Monday, March 22, 2010

Stuff: The future, only more polite.

An old friend of mine recently shot me an email about a project she's cooking up. I thought I'd let all y'all in on it. Here's the back story from one of her co-conspirators:

I grew up in a house full of old books and mildewed magazines. The entire eastern wall of my childhood bedroom was taken up with with bookshelves to store the collected and forgotten words of my parents. The novels and encyclopediae would hold my interest from time to time; Agatha Christie and J.D. Salinger and Encyclopedia Brittanica 1972. But the true heart of the library was in the magazines. My mother's collection of National Geographic and my father's collections of Analog Science Fiction and Fact and Asimov's Science Fiction.

In Asimov's autobiography, he describes growing up in the twenties and thirties, reading the pulp science fiction magazines. Over time, he says, the authors published in those pages came to seem as demigods to him. And he realized that what he wanted, more than anything else, was to be a demigod himself. I can't tell you how strongly I empathized with that feeling.
Science fiction was in my bones. I loved everything about it. I couldn't get enough. And, while there was a definite appeal to the majestic films and the grand multi-book series of the genre, it was always clear that the purest distillate of science fiction was to be found in short stories. It is a literary tradition built upon anthologies and magazines.

In college, I maintained subscriptions to On Spec and NFG, the two big Canadian science fiction magazines. Of course, I couldn't afford subscriptions to the American magazines, but I would read them all cover to cover standing in the magazine aisle at the big Bloor Street bookstores. Then NFG stopped publishing and On Spec shrank to a fraction of its former splendour.

And so it came that, last summer, I was lamenting that there was no longer a single Canadian science fiction magazine that qualified as an SFWA-approved market.

Well, Maya Angelou said it best: If you don't like something, change it.

So, I teamed up with my old friends Adam and Helen to see what we could do. We figured out that for just ten grand we could get a new magazine off the ground. And hey, what's ten grand in this era of interwebs and micropayments, right? Seems like a pretty piddling barrier between us and the awesome.

So look, we're not really asking you guys for money. I mean, if you're looking to give, we're not saying no, but we know that most people here are about as skint as we are. Really, what we're hoping is that you'll think this is a pretty great idea and help spread the word to those who might have a penny or two to share.

If that stirred up your love for the old pulps or appealed to you militant Canadian nationalism, check out the kickstarter page for AE and help a brother out. My friend, don't be a hoser.

1 comment:

zoe said...

thanks for the link!