The Interzone Sampler

Jason Sanford • November 8th, 2009 @ 6:26 am • Fiction, Uncategorized

Guest blogger Jason Sanford often rants on his website at www.jasonsanford.com. His fiction has been published in Interzone, Year’s Best SF 14, Analog, Intergalactic Medicine Show, Pindeldyboz, and other places, and has won the 2008 Interzone Readers’ Poll and a Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship.

There’s a lot of chatter these days about Analog, Asimov’s and F&SF slowly dying. I suspect that like Mark Twain, not only have the rumors of their impending deaths been greatly exaggerated, they’ve been exaggerated to push a diverse set of agendas, ranging from online publishing triumphing over those pesky dead tree mags to the perpetual concerns over the genre’s aging population of readers.

One surprising thing about this angst is the belief that the American style of SF magazine publishing—using a digest format—is the only way to achieve SF magazine success. For proof of another way to thrive, please consider the British magazine Interzone.

Interzone is a slick bi-monthly publication, just under 8.5×11 in size with dazzling full-color covers and B&W interior art. Gardner Dozois has called Interzone “the best looking SF magazine,” and it’s hard to disagree. But as good as their design is, the writing is even better. I love their fiction, and find their reviews and nonfiction articles to be the best in the business.

Now in the interest of total, fanatical disclosure, Interzone frequently publishes my stories. But I was a reader of the magazine well before they accepted my first tale. While I subscribe to and read all the American digest magazines, Interzone is the only genre magazine I consistently read from cover to cover.

Unfortunately, Interzone is difficult to find in the United States. But the good news is that if you subscribe to 2 years (12 issues) of the magazine, 6 of those will have no overseas postage charge added (i.e., you pay the UK price).

To tempt you into subscribing, below are 4 sample Interzone stories. Three of the stories won Interzone‘s annual readers’ poll for best story, while the fourth story is one I believe has a great shot at winning the upcoming readers’ poll.

8 Responses to “The Interzone Sampler”

  1. SMD says:

    To add a little weight to this, I bought a two year subscription to Interzone partly because of Mr. Sanford’s recommendation and partly because I like his work. Probably the best money I’ve spent on a subscription yet. The first issue I received was quite good. I didn’t love every story in the mag, but I liked all of them (this is a good thing, since few people love everything anyway, but the normal practice is to like or love a couple and go “meh” to the rest; I did not do that with Interzone…no “meh” moments).

    And Mr. Sanford is right: the reviews are top notch. I usually gloss over reviews, but their movie/TV show guys are awesome. They make reading a review quite enjoyable because they are almost comically harsh.

    So, do check out Interzone. They have an online subscription I think, unless I’m mistaken. And they sell the magazine in electronic form through Fictionwise (again, if I’m not mistaken…I have a print subscription because I hate reading on a screen). It’s good stuff and it is a shame that it’s not so easy to get in the U.S.

  2. Ellen Datlow says:

    Interzone is a wonderful magazine, but is it any more successful in the terms of making money and circulation as the digest magazines? I doubt that very much. (I don’t have income figures of course but wiki says that it had a circ of 2-3000 in 2006.

    Also, in its early years at least, it was getting grants from the UK government. I don’t know if/when that stopped.

    So there’s really no comparison.

  3. Jason Sanford says:

    SMD: Thanks for the great feedback. Great to hear you also like the magazine.

    Ellen: I wasn’t trying to do a direct comparison of Interzone and U.S. magazines, just to mention that there is a different model of publishing than the digests we know in this country. To my knowledge Interzone no longer receives government grants (that was a 1980s thing). And as I mentioned, the constant angst we see from people about all of these magazines dying is wrong. As a subscriber to digest mags like Asimov’s and F&SF, I love the format. I’m continually irritated when people who don’t even bother to read these magazines moan online about how they are dying. While the short fiction markets may be changing, I feel they are still healthy and will be around for quite a while to come. Guess I should have been clearer with my post.

  4. Ecstatic Days « Jim Steel’s Cave of Doom says:

    [...] Ecstatic Days Jason Sanford is today’s guest blogger at Jeff VanderMeer’s Ecstatic Days and he has put… [...]

  5. Ennis Drake says:

    Interzone is one of the finest genre magazines I’ve come across. As is Black Static. The stories are high quality, and the reviews/non-fic are insightful and often humorous. A sub to either mag (or both) is win-win. I’ve yet to read Crimewave, but have little doubt it’s of the same standard.

  6. Ennis Drake says:

    As a postscript, I’d read Black Static for Volk’s column alone. Know you were discussing Interzone, but I really don’t view the two publications as separate; but that might be because I have a dual sub. Hard to imagine one without the other, really.

  7. Adam says:

    I read the Eugie Foster story and was just blown away! Such creativity, and great execution. I’m definitely going to check out the rest of the sampler. A two-year sub to Interzone is number one on the old Christmas list.

  8. Bart Croonenborghs says:

    Interzone is indeed very good! Their editors have a really good (bionic?) eye for what makes a good story. I tried out a six month subscription first to see whether or not I would like it but I will extend it to another one or two years. Here’s a review of the latest issue

    http://www.brokenfrontier.com/blogs/p/detail/interzone-224-reaches-the-stars

    Friendly greetings
    Bart

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>