THREAD I shared this with my speculative fiction community.

Boosts welcome.

Thoughts SUPER welcome.

With the recent closing of spec mags, a thought keeps returning to me: solidarity economics could (possibly, maybe, potentially in an “easier said than done” way) produce some added stability for mags.

Here’s the thought experiment (redux): An association of spec mags on a cooperative platform (like Amazon but co-owned/co-managed by the spec community (editors/curators, readers, authors, artists, & other creatives). Think SFWA, but consumer facing.

Cooperative associations have been done before (think Associated Press) and cooperative platforms also exist (think Resonate Coop). The spec mags would retain autonomy but would have a common platform to distribute as a community.


Offerings: subs to all mags at a reasonable discount, ability to buy bundles/curated mag selections by theme or genre, ab. to buy individual stories, ab. to gift mags/bundles to other people, a community managed library with issues/stories/bundles that can be “checked out.”

A community online library is super important because it fosters two cultural attitudes simultaneously: Art Has Value no matter the length or format & art should be accessible to everyone (without short-changing artists).

What goes into the library would depend on (1)How many copies individual mags donate AND (2) how many copies are bought (at a discount) by community members for other community members. We’d collectively be deciding just how accessible the art would be (mags, creators, fans).

Individual mags wouldn’t change their practices at all. They can (and should) also continue to do what they’ve always done on their own platforms. But this is an added benefit and a culture building tool. Even a little of this applied could be useful.

This thread was specifically about short fiction in speculative (sci-fi, fantasy, horror, slipstream) magazines, but I'm sure some of the thinking could be applied more broadly. Also sure people are working on this in other media.

Any thoughts/minutia/context anyone wants to add, I'd love to hear.

Been thinking about this for a while and need some knowledge.

@cadwellsocialcoop I like it! But I think it will have a greater chance of success if it's part, as you say, of a broader effort. The parallel to Resonate is apt.

@Steve it must be a community thing. That's hard to sell. But I hope it gets some legs at some point. Authors and fans (and magazines) have been upset about this for a long time. Mags keep closing. Often these mags serve particular subgenres and aesthetics, so any loss is felt. There aren't that many mags, and there are TONS of authors submitting stories.

@cadwellsocialcoop Right, I'm very supportive of that. I'm just saying it should be a subset of a larger project that has a variety of genres. Basically, the imprint idea we've been tossing around. The subsets could operate semi-independently, but with a shared infrastructure.

Not opposed to that at all. In fact, I think the individual media silos we carve out harm us. I've written/thought about nonfiction/fiction ecosystems working together in GEO:

Our discussion on an imprint would help towards that vision. It'll take time, but I do believe it is possible.

@cadwellsocialcoop good point. I noticed this when activists started to shift from posting their news stories, press releases, and op-eds on #Indymedia site and other shared media spaces, to having individual blogs, FB pages, etc for themselves and their groups. I really felt the loss of the cross-pollination, multi-perspective debate, and solidarity, generated by participation in shared platforms. The possibility of rekindling that is one of the reason the #fediverse excites me.

@strypey @Steve

It might makes sense to form a larger multimedia platform that does this with small platforms within it (by genre/medium). One that individuals, groups and companies can tap into, but maintain their own online presences elsewhere. It might more easily get made that way. I'm right there with you. I want it SO SO bad.

@cadwellsocialcoop @strypey Except that nothing successful ever started big. We need to start with a modest idea that can scale and/or replicate over time.

Does GEO want to incubate this, or do we need to start something entirely new?

@Steve @strypey

Not thinking big. More like inclusive.

We are going to discuss at our retreat, which you are more than invited to Zoom in for. Right now GEO is looking to recruit more folks. We're small, so the idea of incubation takes some discussion.

@Steve @strypey

But we talked a bit about it at our meeting last night and they seemed really excited about the idea.

We just need to outline it a bit more, and get a good team together.

@cadwellsocialcoop @strypey I'm happy to be on that team. I've got so many commitments that what's one more?

When's that retreat? I may or may not be available to participate remotely.

@Steve @cadwellsocialcoop I don't think I can use #Zoom on my 32-bit GNU/Linux, but I'm intrigued by the ideas you're floating here. Some kind of federated platform that allows many small, self-hosting groups to form a large pool of talent could be the solution.

@GuerillaOntologist thanks for that. Is there source code available under a #FreeCode license for the #Zoom app for 32-bit GNU/Linux? I prefer not to install proprietary software on my system.
@Steve @cadwellsocialcoop

@GuerillaOntologist @strypey @cadwellsocialcoop I haven't tried for myself, but a quick web search shows lots of references to Zoom on Linux.

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