Digital Age Fuels Sci-Fi Short Stories


The digital era has brought on a new golden age of science fiction. Electronic books, self-driving cars, and video phones may not seem too fictional these days, but technology like the Internet has empowered all sorts of new distribution methods connecting sci-fi writing with the fans who support it. New science fiction magazines launch with crowd funding campaigns, while tools like podcasts make fandom even easier— and ultimately, it’s all about the fans:

Sci-fi and fantasy’s online success is down to the strength of its community. The genre’s loyal fans mean that a new magazine such as Fireside can crowdfund more than $26,000 (£15,000) for its third year of publication. Fan support, too, a small fantasy fanzine such as Worlds Without Master with $1,540 an issue in patronage. If there’s one lesson for writers and publishers to learn from the renaissance in sci-fi short fiction, it is that fans matter.

Ian MacAllen is the author of Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American (Rowman & Littlefield, April 2022). His writing has appeared in Chicago Review of Books, Southern Review of Books, The Offing, 45th Parallel Magazine, Little Fiction, Vol 1. Brooklyn, and elsewhere. He tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at More from this author →