No matter how much I try to prove otherwise, I can't seem to shut down the persistent little rumor that fiction and poetry are dead. Dying. Murdered by the internet. In the case of poetry I think the internet proves the direct opposite. When I first attempted to publish (very bad) poetry back in the 1980s publishing poetry was hard
. Limited markets, and attempting to get a copy of the poetry journals in print to see what was they were publishing (always good advice) incredibly difficult even for someone living in a very wealthy town with an excellent library, and later, with an eh college library and an outstanding university library. Multiple people told me, at university poetry readings
and assorted other seemingly poetry friendly places, that poetry was dying; writing it was pointless.
I won't go so far as to say that the internet saved poetry – an at least 4000 year old art form is not that dependent on technology – but it has certainly made it much easier to publish poetry, find poetry, hear poetry, discover forms not listed in the various Norton Anthologies, find minor poets, minor works by major poets, and more. It hasn't, as far as I can see, helped poets earn money – but if I recall correctly only four or five poets in the 20th century could earn their living through poetry alone (as opposed to inheritances, handouts from friends, medical careers and so on) and I may be overcounting that number. So that hasn't changed much.
But I digress: this was supposed to just be a short introduction to "Save Our Zines" day, a day to celebrate the multiple print and online zines that are, often at a financial loss, keeping poetry and fiction alive. Here's just a few of the many, many zines that deserve your love, and prove that short fiction and poetry are very very much alive:Online:Abyss and Apex
publishes a strong blend of science fiction and fantasy. Check out Wikihistory
does horror – but horror of the good, shivery kind, not horror of the gross out kind.Beneath Ceaseless Skies
: Rich fantasy.Café Irreal:
This one may not be to everyone's taste, but if you like your fiction really inexplicable and literary, this is the place to go. They published one of my personal favorites,Broomsticks
, some time ago, and that, oddly, didn't put them out of business, and continue to print little bits of weird.Clarkesworld
has one major flaw: it doesn't publish often enough. Mostly science fiction, but sometimes fantasy or science fiction tinged with fantasy.Fantasy
doesn't just publish the occasional tale of mine, folks. In the last year they've also printed tales by Nancy Kress, selfavowedgeek
and more. This is as good a time as any to link to the utterly hilarious Teaching a Pink Elephant to Ski.
Farrago's Wainscot sucks because it's closing down. Sniffle.Goblin Fruit
is, simply, drop dead gorgeous. And more importantly, poetry. Fairy tales. What's not to love?Innsmouth Free Press
. CTHULHU. Three Crow Press
. Not Cthulhu. But fun stuff nonetheless.McSweeney's
probably doesn't need the publicity, but I love this site: daily snippets of sarcasm/wit/humor, sometimes even literary.Print:Shimmer
: Speculative Fiction for a miscreant world.Sybil's Garage
is a beautifully put together zine – illustrations and side notes and little things that you miss the first time and see the second time. Weird Tales.
They like, won a Hugo, folks.Electric Velocipede
. They also won a Hugo, folks.
Feel free to recommend the many, many zines I've forgotten and overlooked in the comments. I haven't had enough coffee yet today.