Baen Readies Online SF Magazine
SF author Eric Flint told SCI FI Wire that he will be editing a new online magazine published by Baen Books called Baen's Astounding Stories. "The emphasis will be on adventure stories—either science fiction or fantasy—although we're open to any sort of story," Flint said in an interview. "But the main criterion for accepting any story will be our assessment that it's oriented toward a popular audience."
The magazine aims to pay well enough so that short fiction will be able to compete with the pay rates for novels. Flint said that he hopes this business model will allow writers to make a living wage off of short fiction—something that hasn't really been possible since the 1950s and '60s.
"We make no bones about the fact that we are oriented toward a popular audience," Flint said. "We want writers, especially popular writers, writing stories with that market in mind. We are, [to be] blunt, not interested in stories that seem to be mainly written to win an award or get good reviews. If that makes me sound like a hopeless lowbrow, so be it."
With that in mind, Baen's Astounding Stories will emphasize stories that are either part of existing serial stories or are set in existing universes that are popular with the mass audience. Flint has already commissioned several stories in this vein, including a new Dune story by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, an Honor Harrington story by David Weber and a Hammer's Slammers story by David Drake. The magazine will also have a special section to introduce new writers and a section of nonfiction.
Baen's Astounding Stories will debut in June 2006, with new issues appearing quarterly thereafter. Stories will be available for purchase individually and as part of an issue. Single issues will be available for purchase for $6, and three-volume packages will be available for $15. Each individual story or article will likely retail for $1 each.