You might know that for about seven years I ran a little ‘zine called Sybil’s Garage in which I published fiction, poetry, and art. I loved the hell out of it, but I had to stop because each issue took me two to three months to produce and used up all my free time, so that at the end of the day I had little time to write, my first love. In total, I published seven issues, one per year.
Beneath Ceaseless Skies has published a new issue every fortnight since October 2008. Twenty-six issues per year for eight consecutive years, without pause, publishing some of the most well known names in fantasy. Some of those have even been double issues, twice the fiction. Ask any author who’s ever been published in Scott’s magazine and she will tell you how much attention he gives each and every story. There’s not a line of prose he doesn’t pore over. Scott also releases audio podcasts with each new issue. He reads and records most of them (or hires talented voice actors to read the stories) and edits every podcast himself. In a recent conversation, Scott told me it takes him up to eight hours to edit a single podcast. Despite this, each new issue appears like clockwork. Like magic.
I’ve had two stories published in the magazine, I designed the website, and I speak regularly to him about the magazine. I see what goes on behind the scenes at BCS. And here’s the thing I’ve known for a long time: it takes an enormous amount of work to produce an issue, yet Scott H. Andrews has produced 200 of them with no intention of stopping anytime soon. And here’s the craziest part of all that: every issue — every single one — is available for free online and as an ebook.
The whole genre community benefits from this. Because of Scott’s efforts, BCS and the stories therein have garnered many awards and accolades. And while award recognition is great, I think it’s high time we thank Scott in other more practical ways. We can do this by giving back a little bit, by subscribing. If you’ve ever read a BCS story, if you’ve ever enjoyed a podcast he’s painstakingly edited for hours, then you have benefitted from the many hours of Scott has labored. This week, as he gears up to release the 200th issue of Beneath Ceaseless Skies, please consider subscribing to the magazine so that you can continue to enjoy Beneath Ceaseless Skies for 200 more issues. You’ll thank yourself eight years from now.