeterminate number of further sub-themed mini-issues on an irregular basis, or not, depending on how we feel. See below for specific details regarding each issue.

And that’s your lot.

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2 comments

  1. Mark

    Apex are now Pro.

    With Lightspeed and Apex graduating to pro, my shortlist seems to be: Interzone, Gigantosaurus, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Uncanny, Strange Horizons, Unlikely Stories, Shimmer. I also have resolutions (and more usefully, rss feeds) to read NYRSF, Lontar and Pornokitsch this year. It’s actually a bit of an embarrassment of riches; dropping that shortlist from 7 to 5 is going to be difficult.

    Like

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