Discussion:
Locus Recommendations in the 21st Century
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Robert Woodward
2021-06-04 05:45:30 UTC
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In particular, the recommendations in the February issues of Locus that
included stories that appeared in _Analog_, _Asimov's_, and _F & SF_. I
didn't check to see how the personnel creating the lists have changed
over the years (basically, it is the Locus reviewers plus a number of
authors and critics).

In the years 2001 to 2007 (covering years 2000 to 2006), there was an
average of about 57 recommendations (for novellas, novelettes, and short
stories) each year that appeared in one of the so-called big 3 SF
magazines (mostly _Asimov's_ and _F&SF_, though _Analog averaged about 5
a year).

After a few years decline, the years 2010 to 2014 had an average of
about 30 recommendations (_Analog_ averaged 2). The average for 2015 to
2018 dropped down to about 15. Not certain of the trend after that (note
that the 2021 list had only 1 recommendation from _Asimov's_ and 2 from
_F&SF_). Note that in 2021, the online sites _Clarkesworld_, _Beneath
Ceaseless Skies_, _Tor.com_, and perhaps a few others each have more
than 3 recommendations.

I thought of several possible reasons:

1) the quality of stories in the magazines have dropped off.

2) the number of stories has expanded greatly and the Locus reviewers
and volunteers have upped their standards (don't think that is true)

3) the number of stories in the magazines has decreased dramatically
(don't think that is true either, while the magazines used to be monthly
and are now bimonthly, they have about twice as many pages).

4) Other than Rich Horton (who is still doing reviews of the magazine
short fiction), nobody in the group is reading the magazines regularly.
--
"We have advanced to new and surprising levels of bafflement."
Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan describes progress in _Komarr_.
‹-----------------------------------------------------
Robert Woodward ***@drizzle.com
Ted Nolan
2021-06-04 06:11:28 UTC
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Post by Robert Woodward
In particular, the recommendations in the February issues of Locus that
included stories that appeared in _Analog_, _Asimov's_, and _F & SF_. I
didn't check to see how the personnel creating the lists have changed
over the years (basically, it is the Locus reviewers plus a number of
authors and critics).
In the years 2001 to 2007 (covering years 2000 to 2006), there was an
average of about 57 recommendations (for novellas, novelettes, and short
stories) each year that appeared in one of the so-called big 3 SF
magazines (mostly _Asimov's_ and _F&SF_, though _Analog averaged about 5
a year).
After a few years decline, the years 2010 to 2014 had an average of
about 30 recommendations (_Analog_ averaged 2). The average for 2015 to
2018 dropped down to about 15. Not certain of the trend after that (note
that the 2021 list had only 1 recommendation from _Asimov's_ and 2 from
_F&SF_). Note that in 2021, the online sites _Clarkesworld_, _Beneath
Ceaseless Skies_, _Tor.com_, and perhaps a few others each have more
than 3 recommendations.
1) the quality of stories in the magazines have dropped off.
2) the number of stories has expanded greatly and the Locus reviewers
and volunteers have upped their standards (don't think that is true)
"We've upped our standards.."
Jack Bohn
2021-06-04 13:11:26 UTC
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Post by Ted Nolan
Post by Robert Woodward
In particular, the recommendations in the February issues of Locus that
included stories that appeared in _Analog_, _Asimov's_, and _F & SF_. I
didn't check to see how the personnel creating the lists have changed
over the years (basically, it is the Locus reviewers plus a number of
authors and critics).
In the years 2001 to 2007 (covering years 2000 to 2006), there was an
average of about 57 recommendations (for novellas, novelettes, and short
stories) each year that appeared in one of the so-called big 3 SF
magazines (mostly _Asimov's_ and _F&SF_, though _Analog averaged about 5
a year).
After a few years decline, the years 2010 to 2014 had an average of
about 30 recommendations (_Analog_ averaged 2). The average for 2015 to
2018 dropped down to about 15. Not certain of the trend after that (note
that the 2021 list had only 1 recommendation from _Asimov's_ and 2 from
_F&SF_). Note that in 2021, the online sites _Clarkesworld_, _Beneath
Ceaseless Skies_, _Tor.com_, and perhaps a few others each have more
than 3 recommendations.
1) the quality of stories in the magazines have dropped off.
2) the number of stories has expanded greatly and the Locus reviewers
and volunteers have upped their standards (don't think that is true)
"We've upped our standards.."
The classic formulation is: "We've upped our standards. Up yours."
--
-Jack
James Nicoll
2021-06-04 13:31:53 UTC
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Post by Robert Woodward
After a few years decline, the years 2010 to 2014 had an average of
about 30 recommendations (_Analog_ averaged 2). The average for 2015 to
2018 dropped down to about 15. Not certain of the trend after that (note
that the 2021 list had only 1 recommendation from _Asimov's_ and 2 from
_F&SF_). Note that in 2021, the online sites _Clarkesworld_, _Beneath
Ceaseless Skies_, _Tor.com_, and perhaps a few others each have more
than 3 recommendations.
snip
Post by Robert Woodward
2) the number of stories has expanded greatly and the Locus reviewers
and volunteers have upped their standards (don't think that is true)
snip
Post by Robert Woodward
4) Other than Rich Horton (who is still doing reviews of the magazine
short fiction), nobody in the group is reading the magazines regularly.
I can't remember the last time I saw a copy of Analog, Asimovs, or F&SF
in the wild. Mind you, the last time I sold magazines--which was 20 years
ago--magazine distribution in Southern Ontario was handled by one distributor
who was not, shall we say, service oriented, what with having an effective
monopoly. It's possible they decided the SF mags were not worth the bother.

Of course, one can buy them online theses days.
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My tor pieces at https://www.tor.com/author/james-davis-nicoll/
My Dreamwidth at https://james-davis-nicoll.dreamwidth.org/
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
Robert Woodward
2021-06-05 05:36:26 UTC
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Post by James Nicoll
Post by Robert Woodward
After a few years decline, the years 2010 to 2014 had an average of
about 30 recommendations (_Analog_ averaged 2). The average for 2015 to
2018 dropped down to about 15. Not certain of the trend after that (note
that the 2021 list had only 1 recommendation from _Asimov's_ and 2 from
_F&SF_). Note that in 2021, the online sites _Clarkesworld_, _Beneath
Ceaseless Skies_, _Tor.com_, and perhaps a few others each have more
than 3 recommendations.
snip
Post by Robert Woodward
2) the number of stories has expanded greatly and the Locus reviewers
and volunteers have upped their standards (don't think that is true)
snip
Post by Robert Woodward
4) Other than Rich Horton (who is still doing reviews of the magazine
short fiction), nobody in the group is reading the magazines regularly.
I can't remember the last time I saw a copy of Analog, Asimovs, or F&SF
in the wild. Mind you, the last time I sold magazines--which was 20 years
ago--magazine distribution in Southern Ontario was handled by one distributor
who was not, shall we say, service oriented, what with having an effective
monopoly. It's possible they decided the SF mags were not worth the bother.
The distribution in the USA has dropped off drastically as well, though
Barnes and Noble still sells them.
Post by James Nicoll
Of course, one can buy them online theses days.
It is rather difficult to buy back issues of _Analog_ and _Asimov's_
(unlike _F&SF_ which has a proper catalog).
--
"We have advanced to new and surprising levels of bafflement."
Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan describes progress in _Komarr_.
‹-----------------------------------------------------
Robert Woodward ***@drizzle.com
James Nicoll
2021-06-05 14:27:26 UTC
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Permalink
Post by Robert Woodward
Post by James Nicoll
Post by Robert Woodward
After a few years decline, the years 2010 to 2014 had an average of
about 30 recommendations (_Analog_ averaged 2). The average for 2015 to
2018 dropped down to about 15. Not certain of the trend after that (note
that the 2021 list had only 1 recommendation from _Asimov's_ and 2 from
_F&SF_). Note that in 2021, the online sites _Clarkesworld_, _Beneath
Ceaseless Skies_, _Tor.com_, and perhaps a few others each have more
than 3 recommendations.
snip
Post by Robert Woodward
2) the number of stories has expanded greatly and the Locus reviewers
and volunteers have upped their standards (don't think that is true)
snip
Post by Robert Woodward
4) Other than Rich Horton (who is still doing reviews of the magazine
short fiction), nobody in the group is reading the magazines regularly.
I can't remember the last time I saw a copy of Analog, Asimovs, or F&SF
in the wild. Mind you, the last time I sold magazines--which was 20 years
ago--magazine distribution in Southern Ontario was handled by one distributor
who was not, shall we say, service oriented, what with having an effective
monopoly. It's possible they decided the SF mags were not worth the bother.
The distribution in the USA has dropped off drastically as well, though
Barnes and Noble still sells them.
Post by James Nicoll
Of course, one can buy them online theses days.
It is rather difficult to buy back issues of _Analog_ and _Asimov's_
(unlike _F&SF_ which has a proper catalog).
Huh. And the Big Three were all slow to adapt to the online world,
weren't they?
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My tor pieces at https://www.tor.com/author/james-davis-nicoll/
My Dreamwidth at https://james-davis-nicoll.dreamwidth.org/
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
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