SFF.net to Close

SFF.net, a longtime internet community that was historically important to the genre, will close on March 31.

Jeffry Dwight and Steve Ratzlaff informed their users:

We are sad to announce that, after 20 years, SFF Net is going offline. Although the reasons are prosaic (increasing costs, diminishing revenue), our deep regret is that we will be unable to continue serving our loyal friends. SFF Net has, at the core, been about online friendships, shared interests, and shared lives.

We deeply appreciate each of you who’ve joined us (and stuck with us) over the years.

Dozens of authors’ webpages will go away, and the SFF.net newsgroups/WebNews will be discontinued.

One reason writers gravitated to SFF.net is that it once hosted SFWA’s private forums, however, that connection was severed in 2014 when SFWA moved the content to its own domain.

Dwight and Ratzlaff have created an SFF Net Facebook page “where you may still interact with others from our community.”

SFF.net traditionally posted a rose at the top of the page to commemorate someone of interest to the community who has recently died — moonwalker Gene Cernan when I looked today. Soon there will be one last rose, for SFF.net itself.

goodrose

[Thanks to Cat Rambo for the story.]

6 thoughts on “SFF.net to Close

  1. I’m not sure how many writers actually have sites hosted by them — there’s a lot of redirects to places like that of Sara Hoyt. And of those that are hosted, a lot of them haven’t been updated in years, ie Nancy Kilpatrick’s is talking about book due out in 2011, and noted SJW Kij Johnson hasn’t been updated in almost two years.

    There’s a lot of alternative hosts that didn’t exist when SFF.net got started with reliable service equal to around two coffee drinks at Starbuck’s.

  2. Cat Eldridge: Since a lot of author pages aren’t updated for long stretches of time, I stopped spending time combing through SFF.net as a regular thing. But a number of years ago when Joe Haldeman was sick, his forum was my first stop every day and I got a lot of posts from the information Gay Haldeman shared there.

    I was also impressed how much time Susan Shwartz lavished on the SFF.net forums. A few people like her were keeping the place alive.

  3. Visiting sff.net forums is one of the highlights of my day. The newsgroups for Roby James, Elizabeth Moon, Susan Schwartz and the political forums, among others, will be greatly missed.

  4. Mike responds to my comment: Since a lot of author pages aren’t updated for long stretches of time, I stopped spending time combing through SFF.net as a regular thing. But a number of years ago when Joe Haldeman was sick, his forum was my first stop every day and I got a lot of posts from the information Gay Haldeman shared there.

    In all fairness to SFF.net, it’s not a situation limited to just them. There’s a rapidly growing graveyard of sites left for dead by their creators. No mentioning names but I knew one sf writer who has two dead sides and at least two dead blogs; another one has a site that was last update a decade ago. Many of these exist on university and governmental servers where nobody gives a rat’s ass if they exist.

    I read that there’s a service out there whose name i’ve forgotten that will for a fee will scrub your sites and such when you pass on.

  5. sff.net exists because of Genie – it was set up as a refugee site when it became clear that GE was going to close the old service

    Most of the people still there are Genie refugees, keeping up the last vestiges of that community

  6. Sad to see it go.

    If those folks who liked the forums would like to try to migrate, I’m very open to suggestions and can (and do already) host forums at Amazing.

    But I would be very interested in tailoring things to make it the kind of place you all would like it to be.

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