Now in its fifth decade of continuous publication, Space and Time magazine (S&T) has grown from a stapled fanzine to one of the most respected small press publications in the fiction world.
With its smart blend of short stories and poetry in the fantasy, horror, and science fiction genres (or combinations thereof), the magazine features work from new writers and established pros alike, as well as cover art/interior illustrations from some of the best artists in the field – including 2009 Hugo nominee, Donato Giancola.
The S&T website features additional content, like Marvin Kaye’s Nth Dimension column.
In January 2006, S&T’s founder, Gordon Linzner decided to focus more on Space And Time Books. He sold the magazine to the current owner/editor-in-chief, Hildy Silverman, who went on to take S&T to a whole new level. Her many achievements since then, include getting the magazine on the shelves of Barnes & Noble, and Borders, and last year’s doubling of production from two issues per year to four.
In a rare lapse of judgment on her part, the ever-amiable Hildy agreed to let me interview her.
JON: “Let’s start with an easy question. What’s the best thing about owning a magazine?”
HILDY: [laughs] “Independence, and having the final decision about content.”
JON: “And the Worst?”
HILDY: “Working with magazine distributors, the big ones in particular. The way the payment system works, larger distributors only pay for what they sell. That means there’s a long time between when we supply them with the magazine and when we receive final payment. This also makes it hard to plan financially, because we never know how many copies of any given issue will be returned unsold, until they arrive.”
JON: “What’s the story behind you buying S&T?”
HILDY: “I’d been an avid reader of genre magazines like Asimov’s Science Fiction, and Analog Science Fiction and Fact for a long time. I met Gordon [Linzner] at a convention back in January 2006. Up until that time, I’d never thought about owning a magazine, but when I heard he was trying to sell it, I found myself unable to resist.
JON: “Any plans for another S&T anthology ?”
HILDY: “Nothing concrete as yet, but I’d like to sort through some of our back issues. Over the last forty years we’ve published stories from some great writers, like Darrell Schweitzer, Josepha Sherman, and A.R. Morlan. I’m sure people would love to read some of their early work.
JON: “What’s new and upcoming at S&T?”
HILDY: “Let’s see, ‘new’ is the the downloadable PDF version we’ve made available – at half the price of a regular print subscription). As for upcoming, the lead story on the Fall issue (#108) is by the one and only Scott Edelman.”
JON: “There’s some fabulous artwork in S&T. What’s a typical selection process for deciding on a cover?”
HILDY: “We’re open to art submissions all year round. Our Art Director, Diane Weinstein, (formerly of Weird Tales), tries to find something to match the lead story of each issue. If that’s not possible, at the very least we select some great artwork in the right genre.”
JON: Question from Karen Newton, who met you at Balticon last month: “Do you aim for a specific genre-balance for each issue, or does that depend upon the stories you select?”
HILDY: “We definitely aim for a good balance of stories. Of course, some of them are cross-genre, but we aim to provide something for everyone in each issue.”
JON: “What do you look for in a story?”
HILDY: “As a reader, I like strong characters, and stories that start on the first page. I hate it when I have to wade through loads of description before anything exciting happens. From an editor’s point of view, I’d say I look for pretty much the same thing.”
JON: What was the first decision you made as editor-in-chief?
HILDY: Aside from the one about retaining the services of Gordon’s fiction editor, the excellent Gerard Houarner, I hired a designer, Kate Freeman, to handle production. The first thing I asked her to do was change the logo and layout using InDesign rather than Word, which made it much easier to put together and edit each issue. She takes all the accepted stories, poetry, bios, illustrations and cover art, along with the advertisements for that quarter, then sets to work producing a first draft of the magazine.”
JON: “Do you plan to become an online-only magazine, and if so, how will that change things?”
HILDY: “I recently attended a magazine publisher’s conference, and came back with lots of great ideas for ways to enhance our online presence. It’s great that people can now purchase a PDF version of S&T over the internet, but my goal is to stay in print form.”
You can find part II here.
Hope you enjoyed reading this. If you did, check back next Sunday for the second half of the interview.