Codex Q&A: Why did you decide to start your own SF/F/H magazine?

In July 2013, I served as the “editor-in-residence” for the Codex Writing Group, which meant basically I was asking a month-long AMA (“Ask Me Anything”) interview. With Codex’s permission, I’m re-posting the Q&As here on my blog. The questions were all provided by members of Codex.


Why did you decide to start your own SF/F/H magazine?

I was approached about the possibility by Sean Wallace of Prime Books. He was already publishing Fantasy Magazine, but he was interested in launching a science fiction magazine as well, and asked if I might be interested in editing it. Sean had published a couple of my anthologies at that point, so he was familiar with my taste. Once I agreed, Sean and I worked together to develop and shape what Lightspeed would be.

But more to the point: The reason I left F&SF to edit my own magazine is because once I started working in editorial, I almost immediately knew that I wanted to do it as a career and that one day I’d want to sit in the big chair (i.e., be the one making the final editorial decisions). I was able to do that with the anthologies I was editing, but it’s not quite the same has the pure editorial experience of editing a magazine–something that’s ongoing, with no theme (other than genre). I couldn’t just stay at F&SF and hope that the editor would get fired or retire. He couldn’t be fired because the editor and publisher was the same person (Gordon Van Gelder), and I couldn’t wait around for him to retire since he was only 10 years older than me. So editing my own magazine was pretty much my only option if I wanted to be the one calling the shots at a magazine.



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