Just about three years ago, I ran a Kickstarter campaign to fund a new literary magazine I had cooked up. It was called Geek Force Five, a name borrowed from a pop culture blog I’d run for a few years prior to that (whose name, it turns out, was itself borrowed from a college friend of mine, but that’s another story). The core idea was simple: pay authors money for their genre fiction. While the magazine took different shapes over its existence, the founding principle remained a constant: show authors that their work is worth a paycheck.
And, to one extent or another, I’ve been able to do that. But there’s always been a problem. While I’ve always been able to pay authors for their work, my ability to get that work in front of the number of readers it deserves has always been lacking. Some issues sold well, but most did not. And the issues that did sell, they sold because of the stellar efforts of the authors involved and not because of anything in particular I did.
I struggle mightily to build audiences for the things I make. And I’m willing to deal with the consequences of that when I put out things that are entirely of my own making. But I’ve come to the conclusion that it is morally irresponsible of me to continue producing a compilation of work by others if I cannot guarantee those individuals the exposure they deserve.
Therefore, effective immediately, I am ceasing publication of Geek Force Five.
If I’m honest, this decision is a huge weight off my shoulders. I loved putting every issue of the magazine together, but it was a lot of work, and it was work that took me away from what I think my main focus should be right now: improving my own writing and building an audience for it.
And who knows: maybe someday I’ll have a big enough audience that a new volume of Geek Force Five might be possible. But for now, for now it’s time to call it quits.
Thank you to everyone who read a copy of Geek Force Five over the years. And thank you to everyone who gave their words to this experiment. I’m sorry I couldn’t do better, and I wish you the best of luck with whatever comes next for you and your work.