Putting this magazine on hiatus was not an easy decision to make. Even though the weekly review columns continued to be posted regularly, this would be the first time we missed an issue of stories in almost three years. That was a record I was proud of - and loathe to give up - but to be blunt, life had overwhelmed me and I needed a break. Everyone knows the old cliché about "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade," but I've had enough lemons coming at me over the course of the past year to fill the Pacific Ocean with that popular summer-time beverage.
Once we got back to work (and by "we" I really mean "me," because while I was licking my wounds, managing editor Kathleen Bellamy, web-guru Scott Allen, all of our assistant editors (Sara Ellis, Eric James Stone, Scott Roberts, and Chris Bellamy), and all of our columnists worked ceaselessly and tirelessly to keep things moving along) Okay, so . . . once I got back to work, the first thing we did was step back and assess the way we had been doing things here at IGMS. And as we did so, a better way of doing things would present itself, or become absolutely necessary, or become suddenly obvious when it hadn't been before. And when we changed that one thing (whatever that thing may have been - process, procedure, policy, whatever), another would present itself, and then another, and another, until it was clear that we had inadvertently created the perfect opportunity to make the magazine over and re-launch it, fresh-faced and reinvigorated. We would have been fools not to make the most of it.
So here it is: Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show, v2.0.
The biggest and most obvious changes are two-fold (as befitting a v2.0):
1) Our web designer worked long and hard to give IGMS a cleaner, sharper look. Navigation around the site will be simpler. With each new issue, the background will change to showcase some aspect of the issue's cover art. Explore it; I think you'll find it an intuitive and pleasantly easy experience.
2) We now have something available that our readers have been asking for for a long time: an annual subscription. From now on, instead of having to purchase each issue individually, you can buy a year's worth of IGMS at one time and then not have to worry about it again; each issue will be there for you, ready and waiting as soon as it's published. And there's particularly good news (and a good reason to subscribe); the way our new subscription will work, you will not only have access to each new issue as it is published, you will immediately have access to every issue already published. That means that if you missed any of our previous issues, your $15 dollars will gain you access not just to the next six bimonthly issues, but to all sixteen issues already published. And that unrestricted access will last as long as you keep your subscription current. That means for those of you who've only read an issue or two, you'll be getting every story we've ever published for less than a buck an issue. So if you've seen IGMS mentioned in numerous Year's Best anthologies, on Locus's recommended reading list, or on any number of awards ballots, and wondered what the magazine was all about, there's never been a better time to try us out.
Other smaller changes await as well, ranging from the addition of things that will be readily apparent (such as our on-going weekly comic strip Dedd and Gohn, following the adventures of Mike Dedd and Julia Gohn, a pair of Gen Y paranormal investigators who explore everything from the horrors of ghosts who won't go away, to the horrors of personal relationships when they want to get married but one of them still lives at home with his parents), to things less readily apparent (such as the way we've asked our artist and illustrators to do their work in a format more suited to presentation on a computer screen).
We've also lined up some exciting things for upcoming issues beyond our re-launch issue. We've got a brand new story coming soon from regular and beloved IGMS contributor, Peter S. Beagle. And to celebrate our fifth anniversary issue, the October 2010 issue (#19) has something extra special in store: a brand new tale from the man who founded and publishes this magazine; the first new Orson Scott Card story we've published in over a year and a half. It's not just a story though, it's a sneak peak at his forthcoming novel, Pathfinder. The first fifteen chapters of Pathfinder each have a mini-prologue, that, when strung together, form a complete story. So IGMS's sneak peak isn't just a sneak peak, it's the only place you find "The Expendables" complete and whole, as a stand-alone story.
I could go on and on about the changes, but at this point I think the best thing I can do is shut up and let you get to the good stuff: Issue #17's science fiction and fantasy. "Ten Winks To Forever" by Bud Sparhawk; "An Early Ford Mustang" by Eric James Stone; "Sparrowjunk" by Margit Schmitt; "Sister Jasmine Brings The Pain" by Vonn Carr; "Frankie and Johnny and Nelly Bly" by Richard Wolkomir; another in our series of author interviews by Darrell Schweitzer; plus an audio production of "An Early Ford Mustang" that you can download and listen to anytime, anywhere.
I can't say it often enough, but I'll limit myself to saying it one more time: I hope you can tell how excited I am by the relaunch of IGMS. I hope you'll join us; and I hope you'll stay with us for a long, long time. It's going to be a lot of fun.
Edmund R. Schubert
Editor, Orson Scott Card's InterGalactic Medicine Show
P.S. As usual, we've collected essays from the authors in this issue and will post them on our blog (http://www.sideshowfreaks.blogspot.com/). Feel free to drop by and catch The Story Behind The Stories, where the authors talk about the creation of their tales.