Saturday, March 12, 2016

Quick Thoughts - State of the Blog

I've been in a weird place, head-wise, with the arrival of an early spring to Wisconsin and a rather full plate of things to do, but I thought it might be a good idea to take a breather and sort of take stock where I am with the blog and all. I figured I would start that by looking at what I read and review here and how and a little bit more than that. So below is a list of the publications that I review here at Quick Sip Reviews (hopefully I'm not forgetting any). The new year has brought a little bit of a slump in things to read with Crossed Genres gone and Urban Fantasy, Book Smugglers, Omenana, and Farrago's Wainscot all MIA so far in 2016. Of course, it means that I've added a few publications with GigaNotoSaurus, Orthogonal SF, and Mithila Review (plus Mothership Zeta started rather late in 2015). I've noted next to the publication both how I read the content (mostly to be transparent about where my money goes and who actually sends me review copy). Here we go:


Apex (I subscribe)
Beneath Ceaseless Skies (2 issues) (I read for free online)
Clarkesworld (I read for free online)
Crossed Genres (shuttered) (I read for free online)
Flash Fiction Online (I read for free online)
GigaNotoSaurus (new to 2016!) (I read for free online)
Lightspeed (I subscribe and receive review copy)
Mithila Review (new to 2016!) (I read for free online)
Nightmare (I receive review copy)
Strange Horizons (weekly content) (I read for free online/donate)
Terraform SF (weekly content) (I read for free online) (weekly-ish content) (I read for free online)
Urban Fantasy (on hiatus?) (I read for free online or buy individual issues)


The Dark (I receive review copy)
Fantastic Stories of the Imagination (I receive review copy)
Fantasy Scroll (I read for free online)
Shimmer (I review half each month) (I receive review copy)
Uncanny (I review half each month) (I read for free online)

Quarterly or Other:

Book Smugglers (I read for free online)
Farrago's Wainscot (on hiatus?) (I read for free online)
Lackington's (I read for free online)
Mothership Zeta (I receive review copy)
Omenana (I read for free online)
Orthogonal SF (new to 2016!) (I receive review copy)
Plasma Frequency (I subscribe)
Unlikely Story (I read for free online)

And well shit, when lined up like that, that's a pretty nice sized stack of things. Obviously not everything, and probably not even most things (on account of not reading the digests or Daily Science Fiction…or at least not reading them regularly or reviewing them), but I try to read as widely as I can. Part of what this shows me is what I actually plop money down for, which is kinda important (Apex, Lightspeed, Strange Horizons, Plasma Frequency) and who sends me stuff for free (Lightspeed, Nightmare, Shimmer, Fantastic Stories, The Dark, Mothership Zeta, and Orthogonal SF). Now, I don't really ask for review copy (I have all sorts of weird feels about asking for free things), but I do much appreciate all the places that have offered (most of them because they were aware I was already reviewing their stuff from when it was released online for free but a few because they were new and wanted me to review their publication and/or the stories were not available for free online). The vast majority of what I read is put up for free online, which is amazing because all you need is access to the internet to have so much great fiction at your command. I feel a bit guilty that I don't pay for more of the stories I read, but then I can't afford that much (am pretty maxed out now) and I hope that maybe the reviews make up for not being able to give all the money to all the places. Maybe?

I will say that most of the places that I review I found through either Ralan (basically checking out places I'd like to submit stories to) or Twitter (where I see stories by people whose writing I really enjoy and who I follow). At this point I do feel rather hesitant to add more venues, though if something really awesome comes along who knows. I shoot for 4-5 reviews a week plus my Quick Thoughts on Saturdays and the occasional Quick Links on Sundays. Which means that I average about 6 posts a week. That was exactly my average in 2015 and so far in 2016 I'm probably about there or slightly over (January had an above-average amount of posts because of the Sippy Awards). This is…doable, I guess, though it doesn't leave an awful lot of time for other things. Ideally I'd drop down to a steady 5 posts a week but I fear there's just too much I really want to read and review that pending some sort of disaster I'll probably keep up at 6.

I am rather happy about most aspects of the blog. I hope, at least, that people find it useful and/or entertaining. There's a part of me that wonders if I shouldn't cut out my weekend material as it's sort of just me rambling into the abyss, but it's basically the most regular journal/writing diary I've had in a long time and I do like a lot of my Thoughts, so I'll probably be back every Saturday to bother people. Anyway, that's all for this week. Thanks for reading!

All the best,

Charles Payseur

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