What’s in a Name? or, Would a Magazine by any other Name Smell Just as Papery?

When we first conceived of this little sylph we call a fiction site, we thought of it as a traditional short fiction magazine. We would have stories, and articles, and contests. And so when we created the site, we called Fiction Vortex an online speculative fiction magazine. We even used traditional print terminology such as “monthly issue,” “cover story,” and “saddle stitch binding.” Well, two of those, anyway.

But here’s the thing: Fiction Vortex was always intended to be a primarily digital entity.

This caused much confusion among the staff, the gremlins running the site, and most of all, the authors submitting work. We, the editors, thought we had made things clear enough, but authors weren’t sure if they should expect a monthly stack of paper stapled together or just a URL. Silly editors.

Therefore, as you may have noticed, we changed the way we talk about the site. The header says something other than “magazine,” and will probably change from time to time because, honestly, we don’t know what to call ourselves. We’re a bunch of people who want to showcase great fiction online. We want to give you stories that make you think. We want to promote great authors who deserve more attention. And we want to publish a couple stories each week but still have a monthly contest.

To complicate matters even further, we hope that in a year or so we can release an anthology of the best fiction that appears on our site. Meaning these authors might actually appear in print at some point. Possibly.

So whatever that’s called, that’s what we are.

We’re an online speculative fiction compendium, omnibus, agglomeration, typhoon, archive, commotion, whirlwind, assortment, disturbance, cyclone … thingie.

Though the description keeps changing, one thing hasn’t: We want to publish awesome tales, and we want you to read them. We call that a speculative fiction delivery service.

2 replies
  1. Catherine Evleshin
    Catherine Evleshin says:

    As an author who has studied dozens (hundreds?) of mags, I can report you are doing something that has become the norm – publish an online zine with the intention of putting together an anthology (print/online option is common) from time to time. Call it a magazine, or a zine, or a journal, or a review. But consistency is helpful. I go crazy when mags change their names. I like the name Fiction Vortex.
    I’m the author of “A Misleading Dance,” in your hopper to be published. Just wondering, have you determined its date of publication yet?

    • admin
      admin says:

      Oh, don’t worry. Fiction Vortex isn’t going to change anytime soon. All the blood and tears and heated email battles that went into choosing that name are far too painful to revisit!


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