Newspapers have downsized, magazines have folded, publishing houses have laid off staff, and the overall climate in the writing industry seems to be one of uncertainty. Yes, the economy is partly responsible, but another significant part of this unsettled tenor is the growth and development of digital reading.
Consequently, it was with a great deal of surprise that I learned of the changes taking place in one of the small Christian publishing houses, Double-edged Publishing.
DEP, founded by Bill Snodgrass, was the parent company of such ezines featuring speculative fiction as The Sword Review and DKA (Dragons, Knights, and Angels)—which later merged to become Mindflights—Ray Gun Revival, and Fear and Trembling. Recently, however, Bill decided on a career change and DEP passed into the hands of someone who does not have the same vision for the online magazines.
Where does that leave these orphaned entities? Without the managerial and financial support of the parent company, each must answer that question individually.
Just last week the final issue, number fifty-seven, of Ray Gun Revival produced by DEP, released. In the editorial by self-styled Overlord and chief cook and bottle washer, Johne Cook addressed the future of RGR. The following is excerpted from that article and reproduced here by permission:
So what is RGR going to do? We’ve gone back and forth. We were definitely going to go forward on our own, and then were definitely going to fold. I am happy to report that we have reconsidered that stance. It is simply too much fun being an Overlord. So here’s what we’re going to do. We have set up the normal social networking presences: we’re “rgrzine” on Twitter and Gmail, and we have an RGR group on Facebook. We’ll probably switch that over [to] an RGR page. We’re going to be an HTML-based zine. We’re planning on going 4the-luv at this point instead of looking for advertising or subscriptions for the simple reason that it’s easier that way. We don’t have to worry about collecting or paying money, and we don’t have to worry about reporting anything. We’ve run RGR pretty lean and mean so far, and we’re going to be even more stripped down after this.
As of right now, submissions are back open for RGR. Please send your subs (for now) to firstname.lastname@example.org with [sub] somewhere in the subject line, (such as [sub] Your Famous Story).
Here’s the thing: we’re hoping to publish something every month, but we may not publish many things. It is my hope that by being on a WordPress-like engine, we can set our new stories to publish on the 1st of the month, and the old stories will roll off into the Archive. Having a consistent publication schedule will be a big plus. So the future looks inviting and secure.
I think this is good news for those speculative readers who love sci fi space-opera. For those of you unfamiliar with RGR, I suggest you take a look at the fine work they produced over the last four years. My guess is, even the future lean-and-mean version will be well worth the read.