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Bonnie Mercure's_____________
E-Zine Spotlight

The ZONE SF- the last word in science fiction magazines - made its debut online Sept. 2001. The ZONE SF non-fiction site can be found at http://www.zone-sf.com featuring articles, top interviews, author profiles, genre essays, media reviews, top 10 listings, and lots more!

"It's a superb site." - Jack McDevitt Chairman, Science Fiction Writers of America Media Committee and top SF author of 'Engines of God', 'Deepsix'.

Best of all, the entire content is one-hundred percent free.

We begin our monthly E-Zine Spotlights with The Zone SF. When the editor, Tony Lee, was asked a few questions about his new online publication, this was what he had to say:

Bonnie: What made you interested in creating "The ZONE SF" as an e-zine?

Tony Lee: I have been considering this for a couple of years, since Pigasus Press went online at http://freespace.virgin.net/pigasus.press/index.htm, but I didn't start planning for the new site until Spring 2001. With so many small press fiction magazines folding, and while some editors were switching over to online publication (to save on rising costs of printing), it seemed a logical step to develop The ZONE as a nonfiction e-zine, partly because of the increasing length of time between issues of the magazine in its printed form. Apart from providing more timely up-to-minute reviews, the site delivers a far higher standard of production - with colour graphics and images - than was possible before on the budget I had. Oh, and the potential for a worldwide readership was an important factor, too, of course!

Bonnie: Do you think online publications are changing people's reading habits? How so?

Tony Lee: Yes, but I think this change is not as great or widespread as some ISPs and dot com biz folks (not to mention Hollywood) would have us believe. Not yet, anyway. What I'm saying is that, although I prefer to use email for correspondence, and some types of research, I don't enjoy reading fiction online at all. And, from what I've heard, and read elsewhere, I'm not the only one. Actual books are still a lot more user friendly than PCs. I suspect that even the laptop brigade would rather read a book in bed, than scroll through endless text files. We all know people without a computer at home - even if they use one at work - so, things like e-books and web-zines are still a niche market. I agree with Clifford Stoll's views on this; there are some things electronic media is good for, and some that are better served by more traditional, simpler ways. The page-turning habit may need breaking at a very early age, so I suppose it may take a generation or two before e-books can seriously challenge the consumer supremacy of paperbacks.

Bonnie: What can readers expect in the future at "The ZONE SF"?

Tony Lee: More genre-related interviews, a growing range of articles and incisive criticism, plus regular media review updates. I tend to favour a very broad definition of what constitutes 'SF', so there will always be a few surprises in store. If readers want to receive info updates about The ZONE SF, please send a blank email to zone-sf-subscribe@topica.com

* * * * *


Interviews With Authors

Dan Simmons, Patrick Moore, and Simon Clark.
Plus, a profile of writer Alan Moore

Other SF non-fiction about

Mutants in SF and comics
The worlds of Jupiter in SF
Millennium Blues: beyond 2000
Heavy metal concept albums with SF themes
A Top 10 SF Novels: three retro listings by Neal Asher, John Barnes, and Paul Barnett


Artifact by Gregory Benford
Ash: A Secret History by Mary Gentle
Crescent City Rhapsody by Kathleen Ann Goonan
Deep Future by Stephen Baxter
Futures edited by Peter Crowther
A Good Old-Fashioned Future by Bruce Sterling
Gridlinked by Neal Asher
Journeyman: The Art Of Chris Moore by Stephen Gallagher
Jupiter by Ben Bova
SF:UK How British Science Fiction Changed The World by Daniel O'Brien
Terror Firma by Matthew Thomas
Things Unborn by Eugene Byrne
Tik-Tok by John Sladek
Top 10: Book One by Alan Moore and Gene Ha
2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke
Whole Wide World by Paul McAuley

A.I., Andromeda, Battlefield Earth, The Cell, Final Fantasy, Hollow Man, Jurassic Park III, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, The Lost World, Mission To Mars, Pitch Black, Planet Of The Apes, Red Planet, Requiem For A Dream, The 6th Day, Space Cowboys, The Stone Tape, Supernova, Unbreakable, Xchange, X-Men.

The Adventures Of Rocky & Bullwinkle, Bats, Charlie's Angels, Charly, Chill Factor, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Komodo, Lake Placid, A Man Called Hero, Seven Days, Space. Also: a section called "the worst SF films ever made" for retro criticism - Mutronics: The Movie, Fire Maidens From Outer Space


Buys rights for SF related articles to be published on the Internet, in the science fiction web-zine. Previously unpublished work is preferred, but will consider writings published anywhere in world. Pays 5 or $10 for stories and articles over 2000 words. Payment is made after publication. The most important piece of advice editor Tony Lee offers - study our magazine first! Because reading what we have already published is the best way to learn what sort of writings may be suitable for The ZONE online. It's also important to study the magazine's house style.

Articles: (500 to 10,000 words, longer work considered for serialisation).

Interviews with prominent genre authors are a priority, but it's vital to know your subject well and ask intelligent questions.

Essays and theme-based nonfiction writings are a regular feature of The ZONE online, and we have on-going umbrella columns (visit website for more details about these), and also publish one-off polemical items.

Reviews (books, cinema, video, television, dvd): (100 to 1000 words, approx). Book reviews are normally commissioned by the editor, but new reviewers are always welcome, and we are interested in archiving material recently published in print magazines - so please do send us your reviews if available for reprinting online (remember to include copyright details of where and when items were first published). Send us a sample of your writing, whether published or unpublished, and some details of the types of books and genre themes you enjoy. A list of your favourite authors would be helpful.

Reviews of genre cinema, video and television are also very welcome. If you would like to become a regular columnist, covering a specific media or sub-genre, please contact us. Your suggestions for longer genre studies (up to 5,000 words) of any subject related to SF books or media, will also be considered. Please query by e-mail.

Artwork: Quality genre illustrations for the web-zine's cover-page are urgently required. Send us samples of your work, whether published or unpublished, as email attachments. Image dimensions: width=500 height=275 (pixels), but anything roughly 2:1 ratio in landscape format would be welcome. Pictures in portrait format also considered - dimensions: width=275 height=400 (pixels). Approx 50 kilobytes or less... JPEG or GIF acceptable. Althouigh we cannot afford to pay anything for artwork, we are happy to include a biographical note on our site's contributors page, and a link to your site.

To receive regular info via email about updates to zone-sf.com join The Zone's mailing list -
Send a blank message to subscribe

For more details about zone-sf.com contact: Tony Lee, editor, The ZONE online
email: editor@zone-sf.com

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e-zine spotlight: The Zone SF