Uh-oh. Gordon Van Gelder has announced that F&SF — The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction — will switch to a bimonthly schedule in April, with larger issues to make up the difference. F&SF currently publishes 11 issues a year, with one large double issue; subscribers should note that six double issues will still be counted as a year’s subscription. Van Gelder’s rationale for the decision:
We’ve made the change because rising costs — especially postal costs — and the current economy put us in a position where we either had to raise our rates severely or cut back somewhere. Given the state of the economy, I decided a cutback in frequency made the most sense. We’ll lose a little more than 10% of our content this year, but we should be in a great position for the coming years.
If you’ve been following the state of the science fiction magazines, this decision is not surprising in that context. And postal rates have gone through the roof. At least Gordon isn’t trying to put a risibly positive spin on the decision.
Better a bimonthly, double-sized F&SF than none at all. The main advantage to a monthly publishing schedule, I suspect, is newsstand visibility; the science fiction magazines’ newsstand sales have all but dried up in recent years, so that advantage may no longer be operative.
Via Robert J. Sawyer.
Previously: The decline of the science fiction magazine.
Update, 1/6: Announcement on the F&SF blog.