It’s with a sad (albeit understanding) heart that I pass on the message that ASif! is closing down.
What? You don’t know about Australian Speculative Fiction in Focus? The website that started eight years ago with a view to reviewing Australian works of speculative fiction, and – perhaps most intriguingly – aiming to give most works two reviews, thus giving context and a broader perspective? Well heck, get over to what I still consider to be the new site (although I think it’s been up and running on WordPress for, what, a year? two?) and browse their wares! It has long since branched out into international works as well as national – not least I think because that’s what was sent our way by publishers – but it is still pretty Australian-heavy. Plus, there are retro reviews from the old site, so you can see what we were thinking some years ago too!
… so yes, I say our. I’ve written reviews for ASif! for… I don’t know how long. Some years. I could probably go back and see when my earliest review was, but that might make me scared. Or cringe. Whatever, it has been a tremendous experience. I’ve been writing the odd review for very many years (back to high school), but this was the first time I got the chance to do it somewhat-regularly. More than that, thanks to the email list… well. I allowed myself to get roped into Last Short Story some fewer number of years ago, which in turn led to going to this thing called a convention, and – yeh. Galactic Suburbia would be a different beast if not for ASif; I wouldn’t be on it, for a start, since I wouldn’t know Alisa or Tansy (I would have heard of Tansy, of course, because I already had, but it would be a far-off fan-girling).
Anyway. It is certainly the right call for Alisa to have made; she has the most incredible number of calls on her time, and has had for as long as I have known her. It makes sense to tidy things, and projects should definitely have end-points rather than continuing on just because.
No more reviews after the end of this year. Vale, ASif!