After covering nearly the last decade and a half of science fiction publications, movies and events, SF Signal is shuttering its doors.
From John DeNardo and JP Frantz, founders of SF Signal:
When we started SF Signal in 2003, it was because we loved speculative fiction. Having a blog allowed us to share that love with other fans. We never dreamed it would have grown like it has. In these past 12 years and 10 months, we’ve shared our love of genre, we’ve provided a forum for other fans to come on board as contributors to also share their genre love, we gave authors a place to tell us about the exciting new worlds they’re creating, and I like to think we’ve made a ton of new friends. We even picked up a few Hugo Awards along the way. It’s been quite a ride.
But all good things come to an end.
It was a very hard decision to make, but we have decided to close down SF Signal.
Fairly straightforward. In a somewhat more reflective transition, a founding editor of io9 – Charlie Jane Anders – is also giving up the helm after eight years:
This is my last day at io9, because I need to spend some serious quality time working on my next novel, without any distractions. But I’m not going anywhere. Because after more than eight years at this site, I know more than ever that science fiction and fantasy are the air I breathe, the clothes I wear, the music I listen to and the source of all my most enriching relationships. That means that I’ll always be a part of the conversations here at io9, and anyplace else that people want to talk about our shared dreams of the future.
Things do come to an end, of course, but I think the contrast of both perspectives is interesting: SF Signal covered all sorts of media, but was heavily book-centered. io9 is far more multi-phasic, going so far as to describe “science fiction” as clothing and the source of enriching relationships, and asserting that “[s]cience fiction that panders to hardcore fans instead of being accessible to everyone will probably fail.”
And while both transitions appear to be nothing more than naturally-occurring coincidences, I think there may be another transition going on right now worth noting:
One of the things we try to do at Castalia House is identify the specific needs of the various specific audiences who read this blog. This is why 80% of our audience is going to skip over a detailed introduction to the physics of space combat. That is by design, because that seemingly tedious attention to detail is what the other 20% who do read it will be passionate about.
So, maybe we are taking the opposite approach and admitting that science fiction is not for everyone.
It’s for you.
And maybe we will be proven wrong; that catering to the hardcore of science fiction, fantasy, philosophy (and the closely related and too-long-overlooked Western genre) is really a losing game. Maybe we should be like the others and make sure that 100% of our posts and articles are 100% accessible by 100% of the readers.
On the other hand, the others are wrapping things up.
And we are just getting started.
Please do me a favor and let me know in the comments what your specific interests are in fiction, particularly Science Fiction, Fantasy and Westerns. Thanks!