Over here we have a new online S&S fiction magazine, titled Beneath Ceaseless Skies, dedicated to publishing “literary adventure fantasy,” what they also call “modern traditional fantasy” or “literary swords and sorcery.” You can read a lengthy interview with editor Scott Andrews here. What makes this project interesting is
A) It’s free to subscribe to.
B) It’s set to appear every two weeks.
C) They are going to pay their authors the comparatively magnificent sum of five cents a word.
D) They intend to podcast audio versions of many of their published stories.
How they intend to pay five cents a word while giving the stories away for free is an open question, as is how they intend to deal with the tsunami of awful slush that is sure to soon overwhelm their editorial staff. My guess is they might soon run out of gas and start coming out less frequently and/or paying less, but I’m perfectly willing — hoping! — to be proven wrong. Indeed, if they succeed they will be the only S&S market out there worthy of the name: one that comes out often, always remains open to submissions, and consistently provides stories of a superior literary quality. I consider the REH/HPL/CAS brands of prose poetry to be essential elements of the fantasy I praise most highly, and it sounds as if the editors at Beneath Ceaseless Skies share that penchant.
So best of luck to Scott Andrews and the rest of the BCS gang. Head on over to their site and subscribe — the first issue is set to appear on Thursday October 9. And check out their forum, which will undoubtedly grow as the magazine gains readers and takes off.