Two Weeks Until Hugo Rec Season Begins! Read your Semiprozines!

Been a bit quiet getting ready for things, but now the countdown begins.

Starting on November 2nd, I will start posting links to reviews/recommendations of Semiprozines. So start reading some now and getting ready to post your recommendations that week (and send your links to me, too, of course). I will have details later this week on how to submit links to your recommendations.

First off, what’s a “semiprozine”?

The specific wording from the WSFS Constitution is quoted at Semiprozine.org.

This is one of three categories that’s for a series of works – along with Fanzine and Fancast. Everything else goes to a single work or individual. (Although, as we will see later in the Hugo Rec Season, sometimes “a single work” can be defined rather loosely.)

It does exist in this odd space of being “semi-professional” but pretty much means what you think. It paid contributors and/or staff (so it’s not a fanzine), but it’s not paying enough to be anyone’s full time job (so it’s not a professional zine).

Why semi-pro?

There are various historical reasons, if I understand correctly, mostly dealing with trying to avoid any one publication totally dominating and therefore making the award more interesting. But I’m not an expert so won’t state facts beyond my knowledge. If you are interested in the history, I suggest some Googling, or better yet, ask one of the long time Worldcon members (and while you are at it, feel free to mention the Hugo Recommendation Season! Hint hint). I have found they really enjoy sharing the history of the Worldcons and Hugo awards. I might see if any of them want to contribute some thoughts to any of these weeks.

Whatever the reason, looking at the list of semiprozines (linked below), it’s pretty clear there are a wide variety of publications to choose from – far more semipro than actual professional, in fact.

But why isn’t there a prozine category?

Again, historical reasons, but from my understanding, Best Editor (Short Form) is considered by many as the de facto Best Prozine. Not everyone is happy with the category divisions and/or names, but all I am concerned with are the categories as they will be in 2016. Semiprozine is there, so let’s talk semiprozines!

So where can I find good semiprozines?

Once again, the folks who run semiprozine.org have an awesome resource with their directory of qualifying publications. I’m not sure if the list has been updated for 2016 Hugos because they have Uncanny as not qualified due to not having enough issues out, but I’m pretty sure they should be qualified now. I will double check because they are one I’m reading and am familiar with.

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