Toronto-based ChiZine Publications will be re-launching their online speculative fiction ‘zine, The Chiaroscuro/ChiZine.com, as well as creating the ChiHub, an online navigation page from which all things ChiZine will originate. The project will institute an upgraded, streamlined design for both ChiZine.com and the hub page, courtesy of CZP designer Erik Mohr and coder Barry King.
“We’ve been toiling at this behind the curtain for some time now,” remarks CZP Co-Publisher Brett Alexander Savory. “As both the magazine and publishing house grow — and they are, more and more every day — fine tuning our online presence and making everything more accessible becomes key. Thankfully we have an epic team to make it possible.”
The Chiaroscuro/ChiZine.com was first launched in 1997 by editor and published author Brett Alexander Savory, joined in 1999 by poet and editor Sandra Kasturi, in an effort to expand what Kasturi calls “the ever-shrinking world of Canadian dark literature.” The online ‘zine thrived with Savory and Kasturi at the helm, garnering a prodigious following for its unique content and free distribution model. It was in 2008, after considering the publication of a ChiZine anthology, that the pair decided to expand into print publishing with the launch of ChiZine Publications alongside the long-running ‘zine. “We’re pretty insufferable right now,” jokes Kasturi in the current issue of Rue Morgue. “We figured there’d be a small audience for what we’re trying to do, but the recognition has been a really great surprise. It’s like getting everything you ever wanted handed to you on a plate.”
Not only will this current launch set the groundwork for the future overhaul of ChiZinePub.com, what Savory is calling the “mega-issue” of ChiZine will feature heavily as well. The issue will contain nearly 200 short stories and poems from various spec-fic alumni, who have previously featured in the ‘zine, or were contest judges, including contributions from Neil Gaiman, Stewart O’Nan, Mike Carey, Elizabeth Bear, Jay Lake, Gary Braunbeck, Tom Piccirilli, Sarah Langan,Tim Lebbon, Bruce Boston, Marge Simon, and Robert J. Wiersema, just to name a few. It will also mark the start of ChiZine.com’s three-month donation drive, which aims to raise enough money for the magazine to continue publishing at its current rate of seven cents per word for short fiction and $10 per poem.