Electric Velocipede Folds

John Klima’s Electric Velocipede, which won the 2009 Best Fanzine Hugo and then declared itself a semiprozine, will cease publication with the current issue, number 27.

Klima explained in his editorial “A Remembrance of the Future” that he has been unable to pay off debt accumulated from past issues and sees little chance of more revenue in the immediate future because of “the limited options for electronic subscriptions.” Therefore he feels it does not make sense to continue when editing the zine takes so much time away from raising a family and working his day job.    

[Via Locus Online.]

Invisible Ansible

Cheryl Morgan’s indignant post “Now I’m Invisible” shamed Starship Sofa guest editorialist Jason Sanford into announcing that he would make a “correction” to identify Emerald City as the first winner of the Best Fanzine Hugo to be primarily published online, and not Electric Velocipede as he had said.

The problem is that neither fanzine with a dog in the fight is entitled to claim that distinction.

It belongs to Ansible.

I could get a copy of Ansible e-mailed to me at least as long ago as January 1995, before Emerald City ever started publishing. In time, Ansible also could be retrieved by FTP, read on newsgroups and accessed on the web.

Not that it’s clear to me the distinction “primarily published online” is worth losing any sleep over. All three fanzines are/were distributed in more than one medium and it’s rather arbitrary to pick one as being “primary.” Electric Velocipede (2009) and Emerald City (2004) were both (at the time they won) fanzines with paper and web editions. (It is beyond counting how many times Cheryl Morgan has scolded inkstained trufen not to forget the existence of those paper copies of Emerald City.) And while Ansible distributed large numbers of paper copies, the electronic version, relayed by a variety of technologies, became the predominant source of sf news for a large and ever-growing online readership.

But any glory in owning this title properly belongs to Ansible.

Electric Velocipede Now a Semiprozine

John Klima, on the heels of winning the 2009 Best Fanzine Hugo, has declared Electric Velocipede to be a semiprozine.

The Hugo rules, which require publications meeting certain criteria to compete in the Best Semiprozine category, also allow an editor to voluntarily classify his or her fanzine as a semiprozine, rendering it ineligible for Best Fanzine. 

Were You Confused?

Electric VelocipedeTo allay any surprise over Electric Velocipede’s Best Fanzine Hugo nomination, editor John Klima has posted some comments, beginning:

There tends to be some confusion as to whether Electric Velocipede is a fanzine or a semiprozine, as far as the Hugo Awards are concerned. Since I pay my contributors, people automatically assume that this means I am a semiprozine…

Electric Velocipede is a fiction publication that pays its contributors and enjoys a fine reputation among critics.

A publication belongs in the Best Semiprozine Hugo category if it meets two of five criteria in the rules, which are: (1) publishes more than a thousand copies, (2) pays contributors and/or staff, (3) provides more than half the income of any one person, (4) has at least 15% of its space occupied by advertising, and (5) announced itself to be a semiprozine.

Klima explains that Electric Velocipede meets only the second one listed. He wrote last year on Tor.com that the magazine appears twice a year and has about 150 subscribers. It accepts advertising, but presumably gets something less than the threshold amount.

Klima’s answer covers the bases and, besides, fair is fair. The Hugo Administrators have never asked me how many copies I publish, whether I pay contributors (no, guys, do not start sending your invoices!), or anything more than am I willing to accept my nomination — which I virtually always have, quite happily. I’m sure John Klima feels just as happy. Congratulations, John.