I've been a member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America for a handful of years and, as such, have received their Bulletin magazine since joining. My general response to each new issue: Indifference, with occasional sides of irritation and outrage.
Until now I honestly don't think I've spent more than 10 minutes reading any particular issue of the Bulletin. My process upon receiving each print issue has been to:
- Ignore the bad cover art.
- If cover art is sexist, rant about it.
- Flip through the issue and see if there are any articles worth reading.
- Discover that yet again there aren't.
- If articles are sexist, rant about it.
- File the issue in the recycling bin.
The problem with the old SFWA Bulletin—besides continual issues with sexism—was that the Bulletin covered topics which were already obvious to your average SFWA member. That frustrated the hell out of me because one way SFWA should help authors is by sharing knowledge about both our genre and the business of writing.
So imagine my shock when I received the Bulletin's new winter 2014 issue and found tons of articles I actually wanted to read. I mean, check out the following partial list of articles in the new issue:
- Science Fiction on the Front Line by Richard Dansky
- Social Media & the Solitary Writer by Cat Rambo
- Everything Old Is New Again by MCA Hogarth
- Website Redesign & Featured Book by Jeremiah Tolbert
- Anti-Harassment & Diversity by Jaym Gates
- Moving to California: The SFWA Bylaws Overhaul & Reincorporation Process by Russell Davis
- Of Myth & Memory by Sheila Finch
- Picking the Right Convention For You by Nancy Holder & Erin Underwood
- Better Teachers, Better Writers by James Patrick Kelly
- SFWA Reading Series by Merrie Haskell
- Interview: E.C. Myers by Tansy Rayner Roberts
And those are merely the articles I'm currently reading or excited about reading. There are a number of other articles not listed above which I'll eventually check out.
As a bonus, this is also a magazine I can carry in public without being embarressed by the stupidly sexist cover art. Kudos to Galen Dara for the great artwork.
The new issue can be downloaded in PDF and ebook formats from the member-only section of the SFWA website. In addition, print copies are in the mail to members.
Thank you to both SFWA and its members for pushing the Bulletin to be what we always knew the magazine could be. This is what we've all been wanting from SFWA—a member magazine which actually provides useful information to members.