End of an Aeon

Received an email from Bridget McKenna that Aeon is ceasing publication. It’s a great shame, as I’ve found their fiction offerings to be pretty consistently superb. And on a personal front, they have a story of mine, “Black Swan, White Swan,” which was slated for publication in their next issue.

But at least there’s a silver lining there. The Aeon editors plan to publish a print anthology in 2009, End of an Aeon, which will feature the unpublished stories they currently have in inventory.

This is the second sale for me this year that has been nixed (although, certainly, having “Black Swan, White Swan” appearing in an anthology isn’t technically a “nix”) due to a market folding or a previously green-lit project being given the axe.

I seem to remember hearing that the publishing industry, along with the film biz, has traditionally been considered (relatively) recession proof—the argument being that even when finances are tight, people still need entertainment. But I’ve been hearing through the grapevine, directly and indirectly—as well as being impacted personally—of publishers feeling the pinch of the deteriorating economy: that it’s making them pull back on their lines, limit the number of new titles and new authors being taken on, and other worrying behavior. So it seems pretty clear to me that the current economic straits are being felt by the publishing industry, undoubtedly more so by the small/independent press/magazine folks, but also by the major players.

Very depressing it is.

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9 Responses to End of an Aeon

  1. ogre_san says:

    Sigh. It is a shame. Still, they had a good run, and lasted a lot longer than most startup magazines do, so I’ll just try to remember that part.

  2. mroctober says:

    I know that Lethe indirect sales are down by, oh say nearly half. But direct sales have jumped by 20% – more stores want to cut out the wholesalers and make more $ per book.

  3. biomekanic says:

    re declining sales during a recession

    I think the difference is the internet – a lot of things are out there for free now. Stories, movies, games, there’s even free MMORPGs.

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Re: re declining sales during a recession

      I think you’re undoubtedly right. I have to admit that I get a lot of my entertainment for free from the Internet. Heck, I can’t imagine how folks ever managed to live without the Internet. It’s not only an entertainment source, but also a social outlet, research repository (!), networking medium, and news hub. Most of which is available for free.

  4. Sorry about that, but I’m hopeful the antho will make it. may be right about the internet. In receding economic times, many might opt for free entertainment, putting more and more pro writers in a financial bind and wannabes like me in limbo. Sigh.

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Thanks, sweetie.

      I’m sure the Internet is having a decided impact on how people perceive entertainment (and other consumer goods of the wibbly-tangible variety). I consider the Internet as an indispensable life necessity—on par with food and shelter, and possibly above clothing. But it does create some new challenges for those of us trying to market our intellectual property, doesn’t it? Sigh.

  5. Aeon closing is a total downer. I enjoyed the magazine and am good friends with their science columnist.

    Bummer. :(

  6. lyngperry says:

    I concur that it puts wannabe writers in limbo – but maybe more, wannabe editors (like me) who would like to turn a hobby zine into “the real thing.” To attract better story tellers we should provide more than a token payment. That’s fine, but that money comes out of our personal pocket as the business pocket has no way to earn anything since it’s providing for free – online – the content we just purchased. Hmm. What is the solution?

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