EVEN THOUGH THE MAGAZINE HAS been going for 25 years, On Spec has always been in an precarious financial position. The magazine exists almost entirely on government grants through the Canada Council for the Arts and the Alberta Multi-Media Fund. Over the past three years, we were guaranteed that our AMMF grant would only slip by 15% each year. Year Three is now looming; we don't know what will happen. As for the Canada Council, we’ve been given two ‘warnings’ that we need to become more literary. I find this surprising, given that in terms of speculative fiction, we publish quality work (in the past, we’ve actually been accused by others of being too literary). It's clear to me that we're running into the same old bias that SF writers face everywhere: genre fiction is less worthy of receiving government funding.
In Canada, On Spec is an SF institution. Although we’ve been a venue for many SF writers (Canadian and otherwise) who are happy to see their work appear in our pages, we are supported only minimally by our subscription base. I've never spoken on behalf of the magazine before, but perhaps now is the time. If you’ve been published in On Spec but don’t have a subscription, please think about getting one. If you have friends or family who enjoy reading SF, why not buy them a subscription as a gift? We can’t know what the future holds, but as an SF community, I think it’s important that we support one another. I’d like to see On Spec continue to be part of the SF scene for a long time to come. I hope you do, too.
What does a subscription cost? An annual one costs less than five Eggnog Latte Grandés at Starbucks - only $24.00 Canadian, $25.00 US or $35.00 overseas. If an e-subscription is more your thing, we also offer them through Zinio.
Here’s the link to our On Spec Subscription Page. Thanks so much for your support! On behalf of myself and On Spec, have a wonderful holiday season!