Galaxy E-Zine

Tagged: Publication

In 1994 E J Gold, the son of Horace L Gold, the founder of Galaxy Science Fiction relaunched the magazine first in print form and then, from July/August 1995 as an Online Magazine. The mailing costs for the print version had almost doubled in the eighteen months since its revival and Gold, always prepared to experiment, wanted to explore the potential of the internet, especially since Omni had also opted to go online with Omni Online in February 1995. Unfortunately all trace of that first online issue of Galaxy has vanished, but it featured "True Death" by Jacqueline Lichtenberg – the latest in her Dorian St James Vampire stories set in Andre Norton's Witch World – and probably contained stories by Charlee Jacob, Robert Sheckley, Jean Marie Stine and a Star Trek story by Bjo Trimble. At first the magazine was digitized in several forms. Subscribers had the option to receive a computer disk version starting with that July/August issue, and from the September/October 1995 issue it would also be available on CD-ROM. Just how long these were maintained is not known but such records as survive suggest that by early 1996 Galaxy ceased to upload individual issues but had become a cumulative site with new stories added at regular intervals. Virtually none of these stories has appeared elsewhere and most are by unknown names, although a couple stand out: K D Wentworth with "Sand Dance", a story which had been bought as far back as October 1994 but not published until February 1998, and Mary Soon Lee with "The God in the Glass Cross" (February 1999).

By the end of 1998 Gold had introduced a new system, which was akin to a writers' workshop. Hopefuls would submit their stories which, provided they passed certain basic criteria, were uploaded to the Galaxy site along with a comments form that allowed reader feedback. Plenty of stories were uploaded, and for a while during 1998 and early 1999 there was a healthy exchange of comments, but it seems from comments in the online Forum that by February 2000 no one was using the system and that the site was effectively moribund. In February 2001 Galaxy was sold to Galaxy Online and it was planned that the story archive would shift over to that website. In practice this never took place. In January 2000 Gold had set up the Science Fiction Museum website. This is not related to the Science Fiction Museum in Seattle, Washington but was a "virtual" museum, and the story archives were transferred to that website, where they remain. Gold eventually retrieved the title in Galaxy and although the Galaxy E-zine and Galaxy Science Fiction websites continue – the former with no effective content and the latter offering anthologies reprinted from earlier issues of Galaxy – there is no longer a continuing story magazine. [MA]

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