86degF and beginning to thunder outside, though it can't quite make up its mind as to whether it wants to rain or not. Our Sears Kenmore compact window A.C. unit is working to provide some coolth to the entire upstairs of our house and the ceiling fan is set on STUN. Meanwhile the P.O. Box yielded the latest issue of Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine from Australia and the mailbox by the road produced the June Locus magazine. Ah, perfect Saturday afternoon reading -- all I have to do this weekend is write an exam for Monday. Well, not all, but that's the biggie. So some SF reading and some SF industry gossip is always good.
Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine
I've subscribed for two years now and I have to say that each issue is better than the last -- which is not to say that the issues two years ago were slouches. (grin) The first story I read all the way through, after tasting a couple of them, was Kevin Veale's "A Day in Her Lives". This is a terrifying story, at least to me. Though it isn't about Altheimer's disease, this story will give you some kind of idea of what it's like to lose your mind, your identity. It's like the movie Memento, only on steroids and if the memory loss was a virus spreading through a city afflicting everyone. Beautifully done. THIS is the sort of SF story I want to read in a Year's Best anthology -- are any of you editors out there listening?
I am always amused by the inserts which fall out of the lovely Australian Post envelopes when I get my copy of ASIM. Hal Spacejock bookmarks of course, since Simon Haynes is part of the Andromeda Spaceways Co-Operative, clever removable adhesive errata pages, etc. Today I got a small rectangle with a "Goblin Hero" temporary tattoo. I immediately thought of author Jim C. Hines, whom I've met at ConFusion a couple of times. But this is an Australian publication... nope, here's a bookmark for Jim's new goblin book. Ha! Global marketing in action. Very clever. And it's wonderful for advertisers to support ASIM. Hey John Scalzi! You should advertise in ASIM, too. (grin) With a U.K. edition of Old Man's War coming out, surely it'll be easier to sell in the Land of Oz?
ASIM #29 came with a notice that I have to renew my subscription. For U.S. subscribers, they've made it pretty easy with PayPal here. The A$69 one-year/six-issues rate came to US$58.95 today. Not cheap, but not totally outrageous -- and pretty acceptable given the amount of enjoyment ASIM has given me.
As an added bonus, new subscriptions to ASIM filed right now, which should start with either the current issue #29 or the next issue #30, would include the April 2008 issue #35, which should include my short story "Machine" assuming it survives the editing process. (grin)
If you don't want to pay the intergalactic freight charges, they do provide .PDF e-sales and e-subscriptions. There is also a big back issue bundle.
Would That U.S. Subscriptions Were So Easy
Locus adds yet another voice to the clamor of small publishers and genre magazines which are upset with the recent U.S.P.S. postal rate changes. At the last minute, Time-Warner got a real sweetheart deal stuck in place, leaving the small guys stuck with LARGE increased rates -- and the abandonment of certain types of overseas carriage. When the rates changed, I had only the basic information relevant to my own mailings. Even then I complained that some of the changes made for inefficient use of stamps and confusion for the customers. Well, the rate changes could totally screw the heart out of genre magazines and publishers. Would that mergers, declining subscriptions, closing markets and dismissals of some long-time editors from various sources were the least of our problems. I fear that the business of SF/F/H just got much darker and harder -- and not in a good/entertaining way.