Dozois steps down

Gardner Dozois is stepping down as editor of Asimov’s Science Fiction; he’s held that position since 1986, during which time he made Asimov’s the definitive SF magazine. He will apparently be replaced by longtime managing editor Sheila Williams (via Boing Boing).

At the same time, circulations for all SF magazines — Analog and F&SF too — plunged during this period: paid circulation today is less than a third of what it was in the mid-1980s. Whatever forces were at work to put SF magazines’ circulation in decline — I’ve heard one of them was ending the Publisher’s Clearing House subscriptions, which the magazines apparently took at a loss, so they may now actually be more profitable — you have the irony that fewer and fewer people were reading a magazine at its prime.

Apparently Dozois is returning to writing fiction. As a fan of his stuff — check out Strange Days or, for a book about his stuff, Being Gardner Dozois — I can’t be anything but pleased. I just hope he can make a living at it without becoming Howard Waldrop’s roommate.