Friday, November 18, 2016

A Dubious Honor

Today I received my subscriber's copy of the Dec. 2016 issue of Analog, which includes my short story, "Fermi Meets Sagan."  I also received a card in the mail letting me know that as of the next issue, Analog is moving to a bimonthly publication schedule, putting out six issues a year. So I have the dubious distinction of having a story appear in the final monthly issue of Analog. Ever.

The card from Analog informed me of all of the wonderful features of bimonthly publication, but in my experience, periodicals only cut back on their publication schedule when they need to save money. So this doesn't bode well. Analog isn't the only one doing this -- the Wall Street Journal, to which I also subscribe, just reduced the size of their print edition last week (at the same time explaining how this will actually improve the quality of the newspaper).

I am working my way through Anthony Esolen's translation of Dante's Inferno, and Esolen has an apt comment in his notes:  "People have always sensed that the world is falling apart, because of course it always has been."  Indeed.


TheOFloinn said...

It's the rising cost of paper and the waning popularity of hard copy magazines.

However, I did not notice any such notice when I received my subscription copy.

BTW, cute story. It reminded me of the old 50s stories of alien invasions gone awry; though I recall none with this particular twist.

Robert Scherrer said...

Glad you enjoyed the story! Am I the only one out there who prefers reading words on paper instead of a screen? Probably I am.

Kathy said...

Reading on a screen is very convenient.

Item: I can get a book in literally seconds after I choose to buy it online (granted, the same is true if buying it in a bookstore).

Item: I can carry dozens of books in my phone or tablet, or both, and never be without reading material in a pinch. That's proved a lifesaver on short-notice business trips. (Admission: I also keep audio books, which are better than paper books or ebooks for drowning out ambient noise on a plane).

That said, sometimes I miss paper books. And I do definitely miss bookstores. Browsing online it's less likely to come across something unknown and interesting, no matter what recommendation algorithms Amazon brags about.

A few years back I was stuck in Houston for ten hours (don't ask). While I might have gone sightseeing, instead I asked a cab driver to take me to the nearest large bookstore. I ended up spending five hours just walking the shelves of a large Barnes & Noble, bemoaning the limited space on my laptop bag...