As some of you may know, UK postal charges have increased drastically in recent years. It seems very likely that year-on-year increases will continue for some time, making it too expensive to continue ST as a standard, postal subscription magazine. British government policy on postal charges seems unlikely to change.
Rather than doubling the subscription cost or simply closing down ST altogether, I have decided instead to 'migrate' the magazine to the print-on-demand site Lulu.com. This means that existing subscriptions to ST will come to an end (most by ST#23, next spring), and no more subscription reminders will be sent out.
I appreciate that not every ST reader is on line, and not everyone who is wants to buy the magazine via a website. However, I have to acknowledge the reality of the situation, which is that ST's very small print run (about 130 copies) means unit costs will always be pricey. Throw in delivery costs (i.e. me getting the magazine from Lulu) and the cost of postage to you, the reader, and I'm afraid the current approach makes no sense. I have, as some of you know, been unemployed for over a year, so subsiding the magazine to the tune of hundreds of pounds a year is not possible.
There is an upside to this decision - I will be able to increase the number of issues per year from two to three, as the costs I will be incurring* will be that much less. This, I think, constitutes a good deal for readers, and of course for writers who are eager to be published in ST.
* A £25 prize for the author of the story voted best in issue, free copies for all contributors, two or three review copies.