A month has passed since Jason Rennie stepped down as Editor-in-Chief of Sci Phi Journal, and it seems the publication still survives. That was the modest target I set when taking over, so I could claim success and end this editorial here. However, I have some other good news to share. During July SPJ received well over double the number of visitors compared to June. Put simply, the audience has responded extraordinarily well to:
- the great new stories and articles published in July; and
- the removal of the paywall, allowing everyone to revisit the SPJ archive.
I hope this news excites the writers whose stories and articles have been recently published, and those who are lined up for the future. Every author wants to be read. Increasing the reach of SPJ will translate into more followers and fans for the wordsmiths we feature.
Stability has been the primary objective, because SPJ might have lost its established following if there had been a prolonged interruption in service. However, now I want to get excited about the writers who have recently agreed to contribute new or returning columns on a regular basis. SP Hofrichter has already delivered the first article in her new series on the mechanics of time in science fiction literature, and work has begun on her next instalment. It gives me great pleasure to confirm that long-standing SPJ writer Scott Huggins will bring back his popular “Mote in God’s ‘I'” column. And whilst you cerebral readers of SPJ enjoy serious science, philosophy and fiction, I know many of you also like to relax by indulging in clever gameplay, so I trust you will welcome a new column about the tabletop games you would relish.
For SPJ to keep building its audience, we need plenty of columnists who appreciate the benefits of writing alongside others on a popular website with a regular turnover of content. If you fancy joining the growing ranks of our non-fiction columnists, now would be a good time to get in touch.
Meanwhile, SPJ needs to increase its subscriber base to ensure all these additional writers are going to be fed as well as appreciated. It takes time to convert visitors into subscribers, but nothing lasts forever, and there was a good chance that SPJ could have disappeared at the end of June. We thank our existing subscribers for keeping faith with SPJ as we seek to turn its fortunes around. If you are a new visitor, please consider subscribing now at the low cost of 4 US dollars per month; you can help us deliver more of the great content you have enjoyed already.
Success breeds success, and version 2.0 of Sci Phi Journal is off to a great start. If you like what you have seen so far, then please tell your friends. Ultimately we need everybody – writers, backroom team, and fans – to pull together if we are to deliver the thoughtful stories and deeper insights that have become so difficult to find elsewhere. I do not want to live in a universe where pulp heroes are treated like sages and comic books are quoted for their wisdom. My guess is that you feel the same. SPJ is offering an intelligent alternative for the many people who seek it. You can help us to aspire for more by becoming one of our growing number of followers and supporters. The reward is that you will have plenty to think about – and some fun too!