Would that It Were

Tagged: Publication

US professional Online Magazine published by Small Potatoes Press, and produced and edited by Don Muchow, Dallas, Texas. 18 quarterly issues, April/June 2000 to October/December 2004, missing only July/September 2004. It paid between 3¢ and 5¢ a word, but it was not until 2010 that Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America recognized its status as a professional market. It was a magazine of historical science fiction, closely allied to Steampunk because its requirements were for fiction set in the eighteenth or nineteenth centuries with a clear link to the Industrial Age. The first story Muchow bought proved to be the first of a series that helped define the magazine. This was "Enter the Phenomenologists" (April/June 2000) by Gil C Schmidt, which concerns two Victorian gentlemen who investigate strange phenomena. Muchow published a second Schmidt story in the same issue and a third in the second and these, along with further stories, were collected as Enter the Phenomenologists (coll 2010). These stories set the tone for the magazine as many of the later stories concern either individuals encountering a strange occurrence or Scientists inventing something unusual, although a few, such as "Steam" (January/March 2001) by Tobias Buckell involve alternate time lines (see Alternate History). Other contributors of interest included Greg Beatty, Bruce Bethke, Scott E Green and Lavie Tidhar, with artwork by Debbie Hughes, Kenn Brown and Duncan Long. Would That it Were was chiefly a webzine, and only individual stories could be downloaded, except for the April/June 2001 issue which was wholly downloadable. That issue includes a Sherlock Holmes story by Jeff Robinson. The magazine was an interesting and unusual item. The website is, however, no longer operable. [MA]

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