Short form speculative fiction and where to find it

To follow up on our recent podcast about short fiction in SF&F (Episode 15),  we’ve put together a list of some of the sources of speculative fiction that we have encountered. This is not a list of authors of short fiction, but rather the places where one might look to get a feel for genre (short) fiction. Some were mentioned in the episode and several listeners told us that they would like some more information. We have added details for both specific magazines we follow,  and publishers whose catalogue covers an array of formats or perhaps publish genre fiction as part of a broader catalogue. There is occasionally overlap between entries. Click the names of each item to jump to their website and find out more.

This is not meant to be an exhaustive list, but rather the sources we have followed for some time to get the ball rolling. We constantly are looking for new things so we will continually update this post. Maybe you’ve got some recommendations for a magazine we haven’t listed or a publisher you’ve seen consistently produce speculative short fiction. Maybe you’ve been published somewhere and want to give them a plug! We’ve only put a few things on the list so far but we would be especially keen to get some recommendations and a short blurb (not just names!) for magazines, online fiction, flash fiction, and resources for specialist subgenres. If you have comments or suggestions for additions to this list, please get in touch via Twitter or in the comments below.

MAGAZINES

Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine publishing science fiction and fantasy since 1977. In addition to fiction, each issue includes an editorial column, an Internet column, book reviews, and articles about science and science fiction. Publishes six issues per year. (Suggested by Chris Butler.)

Black Static Bimonthly magazine from TTA Press, and the younger sibling of Interzone, focusing on horror and dark fiction. Currently at issue 57 (March/April 2017). Like Interzone, it has published and conitnues to publish a fantastic selection of writers and is a great way to get a slice of horror fiction. Interesting editorials and opinion pieces. Has a great review section: Case Notes by Peter Tennant covers books and Blood Spectrum by Gary Couzens covers films. As with all TTA offerings, great artwork too.

Clarkesworld Monthly science fiction and fantasy magazine published since October 2006. Each issue contains interviews, articles, two reprints, and at least four or five works of original fiction. (Suggested by Chris Butler.)

Crimewave Sporadically published by TTA press but always well worth the wait and offering great crime and mystery fiction. Currently at issue 12 (October 2013). Unlike Interzone/Black Static, the anthology format just comprises short stories, novelletes and novellas. Again, an incredible list of contributors.

Interzone Long-running bimonthly magazine from TTA Press covering science fiction and fantasy. Currently at issue 269 (March/April 2017). Has an incredible roster of authors and has championed a lot of new writers who have gone on to great things (and still have shorts published here). Check their list of contributors! Issues usually contain several short stories (3000-8000 words) plus book/film reviews, editorials and opinion pieces. Fantastic covers and internal artwork accompanying each story.

Shoreline of Infinity Covers a wide variety of speculative fiction in each issue and the diversity of subgenres is as refreshing as the quality of the writing. Published 4 times a year and currently at issue 7 (Spring 2017). In addition to great short fiction, there are interviews, features, poetry and opinion pieces. With its editorial base in Scotland, there is a nice line in features on Scottish SF too. Shoreline of Inifinity also organises live, free evening SF events each month in Edinburgh (Event Horizon) and has started to publish collections, including the puzzle collection The Galactic Festival.

PUBLISHERS

Arachne Press Arachne have published a series of anthologies that collect some of the short fiction performed at the monthly Liar’s League live reading nights in London. As well as these themed collections, they have published a number of novels, novellas and poetry collections (see here). If you find yourself in London on a night when Liar’s League is running it’s well worth checking out – you can also listen to recordings of performances as podcasts (see here). There are Liar’s League nights also hosted in Leeds, Blackpool, New York, Portland and Hong Kong.

Newcon Press Recently turning 10 years old, Newcon Press publishes novellas, novels, anthologies and collections by some of the biggest names in speculative fiction, whilst championing new authors alongside them (see here). The themed anthologies are a particular favourite of ours, as are the single author collections in the Imaginings series and the new line of novellas. The books are always beautifully presented and have amazing cover art. Newcon are also present at many UK/European conventions and its always worth checking out their latest books or to get your hands on their signed hardback limited editions which tend to go fast.

Nightjar Press Produce limited edition speculative fiction (often eerie, weird or horror) as chapbooks. Beautifully presented and a fantastic author list (see here).

PS Publishing PS has a wide selection of genre content (science fiction, horror, fantasy and non-fiction) and an expanding number of formats (novellas, novels, anthoglogies, collections, art books, poetry). There truly is something for everyone here. PS are also present at many conventions and its always worth checking out their latest offerings.

Salt Publishing Since 1999, Salt has grown into one of the biggest UK independent publishers. They publish a wide range of fiction and poetry but we initially came to them through their fantasy and weird fiction slate comprising stories and anthologies (e.g. Best British Fantasy). Their author list is intimidating (see here). They tend to champion contemporary fiction, but a look at their website shows you how incredibly diverse they are.

TTA Press Publisher of the magazines Interzone, Black Static and Crimewave, TTA has published novellas, novels, anthologies and collections.

Unsung Stories Unsung publish literary and speculative fiction covering science fiction, horror, fantasy and weird fiction. They publish novellas, collections and anthologies and have recently opened up projects such as the 2084 anthology through Kickstarter. They also host Unsung Live events in London featuring author readings, interviews, discussions and meet-ups.

ONLINE

Beneath Ceaseless Skies An online magazine dedicated to publishing literary adventure fantasy: fantasy set in secondary-world or historical settings, written with a literary focus on the characters. Publishes two stories per issue, with a new issue every two weeks. (Suggested by Chris Butler.)

Metaphorosis An online science fiction and fantasy magazine that publishes a new 1000-10,000 word story every week. They focus on new, unusual speculative fiction with a slight preference for stories that reflect a vegan world. (Recommended by Ian Rennie.)

Tor.com An online SF&F resource featuring fiction, art, poetry and editorial pieces. They publish a range of original short fiction and poems on the site, as well as excerpts from novels. (Suggested by Chris Butler.)

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