What are ‘zines?
The short answer is that ‘zines are where we go to find good, new short fiction. Magazines like Asimov’s or Weird Tales. Fanzines like Electric Velocipede or Shimmer. Webzines like Clarkesworld or Strange Horizons. Podcasts like Escape Pod and The Drabblecast. There are hundreds and maybe even thousands of ‘zines publishing speculative fiction stories, and from the largest to the smallest they all contribute to building the SF community.
But our ‘zines need support. Professional ‘zines rely on subscriptions to pay their staff and the writers who make the stories. Smaller ‘zines often rely on donations just to cover their costs. But with the speed of life in the 21st Century it can be difficult to remember to renew subsciptions or make donations to the ‘zines who’s work we enjoy.
So. We need to do something to remind ourselves how much we love our ‘zines of all kinds and want to support them. We need a ‘Support our ‘Zines Day’. (SOZD) A day when everyone who has enjoyed reading and listening all year subscribes / donates to their favourite publications. We need to promote it as far and wide as we can and let all readers of ‘zines join in.
SUPPORT OUR ‘ZINES DAY. 1st OCTOBER 2009
What to do on Support Our “zines Day.
It really could not be easier. On 1st October list the ‘zines you have enjoyed that year, then subscribe / donate to as many as feel you can afford. You can be modest and keep your donations a secret, or you can show off and list your donations on your blog or elsewhere top help encourage others to show their support.
I do have a sidebar list of some short fiction 'zines which I try to read as often as I can. My favorite is probably Electric Velocipede because of the variety of fiction it publishes. There's some free stories on the website to check out.
Subterranean publishes some of the best fiction on the market, and I've been waiting to see some of those stories nominated for Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards. Maybe next year. Because of Subterranean Online I've discovered Joe Lansdale and Lucius Shepard, and they've also published Elizabeth Bear, Cherie Priest, John Scalzi, Charles Stross, Rachel Swirsky, Norman Partridge, and Mary Robinette Kowal. And others.
Apex Magazine publishes science fiction and horror and is a frequent publisher of Jennifer Pelland's work.
Published monthly, we've got Clarkesworld, which tends to publish two stories each month. One from a more established writer and one from a new writer making it through the slush pile. Solid fiction here.
Some of the more interesting and exciting new fiction can be found at Strange Horizons.
In terms of what actually gets published as a printed magazine, you can't beat Weird Tales. There are other "major" publications I am less interested in subscribing to, but Weird Tales is outstanding and is one of my favorite genre publications.
And finally, Shadow Unit. This is probably the best thing going on the web. Shadow Unit runs on a donation model, and it's free fiction based on a television show that doesn't exist. The stories run as "episodes" and we're days away from the finale of Season 2. I think of Shadow Unit as a blend of Criminal Minds and The X-Files, but the monsters are all human. Shadow Unit has contributions from Emma Bull, Elizabeth Bear, Sarah Monette, Will Shetterly, Leah Bobet, Amanda Downum, and Holly Black.
Oh, and uh...Fantasy Magazine. I write for them, so I definitely think you should check out that 'zine. They've got good fiction, too.