The New Yorker is considered to be the foremost literary magazine. The Paris Review is second. The Paris Review does not allow online only subscriptions and it is very expensive to buy mailed from France at about $50 dollars per year. There are only four issues of The Paris Review per year, because it’s a quarterly. The New Yorker gives more issues, but it’s printed on very thin paper that does not hold up long term. Old issues of the New Yorker are quite a bit decayed eventually becoming unreadable.
I do not want any physical books or magazines creating clutter in my life. I want everything to be online so I can store in my files. I don’t like reading physical books for so many reasons. It’s hard to hold book in my hands (due to hand pain and fatigue) I can not adjust the text size or the back lighting. I can not take notes, (passive reading only) do not like book with hand written notes in them.
So the whole genera of the short story is lost for me due to the constricted placed upon by fussy editors more worried about copyright infringement then having people actually find and read the stories or articles. Fires are burning all the planet. Physical paper items are not safe from fires or floods. Online cloud storage means my books, articles and notes are all saved in the cloud. Agree or Disagree? Leave a comment.
The New Yorker is almost acceptable as a Literary Journal as the price is not too steep and one merely recycles the magazines. But the online archive is too hard to use. Text can not noted and copied. I was not able to find articles I wanted in the New Yorker online index during the brief times in which I had a subscription. The index is unable to locate past articles I wished to revisit. And there is no way to save my own notes on the stories.
The Paris Review only allows a physical subscription. I don’t want magazines send to me from France for a high price. If they had online only access on a trial basis I could consider it, but I don’t have time to read fiction anyway, but I am interested in it. Still the burden of having to read (once one has paid for it) is kind of steep. I want handpicked stories, but I can’t find an editor or person who likes the kind of stories I like. This would be having a friend who reads a lot, knows what I like, and send any stories I would like my way.
Maybe the best model would be an ad supported free online depository of short fiction stories? If one found a story that they liked they could go and look for other works by that author. This would be the motivation for writers to submit. Unknown writers without agents would be allowed to submit. The submitted stories would be held under review and if accepted would be posted on the site so people could read them for free. The ads would be annoying and maybe even so off putting that the model could fail. What if an independently wealthy person (such as Elon Musk) created this website so the ads could be minimal or maybe reduced to a tolerable level? It would depend on the cost of maintaining the website vs. ad revue. Economics has a way of limiting or ruining creative possibilities. Ideally profit should not be the motivation for creating any kind of Art. Art needs to exist free from economic constraints. If the site became popular maybe users would be willing to pay a small price for access, but this needs to kept low in order that income level not exclude interested readers.