On January 14th, 2015, fantasy author C.C. Finlay announced that he was taking over for Gordon Van Gelder as editor of the long-running Fantasy & Science Fiction. Finlay has previously guest-edited two issues of Fantasy & Science Fiction, a process he describes as “a job audition.” Though he goes on to credit the writers published in those issues as most deserving of the credit for the success of his audition.
As a personal anecdote (that is, worth only the breathe it takes for me to write these words), I submitted stories to both of Finlay’s guest-edited issues, and though neither was accepted, I found the feedback he included in his polite rejections to be smart, concise, and terribly useful for improving the story on further rewrites. As an aspiring writer, I believe the magazine is in very good hands.
Finlay’s first foray as full-time editor of Fantasy & Science Fiction magazine will begin with the March/April issue. “Current editor Gordon Van Gelder has an inventory of stories for the magazine,” Finlay revealed while speaking of the magazine’s transition into his hands. Van Gelder replaced Kristine Kathryn Rusch as editor of Fantasy & Science Fiction in June, 1997. “After the March/April issue,” Finlay continued, “these will be mixed in with the stories that I select. It will probably take a few issues to make the transition, but it won’t be sudden. Readers will still see many of the familiar writers they love. And I expect there to be new voices as well.”
One of Finlay’s first changes is to adopt the online submission system he used for the guest-edited issues for all issues of the magazine going forward, a move that is sure to attract a larger pool of writers. “Electronic submissions are easier for writers,” Finlay said. “They reduce barriers to submitting, so more people from more backgrounds in more parts of the world can send me stories. That means a larger, more diverse pool of stories for me to read in search of great stories. It also means less recycling. So I strongly prefer electronic submissions.”
The March/April issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction is already at printers and will be one bookstore shelves in the coming weeks.