Been meaning to circle back round to this for a while. Every year, Gardner Dozois’ YEAR’S BEST SCIENCE FICTION anthology runs the circulation figures for the main sf short-fiction magazines. I suspect his figures are a little off, as I’m certain there must be some direct-sales figures that go uncounted in his collation, but the Dozois summation remains the only broad year-on-year record I’m aware of. What follows, then, would be the monthly numbers for end-of-year 2006:
ASIMOV’S SCIENCE FICTION: subscriptions 15117
A drop of 13% from 2005. No numbers given for newsstand sales.
ANALOG: subscriptions 23732 newsstand 4587
Newsstand sales are “soft,” returnable — sellthrough is reported at 32%. I’m presuming the above number is the sellthrough number, not the overall circulation before returns. 7.3% loss year-on-year.
FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION: subscriptions 14575 newsstand 3691
According to Dozois, this constitutes a drop of less than 1% — losing some 600 readers overall year-on-year makes them the only magazine thus far mentioned that has made any progress at all in stemming the bleeding.
INTERZONE: “Circulation is in the 2000-to-3000 range.” Which I find a bit scary.
Someone recently said to me, “Well, what could you do to save them?” And I said, well, no-one’s asking, but there’s probably about twelve things that could be done. And they said, “Well, maybe, but what I really meant was — why try? Why not just bury them and start anew?”
And then someone else asked me why there’s still an sf magazine called “Analog.”