The new editor of F&SF...

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction has a new editor. You can read the announcement at Locus Magazine.  

*reads the announcement*


So, as some of you may have guessed, my guest editing gigs at F&SF were a job audition. I guess I did okay. To be honest, all the writers who submitted great stories deserve the credit for that. But I'll take it!

I’m very grateful to F&SF’s publisher Gordon Van Gelder for giving me this opportunity. Also, readers of the magazine, I’m grateful to all of you. Thank you for loving speculative fiction and subscribing to and supporting magazines like F&SF.

Here are some answers to questions about the new job:

When do you take over as editor?

Officially, I take over with the March/April issue this year.

Unofficially, magazines get put together months in advance. March/April is at the printers so that means I’m already working on May/June. I started reading submissions for the magazine on January 1. Originally, it was going to be just for a guest editor spot in September/October, but now it is for all future issues of the magazine. So that worked out well.

What does this mean for readers of F&SF? 

Short version: More great speculative fiction stories from the same magazine that’s been bringing them to you without interruption for over 65 years.   

Current editor Gordon Van Gelder has an inventory of stories for the magazine. After the March/April issue, these will be mixed in with the stories that I select. It will probably take a few issues to make the transition, but it won't be sudden. Readers will still see many of the familiar writers they love. And I expect there to be new voices as well. 

In the meantime, you can see a sample of the stories I like in the issue that I guest edited last July/August.

What does this mean for writers? 

For one thing, it means that the online submissions form for F&SF at will stay open past January 15. There’s no need to rush to meet that deadline now.

Electronic submissions are easier for writers. They reduce barriers to submitting, so more people from more backgrounds in more parts of the world can send me stories. That means a larger, more diverse pool of stories for me to read in search of great stories. It also means less recycling. So I strongly prefer electronic submissions.

However, if you still want to send paper submissions, it also means there’s a new address: 

C.C. Finlay
Fantasy & Science Fiction
PO Box 8420
Surprise AZ 85374-0123

Will F&FS still respond to submissions as quickly as Gordon Van Gelder?

That's my plan. Currently that plan is being stymied by the sheer volume of electronic submissions but I hope that will even out over time. 

Aren’t you a writer? Isn’t it unusual for writers to become editors?

Uh, that's two questions, but yes, I’m a writer. In fact, over the past 15 years I’ve had 19 stories published in F&SF. That’s how Gordon Van Gelder and I got to know each other.

While F&SF has been defined mainly by two legendary editor/publishers – Gordon Van Gelder and Ed Ferman, who’ve done that job 44 out of the past 50 years – there is also a tradition of writer-editors. Kristine Kathryn Rusch was the editor from 1991-1997 and discovered a lot of new writers. Before her, Avram Davidson did the job in the early 1960s and helped introduce many international writers to readers through the translations he published in the magazine. And the great mystery writer Anthony Boucher helmed the first decade of F&SF, which was co-edited for five years by writer J. Francis McComas. They helped establish the F&SF tradition, with its focus on great writing and, for their time, diverse stories. I hope to follow in their footsteps and contribute like they did.

© C.C. Finlay 2018