Questions? Thoughts? Contact Far Sector SFFH—click. NOTE: Sharpwriter.com and Far Sector SFFH are closed, with SWC now only a subfolder at Clocktower Booksl. Please do enjoy these writings. Author contracts remained in place and they continued to be paid until the final closing of Fictionwise.com in 2012. The final paychecks went out in February 2013, shortly after we received closing statements from Barnes & Noble (which had bought out Fictionwise in their final two years)..
Closed—Now A Museum Site, But Enjoy. Click the red Clocktower Books logo at left to return to our central directory. Clocktower Books, online since 1996 and a pioneer in e-books and Internet publishing since 1996, continues to deliver "exciting fiction for avid readers" as our logo has declared since the dawn of the World Wide Web.
Sorry, We Are Closed After a Wonderful Decade-Long Run. [Note: please pardon any broken links.] Until late 2012, when Barnes & Noble closed Fictionwise, you were able to read dozens of great sf/f/h speculative & dark fiction stories at our dedicated Fictionwise.com pages (defunct as of late 2012). Clocktower Books and Far Sector SFFH had their own dedicated page in addition to special hosted author pages and individual stories.
Payment: Historical Note. Deep Outside SFFH (1998-2001) began before Web commerce and is still online as such. We paid authors the professional SFWA wage up front, and published their stories free to read (since there was no e-commerce yet). With the switch to Far Sector SFFH (purely a continuation of the same magazine) we initiated a revolutionary (for magazines) new pay plan, with a small advance to the author, plus royalties ongoing for the duration of Fictionwise.
We published some of the most compelling web-original fiction from the Internet Platinum and Golden Ages when digital publishing was still embryonic, and anything seemed possible.
About Our Fiction. While many of the original Deep Outside SFFH stories remain online to be read for free (since before e-commerce), our stories at Far Sector SFFH went offline with the closing of Fictionwise.com by Barnes & Noble in late 2012. Some have found their way to other publishers, including anthologies, printed or digital. When we launched Far Sector SFFH in 2001 (as the continuation of Deep Outside SFFH, we innovated a dramatic new publishing model for short stories. All too often, we observed print magazines that launched with hooplah, lasted for one or two issues, and folded. It seemed that usually, these magazines were a collaborative effort of authors, who passed the hat around, and then the magazine pretended to pay them—a chronic dilemma we sought to avoid at all costs. Using new possibilities online, we developed a successful pay model that allowed us to stay in business as long as our retailer did (which was closed by B&N in 2012, or we'd still be in business). We paid the author a small advance on royalties, and no longer paid the SFWA professional rate (anyway pointless since they refused to acknowledge our existence, for reasons they can explain to history themselves). Forging these new trails, we paid authors regularly and faithfully 50% of the revenues we received from Fictionwise (which kept 50% of the list price). The money was peanuts for all of us (true of most category fiction) but the model worked. Proof of this was not only our long run, but the fact that major authors including several Nebula/Hugo/Sturgeon nominees or awardees (e.g., former SFWA Director Dr. Andrew Burt, Melanie Tem, Tim Pratt, SFWA Regional Director Linda Dunn, Dennis Latham, Deborah Cannon, Priscilla Y. O'Brien, the late Nebula-awardee Pat York, Ted Kosmatka, and many others) signed up with us—the highest tribute possible, far more than recognition by any establishment servomat whose Backwardians still subscribe to a 1930s print paradigm by which they were once Futurians, long ago). Today, the Far Sector SFFH stories are history since Fictionwise was, by design, our sole outlet. The authors too have moved on, but the glory remains. We were pioneers together.
About Far Sector SFFH. We originally launched as Outside: Speculative & Dark Fiction on 15 April 1998, and (after death threats from a backpacking magazine) renamed ourselves Deep Outside SFFH in the fall of that year. With the end of Ellen Datlow's Event Horizon website, we became (and remained until our closing in January 2007) the world's oldest professional, web-only magazine of speculative and dark fiction (or sf/f/h). For unprofessional reasons at SFWA, we were not recognized by SFWA—yet we paid professional rates, obeyed all of their rules, and published a considerable number of Hugo/Nebula/Sturgeon award winners and/or nominees during our nearly decade long run. We were also known for the kindest 'pass' slips in the industry, and for publishing a large number of unknown authors&including a few, like Ted Kosmatka, whose distinguished careers we helped launch. We are, in a nutshell, a solid part of Internet publishing industry that will forever remain historical milestones (for a number of reasons). For more information on our history, see the Clocktower Books Museum.
About Our Team. The original magazine was launched on 15 April 1998 by John T. Cullen and Brian Callahan, who were also publishers together of Clocktower Books, which had been launched in 1996 (April-Neon Blue Fiction (suspense); July-The Haunted Village (sf/df/h); Fall-Clocktower Fiction (umbrella for the previous two; early name of Clocktower Books). Traces of Clocktower Books' early pubs can be found scattered on line still today, including a few at the Wayback Machine. Brian left to launch, with his wife Gwen, their highly successful New Orleans and later Portland, OR based graphics firm Sighco.com. John T. Cullen has been, since 2001, sole proprietor of Clocktower Books and its imprints.
Artist, author, and musician A. L. Sirois was on board from the beginning until the very end in 2007. Author and critic John K. Muir wrote a brilliant and insightful column for years. Author, comedian, and musician/singer Dennis Latham contributed for many years, especially as a columnist and reader. Author and SF historian/critic Shaun Farrell made a vital contribution, interviewing many of the historically great authors and newcomers of the SF/F/H categories for Far Sector SFFH. Gwen and Brian Callahan were leaders in selecting many of the short stories for Deep Outside SFFH. Many good friends across the Internet offered advice, help, and support over the years. All of it is deeply appreciated, and lives on beyond the moment of its doing or creation.