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Weirdbook Magazine relaunches
March 24, 2015 | 10:25 am

Weirdbook Magazine, one of the more celebrated and imaginative titles of the science fiction New Wave and modern-day resurrection of weird fiction, is now relaunching, with what claims to be Issue #31 - albeit after a very long hiatus. As explained in Michael Ashley's Gateways to Forever: The Story of the Science-fiction Magazines from 1970 to 1980, Weirdbook Magazine first appeared in 1968, and "as a rare market for new weird fiction, it attracted pieces from new writers." Co-founder W. Paul Ganley "sustained Weirdbook for a remarkable 30 years, winning two World Fantasy Awards for his efforts." Paul Ganley is still on...

Magazine publishers unhappy with Apple Newsstand
October 16, 2014 | 10:01 pm

newsstandDigital magazines for tablets have long had a number of problems, not the least of which being that it’s considerably easier for people to make their own “magazines” via RSS readers or other content aggregators such as Flipboard. But Digiday reports that magazine publishers are finding Apple’s Newsstand app problematic in new ways as well. In iOS 7, Apple changed the way Newsstand worked so users were no longer notified if there was a new issue of their magazine available. It doesn’t let users put shortcuts to their magazines on their home screens either. Its ability to download issues...

Changes in magazine layout: print to digital
May 12, 2014 | 10:25 am

magazine layoutWhen TIME magazine ran a summer movie preview feature in a recent issue, looking at three eco-disaster movies set release soon, two from America and one from South Korea -- "Godzilla," "Into the Storm" and "Snowpiercer" -- its editorial and design team offered readers worldwide two different magazine layout in the print magazine's four global editions and its online website (which has a paywall). I read the article with interest because I was interviewed for the story about two months ago and I was quoted briefly near the end of the article, so I studied the ways in which the...

British printers struggle to cope with shift toward digital media
April 15, 2014 | 5:46 pm

printingpressMy friend Michael Brotzman pointed out this story to me from the New York Times, about how the printing industry in Britain is coping with the decreased demand for its services. Even as high technology leads to printers that can print bigger runs, faster, more efficiently, and with fewer operators, demand is dwindling and so are employees. The British printing industry is down from an estimated 200,000 workers in 2001 to fewer than 125,000 now. And for the jobs that are left, the UK is more and more often having to compete with lower labor costs of printers in continental...

Supernatural Tales runs limited-time offer of free downloads
February 3, 2014 | 10:17 am

UK horror and dark fiction magazine Supernatural Tales is holding a very limited-time offer for free PDF downloads of back issues, some nine in all, via its usual publication platform, "Issues from ST#17 onward will be available there indefinitely," states the publisher and founding editor, David Longhorn, but the giveaways are strictly short-time. "It's a limited time offer, but for the next day or so you can have issues 17 to 25 for nothing," he states. Subscription prices for the magazine run at $45.00 annually for US and ROW, or £25.00 for the UK, for three issues per year. Individual...

Climate change skeptic journal closed: Just cause?
January 19, 2014 | 10:26 am

With standards and practices in academic journal publishing much under debate lately, an incident where a scientific journal is closed by its publisher on the grounds of content is going to attract some attention, especially when the journal has affiliations to a controversial area like climate change skepticism. This is what has happened in the case of Copernicus Publications and the open access journal Pattern Recognition in Physics (PRP). The publisher's notice on the journal website states: "The journal idea was brought to Copernicus' attention and was taken rather critically in the beginning, since the designated Editors-in-Chief were mentioned in the context of...

Writer objects to Spare Rib digitization project’s imposition of a Creative Commons license
December 21, 2013 | 6:00 am

cc.largeWe’re familiar with Creative Commons as a tool for granting creators more freedom to choose what permissions they want to grant readers of their work. But even a tool for freedom can become constrictive if its use is required, and that seems to be the case with the project to digitize content of Spare Rib, “the landmark UK feminist magazine of the seventies and eighties.” Spare Rib contributor Gillian Spragg writes that the terms of the British Library’s digitization project leave a decidedly bad taste in her mouth. The BL is asking all contributors to agree...

Oxygen and Clean Eating Magazine to Rise Again
September 24, 2013 | 2:15 pm

I wrote in June about the closure of CANUSA, the parent company of the magazines [easyazon-link asin="B0078XPR46" locale="us"]Oxygen[/easyazon-link] and Clean Eating. At the time, then-owner Tosca Reno attributed the closure to changes in the industry and to the death of her husband, founder Robert Kennedy. She suggested she was looking for other solutions to bring these magazines back, and it seems she's been successful: several outlets are reporting that Active Interest Media has acquired these titles and Reno assured readers via Facebook that all subscriptions would be honoured. Good news for magazine lovers!...

SF writer Paul Cook warns of science fiction’s infection by girl cooties
September 4, 2013 | 8:49 pm

Okay, I know I’m feeding the troll here, and I feel bad about that, but I do feel it’s worth calling attention to this level of complete stupidity when I see it. Patrick Nielsen Hayden had this to say about the subject of my rant: “It’s rare that one gets to see somebody being a complete and total idiot. But Amazing Stories comes through!” The article in question is by Paul Cook, and it goes by the provocative title “When Science Fiction is Not Science Fiction.” Cook, it seems, is upset that writers such as Lois McMaster Bujold and...

Sweden’s Meganews Delivers Print-on-Demand Newsstand
August 16, 2013 | 12:23 pm

MeganewsPrint-on-demand facsimiles of major dailies are a familiar sight in international hotel lobbies these days, but now Sweden's Meganews has gone one step further, by introducing a mechanized and Internet-enabled newsstand that can print magazines as well as newspapers on demand. "Use the touchscreen to select a magazine of your choice, pay with your credit card, and within two minutes a high-fidelity issue can be picked up at the end of the newsstand," the Meganews site explains. "The printing course of your magazine can be followed on the monitor." Initial venues for the Meganews newsstand "are in locations lacking publications for sale--where...

OMNI Magazine as orphaned work
July 9, 2013 | 11:36 pm

omni-magBoingBoing has an interesting feature-length piece by Glenn Fleishman about OMNI Magazine and who owns the rights to it. Prompted by an article for Vice’s Motherboard discussing the rediscovery of a treasure-trove of material from the defunct late-70s-to-late-90s SF magazine, Fleishman asks and answers the question of who actually owns the publication rights to all that material. The journey he goes through tracking down the answer is actually a lot more interesting than the answer itself. Created by the founder of Penthouse Magazine, and essentially bankrolled by Penthouse’s profits (OMNI ran for 18 years racking up a total loss...

The parent company of Oxygen and Clean Eating magazines is shutting down
June 15, 2013 | 1:54 pm

magazinesA blog post from Tosca Reno, owner of Robert Kennedy Publishing, alerted me that CANUSA Products, Inc. (formerly known as Canusa Publishing Group), their parent company, has just shut down after 40 years in operation. Their two most popular properties, Clean Eating and Oxygen magazines, are officially in limbo—Reno seems to imply she's trying to find them another home, but that's a wish, not a plan right now. Officially, the reasons for the shutdown make perfect sense to me: She attributes the difficulties to the "sharp decline" of traditional publishing, and to uses' adoption of tablet and electronic devices, as well as...

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