I am letting a few websites expire. AstoundingSF.com, ATales.com and AstoundingScienceFiction will all disappear in a few days. If anyone needs them, let me know. I have not had good luck transferring domains out of Register.com. I am betwixt and between about AstoundingTales.com. It is due, also. It is a very good name for a zine, in spite of its disastrous history. I may keep it for a while. I will let sciencefictional.com and strangetales.net drop. I do not need these spec-fic names as I do not want to be in the business side of spec-fic.
I am going to stop the story of a day at ScienceFictional.com. It is time consuming to find the stories and stats show a negative slope. It jumped up to nearly a hundred hits a day after the SFSignal mention. It has been dropping steadily ever since (see graph at left). I have a few dozen RSS readers and a dozen page hits a day. This is not worth the effort and there is no indication that things will get better.
I have been tracking the blog entries of people whose stories get mentioned. Everyone, it seems, thinks that it is some kind of honor, like their story is the best story. The truth is, I read the first paragraph or two looking for sciencefictional elements and then scan the rest for bad words, zombies, vampires, unicorns or other deal killers. I read the last paragraph to see if the story is worth reading (it never is). If I think it’s a real SF story, I add it to the list.
I saw this as a promotional tool. I thought that writers would flock to the page to promote their science fiction. I even wrote a program to automatically post stories from the suggested story list. So far I’ve received two usable suggestions and a bunch of self published stories. The self published stories aren’t all that terrible, but I would like to include only real published stories on the list.
I have stories on ScienceFictional until June 1. If I have time between now and then I’ll hunt up a few more. If next weekend comes around and I can’t find any stories in the new zine issues, I will dump the site.