First up, the boss man, Mr. Neil Clarke, has recently been interviewed by The Functional Nerds, a fine podcast. You can hear what he has to say here.
In addition Realms of Fantasy magazine has announced that it is once again closing for business. This is very sad, and as the official announcement says it is probably a result of the current economic downturn. However, I learned from Twitter that more privately (to his friends on Facebook) Warren Lapine has been blaming the fold on free online magazines such as Clarkesworld.
I’ve not seen what Warren actually wrote, and I suspect he’s mainly just a bit upset, but my own view is that if online magazines are doing better than print ones it is because they are more accessible rather than anything else. One of the main reasons that Clarkesworld has such good content is that we pay very well (and are picky about what we publish). And we are able to pay well because people give us money. It is a virtuous circle. The better the content you publish, the more money you get, and the better content you can afford.
That goes double for Salon Futura because we pay rather better for non-fiction than many print magazines. Often people who write book reviews get “paid” with the copy of the book they are reviewing. And I’ll never forget being told by the editor of one long-running print magazine that, as a fan, I should of course be happy to write for him for free. I hope that Salon Futura will establish that you can have good quality discussion of speculative literature online, not just the “my opinion” pieces we see from so many book review sites. Of course it will help if we get a few donations, because then we’ll be able to afford to pay better for the material.