Hmmm. Excepting the one I edit, as I’m terribly biased, the only print journal I find myself repeatedly subscribing to is “Rattle,” although I still consistently think “Pearl” is better than just about anything that’s followed it. I also deeply love “Ballard Street.” Online, I’m terribly addicted to England’s “3 a.m. Magazine.”
This might be too much to ask but I’d like to hear why you’ve picked what you’ve picked. Some I agree with. Some I don’t. Some I haven’t even heard of. But, yeah. What is it about it that makes it the hottest in the/your room?
Caketrain is annual but hot damn they always pack their volumes with so much good work (new, fresh, startling, compelling)
Artifice is only three issues in but they have beautiful production quality and a really nice mix of experimental and more concrete work to read through
The Collagist goes monthly with a professional online format, wonderful excerpts from forthcoming books, and typically a great selection of reviews
Birkensnake gives away its work for free online (and the works included are usually tantalizing for me, interesting and cleverly written) but they also produce these quirky print volumes, like their latest which includes metal shavings that magnetize to the cover to finish the title graphic
How did you think the past four issues exceptional? Seems to me like it’s the same old names stirred in with a few flavors of the month. Slightly better covers, reportage killed off. PR is ancient and hoary so I expect as much.
I thought the stories and most of the poetry were fantastic and the interviews were worth the price of admission, alone. If “the same old names” can write amazing stories, I don’t really give a shit that they are the same old names.
Same old names does not a ‘hottest litmag in the room right now’ make… They do great interviews, but those are really the lit mag equivalent of celebrity profiles. And it’s not like Geoff Dyer, Jonathan Lethem, Jim Shepherd can’t be be found elsewhere. I don’t know much about poetry, to be fair, so maybe they’re doing better there
I get a lot more excited about PANK than I do Paris Review, there’s always something in there I’ve never seen before. PR is too quietly competent for what it could be, and what we were promised it could be…
I find consistent excellence hot. The reality is that most of the magazines listed here, many of which I read and really like, won’t be around in 5 years. There’s no shame in that. It’s hard to keep a magazine going, but hotness doesn’t just have to be about being “new.” It can also be about finding a way to last. The magazine I’d offer in response to this question is Unsaid, but I also love TPR.
A more prosaic reason not to mention TPR (I’ll concede that ‘T’): our petitioner has likely heard of it already… But don’t you think you could do better with a 1K per story per author and no other commitments as editor? Maybe it’s harder than it looks
It’s harder than it looks. We all have ideas of how we could do better with the kind of money TPR and other such magazines have. I’d go nuts. I suspect editors in that position face difficult choices–do more to support truly innovative work and/or unknown writers and potentially sacrifice audience or maintain audience (and in turn their subscription fees, etc), by going with known quantities. It’s easy for smaller magazines like mine, and others listed here, to take chances, because we have nothing to lose.
Controversial opinion: magazines like The Paris Review actually publish a lot more interesting and surprising writers than most of the small press indie magazines being listed in this thread, most of whom quite literally recycle the same names issues after issue (and the same names between each other.)
Also, I think you are just lying if you think Kerry Howley, Amie Barrodale, Joshua Cohen, and Alexandra Kleeman (all of whom were published in the last few issues) are the “same old names”
The one I’m actually most interested in seeing develop is a brand new place called The Brooklyner. It will probably emulcify and rot, given the opportunity, but hey, it’s got the opportunity. I’m not suggesting it as an ‘indie’ journal: it’s just a journal I’m currently interested in.
Your problem with this line of argument is that these authors make up the BULK of new fiction published by TPR in the last four issues. Other than the Bolano serialization, which seems fairly a-typical to me personally, the only obvious “same old name” author that TPR has published a story from is Jonathan Lethem.
Maybe you just really hate Lethem?
I know that’s it is par for the course for people on htmlgiant to knee-jerkingly claim that all larger magazines are horrible dinosaurs publishing the same authors and never doing anything interesting, blah blah, but TPR under Stein has a pretty good track record so far.
How can something be atypical if it’s consistent across 100 percent of Stein’s issues? (Yes, I’m sure he’ll do something different in the next issue, I just don’t think Bolano was particularly daring choice and to drag it out for four issues and let it gobble up all of the fiction slots… ) I had really high hopes for him after seeing what he’d done at FSG and don’t see that the stuff he’s running has the same verve… you are welcome to disagree
I like Lethem, wasn’t his best work though… and one of the responsibilities of running a mag like TPR should be to police the “same old names” so they don’t just use your magazine as a slush fund for their sloppier pieces… maybe my expectations are too high
Since I’ve been published in Caketrain, The Collagist, and Birkensnake, I highly approve of your reasoning! (And I think Artifice is blacklisting me cuz I’ve thus far failed to head over to Rebekah’s place and see her adorable new cats.)
Adding for actual value: I really, really like Birkensnake. Because I think the print edition looks great, and the web edition looks great (what a wonder to have both, and to have them both be done so well!), and because the work is always strong and varied (in many ways).
We’d still like to run “The Woords,” by the way. We were thinking of maybe doing it in our second print issue, now that we (essentially) have a first print issue and we haven’t been able to get it online. E-mail me sometime.
i agree w/ DIAGRAM because it’s an online journal that gets like active respect from people that normally don’t respect online journals, so it seems to be doing something right. I guess I don’t know about it’s overall respect (and I don’t have any bias against online journals and have appeared once in DIAGRAM so maybe I’m biased toward it) but I know that I go to the Univ of Missouri and there’s not a lot of respect flying around for online journals, but DIAGRAM is pretty well respected. seems hot.
although maybe seems problematic that I’m defining hot in that way. I guess if I really took hot to it’s real definition I’d probably say like Sixth Finch or maybe Octopus (although Octupus is sort of like less hot now. still very very good, but not hot) or I don’t know what. Sixth Finch seems like a good answer
‘real definition’ isn’t right, I mean what I perceive as its definition, something like ‘fresh, doing something new’ and probably not really close to ‘respected by people who only usually respect print journals’
I like the writing in many lit mags however I confess to being especially seduced by production and so therefore publications like Forklift, Ohio and No Colony and DIAGRAM and others with illustrations and a look-and-feel I like are particularly appealing to me. And that is true of online pubs also.
Electric Lit is one i would buy in hardcover if they put it out like that. Fence and Rattle have been incredibly excellent issue after issue for years now. Tarpaulin Sky. Brain Harvest. And Staccato. Fucking love Staccato
I’m gonna be controversial and agree with two of them being Annalemma and Artifice. Those are just great. I think Twelve Stories is worth mentioning. Lots of great stuff there, and an excellent concept for publication. I’d like to say The New Yorker, which seems to be doing better and mixing things up a bit in recent years, but still bores me with the kind of Jonathan Franzen-esque slice-of-suburbia or waspy-new-york-life they often publish. They should be required to publish something by George Saunders or exhibiting his kind of whimsy every other issue. Others that are hot, Metazen, Everyday Genius, Bartleby Snopes, Used Furniture Review.
Also, the criterion for hot was how much I like something right? And I mean me, Matt Rowan, specifically. I should hope my brand of solipsism is justified somewhere.
A rising star is Red Lightbulbs. Keep them in mind, jerks.
P.S. – to all who have mentioned Untoward in this thread, you truly are the real heroes.
Of the previously mentioned, dying to get into Caketrain, The Collagist, Annalemma, Black Clock, Copper Nickel, etc.
Of the not mentioned (I skimmed, so apologies if I missed these guys) Juked, Hobart, GUD, Bat City Review, Black Warrior Review, Cream City Review, Dark Sky Magazine, The Pinch, Versal, Needle, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Missouri Review, Metazen, Pear Noir!, etc.
Happy to see that I’m in a couple places mentioned here: PANK (online), Gargoyle, 3:AM, etc.