Earlier this year, I started the Fanzine/Fancast Spotlight project to highlight the many worthy fanzines, blogs and fancasts are out there.
Originally, that project was intended to coincide with the nomination period for the 2021 Hugo Awards. However, I’ll be continuing this project on and off, because there are new fanzines, blogs and fancasts springing up all the time plus plenty of existing ones that I missed the first time around. Besides, after the Hugo nominations is before the Hugo nominations.
Furthermore, I have decided to expand the project to cover semiprozines as well. What is a semiprozine? The constitution of the World Science Fiction Society defines a semiprozine as follows:
3.3.13: Best Semiprozine. Any generally available non-professional periodical publication devoted to science fiction or fantasy, or related subjects which by the close of the previous calendar year has published four (4) or more issues (or the equivalent in other media), at least one (1) of which appeared in the previous calendar year, which does not qualify as a fancast, and which in the previous calendar year met at least one (1) of the following criteria:
(1) paid its contributors and/or staff in other than copies of the publication,
(2) was generally available only for paid purchase
And because semiprozines can not be professional by definition, here’s the WSFS definition of a professional publication:
3.2.11: A Professional Publication is one which meets at least one of the following two criteria:
(1) it provided at least a quarter the income of any one person or,
(2) was owned or published by any entity which provided at least a quarter the income of any of its staff and/or owner.
That’s a lot of legalese, but the short version is that semiprozines are smaller magazines that pay their contributors and/or staff in other than copies, but don’t make enough money to provide at least a quarter of the income for staff or owners.
Even though that definition is very specific, there are actually a lot of magazines which meet it. The semiprozine directory has a lengthy list of Hugo eligible semiprozines and there are several I know of that are not yet listed.
Semiprozines range from the very well known to the obscure, so I thought it was time to shine a light on the many great semiprozines that are out there and decided to interview the editors and staff of various semiprozines. I hope this series will be of interest not just to potential Hugo nominators, but to everybody who is looking for great SFF short fiction.
I want to feature as many different semiprozines as possible and everybody is welcome to participate. However, I reserve the right to refuse to feature something, e.g. if a zine (and/or the people behind it) is known for shitposting, harrassment and generally terrible behaviour.
I will post responses as I get them, including potentially controversial answers, unless there are egregiously problematic, e.g. racist, sexist, homophobic, etc… comments, in which case I will contact the interviewee to discuss edits.
Finally, a feature is not an endorsement. Instead, the Semiprozine Spotlight project is intended as a resource to show potential Hugo nominators and SFF fans in general what’s out there.
The first Semiprozine Spotlight will go live tomorrow and I hope to have many more. Do you run a semiprozine and want it featured? Contact me or leave a comment.
Your zine is not actually a semiprozine? Well, I’m still running the Fanzine and Fancast sSpotlights, too, so contact me anyway.
Your zine is actually a prozine? Well, I’ll still interview you, but I’ll mark the post respectively. Though I doubt that will be much of a problem.
So check out all the great semiprozines that will be featured and consider nominating your favourites for the 2022 Hugo Awards next year.