From the pages of the Media Industry Newsletter:
Esquire, The New Yorker and Popular Science may be the last mass-circulation magazines regularly publishing fiction, which has become increasingly scarce outside of the literary niche titles. At PopSci, fiction is an August perennial and this month editor-in-chief Cliff Ransom and his team complemented print fiction by producing their first science fiction app for the iPad. “Peering into the future is our specialty,” says Ransom. “What better way than to combine a classic work with 2014 technology.”
First up is the late Isaac Asimov’s 1941 short story Nightfall. “This is considered the best from his early writing,” says Ransom. The story is the tale of a planet going from total illumination to total darkness. “The Asimov family gave us their complete support and the result is a graphic novel that gives readers a great visual.”
“The early feedback has been great, with the app selling briskly for $3.99. It also features short stories from Ann Leckie, Seanan McGuire and Will McIntosh,” says Ransom. “[McIntosh’s] Defenders is popular in its own right, as it may be turned into a movie.”
Making the app compatible with a smartphone, e-reader, Mac and PC are challenges still be overcome and Ransom says that a print special-interest publication is possible, too.
“A good page-turner is always in demand during the summer, and unlike tablets, magazines on the beach don’t have to be handled with care,” says Ransom.
Asimov was 72 years old when he passed away in 1992, but his literary trove is so vast that his short stories, novels, nonfiction and other formats are said to encompass 90% of the Dewey Decimal System. “We could go on forever with Asimov’s short stories,” says Ransom. “Nightfall was the 32nd written before he turned 22 and I have a feeling that the family wants to benefit from his legacy by producing graphic novels themselves.”
The Asimov family can wait to decide until 2062 because the typical copyright will not expire until 70 years after the death of the author.