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June 18, 2007 5:33 AM   Subscribe

ScienceFictionfilter: Suggestions for gift subscriptions of science fiction magazines, journals printed in English and dead tree format

I have reviewed the mefi post on anthologies but need specific magazines publishing current material. Is Analog still the best or is there better science fiction magazines? The focus should be short stories, printed in English though authors can be international or extraterrestrial and available in dead tree format. This is a requested gift from someone who is not into science fiction but wants to read the best available. He is definitely anti-fantasy so dragons, unicorns need not apply while the damsel in distress better be Princess Leia from Episode IV not slave girl Leia.
posted by jadepearl to Writing & Language (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
The British magazine Interzone is a great read. I've subscribed for a number of years and I love it. Also, complete lack of unicorns.
posted by Happy Dave at 5:49 AM on June 18, 2007

Dead tree format? Does anyone actually print on a dead tree? Is this edgy?

There are thankfully still quite a few:

Asimov's Science Fiction
Fantasy & Science Fiction

I'd say the first three are the top three.

If you are into edgy dead trees and cotton, don't forget the slaughtered cotton, then there are also plenty of excellent zines out there some of which are on the internet exclusively!

Another possibility is to look into graphic novels of which there are a huge quantity of excellent material that can be found. Check out places such as Fantagraphics if you are interested in that edgy scene.
posted by JJ86 at 6:08 AM on June 18, 2007

Analog is, I find, too old-school and testosteroney for my tastes. Asimov's and F&SF both print some fantasy (Asimov's less than F&SF) but both lean towards magical realism, urban fantasy, slipstream and weird rather than dragons and unicorns. Asimov's tends to have the most stories in the annual best-of-the-year anthologies, but I find them occasionally too literary/pretentious/clever for me.
posted by Jeanne at 6:21 AM on June 18, 2007

Oh, yeah, and check out Flurb, which is put together by SF luminary Rudy Rucker.
posted by Happy Dave at 6:22 AM on June 18, 2007

Let me second Asimov's. In my experience (I read it only occasionally, mind you) almost every story will be science fiction, with only one non-sf story. But regular readers may know better.
posted by Kattullus at 7:11 AM on June 18, 2007

F&SF is my favorite of the majors and consistently publishes the most interesting work. Like Jeanne, I find Analog too old-school for my taste. Interzone is often excellent. There are several excellent small-press indie zines of the genre which publish tons of great authors not everyone has heard of yet (and some that you probably have) and could certainly use the support:

Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet
Electric Velocipede
Sybil's Garage

I also like "Say..." published by Christopher Rowe and Gwenda Bond as well, but they don't really have a functional website set up that I can ever find.
posted by tigerbelly at 7:28 AM on June 18, 2007

1- Asimov
2- Analog

They are not perfect but are the more reliable from a science fiction point of view. If there is only one, it has to be Asimov, warts and all.
posted by bru at 10:01 AM on June 18, 2007

So glad to see Asimov still has a following! I'd have to go with Asimov's Science Fiction as well.
posted by misha at 10:48 AM on June 18, 2007

Second F&SF, for my money the best sf mag for over half a century.
posted by languagehat at 11:35 AM on June 18, 2007

I can't recommend Analog for anyone who isn't already into science fiction. Asimov's or F&SF would be my top suggestions.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 12:47 PM on June 18, 2007

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