Our 50th Edition

50thThis issue marks the 50th edition of Abyss & Apex Magazine of Speculative Fiction. We think it’s worth pausing here to note the occasion, and to see where we have been and where we are going.

Just surviving in such a competitive market was an achievement, especially in the early days. Do you have any idea how many online magazines have come and gone since our first edition, in January 2003? Ralan.com has a list of dead markets, and it’s pretty long: 1,096 “tombstones” as of this writing.

Have we had bumps in the road? Sure. There was that false alarm about us closing in 2004. And we used to have one of the worst reputations in the industry for making a decision on a submission. But with a new system brought in by our European Editor Carmelo Rafala, our response times–abysmal for years–now hover at between one and six months, with an average of three months.  Another hiccup: last year Carmelo tried his hand at running the magazine, but he underestimated the amount of work involved and now loves his smaller role.

Then, there was the number of unique viewers: an online publication’s subscriber base. When I took over the running of the magazine in November of 2005, we had 2,000 views per quarter. Not unique viewers, either. This year we are averaging 8,000 unique visitors a month.

As our readership grew, the awards and accolades piled up. Take a look at our Awards & Honors page.  Rhysling Awards, Dwarf Star Awards, Prix Aurora finalists, Locus and Tangent Recommended Reading Lists, Year’s Best reprints and honorable mentions have gone to our stories. And we’d like to point out how many of our writers—25 percent of which were published for the first time here in our pages—went on to do great things. We published early Aliette de Bodard,  Marie Brennan, Karl Bunker, Paul Carson, Rae Carson, J. Kathleen Cheney, Nora K. Jemison, Lisa Mantchev, Will McIntosh, Mercurio D. Rivera, Lawrence M. Schoen, and Lavie Tidhar.

Veteran science fiction and fantasy writers have always assisted us in providing stories, and poems, that put our up-and-coming new authors on the same Table of Contents with established people in the genre, giving a boost to new careers.  Our pages have been graced by C.J. Cherryh, Paul Di Filippo, Samantha Henderson,  Matthew Kressel, Jay Lake, Richard A. Lovett, Tim Pratt, Cat Rambo, Ken Scholes, Justin Stanchfield,  Bud Sparhawk, Michael Swanwick, and Rachel Swirsky – among other well-known names.

For these reasons we are proud to say that being published in Abyss & Apex is a cover letter credit professional magazines seem to notice.  We start our second decade excited about discovering new writers and helping their careers, and our ongoing relationships with the many established genre  writers we call friends.

Wendy S. Delmater, Editor and Publisher

Abyss & Apex




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