Editing for the future…

I am seriously pondering what I want to do as an editor over the next five years.  This, I should assure you, is a totally new thing for me. Until quite recently I have been an almost entirely instinctive creature when it comes to editing. I’ve not thought in terms of ‘career’ or the next right step, or even what I want to be doing in a while. Instead I’ve been led by my enthusiasm, which has served me well.

However, I’ve known for a while that I want to be a fiction editor for a long time. I’m signed up. I expect, should the world allow me to, to be doing this until I die.  Realising that, and as I’ve begun to think it just might be possible, has led me to ponder what it is I want to be doing. I love science fiction and fantasy. You couldn’t read what I read and stay sane if you didn’t.  I  want to do things to advance and improve the field, open doors to new writers, and create books that are interesting and challenging, books that are part of the ever-evolving dialogue of the field.

That means I’m completely committed to my two Night Shade projects, the year’s best and Eclipse (though for different reasons), and to Locus.  Again, assuming other factors allow, I suspect I’m a lifer (or at least a long-timer) on both.  However, there are other challenges. I’m not walking away from anthology editing, but I’ve begun to think about what I could do in the magazine arena. I spent the best part of ten years working on a fiction semi-prozine in the 1990s, and I really did think I was done with that.  The past few years have been so busy, so challenging, and so rewarding, I never even considered it.

And yet, suddenly, I find myself thinking about how I might approach a new science fiction magazine. About look and feel, fiction/nonfiction balance etc.  I even think quite a lot about editing online. I think I would love to edit an online magazine, one devoted to finding and developing the best science fiction stories. I don’t know if I’ll ever get the chance – I don’t feel like I have the resources right now to do it – but I think I would love doing it again.