Read Clarkesworld Anthology 2012 Online

Authors: Wyrm Publishing

Tags: #semiprozine, #Hugo Nominee, #fantasy, #science fiction magazine, #odd, #short story, #world fantasy award nominee, #robots, #dark fantasy, #Science Fiction, #magazine, #best editor short form, #weird, #fantasy magazine, #short stories, #clarkesworld

Clarkesworld Anthology 2012 (66 page)

BOOK: Clarkesworld Anthology 2012
9.35Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

I do feel the need to comment here. When we select stories or articles, our goal is to pick great content. As far as we’re concerned, spikes happen when people think we met our goal. They are a side-effect, not the objective.

By now, you’re probably curious about what triggered some of those spikes, so here’s a few:

1. An editorial on the state of short fiction
2. “Spar” by Kij Johnson
3. “The Things” by Peter Watts
4. Hugo and Nebula Award nominations for
“Spar” and “Non-Zero Probabilities” by N. K. Jemisin.
5. Hugo win for Best Semiprozine.
6. Several items, including a resurgence in activity for “The Things”, “Spar”, and various non-fiction. Also strong showings for the first part of the serialization of “Silently and Very Fast” by Catherynne M. Valente and “Tying Knots” by Ken Liu.


We don’t know much about our readers, not even the ones that are subscribing to our Kindle or EPUB editions at Amazon and Weightless. (Ok, we do know you’re all really classy people who empower us to keep doing what we do!) However, web statistics give us a hint. For example:

70% of our readers are in the USA
20% of our readers are in the UK, Canada or Australia
10% read from a total of over 30 different countries, more than half of which aren’t English-speaking countries
35% use an Apple computer
15% use Windows XP
5% use some form of Unix/Linux
Our most widely read story is “The Things” by Peter Watts (240K+ readers)
Our most widely listened to story is also “The Things” (17K+ listeners)
Roughly 5-6K of you listen to our stories on our podcast

According to Facebook:

Obviously, this is more a profile of the 3500 people who are willing to follow us on Facebook (as opposed to the over 25K reading the magazine), but it does paint an interesting picture. This is something I’d love to have better data on, but in the end, it doesn’t influence us all that much though it might come in handy if someone decides they want to buy ad space from us.


Since 2009, I’ve been using an online submission form to collect stories from authors interested in being published in our magazine. These stories make up what is known as the “slush pile” and I occasionally post slush pile statistics over on my blog. Here, I’m going to focus on the big picture.

The solid line is the number of stories submitted to
on a monthly basis. The dotted line is the number of rejection letters that go out in the same month. As you can see, we receive a lot more stories than we could ever publish. The two dips to zero were months we closed to submissions, typically Christmas break. The huge jump after the second reopening maps to a change in submission guidelines (allowing longer stories) and surge in readership and award nominations very close to spike #3 on the chart above.

Let’s dig a little deeper:

There isn’t a lot to be said about this. I have no way of knowing whether or not what we are seeing here is an accurate representation of the short fiction authors in the science fiction and fantasy field. This data is more interesting in comparison to the following:

Over the years, I’ve found it very interesting that the gender breakdown for accepted stories at any given period in our history is nearly evenly split, despite the wider disparity between the genders in the volume of submissions. I’ve seen all sorts of interesting interpretations of this data, but from my standpoint it simply says that when it comes to talent, neither gender has an upper hand. In the end, quantity loses to quality.

Now, let’s look at international submissions:

The top eleven are shown, with the Phillipines just missing the cut at number 12. They and ninety other countries represent that “other” wedge of the pie. I’m very pleased by the variety of countries represented, but the top four tend to dominate the stories we publish. In the last year, however, we have had the pleasure of publishing two Chinese translations. This is an aspect of the magazine that I hope to see expand over the next few years and a way data is influencing how I run things.

If you’ve made it this far, you can consider yourself a fellow data junkie. If you’d like to see more, or have any questions, please feel free to jump into the comments and ask away.

About the Author

Neil Clarke is the editor of
Clarkesworld Magazine,
owner of Wyrm Publishing and a 2012 Hugo Nominee for Best Editor (short form). He currently lives in NJ with his wife and two children.

Clarkesworld Magazine

Issue 70

Table of Contents


by Carrie Vaughn

The Switch

by Sarah Stanton

Iron Ladies, Iron Tigers

by Sunny Moraine

Life After Quatermass: Hammer Films' '60s Science Fiction

by Mark Cole

To Save Ourselves: A Conversation with Nancy Kress

by Jeremy L. C. Jones

Another Word: The Exceptional Smurfette, or Being One of the Guys as a Superpower

by Ekaterina Sedia

Launch Day

Art by Cristi Balanescu

BOOK: Clarkesworld Anthology 2012
9.35Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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