“It was when I was in junior high that I really hit my stride, though, and that was thanks to one of those big Groff Conklin anthologies of SF stories, The Big Book of Science Fiction. I thought the stories were wonderful, every one of them. I’ve always been one to read everything in the book, so I read the copyright page and discovered that all the stories had been published in magazines. The next day I was at the local bookstore (yes, even my small East Texas town had one), where I located a couple of digests, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and Astounding Science Fiction. I bought those and was soon off on a real binge. I bought every SF digest that I could get my hands on.”
I produce the print versions of The Digest Enthusiast and Pulp Modern first and create the ePub versions during the week the print proof is in production and transit. Kristen Valentine, editor/designer of Betty Fedora, follows a similar process.
“We publish our digital version for Kindle only so we really just have two versions (print and EPUB),” Kristen explained in an interview for TDE4 (June 2016). “The Kindle version is more time consuming for me than the print version is, since e-readers are notoriously finicky about formatting. I do the print layout first since there is additional production time for ordering and reviewing a printed proof. While that’s being created, I make sure the Kindle version is in good shape. Coordinating them both to be available at the same time is probably the biggest challenge.”
I checked in with Kristen while finalizing TDE6, and she said Betty Fedora #4 will be out in Fall 2017. In the meantime, don’t miss the first three issues.
Remember Grift Magazine? One of the earliest crime fiction journals levering digital print technology, it debuted in 2012 and returned with its second issue in Spring 2013. As of 2016, Grift editor John Kenyon still intended to proceed with issue #3. When interviewed for The Digest Enthusiast in May 2016, he explained his lack of time as the biggest obstacle.
“The long-gestating third issue of Grift is delayed because I simply don’t have enough hours in the day. Also, a lack of funding that would allow me to pay beyond contributors copies. You get what you pay for, and my ability to get the type of nonfiction I desire has certainly been compromised by that.”
The first two editions of Grift Magazine are available through Lulu.com.
“Ithica 37” marks the seventh appearance of a short story by Art Taylor, in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, the Sept/Oct 2013 double issue. A relatively simple young man, whose life seems absorbed in movies, subscribes to a morass of righteous principles and feels it’s his duty to protect his younger sister from life’s darker influences after their only remaining parent’s death.
We interviewed Art about his writing and many of his individual stories in The Digest Enthusiast #4 in June 2016.
The digital digest editors/publishers we spoke to prefer printed copies, but a healthy portion of their readers prefer to read on-screen. Jennifer Landels reports Pulp Literature leverages every sales channel. “Along with print, we make html, PDF, EPUB and mobi versions, all of which are available when you buy the digital issue,” says Landels. “It took us a while to find the right eBook formatter, so the EPUB and mobi versions of issues 1–3 are not quite what we wanted. However, by issue 4 we found Booknook.biz and they are absolutely fabulous: fast, accurate, and great people to work with. They use the InDesign files supplied by our designer and the ebooks look as close to the print version as possible given the format. However, I still feel that to appreciate the graphics, e-subscribers would do well to check out the html or PDF versions as well as downloading the ebooks for their readers.”
Pulp Literature #15 is available now.
The above excerpt, from “Digital Digest Magazines” interviews with the editors, appears in TDE4.
An excerpt from Art Taylor’s interview in The Digest Enthusiast book four. When asked if he relied on existing knowledge or research for the background of his stories he said this about his story from the Mar/Apr 2013 issue of EQMM:
Art: For “The Care and Feeding of Houseplants,” however, I was in new territory. I know little about plants, and they regularly perish under my own care. But plants—and plants versus animals—seemed a necessary metaphorical element to the story I was working on, so I ended up reaching out to a botany professor here at George Mason University with some questions.
“Funny story there—partly a plot spoiler, I’m afraid. When I emailed her—this was back in 2007 or so, as I recall—I also asked about ricin, and she quickly responded that I should call instead of emailing. When I did get her on the phone, she told me that she’d worked at Quantico for a while and that our email exchange had probably already been flagged by the government because of that mention of ricin. I laughed at the time. Seriously? Like the government is checking through everyone’s emails? Again, this was around 2007, so . . . .”
TDE: “Your stories often include a particular interest or experience like sailing, houseplants, prep school, etc. What influences these choices? Do you draw mostly on existing knowledge or research?”
AT: “Some of my fiction draws on my own background and experiences. “Rearview Mirror”—the opening of On the Road with Del & Louise—was inspired by a trip my wife and I took to New Mexico several years ago. Similarly, “A Drowning at Snow’s Cut” was based in part on a boat trip my father and I took down the North Carolina coast. “A Voice from the Past” centers on some hazing incidents very similar to the rat system at the boarding school I attended. All those are pretty heavily fictionalized beyond those core elements, of course, but building from that foundation has helped to fuel the imagination.”Incidentally, the cover of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine with Art’s “Snow Cut” story, features a gallery of EQMM’s esteemed review team by Tom Roberts. From left to right: John Dickson Carr, Allen J. Hubin, Anthony Boucher, Jon L. Breen, and as
Incidentally, the cover of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine with Art’s “Snow Cut” story, features a gallery of EQMM’s esteemed review team painted by Tom Roberts. From left to right: John Dickson Carr, Allen J. Hubin, Anthony Boucher, Jon L. Breen, and as conductor, Howard Haycraft. This issue marked the last regular installment of the review column “The Jury Box” by Jon L. Breen, who would hand the gavel to Steve Steinbock for June 2011.
“I wrote about half of my story ‘A Voice from the Past’ and then put it aside for several years, not sure where to go next with it. When I returned to it with fresh eyes, I came up with ideas about the rest of the plot, what seemed suddenly not just right but maybe inevitable, given all the seeds I’d planted in the first half.”
Art’s “Parallel Play” from the Chesapeake Crimes: Storm Warming anthology, won the Agatha Award for Best Short Story in May 2017.
Award-winning author Art Taylor gave us a terrific interview for The Digest Enthusiast in book four. His story “The White Rose of Memphis” appeared in Fall 2011 edition of Needle Magazine.
Art summarizes the story on his website.
Crime fiction writer Art Taylor’s stories have appeared in quite a number of digest magazines. Foremost, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, but he also made his way into the special Crime issue of lit mag Barrelhouse, issue 10 in 2011, with an unsettling “Blue Plate Special.”
Read our extensive interview with award-winning author Art Taylor in The Digest Enthusiast book four.