Magazines

These are some of the magazines I read or keep an eye on. I’ve drawn out the Australian magazines particularly at the start of the list, but as you might expect a lot of the long term and prestigious magazines come out of other countries, most notably the United States. I’ve included webzines like Antipodean SF in this list.

  • Dimension6 – Australian Speculative Fiction Magazine

From Keith Stevenson, of Coeur de Lion publishing, comes a new Australian speculative fiction magazine. It’s free and it’s fantastic.

Dimension6

  • Aurealis – Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazine

Probably the most famous sci-fi/fantasy publication in Australia. After a long hiatus they returned to publication in late 2011. Rather than a print edition, they now do a shorter monthly electronic edition that contains on average two stories as well as reviews, news, interviews and editorial content.

On a related theme the annual Aurealis Awards seem to be one of the premier award nights for Australian speculative fiction. The other major event seems to be the Ditmar Awards, although there are a lot of other awards both national and international. It seems that the speculative fiction field likes to give itself trophies – I haven’t come across quite as many different and varied awards in other genres (admittedly I haven’t actually looked in a concerted manner but I try to never let a lack of research get in the way of an opinion)

A less than serious themed Australian sci-fi and fantasy magazine, published quarterly and based out of Canberra.

A monthly e-publication of mostly Australian speculative flash fiction (i.e. very short stories of 500 words or less). I hadn’t been exposed to the flash fiction concept before coming across Antipodean SF. With only 500 words to work with, the stories generally just explore a single idea – there is very little scope for character development etc. Seems easy at first blush, but very difficult to do well.

They publish about 10 or so flash fiction pieces each month and as you would expect with any collection the quality is varied but generally quite good. An excellent way to become more knowledgeable about the Australian speculative fiction scene.

The editor, Ion Newcombe, also does a monthly podcast where the stories are read out, mixed in with mostly electronica music and some general speculative fiction news. Personally the podcast is my preferred method of consumption – gives me something interesting to listen to on the walk in to work.

A long standing US based magazine that has an array of speculative fiction stories as well as articles on real science. I subscribe to this in paper form. As one of the “premier” magazines, the quality of stories is pretty good but tend towards “hard” science fiction stories (very engineering focused). Having said that, I’m an engineer by training so I don’t mind that so much.

Another long standing US based magazine. More story oriented than Analog above. I’ve read a few editions now and the quality of many of the stories is excellent.

Locus is an industry magazine that has science fiction and fantasy news (fairly US and UK centric), reviews and interviews. It seems to be the “premier” industry magazine – its worth reading if you can. Having said that, the international subscription takes a very long time to arrive in the post. Fortunately, with the international subscription you also get an electronic copy, which I tend to read on the iPad (the colour/glossy nature of the magazine doesn’t lend itself well to the Kindle).

Musings of a Wannabe Speculative Fiction Writer