The closing of Crossed Genres and supporting the publications you love

Crossed Genres (the zine, not the press) is shutting down. Partly because of stress and lack of time, but also due to a lack of funds.

The second factor is simply that the magazine has run out of funds to continue. In April 2014 we ran a successful Kickstarter to keep CG Magazine going, but once another year had passed, roughly 90 percent of those who’d pledged to the Kickstarter chose not to renew their memberships. New memberships have been no more than a trickle since. We just don’t have the time, resources, or energy to continuously run fundraisers every year, especially when we also have to fundraise any other projects. Running a fundraiser is an entire project in and of itself – it’s an exhausting and overwhelming process, and we have too few hands to accomplish everything even for the actual publishing projects we have. 

In respect of that, I’d like to encourage folks to support zines they love. I’m putting together an all-in-one-place bunch of links that would answer a range of funds, platforms, and so on, as well as (IMO) reasons to support that specific zine.

I personally buy gift subscriptions for people who want them, but gift subscriptions are not inexpensive – Patreon is a nice alternative, but one-off issue purchase or anthology purchases also help support the zine. With that in mind, onward!

Clarkesworld

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/clarkesworld

Subscriptions: Weightless, Amazon, Google Play, Apple App Store

Other options: the Upgraded anthology, a 6-month subscription, the Genevieve Valentine novella Dream Houses, the e-omnibus of Cat Valente’s short novels Myths of Origin.

Clarkesworld is a fantastic magazine that’s published some of the most interesting science fiction, and they do great outreach in acquiring translations (currently, mostly Chinese science fiction). They are also a lot of people’s first publications, which can put your name on the radar in a big way. CW publishes veterans and newbies alike with equity, putting their names side by side with total impartiality. It’s also got a track record for being one of the most progressive in its contents: it publishes a lot – I do mean a lot – of people of color; there have been issues that are just back-to-black full of POC. Queer, trans and non-binary folks are well-represented too, and CW is easily one of the most international SFF zines (if not the most). The fiction it publishes is often experimental, literary, forward-looking and full of worlds beyond the North American. For a writer, they’re fantastic to work with, offering excellent pay rate, editorial support, and just all around being very encouraging.

Some CW stories I’ve really liked: ‘Android Whores Can’t Cry’‘Effigy Nights’, and ‘Seeking boarder for rm w/ attached bathroom, must be willing to live with ghosts ($500 / Berkeley)’. (Yes, they’re all by writers who are non-US/UK or of color or queer or all three. I also picked these three because they’re all so stylistically dissimilar, which I think helps make the case of how varied the CW style can be.)

Beneath Ceaseless Skies 

Subscriptions: Weightless, Amazon

Other options: Ceaseless West: Weird Western Stories, Ceaseless Steam: Steampunk Stories from Beneath Ceaseless Skies

Beneath Ceaseless Skies specializes in secondary-world fantasy with style. It’s where you can get epic fantasy in 6000-8000 words (no more than 32 pages in paperback!), written in styles that… well, imagine if Catherynne Valente wrote epic fantasy. Which she did actually, but anyway I don’t think it’s unfair to say that’s what BCS offers. At its best, short secondary-world fantasy can give you the most intense, harrowing moment of epic fantasy without bothering you with reams of maps, glossaries, and 800 pages of wiki entries. Currently, BCS is the only venue with a laser focus on that. They also publish POC regularly, as well as queer, trans and non-binary writers. I’ve recently enjoyed ‘A Careful Fire’ by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam.

Apex

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/apexmagazine

Subscriptions: Weightless, Amazon, Google Play, Apple App Store

Other options: Starve Better (a practical, fun and realistic nonfiction collection of essays on writing: craft, money, state of genre), For Exposure (a charming, frank nonfiction book on running a small press), The Apex Book of World SF Bundle (taster of international SFF), and a bunch of full-length novels by J. M. McDermott, Lavie Tidhar, Brian Keene and more.

I think of all the publishers/zines I’m recommending here, Apex has the biggest range of stuff to offer, from nonfiction essays to full-length novels. Apex Magazine itself leans toward dark fantasy, I believe, but it publishes a huge range of short fiction. They have done multiple initiatives to encourage international SFF, with special issues, anthology series, and just generally its selection of writers even in non-special issues. Commitment not to just showcasing writers from varied background, but also in material. They are, I believe, the first western SFF zine to have reprinted Kuzhali Manickavel (the compelling ’Six Things We Found During the Autopsy’). For originals, I quite liked Octavia Cade’s ‘Crow’.

Mythic Delirium 

Subscriptions: Weightless

Other options: Clockwork Phoenix anthologies, Bone Swans, and Unseaming (a Shirley Jackson-nominated collection of surreal, dark short stories by Mike Allen)

Mythic Delirium is the home of the Clockwork Phoenix anthologies, a series of anthologies featuring strange, weird, beautiful stories (including ones written by Valente, among others). Stylistically elaborate, varied fiction that would be hard to place elsewhere because they’re strange. New weird mixed with picaresque style. Mythic Delirium, the zine, brings more of the same. I especially enjoyed, recently, Cassandra Khaw’s ‘Her Pound of Flesh’, a really neat intertwining of fairytale tropes westerners are familiar with and Chinese ones.

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