Your magazine feels deeply science-fictional to me, though it doesn’t exactly define itself that way, because it showcases real people who are working on the sorts of art and inventions that seem to belong within the realm of fantasy and SF. We tend to think of such creations as imaginary or futuristic, but they’re actually happening all around the planet. You even dig up the oddest artifacts from the distant past! How do you find all these artists, musicians, mad scientists, writers, and fringe people making fantastical things? What do you look for? What pulls them all together as belonging under the Coilhouse masthead?
NL: All sci-fi worlds are really alternative cultures to our own. Sci-fi was always the first place where progressive ideas got tested. It was a “safe” way to introduce such ideas to a larger mainstream audience, and our culture’s slowly but surely catching up. Good sci-fi still exists to question the taboos, inequalities and problems of our culture. Genderbending, magic, atheism, polyamory, alternative family structures – everything that the religious right fears the most also happens to be the stuff of great science fiction. The people who enjoy science fiction and say “this is the world I want to live in” – that’s us, that’s the majority of our readers. That’s why it was important for us to kick off Issue 01 with a piece by Samuel Delany, an excerpt from an upcoming novel about a utopian community for gay black men, and why we continually interview science fiction creators and come back to science fictional themes in the art and fashion we cover. It’s no coincidence that so much of “weird/alternative fashion” is very futuristic, very much inspired by costume design from films like Dune and Blade Runner (which, in turn, were inspired by underground/punk fashion of the time). It’s just another way for all of us to signal to one another: “Let’s see how far we can take our existence here, to remake the world in our image.”
Last week, Wired announced that it had sold 24,000 copies of its iPad app within the first day of its release. According to the Epicenter blog, Wired’s one-day sales eclipsed the total sales of the July edition of the Popular Science app, which has sold just 18,000 total apps since launching alongside the iPad back in April. At a $4.99 price tag, Wired’s app has quickly earned publisher Conde Nast nearly $84,000 after Apple’s 30% cut on AppStore purchases.
Similarly, the blog Mobile Entertainment reported today the The Financial Times, a London-based newspaper, has sold 130,000 copies of its iPad in the first two weeks. This figure is already more than one-third of the 350,000 iPhone apps the Times has sold since its launch nearly a year ago in July of 2009. The other surprising fact is that the Financial Times’ iPad app has only been on sale in the U.S. and has yet to launch in the U.K. where the paper is published.
Is this a clear sign that the iPad has changed the way people think about reading on a mobile device? Is the smaller size of the iPhone screen to blame for poorer sales versus the iPad? Or has the iPad novelty still yet to wear off? According to Mobile Entertainment, The Financial Times’ Stephen Pinches estimated that 2010 would be the first year the publication makes more from content than from advertising – a startling revelation in the publishing industry.
Richard Metzger called 21C his favorite magazine of the 90s and “The most unabashedly intellectual and forward-thinking journal that I have ever seen, anywhere.” Editor Ashley Crawford joined the magazine in 1990 when the magazine was still a publication of Australian Commission For The Future “a comparatively short-lived governmental entity.” Ashley took the magazine international with the help of publishing house Gordon & Breach in 1994. The magazine continued in this form until 1999. After a short lived online revival helmed by Paul D. Miller (aka DJ Spooky) in the early 00s, the magazine went back into long-term hiatus.
Now it’s back in a new digital form. Ashley was kind enough to answer a few questions about the magazine’s past, present, and future for the inaugural Mediapunk interview.
You can read the magazine online here or follow them on Twitter here.
On May 11, Lauren Marcello, the assistant general counsel at CBS sent a cease and desist letter, noting that “CBS is the owner of the rights in the award-winning news magazine televison series, ‘48 Hours,’ and its companion series, including ‘48 Hours Mystery,’” adding later in the letter, “your use is unlawful and constitutes trademark infringement, dilution and unfair competition …” along with a lot of other complicated, vaguely threatening legalese.