E-Scape

Tagged: Publication

US Online Magazine, the first new Semiprozine paying online market after the appearance of Omni Online. It ran for fifteen issues between September 1995 and August 1999, but with a hiatus between issue #6 (October 1996) and issue #7 (April 1998) while its operational basis was rethought. The magazine was co-founded by J Patrick McDonald, Marie Loughin and David Phalen. McDonald served as publisher though his Interink website based in Kansas City, Missouri. Initially Marie Loughin was fiction editor and David Phalen nonfiction; after the hiatus, they co-edited from issue #7 until (with Loughin and Phalen now suffering from time constraints) Allison Stein was brought in as editor from issue #11 (December 1998). The magazine paid a basic one cent a word, sufficient for new and aspiring writers, but professional writers reckoned this viable only for reprints, and each issue usually carried at least one reprint, starting in the first issue with Lee Killough's "Taaehelan is Drowning" (August 1981 F&SF). Nevertheless, as a pioneering magazine, E-scape attracted wider interest and issue #4 (April 1996) featured not only a story by James E Gunn but an article by him on electronic publishing. Gunn contributed another new story, "Pest House" to issue #7 (April 1998). Other contributors include Andrew Burt, O'Neil De Noux, Mike Ford, Adam Corbin Fusco, Sarah A Hoyt, Christopher McKitterick, Scott Nicholson and Mark Rich, all names establishing themselves during these years. The team tried to find ways to make the magazine pay its way, but in these pre-broadband and pre-internet awareness days, it proved impossible. Nevertheless, E-scape was a significant pioneer from which others could learn. [MA]

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