Asimov's opens to electronic submission

At long last, Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine is open to electronic submissions, as opposed to managing the mountains of paper that come into its NYC office every month. Asimov's gets vastly more submissions than it could ever publish, but the willingness to put a paper manuscript in the postal mail is not a good proxy for the ability to write a great story. Asimov's is the first of the big three (Asimov's, Analog and F&SF to open to electronic subs. (via Scalzi)


  1. the willingness to put a paper manuscript in the postal mail is not a good proxy for the ability to write a great story

    Agreed, but I imagine it sets the bar high enough that they’re not quite as flooded with submissions from people who aren’t really serious about getting published. If you’ve gone through the effort of printing a manuscript in standard format according to the publisher’s directions, sticking it in a letter-sized envelope with a dollar’s worth of postage, and mailing it to the proper address, then you’re probably serious.

    At least they’ve kept the standard format criteria, and aren’t letting you just throw a blob of text their way — for now. I’ll be interested in hearing whether their number of submissions changes.

  2. I don’t know if you can really call them the “big three” anymore. Thirty years ago, when each of them had subscription numbers above or at least approaching 100,000 subscribers apiece, maybe you could say that. Today, when their monthly readership might barely crack the 10,000 mark, I dunno. I think the only people who read them nowdays are aspiring authors who want to read them to figure out how to write a story good enough to be published in them… the sort of incestuous affair that typifies “small magazines” in other literary fields. Which is sad, the death of mass market short length science ficiton that is, but I guess science fiction, which was boasting in the 80’s that it was immune to the contagion that had swept the vast majority of literary short fiction into narrow ghettos read only by those who were wishing to publish stories in those genres, wasn’t immune after all.

  3. A paper-only submissions processis not really any sort of obstacle, since printing and posting is not at all difficult. Also, a sci-fi mag that only takes paper? That sounds weird to me in 2010.

    The only losers in an all-paper submissions process are the people who have to organize and read the submissions*. My former literary agent loved electronic submissions, since they could fit on her laptop or e-reader for the journey home, rather than lug a stack of manuscripts onto the subway.

    (* … and the trees, of course)

  4. @ Cheqyr: I’ve helped with slushing for magazines, and I assure you that the bar is very low, with both. We would get the whole range: (crayoned) manuscripts from little kids, inmates, god-knows-what-else. And I’ve seen somewhere that the number of submissions to online magazines is no more than it is for print magazines. There is no “flood.” It’s largely a myth.

  5. I have not researched the circulation numbers (but will after writing this note). I am only writing to support these 3 magazines, and Analog in particular. I have been reading Analog since about 1978 or 1979. I will continue to purchase this magazine for as long as they continue the high standard of storytelling I have enjoyed for over 30 years. And, yes, I started reading it early in my teens… As I said, I write this only to support these publications because I think there are more of us out here that you might guess. As long as the stories are good, it doesn’t really matter how they are submitted to me!

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