Darker Matter

Tagged: Pub

UK Online Magazine which paid professional rates and burst onto the internet in 2007 but lasted for only five issues, March to August 2007, monthly except for the final issue. It was produced and edited by Ben Coppin, Cambridge, England. Coppin, who had little awareness of online magazines beforehand, felt there was a need for a magazine that paid top rates. His hope was that this would provide both credibility and status for the magazine and would encourage financial support from subscriptions and advertisers. Despite the quality of the fiction published, Coppin rapidly learned that it was difficult for online magazines to pay their way and Darker Matter became too expensive and time consuming to maintain. For its brief effulgence, Darker Matter ran some excellent material, almost all of it surprisingly overlooked. It was modelled to some extent on Analog, each issue featuring a science article and mostly hard-sf stories. Coppin liked ideas-based stories which also packed a punch, and the first issue led with "Babel Probe" (March 2007) by David D Levine where an AI is sent back in time to the Tower of Babel. Other contributors included Lou Antonelli, Edward M Lerner, Bud Sparhawk, Jason Stoddard and Larry Tritten. The website had an active readers' forum and included a Top 10 list of stories receiving the best votes. The top story was "The Black Orophant" (June 2007) by Daniel Braum where the native animals on a far future desolated Earth defeat the last humans. Of other interest is a long interview with Douglas Adams by Ian Shircore, recorded in 1979 and only now published for the first time, in issues March-May 2007. [MA]

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