US low-paying Online Magazine published originally by ProMart Publishing, Carmichael, California, by James B Baker, and after Baker's death in 2002 it was taken over by Sam's Dot Publishing, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, under Tyree Campbell. The editor since January 2003 has been J Alan Erwine, who had worked under Baker almost from the start. The magazine was originally bimonthly from September 1998 to September 2002 and then became quarterly until July 2009. It then switched to an annual Print Magazine with the first print issue appearing in March 2010 in review size (see Magazines). The original online magazine was a mixture of sf and fantasy, both stories and poems, frequently very short and mostly trivial, written by a fairly regular stable of authors only a few of whom sold outside of the ProMart/Sam's Dot circle of magazines and earned significant reputations. Most notable amongst the Martian Wave alumni is Tobias S Buckell whose "Airtown" (June 1999) appeared almost a year before his professional debut in Science Fiction Age and, as he recalled in Nascence (coll 2011), the magazine never did pay him the promised $5. From July 2002 the magazine shifted towards stories that focused on humankind's exploration of space, the contents including articles on the science needed to achieve this. With these issues the quality of the stories improved, the issues became more focused, and artwork also improved. Erwine became more determined to run only quality material, and actually cancelled the July 2006 issue because he did not have sufficient good stories, whilst the October 2007 issue ran only poetry. This may have prompted the switch to annual publication. The March 2010 print issue carried more stories than the usual online quarterly mostly by a team of writers who had developed over the last few years, including Lawrence Dagstone, Keith P Graham and Rick Novy. The issue was a significant advance, and improvement that has been sustained in subsequent annual issues.
Stories voted by readers as their favourites each year are reprinted alongside those from Sam's Dot's other online publications, Aoife's Kiss and The Fifth Di ... in Wondrous Web Worlds. [MA]
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