by Joe Stech
We're getting close to the release of our 10th issue! I’m taking a break from putting together issue 10 to reflect on the time I’ve spent building this magazine. It feels a little strange that I’ve been doing this for close to two years already. It’s fantastic that with your help we’ve been able to publish stories by 43 skilled authors, and build up a dedicated readership of thousands of science fiction fans.
I get asked every couple months why I spend so much time on this magazine. Most of the time I give a brief canned answer, something along the lines of “everyone needs a hobby, this is one of mine.” While that’s true, it’s a bit of a non-answer. Let me try and give a real answer here, in a few parts:
I could ramble on at length about how important I think science fiction is, but since this is supposed to be a retrospective let’s look at what we’ve actually accomplished since the magazine started:
I asked a few of the authors that we’ve published for their thoughts on Compelling Science Fiction, so that readers can better understand what they’re supporting. Below are some quotes from our authors — feel free to click their names to read the stories they’ve written!
“At a point when I was wondering whether I was cut out for this writing lark, Compelling Science Fiction appeared and gave me an enormous boost. They were new, which gave me the confidence to submit a story that I wasn’t really sure about. The editor, Joe Stech, not only liked it, he pointed out a small flaw and told me how to put it right. I got a story in a ‘hard SF’ publication, which has encouraged me to push further in that direction. Not only that, appearing in Compelling led to the story being published in translation in Vietnam, which was fun, and not something I ever expected!”
"As a new author—and longtime reader—of science fiction, Compelling SF has been a wonderful market for me. Since publishing my debut story, Joe's passion for developing readership and his encouraging comments on my stories have compelled (sorry) me to explore and develop many more worlds and characters. The magazine's self-styled niche of "plausible science fiction" really gels with the fiction I love to write and read. I hope this year marks the first of many for Compelling SF!"
“Compelling has been quite a breath of fresh air with its emphasis on plausibility, separating science fiction and fantasy once again, so to speak. This requires the writer to emphasise practicality in approach, both technically and – following quite naturally – in terms of story dynamics. Compelling gave me my first professional-rates break, which was a great stride, so besides the magazine encouraging precision in the craft of writing, I can also thank it for contributing significantly to my standing in the field. Compelling is a success story among modern science fiction journals.”
“I think Compelling is great, and I've enjoyed many stories in it. As for impact on my writing career - my publication in your first issue ("The Art of Failure") was picked up by a best-of reprint anthology (Afsharirad's Year's Best Military and Adventure SF 3 (Baen)), a first for me. Pretty exciting!”
“As a writer who leans towards the science side of speculative fiction and prefers logic in magical systems when writing fantasy, I appreciate Compelling Science Fiction as a professional market for sciencey, science fiction stories. Recently, I got a very nice review on Amazon for my SciFi novel "Wobbling Star" in which the reader indicated that Compelling Science Fiction was their first encounter with one of my stories and that was why they tried my novel. That was excellent encouragement.”
“Compelling Science Fiction is a unique magazine in so many ways. Its mission, to promote plausible science fiction is one I very much believe in. For science fiction to be entertaining and predictive, it has to be based on real science with a twist, as opposed to the fantasy masquerading as SF which is seen so often. When you read a story in CSF, you know that it has been well thought out and that the scientific principles are based on reality. I know this because of the many back-and-forth emails I had with Joe, to make sure every single scientific speculation in my story had a solid footing (and there were many). On top of that, the editor Joe Stech is one of the most responsive and forthcoming editors I’ve ever worked with for any of my sold stories. This is a magazine well worth supporting!”
Thank you so much for your support of Compelling Science Fiction. Without your support the magazine wouldn’t exist. I’m looking forward to getting out issue 10 on Dec 1!
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