Charlie's Diary

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Fri, 23 Apr 2004

End of an Era

This week, Gardner Dozois stepped down as editor of Asimov's SF Magazine, after about 19 years at the helm. His replacement, Sheila Williams, is already editor there and indeed has worked on Asimov's for about as long as (if not longer than) Gardner, so it's not as if things are adrift: Gardner's simply spent a long time there and wants to spend more time on his own writing. (Lest we forget, not only did he win about fifteen Hugo awards as best editor -- he won a couple for his stories, in the dim and distant past.)

This news comes less than a month after Dave Pringle announced that he was stepping down as editor of Interzone, after a similar duration. (Interzone is being sold as a going concern to Andy Cox, who will be editing it in parallel with The Third Alternative.)

Why do I get a slight shiver at this news?

Interzone was where I sold my first stories, back in the 80's, under the editorship of Dave Pringle. Asimov's SF is where I really broke into the American market after 1999, via Gardner's auspices. Gardner in the US and Dave in the UK probably published the first short fiction of about 50% of the successful SF writers who came to notice from 1980 onwards! Saying this is the end of an era is, I think, an understatement -- it'll go unnoticed in the mass media, but some of those authors have gone on to have massive effects outside the genre. It's one of those defining moments that will potentially change the entire shape of our genre, thirty years down the line. And where written SF goes today, Hollywood (in its voracious search for new properties to sell) sometimes follows tomorrow: so it may well change the entire shape of mass entertainment in the longer term.

Think I'm exaggerating? Try and itemize a list of those successful authors who first got noticed via short stories in Interzone or Asimov's SF, under those editors.

Without pausing to look at a bookshelf, in the case of Interzone I can rattle off: Paul MacAuley, Simon Ings, Eric Brown, Greg Egan, Keith Brooke, Stephen Baxter, Geoff Ryman, Eugene Byrne, Richard Calder, Zoran Zivkovic (in English), Liz Williams, Nicola Griffith, Peter F. Hamilton, Ian MacLeod (and me). This, I stress, is without looking up the full bibliographical list, and it's for the smaller of the two magazines. Asimov's broke Ian MacDonald, Alan Steele, to name but two (and probably a host of others who I'd be able to list if I wasn't down with a nasty flu-like bug right now).

This is really, really big news for SF. The only trouble is, I have no idea how significant the news is -- and I don't think any of us will, for at least the next couple of years.

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posted at: 23:51 | path: /writing | permanent link to this entry


Is SF About to Go Blind? -- Popular Science article by Greg Mone
Unwirer -- an experiment in weblog mediated collaborative fiction
Inside the MIT Media Lab -- what it's like to spend a a day wandering around the Media Lab
"Nothing like this will be built again" -- inside a nuclear reactor complex

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Some webby stuff I'm reading:

Engadget ]
Gizmodo ]
The Memory Hole ]
Boing!Boing! ]
Futurismic ]
Walter Jon Williams ]
Making Light (TNH) ]
Crooked Timber ]
Junius (Chris Bertram) ]
Baghdad Burning (Riverbend) ]
Bruce Sterling ]
Ian McDonald ]
Amygdala (Gary Farber) ]
Cyborg Democracy ]
Body and Soul (Jeanne d'Arc)  ]
Atrios ]
The Sideshow (Avedon Carol) ]
This Modern World (Tom Tomorrow) ]
Jesus's General ]
Mick Farren ]
Early days of a Better Nation (Ken MacLeod) ]
Respectful of Otters (Rivka) ]
Tangent Online ]
Grouse Today ]
Hacktivismo ]
Terra Nova ]
Whatever (John Scalzi) ]
Justine Larbalestier ]
Yankee Fog ]
The Law west of Ealing Broadway ]
Cough the Lot ]
The Yorkshire Ranter ]
Newshog ]
Kung Fu Monkey ]
S1ngularity ]
Pagan Prattle ]
Gwyneth Jones ]
Calpundit ]
Lenin's Tomb ]
Progressive Gold ]
Kathryn Cramer ]
Halfway down the Danube ]
Fistful of Euros ]
Orcinus ]
Shrillblog ]
Steve Gilliard ]
Frankenstein Journal (Chris Lawson) ]
The Panda's Thumb ]
Martin Wisse ]
Kuro5hin ]
Advogato ]
Talking Points Memo ]
The Register ]
Cryptome ]
Juan Cole: Informed comment ]
Global Guerillas (John Robb) ]
Shadow of the Hegemon (Demosthenes) ]
Simon Bisson's Journal ]
Max Sawicky's weblog ]
Guy Kewney's mobile campaign ]
Hitherby Dragons ]
Counterspin Central ]
MetaFilter ]
NTKnow ]
Encyclopaedia Astronautica ]
Fafblog ]
BBC News (Scotland) ]
Pravda ]
Meerkat open wire service ]
Warren Ellis ]
Brad DeLong ]
Hullabaloo (Digby) ]
Jeff Vail ]
The Whiskey Bar (Billmon) ]
Groupthink Central (Yuval Rubinstein) ]
Unmedia (Aziz Poonawalla) ]
Rebecca's Pocket (Rebecca Blood) ]

Older stuff:

June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
(I screwed the pooch in respect of the blosxom entry datestamps on March 28th, 2002, so everything before then shows up as being from the same time)

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