The State of SF Short Fiction


John DeNardo recently asked me to participate in the Mind Meld section of The question was about the state of short fiction in the sf genre. He asked several others as well, and he posted the answers here.

It’s an interesting discussion, and I suspect it’ll inspire me to write an essay. But my initial response is amusement: the younger writers wrote pieces I would have written 15 years ago. (And similar responses to the ones writers wrote thirty years ago.) Yes, the digests are hurting–and you should subscribe! Think of all the fiction you can get for the price of a hardcover. Go here for Asimov’s, here for Analog, and here for F&SF.

But other short fiction venues are growing. New sf anthologies, some wonderful online sites (see the earlier Tidbits note for a link to Baen’s Universe)–we’re truly in a golden age. Yes, very few people can make a living write short fiction. (It depends on your definition of living too. I made a good five-figure income last year in short fiction, but I actively market–and to more than one genre.)

So read the responses and see who you agree with.