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Science Fiction Chronicle

Entry updated 18 June 2021. Tagged: Fan, Publication.

US Semiprozine published and edited from New York by Andrew Porter, monthly (latterly bimonthly), letter size, 206 issues to 2000 (#206 being dated June/July 2000); further issues to #267 (September 2006) published by DNA Publications, edited first by Porter and then (from #229, October 2002) by John R Douglas and (from #257, April 2005) Ian Randal Strock. Science Fiction Chronicle was founded in 1978 as a department of Porter's more elaborate (but since 1984 defunct) magazine Algol, and became a separate publication in October 1979. It was a general Newszine about sf, whose coverage was not as broad as that of its competitor, the West Coast magazine Locus, though it contained fan material, a film column by Ed Naha (until September 1990, giving way to "SF Cinema" by Jeff Rovin) and the "London Report" by Stephen Jones and Jo Fletcher (replaced in the twenty-first century by "UK Report" from first Tanya Brown and then Paul Kincaid), all of which covered ground rather different from Locus's. The film column was disappointingly fragmentary and the numerous book reviews, by Don D'Ammassa, were very short. Something of an East Coast institution, Science Fiction Chronicle offered an alternative voice for the sf community. In its one-man-band editorial performance it long showed astonishing stamina in its producer, Porter, who received a Special Award at the World Convention in 1991 for his "years of continuing excellence" in editing Science Fiction Chronicle, in the pages of which he subsequently apologized for his less than graceful acceptance of the award, which he regarded as "a consolation prize". No such response was necessary in 1993 and 1994, for Science Fiction Chronicle did indeed win the Hugo award in the semiprozine category in both those years, bringing to an end Locus's astonishing run of nine years' domination of the award ever since that category was first established.

Warren Lapine's DNA Publications bought Science Fiction Chronicle in 2000, the first issue under new ownership being #207 dated August/September 2000. Porter was initially retained as news editor but was replaced by John R Douglas in 2002; Ian Randal Strock took over in 2005. Porter's editorial in #214 (July 2001) claimed that circulation had now exceeded 10,000, making the magazine ineligible for the Semiprozine Hugo. DNA had returned Science Fiction Chronicle to monthly publication soon after acquiring it, but the schedule slipped again in late 2005, and #267 (September 2006) seems to have been the final issue.

From #228 (September 2002) the magazine was renamed as simply Chronicle, supposedly to avoid confusion with the San Francisco Chronicle; the words "Science Fiction" reappeared in the title in #265 (December 2005/January 2006). Another DNA experiment was the merging of Science Fiction Chronicle with Absolute Magnitude for #266 (February/March 2006); the following issue included fiction from DNA's Dreams of Decadence. [PN/DRL]


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