Locus recommended stories from 2021 - Where are the Big 3?

Bick

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Dave Truesdale (editor of Tangent Online) posted this interesting note on his Facebook page, which was picked up by Mike Glyer at File 770:

Over at Locus Online the February Locus Magazine Recommended Reading List for 2020 has been posted. Granting my total count of novellas, novelettes, and short stories might be off by one, it makes no difference to the statistic I am about to reveal.

Of the novellas there are Zero stories from Analog, Asimov’s, or F&SF.

Of the novelettes there are Zero stories from Analog, One story from Asimov’s, and Two stories from F&SF.

Of the short stories there are Zero from Analog, Asimov’s, or F&SF.

Out of 124 stories in three fiction length categories selected by Locus reviewers and a few other outsider recommenders, there are exactly 3 stories selected from what has been traditionally known as the Big Three SF magazines. Offer your own theories as to why this has occurred–and has been occurring with a steady downward slide for a number of years now. They don’t give their fiction away for free is one guess and only a few review copies are sent out to review sites, thus accounting for perhaps fewer number of short fiction recommenders, and although other zines posting online do charge a little bit they are in the distinct minority. So are Locus recommenders reading primarily free magazines, or is there some other reason, maybe one having to do with content? This picture isn’t hanging quite straight and I’d like to know why so miserably few short fiction recommendations coming from Locus have appeared in the pages of Analog, Asimov’s, and F&SF. I’m sure their editors and authors would like to know, too. So if you have any ideas…

It does give pause for thought. The Nerds of a Feather Flock Together annual list similarly ignored the Big 3. There are two unfortunate concerns here: (i) readers are not getting a proper recommendation list, and (ii) it ultimately means stories and editors from the big 3 print magazines get no awards anymore, as they are not so much in the public eye. This will lead to their faster demise. It's also bizarre, as the standard of writing in the big 3 is, I'm quite sure, higher than in the online magazines that scoop up all the recommendations and awards.
 

alexvss

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@Bick That's why I submit to them so often. I want to be a part of them while they STILL can be called The Big Three.

You mentioned the bizarreness of their high-quality stories not being selected, but isn’t that just because the voters didn’t read those stories, because they’re not for free? :unsure:
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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I have no hard evidence for this, but my hunch is that the on-line publications get more attention just because they are free (usually) and easy to reach for anybody with a computer. You have to pay to read the so-called Big Three.

Some of the on-line publications have a high level of professional quality; for example, Clarkesworld or Tor.com. Others are best regarded as a place to find new, young (often) writers who are "promising" for lack of a better word. (Galaxy's Edge, for example, which balances this out with a lot of reprints from big names.) Many of the on-line publications have their own particular niche, which may appeal to some readers. Strange Horizons, for experimental fiction; Heroic Fantasy Quarterly for sword-and-sorcery.

I've recommended stories from all these sources, and many more.

Maybe the newest group of SFF readers just aren't used to physical magazines anymore.

Your guess is as good as mine.
 

DeltaV

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Forgive me if this question is slightly off topic ... but I am not at all familiar with the on-line magazines. This thread has got me interested in checking them out. Which ones would appeal to the traditional Astounding/Analog reader?

And Bick's other thread on Tangent Online has got me poking around there too. Wow. So much to look at!
 

J-Sun

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Forgive me if this question is slightly off topic ... but I am not at all familiar with the on-line magazines. This thread has got me interested in checking them out. Which ones would appeal to the traditional Astounding/Analog reader?

I gave up on all online zines so I haven't kept up with Compelling, either, but it was the only thing I could say had anything for the traditional Astounding/Analog reader. Many of the online zines can manage a blue-moon science-fiction story that might appeal but, generally... no.
 

Bick

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Forgive me if this question is slightly off topic ... but I am not at all familiar with the on-line magazines. This thread has got me interested in checking them out. Which ones would appeal to the traditional Astounding/Analog reader?

And Bick's other thread on Tangent Online has got me poking around there too. Wow. So much to look at!
Sorry - I never did reply to this Q. The answer from what I know, is Lightspeed (the SF stories) and Clarkesworld. Some of their content would appeal I think (not all). But not all of Analog appeals, so... maybe they are close.
 

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