Tuesday, August 05, 2014

The End of Subterranean Online

Tuesday, August 05, 2014
It is only through some sideways mentions in other places that I realized Subterranean Online, one of my favorite short fiction magazines which I have done a poor job of following in recent years, is about to close up shop.

I haven't been reading most of the short fiction venues I used to frequent. This isn't a knock against the fiction they publish, it has more to do with where I'm at in life and how and what I am currently reading.  Knowing that, if you asked me for some recommendations for where to find a good short story, one of the first places I would send you is Subterranean.

Subterranean Online was the short fiction side of Subterranean Press, a small publisher which puts out beautiful and limited editions of books.  In some cases, they would be limited prints of popular books from major name authors (Stephen King, George R. R. Martin), but they would also put out significant story collections that you just won't find anywhere else (Connie Willis, Peter Beagle, KJ Parker, Lucius Shepard) as well as novellas and smaller novels that are original to SubPress (Elizabeth Bear, James Blaylock, Joe Lansdale).

Subterranean Online was just as discerning, just as vital a source of short fiction. Publisher and editor William Schafer would publish, among others: Rachel Swirsky, John Scalzi, Mike Resnick, Joe Lansdale, Caitlin Kiernan, Elizabeth Bear, Ted Chiang, Jeff VanderMeer, Cat Rambo, Gene Wolfe, Lucius Shepard, Kage Baker, Daniel Abraham, Norman Partridge, Ekaterina Sedia, Jay Lake, Poppy Z Brite, Alastair Reynolds, Mary Robinette Kowal, Cherie Priest, Carrie Vaughn, Liz Williams, Daryl Gregory, Cory Doctorow, Robert Silverberg, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Kelly Link, Genevieve Valentine, Catherynne Valente.  More. So much more.

Just looking at that list, I have to ask myself why I ever took a break from reading this zine.  If you were looking for a good story, you had to come here.

The first online issue was Spring 2007 and Schafer had consistently published since then, which is a fairly remarkable run. 

It is a very real thing that you don't know how much you miss something until it is gone, even though the last issue has only just been published and I would guess that the fiction will remain online for some time in the future, I already miss Subterranean Online. I discovered a number of excellent writers because they were published there, and I read numerous wonderful stories at Subterranean Online.

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