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SF MAGAZINES: For Old Times’ Sake, 2012

From Gardner Dozois’ summation of the 2011 field in his 29th edition of The Year’s Best SF, available from bookstores and Amazon in the US and soon in the UK.

ASIMOV’S SCIENCE FICTION is doing very strongly in digital editions.  Overall circulation is 22593, up by about 1500 units or 7.3%.  7500 of that overall number is down to digital subscriptions, and an average of 290 digital units sold per month on top of that.

That’s a terrific thing for them.  A 7% increase in circulation is something of a turnaround.  And suggests that the increase is down to new (or returning) readers, rather than a migration to digital from the existing base.

Their print subscriptions are at 12469.  Their average newsstand sale is at 2334.

ANALOG is at an overall of 26440, which is a rise of 0.2% on the previous year. 4100 digital subscriptions, and an average of 150 digital units per month in addition.

This tends to suggest that in a couple of years’ time, ASIMOV’S numbers will be on parity with ANALOG’s.

FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION’s overalls dropped from 15172 to 14162.  They don’t release digital figures.

INTERZONE’s numbers are clearly not available to Mr Dozois, as he has forever stated that INTERZONE circulates 3000 copies per issue.  This is obviously nonsense.  Either INTERZONE have found three thousand people who cannot die, or he just doesn’t know the numbers.  Although the former explanation would further illuminate the mystery of how INTERZONE keeps on keeping on without any visible means of support.  I have always had a fondness for INTERZONE, but I am (pleasantly) baffled by their economics.  A recent post on their forum indicates that they’re looking at a format change that will put a spine on the magazine, shrink the page size a little bit – and add many more pages and more content.  Which sounds a bit like a magic trick.

It still seems to me like a space ripe for disruption.  Take a look at these reach numbers for online sf magazine CLARKESWORLD.  (Get well soon, Neil, by the way.)

You can compare these to 2009’s figures, if you’re interested.

My public email address is, and I'm @warrenellis .

Published in brainjuice researchmaterial