Goodbye Asimovs



The quality and type of fiction is a magazine is largely dependent on the main Editor. If you find a magazine whose editor has tastes that align with your own it’s a guarantee that you will enjoy at least some of the stories included.

Sadly, Sheila Williams and Asimov’s do not align with my tastes at all. Actually I would like to know who her tastes align with because based on the stories in the last few issues I’m beginning to think she doesn’t actually like Science Fiction or Fantasy.

I have a digital subscription. Correction, had because I’m way over waiting for an actual SFF story from this magazine. The latest issue was the last I will ever read. Not one of the stories was an actual SFF piece. The only SF was background window dressing or downright stupid. The crowning achievement of the magazine was an idiotic novella about a gay waiter who traveled to Colonial times pretending to be an angel and getting the locals addicted to meth so he can take back Paul Reveres silver spoons. A premise so stupid and insulting I wanted to toss my Kindle.

A douchey love story about an artist that name drops Art History 101 names and pines about the tough girl that left his ass is still a love story. Just because the setting is the near future doesn’t make it SF. If you take the Great Gatsby and change the setting to the year 2099 and make the cars hover , it’s still the same book and not Sci Fi.

Another blogger commented last month somewhere and said, “Asimov’s is for Science Fiction and Fantasy fans who hate Science Fiction and Fantasy.” After reading the latest issue I fully agree.

10 thoughts on “Goodbye Asimovs

  1. Hey Alexandru. I like the mix between Analog’s harder sci-fi and Asimov’s softer. As with anything some stories are more to my taste than others. Anyway, sorry to hear you’re not finding Asimov’s quite right for you, but I hope you’ll stick around long enough to read my story in the January issue :-). The story is more at the soft end, but I feel like the speculative aspect is critical to the story… if I took out that, the story would fall down.


    1. I will. I tend to prefer lighter SciFi over the Hard stuff. I love Dune and Hamiltons Space Operas over the hard stuff. It’s just that the last couple of issues of Asimovs have turned into DNF fests. Lots of stories without plot or point where the main character is just reminiscing or doing nothing. Slice of life stories where the dishwasher is a robot but otherwise the SFF element is nonexistent.

      In other news I’m about to sit down and read Cirsova 4. I’m looking forward to reading your story.


  2. The big magazines have been going that way for years. It seems like in order to get published in them your story needs to be a slice of life bit about under represented groups, like the gay meth head you mentioned. The SFF elements are not that important, and any aspect of action or excitement count against your chances. I’m all for adding literary value to your genre, and breaking away from the typical straight white male heroes, but it sure seems like they prefer stories that the majority of us would not call entertaining. It is a matter of tastes, like you said, but the big mag tastes have been bending more and more that way for a long, long time.


  3. According to Mrs. Hoyt, if Mrs Williams realizes (as she must) that readership is declining, and the market for left-leaning, mildly-to-beat-you-over-the-head-with-a-stick race-and-interesectional gender theory spec fic, she has no choice but to double and even triple down.

    That way when the rag goes tits up, and she’s out looking for a new job, she can blame her current lack of employment, not on her own editorial failures, but on the patriarchy.

    “I tried to educate the misogynistic hatey-mc-hater Nazi-phobes AND THEY PUNISHED ME. Hire me now.”

    It’s a working theory, but it seems to have explanatory power.

    Liked by 1 person

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