Tuesday, November 9, 2010

365tomorrows: Online Flash Fiction Zine Review

So I was browsing flash fiction online zines, seeking something of interest: then came the thought, "I've submitted to 365tomorrows, read the stories, read the About section, like the zine . . . and the only reason I'm not reviewing is because I have a story submitted with them?

Hmmmmmmm . . .

Okay, I won't send an email telling the zine about my review until after the editors respond to my story. That seems a reasonable balance between sucking up and allowing myself to write about a zine I like.

From the About page: "365 tomorrows is a collaborative project designed to present readers with a new piece of short science and speculative ‘flash’ fiction each day. Launched August 1st 2005 with the lofty goal of providing a new story every day for a year. We’ve been on the wire ever since."

I really like the visual 1950's vibe this zine provides with black and white images and satellite dishes. Rampant raygunners and mad motorcycle gogglers. Fedoras and femme fatales. (See Writers section.)

According to URL Dogg, "365tomorrows.com gets about 4,585 pageviews per day."

Kathy Kachelries is listed as "Founder and Staff Writer" on the byline of the 365tomorrows' article "What Is Flash Fiction?" The article is framed by Stephen R. Smith, "Site Admin and Staff Writer."

Daily sci fi fare is a combination of submitted stories and stories written by staff writers. It is a labor of love and a business. (URL Dogg states that the site "earns an estimated $13.76 daily" and is the 238,639th most visited site on the internet.")

The site is capricious, utilitarian (think "cold steel in outer space"), and literary: a wonderful combination.

If you submit flash fiction to 365tomorrows, be sure the word count is 600 or fewer. 
"Legal breakdown: When your story is accepted, you're giving us first electronic publication rights and non-exclusive subsequent publication rights. This means that we get to be the first to publish your story, and then, after it's been put up on the website, we can stick it in a printed book or on a flyer or something of the sort, as long as we give you credit. We don't, however, own your story. After it goes up, you are free to sell it for millions of dollars or cut a movie deal without needing our approval, as long as the people who buy it know that they're buying it non-exclusively."
The site includes a forum, podcast capabilities, and a news link.

And, of course, the stories. Care to try one?
  • How about "Good Humor," by Eric Kimball
  • An audio podcast from Voices of Tomorrow called "Grandpa"
A last word from the online zine: "Flash fiction is, in my opinion, the next frontier in writing. With the world moving along at a breakneck pace, fewer and fewer people have time to read longer works, which some would argue is leading to a decrease in overall reading. Not true. People read more now than they ever have before: the internet is made for reading. That's why I started 365tomorrows: to make fiction for the internet generation."

There! A good pitch for an excellent online science fiction zine. And, of course, if they receive a Google Alert and read this review, I just hope the editors don't, in fairness, over-compensate and reject my story to demonstrate that I haven't swayed them with my Vulcan mind meld.

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Copyright 2010 by Thomas L. Kepler, all rights reserved


  1. Call me slow to the party, but I've only just found this review, only 5 years after it was written. It's very much appreciated, and after doing a little digging, I find that we did, in fact, post Tom's story without having any idea that he'd written such a wonderful review. You can read Tom's story here: http://365tomorrows.com/2011/01/01/in-the-beginning/

    1. Thanks for the feedback, Stephen. Your zine is a real labor of love. (And I'm glad you liked my story. I got a kick of how "In the Beginning" was published on January 1!