Locus Online is reporting that SciFi.com, the website of the SciFi Channel, has announced its intent to “discontinue Sci Fiction, the Hugo Award winning fiction site edited by Ellen Datlow, at the end of 2005.”
This is sad news for sf fans and authors alike.
Aside from the recent improvements the SciFi Channel has made with the airing of Battlestar Galactica, SciFiction was the one bright spot in an otherwise weak lineup of offerings. Sure, 24 hours a day is a lot of programming to fill, but seriously, SciFi Channel programming department, Interceptor Force 2? You have become the laughing stock of fanboys and fangirls who would gladly watch your shows if they contained even 1 measly ounce of quality. The one thing you did right was provide quality fiction via the Internet (The Wave of the Future!); fiction that not only won awards, but was increasingly the source of stories included in Year’s Best anthologies. It’s a damn shame you couldn’t find a business model that worked. I suspect your image will suffer more than the savings can buy back in publicity.
The creative team (read: non-executives) behind SciFiction should be commended for an outstanding job in bringing quality sf to the fore. Heck, even bringing us the classic stuff was a great win for the sf community.