Top 10 Science Fiction Magazines

in Articles On Writing/Lists for writers

Top 10 Science Fiction Magazines

In creating our Top 10 Science Fiction Magazine list, we used 3 main factors to decide what we feel are the best magazines out there. 1. We looked at the popularity of the magazine. 2. We looked at the awards the magazine has won. 3. We looked at how long the magazine has been publishing. If you check around the web and in your local library or a neighborhood used book store you might be lucky enough to run across an old pulp science fiction magazine from the “golden age.” You’ll also notice that there are many more defunct science fiction magazines out there than science fiction magazines that are currently in publication.

This list was very difficult to put together, and we do not think it is perfect. We have tried to put high quality science fiction magazines on this list. We’ve found that the amount of professionally published science fiction magazines in publication are too few to make this list a completely professional list, so we’ve picked what we felt were the best professional and the best fanzines. We did not want them to be transient, but the market for science fiction magazines is tough. Many people love scifi, but too few support the publications. The following list is our Top 10 Science Fiction Magazines publishing today. You’ll find that some of these websites aren’t the most aseptically pleasing, but the print publications behind them are. We hope you find this list helpful. All of these magazines have worked hard to keep science fiction writing alive.  If you have a comment you can post it in the comments.
1. The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction 

This is a professional magazine that began publishing in 1949 which makes it the second oldest continually publishing science fiction magazines in the country. They have one up on the oldest however, popularity. The publication is tremendously popular. It is the most widely read science fiction magazine in the country. It is consistently outstanding and publishing outstanding authors like (from their site) “Stephen King’s Dark Tower, Daniel Keyes’s Flowers for Algernon, and Walter M. Miller’s A Canticle for Leibowitz.” This magazine is the cream of the alien crop.” Fantasy & Science Fiction magazines represents all of what’s best in science fiction today. The publication has an Alexa rating of about 135,000.


2. Analog Science Fiction and Fact

This is a professional magazine that began publishing started publishing 1930 and is as they say “often considered the magazine where science fiction grew up.” They do it very well and have published many outstanding science fiction authors including “Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, Poul Anderson, Spider Robinson, Lois McMaster Bujold, and Michael F. Flynn.” The publication is the oldest science fiction magazine in the country, and they are consistently nominated for award after award. This publication has done an unequivocal job over the last 80 years of keeping great science fiction writing alive in print. They have an Alexa rating of about 691,000.

3. Asimov’s Science Fiction 

This is a professional magazine that began publishing began publishing in 1977 and is simply a high quality science fiction magazine that showcases some of the best in science fiction today. They publish great authors and the publication is one of the best science fiction magazines ever published, hands down. They have an Alexa rating of about 304,000,

4. Strange Horizons 

Began publishing in 2000. They are a very popular online science fiction magazine. In 2007 they were nominated for a Hugo award. Works from their issues are consistently chosen for inclusion in many national anthologies. They are a science fiction magazine of the best kind. Strange Horizons represents where science fiction magazines are going in the future. The publication has an Alexa rating of about 200,000.

5. Space and Time Magazine  
Space and Time Magazine began publishing in 1966. They publish high quality speculative fiction, and they have been doing it for a long time. The magazine publishes 4 times a year.

6. Interzone 

Began publishing in 1982. They are the longest running science fiction magazine in the UK. They have published many greats including: “Brian Aldiss, Sarah Ash, Michael Moorcock, Bruce Sterling, William Gibson, M. John Harrison, Stephen Baxter, Iain M Banks, J.G. Ballard, Kim Newman, Alastair Reynolds, Harlan Ellison, Greg Egan,” and many more. They are an outstanding magazine that has fought the odds to keep science fiction alive. Has an Alexa rating of about 1.4 million.

7. Weird Tales 

Weird Tales began publishing in 1923. They stop publishing a couple of times and started again in in 1988 and was “revamped” in 2007. They are currently publishing speculative fiction.

8. GUD 

GUD is a publishes genre fiction, poetry and much more. Check them out, if you haven’t read them already.

9. Challenger 

Was established in 1993. They have been nominated for a Hugo award many times. They work hard to publish great science fiction. The publication has an Alexa rating of about 6.1 million.

10. Clarkesworld Magazine

Clarkesworld is the newest magazines on our list established in 2006, but the magazine came on in a blaze of glory. They have won many many awards in the science fiction world, and they publish a yearly chapbook of all the stories that have appeared in their magazine. Clarkesworld is where we hope science fiction magazines are going. It is professionally done, full of outstanding science fiction writing, and devoted to creating a presence on the web and in the real world. Everyone science fiction writer trying to publish their stories should give series consideration to this magazine. They have an Alexa rating of about 1.1 million.

Richard Edwards has a BFA in Creative Writing and Journalism from Bowling Green State University and an M.S. in Education from the University of Akron. Managing editor of Drunk Duck, poetry editor for Prairie Margins, reporter for Miscellany, Akron Journal, Lorain Journal...check our About Us page for more. Also here is info on our On Classic Articles

4 Comments

  1. Beneath Ceaseless Skies publishes fantasy which most people consider a subgenre of speculative fiction (or visa versa). Nonetheless it’s an SFWA-approved qualifying market for aspiring SF authors.

  2. Thanks, but I’m unsure why you claim there are so few professional SF magazines that you had to include so many fanzines or semi-pro journals (which pay writers poorly or not at all) on this “ten best” list.

    I believe there are a lot more quality SF publications out there. The list below includes publications that are SFWA (Science Fiction Writers of America) approved, that is, pay professional rates of six cents or more per word (several magazines pay as high as twelve cents a word). Their stories also appear frequently in annual “best of” anthologies and/or are nominated or win prestigious annual awards.

    Tor.com
    Beneath Ceaseless Skies
    Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show
    Nightmare
    Lightspeed
    Uncanny
    Fireside
    Gamut
    Daily Science Fiction
    Apex
    Subterranean

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