The Editor’s Rant: Issue #13

by Michael D. Pederson


What does it mean to be a semiprozine? According to the Constitution of the World Science Fiction Society, a semiprozine must meet at least two of the following criteria: 1) have an average press run of at least one thousand copies per issue; 2) pay its contributors and/or staff in other than copies of the publication; 3) provide at least half the income of any one person; 4) have at least fifteen percent of its total space occupied by advertising; 5) announce itself to be a semiprozine. Nth Degree meets criteria numbers 1, 4 and 5, so we are technically a semiprozine.

But what does that mean?

That’s a question that I frequently ask myself. Particularly in regards to how I handle my Rants. In a professional magazine, the editorial is a forum for the editor to pontificate on issues that are important to him/her and might spark reader interest. In a traditional fanzine, the editorial tends to be more of an open letter from the editor to his/her friends and readers, usually filling them in on what he/she has been up to lately. I generally try to take a middle ground—whimsical updates on how the zine is doing or mildly amusing opinions on things that I notice going on in fandom.

Like a professional publication, I have thousands of readers that I’ve never met and probably never will. Like a fan publication, I have hundreds of readers that I have met and partied with and gotten to know pretty well.

So, how to handle personal news? For those of you who consider this to be more of a professional publication, look away. For the rest of you, let me fill you in on what’s been going on in the Old Dominion for the last few months.

In November, Cate and I decided to separate and will be getting a divorce. It was a reasonably amicable breakup and she may still occasionally contribute to the zine. She probably won’t be attending any more conventions though.

In January, I moved back to Richmond. I lived here for sixteen years before moving in with Cate and I am very happy to be back. However, it is just a temporary move while I look for a job (anyone looking to hire a magazine editor?) and a new house. That means that there will be yet another move in my near future. You can check out my Rant way back in Issue #4 for my feelings on moving. I haven’t grown any fonder of it in the past two years.

In March, we sold the house in Stafford. I miss it already, although I couldn’t be happier about being out of Stafford. We were far too close to the traffic nightmares of Northern Virginia for my tastes. And there were no good Thai restaurants nearby.

Which brings me to the present. All of this personal business has made me adjust the schedule for the zine a bit. Normally we’d have an issue out in March, another out in May and then the next one in September. Instead, I’ll put one out in April and then adjust the rest of the year accordingly.

Thanks to everyone for their support and patience.


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