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Escape Velocity

Entry updated 10 December 2015. Tagged: Publication.

US/UK Semiprozine available online for download and print-on-demand. Published by Adventure Books of Seattle, Washington, run by Robert Blevins, who co-produced the magazine with Geoff Nelder of Chester, England. The print version was A4 size, with varying page numbers, glossy covers and some interior photographs, but little otherwise by way of format or design. It ran for four issues, November 2007 to February 2009, the first three quarterly, the last undated. It bore the strapline "The Magazine of Science Fact and Fiction", placing the fact first as Analog once had, and the emphasis was mostly on Hard SF alongside several copiously illustrated scientific features. The editors were pleased to attract contributions by people in the space industry, including Sheila Crosby, who works with the European telescopes on La Palma, Canaries, and who had stories in all four issues (two reprints from earlier sources). Most of the fiction, perhaps encouraged by the magazine's title, is set beyond the Earth, but not all and the occasional Earth-bound story provides a sound anchor. There are a number of short-short stories, some of which are powerful, notably the opening story of the first issue, "Dear Father" (November 2007) by A W Gifford, written from the perspective of a clone. With low pay rates Escape Velocity, operated generally as a platform for talented new writers but some with more established reputations appeared, including Jaine Fenn, Ian Whates and Sonny Whitelaw, plus features by Jasper Fforde, Jon Courtenay Grimwood and Dan Simmons. Paid circulation was never high, even though the magazine's online forum was generally appreciative, and it was steadily establishing itself. After it ceased, a selection of the best material, plus some new stories were issued as Escape Velocity: The Anthology (anth 2011 ebook) edited by Blevins and Nelder. [MA]

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