The Way Forward in 2020

Posted: January 14, 2020 in inspiration, Publications
Tags: , , ,

So Broadswords and Blasters is dead. At least for the foreseeable future. Why? A lot of reasons, but the amount of time and money Cameron and I were pouring into it, and the relative lack of return we were seeing on it was draining. From most objective standards, our experiment to launch a New Pulp magazine was a glorious failure. Even with our shoestring budget, we didn’t quite break even. We didn’t win any awards[1]. Hell, we weren’t even nominated for any to the best of my knowledge.

And yet.

This past month, with the announcement of our closing, showed that what we did mattered to a number of people. We were the first paid publication (hey, you could buy a burrito at least) for a number of writers. For others, we gave them a confidence boost when they needed it. I’m sure a few people stuck around for our social media feeds (okay, by that I mean Twitter, because I ignored Facebook for the most part), including our allegedly legendary Follow Fridays where I tried to highlight our contributing writers, fellow publications, and friends of the mag. We worked hard to be apolitical in a time where everything is political (how much we upheld the status quo is probably up for debate, but it isn’t one we’re all that interested in having).

We did succeed in one aspect. Our goal, from day one, was to publish action-adventure stories. We weren’t interested in avant-garde structures or allegories or Big Idea stories. We still managed to get stories featuring morally complex characters, plots that tended toward shades of gray as opposed to black and white, and damn if we didn’t get some stories that made us laugh and others that brought a tear to the eye. If there was one big failing, it was that we didn’t get enough readers exposed to the great writing going on in the indie scene and that will be my biggest regret.

So what’s next? For me, at least, it is chipping away at a fantasy novel featuring Liam the Black (a short story featuring Liam is set to be published some time this year by Kzine). I’ve already got stories in upcoming issues of The Dark City Crime & Mystery Magazine, Econoclash Review[2], and Cirsova.

It’s working on more short stories for more markets. It’s reading more. Reviewing more. It’s submitting more places than I did the year before. I should also finish this[3].

Anyway, that’s my year set out now that we’re one half of one twelfth through the year.

None of us getting younger, you know?


[1] We did come in 3rd place among Fiction Magazines in the Critter Poll of 2019.

[2] Now an imprint of Down & Out Books

[3] Seriously, me? 2017? I know at least one person was enjoying it.

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