Enter the Future: The Iconic Asimov's SF Magazine Turns to E-Books
The rise of e-books and demand for electronic content has created a period of transition for many of the iconic SF/Fantasy magazines like F&SF, Analog, and Asimov's SF Magazine. To their credit, such publications are beginning to take full advantage of the options now available to them.
For example, Asimov's editor Sheila Williams has just shepherded into e-print Enter the Future: Fantastic Tales from Asimov's Science Fiction. The anthology features stories from Connie Willis, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Robert Silverberg, Robert Reed, and several others.
The e-book follows on the heels of Asimov's successfully experimenting with providing e-editions of issues that have broken into the top 20 bestsellers in the magazine Here's a helpful update on the magazine, including the March issue, now available. Asimov's sister publication, Analog, is also available in e-formats.
Below the cut find an excerpt from Williams' introduction to Enter the Future, about the rationale behind the new project...
Sheila Williams on Enter the Future...
This anthology is rushing into the future in more than one way. It’s the twenty-sixth collection of short fiction that I’ve assembled or collaborated on and the first of mine to be published as an electronic book. Assembling an anthology in this manner has given me a freedom I hadn’t anticipated. Asimov’s is a well-known fiction magazine that has been around for over three decades. A few years ago, I put together a collection to celebrate a milestone—Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine: 30th Anniversary Anthology. It was fun to put that book together but it was frustrating, too. As with all print editions of anthologies, I was limited by the number of pages allotted to a traditional trade paperback. If I was going to have a representative sampling of the many wonderful stories that have appeared in the magazine, I couldn’t fill the book up with a few very long pieces. So, I pulled the book together from a lot of excellent short stories. It garnered a starred review in Publishers Weekly, was featured on Amazon’s Daily Blog, and was very well received by readers. Still, for every story I put in, there were many that I had to leave out and some of these decisions were more painful than others. One of the hardest decisions was choosing a very good short story by a certain author over a very good novelette or novella by the same author simply because the former story fit.
...Each of these stories has something that Asimov’s is rightly famous for—strong and deeply moving characters that face their futures head on. Whether they’re a jazz musician on a starship, the spirit of H.L. Mencken tangling with a twenty-first century medium, or the new personality of a wayward teenager trying to stake a claim on a body that is and sort of isn’t hers, they must all find their way in uncharted territory. You can join them on their journey. Turn the electronic page and enter a future. A little later, you can enter another.