Short Fiction Beat: The Last Talebones

Short Fiction Beat: The Last Talebones

109161121Talebones, a so-called semi-prozine published twice a year, is calling it quits with issue #39 , some 14 years from its debut in 1995. Details as to why editor/owner Patrick Swenson is ending publication are scant, other than this terse annnouncement. Featured fiction is by Carrie Vaughn, Cat Rambo, Marie Brennan, John A. Pitts, Aliette de Bodard, Jason D. Wittman, Patricia Russo, Don D’Ammassa, and Keffy R.M. Kehrli, with poetry by Joshua Gage, Ed Gavin, Darrell Schweitzer and G.O. Clark.

Here’s a review of an issue from quite awhile back.

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John ONeill

Hi David,

Wow. That is dark news. Talebones was one of the bright lights of the small press in this genre. I discovered it a decade ago at the insistence of Dave Truesdale, who was sick of my complaining about small press mags.

“Check out Talebones. You’ll change your mind,” he said. He was right.

For years Talebones published and promoted numerous authors who are now big names – including Carrie Vaughn, Mary Robinette Kowal, Vera Nazarian, Ken Scholes, and many others.

And 39 issues! That’s an eternity in the small press. They were as close to an institution as this field gets.

The loss of Talebones is a real blow.

– John

Bill Ward

Thirty nine issues is indeed an eternity. Long time readers (and buyers of back issues) will no doubt be familiar with the column at the close of every issue of the magazine that talks about the editor’s son that started when the boy was born — readers of the mag got to watch him grow up. Reinforces what a solid run the magazine had.

Special marks for the final cover — a stark white wrap-around featuring the name of every contributor to the 14-year run of the magazine.


My review of Talebones #36 (Spring 2008) – which included stories by Paul Melko, James Van Pelt, Dean Wesley Smith, and others – is archived at The Fix’s new location:

The print zine will be missed, but I believe Mr Swenson will still publish anthologies of great spec fic. Lyn

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