The SciFi Channel has announced that it will discontinue it’s Sci Fiction website at the end of 2005. Sci Fiction, which is edited by Ellen Datlow, is one of the few paying sources for authors of science fiction short fiction. I’m pretty sure that the SciFi Channel will catch some flack over this one, but I actually don’t think thats fair.
The SciFi Channel’s business has never been written fiction and since no one else has been able to make a short fiction financially viable my guess would be that Sci Fiction wasn’t profitable either. That they at least tried to offer short form science fiction and as a result made many award winning stories available to us is deserving of some praise.
Ellen Datlow posted a farewell message on the Sci Fiction site, which I have reproduced below. She doesn’t say what her next project will be, but she was involved in a number of online fiction sites prior to Sci Fiction.
A FAREWELL MESSAGE FROM EDITOR ELLEN DATLOW
Editing short fiction has been my passion since I got into the field of science-fiction, fantasy and horror in 1979. I’ve had a wonderful time acquiring and editing short stories for SCIFI.COM over the past, (almost) six years. I feel privileged to have worked with a creative, smart, fun group of people at SCIFI.COM and to have worked with many wonderful writers since I started editing SCI FICTION in 2000.
Stories on SCI FICTION have been nominated and won major genre awards: Linda Nagata’s novella “Goddesses” won the first Nebula Award (given by the Science Fiction Writers of America) ever awarded for a piece of fiction originally published online. Lucius Shepard’s novella “Over Yonder” won the first Theodore Sturgeon Award for short fiction ever won by a piece of fiction originally published online. SCI FICTION itself won the Hugo Award in 2005 for Best Web site.
I’d like to thank you all for reading the fiction and hope you’ll continue to read it as long as it’s archived on SCIFI.COM.
New original and classic fiction will continue to be posted until the end of 2005.
Thanks for being readers and indulging my passion.