25 March 2013

Free spanish magazines about fantastic literature


At last, here is the first post of the english version of ProseRage. Some time ago, when I started with the original spanish blog I had to document myself about what was going on around the fantasy, science fiction and terror literary genres in Spain and Spanish America. I was surprised to find out that there were quite a lot of projects, events, books and the publications I cover in this article: free digital magazines. So, what will you find here is a list of all the free magazines that are published in a digital format and are related to the genres I've specified a couple of sentences before. Ok, all the ones I could find at least, but I don't think I've missed anyone of them. Remember, all of them are free, and available in downloadable formats —pdf and epub mostly—. Just a few of them are given as html.

And what's about the cover illustration for this entry? I like to decorate my posts with nice pictures of professionals or amateurs with good drawing skills. This time it's a concept art made by Li Jia Tan for the Star Wars videogame The force unleashed II, something that explains the LucasArts logo on the top-right.

To make you clear how this listing is organized, I'll tell you that it's alphabetically ordered. Also I point out their current status, I mean, I've marked the ones that are still being published with a good pace with the ACTIVE word. The magazines with a hard-to-tell or erratic regularity are referenced with the unimaginative UNDEAD term, and if it has been a long while since they published a new issue I'll cross them out with the DEAD adjective. Moreover, all my opinions made about these publications are based upon their latest issues available, and more related to their visual and edition aspects —it's impossible for me to read all this material. I have to say, too, that I chose not to include a very few titles —one I think— which didn't have any issue available online.

Alfa Eridiani
ALFA ERIDIANI
ACTIVE
17 published issues.

This is one of the veterans. It's first number appeared in 2002 and keeps going on. A new number appears every six months, so the 18th won't arrive until may. It's focused in the publishing of science fiction related contents and it's contributors are essentialy fans of the genre. It's a bit misleading to find a link referred to the selling of ebooks, but in my inspection I've found the contents of the issues completely accesible through the google docs service (it's the link they provide). I supposse that you'll have to pay for the epub and pdf versions of them. The edition work is sober but very clean and pleasant enough for reading. Too, there is the Erídanos supplement which I think it's made with a broader scope than the main publication. In the Alfa Eridiani's blog you'll also find other related contents, like news and ebooks.

Axxón Portada 240
AXXÓN
ACTIVE
240 published issues.

This is truly a survivor, and a pioneer too. At least it's what they tell about the publication's history. Nowadays it's a magazine published straight in it's own web, with contributors from many countries and a monthly regularity. The oddest thing about this publication is it's format and edition style. When they announce a new issue, this doesn't mean that it will be a finished product. They add contents, these being short stories, articles or interviews, through the related month. That is, until the month is ended, the issue is not closed. Axxón is offered in several mediums, but I've evaluated just the web version. Don't expect technical wonders, the contents are published in quite simple but well formatted web pages. All in all, it's a good amusement and a small piece of history.


CYGNUS
DEAD
5 published issues.

More than dead, it should be classified as fossilized. It's first number dates back to 1986, while the last is from 1994. It was edited only in paper although, some time later, its contents were recovered and published on internet. I cannot say anything about their literary quality but that the digital format chosen for them it's extremely simple and not quite fitting for reading. The association responsible for this publication, UBIK, is still active I think. If you feel curious about the association's history or it's publications, go to this article (in spanish).


COSMOCÁPSULA
ACTIVE
4 published issues.

This magazine remained stalled for a long while but, in the end, resurrected. They renewed it's web and have been able to make up to four issues. The publication's style is similar to Axxón's. That's it, they don't publish everything at once but they keep on adding contents to the issue until it's correspondent period expires. For instance, the fourth number will be closed on the 31th of this month of march. This way they bring out directly onto it's web, like blog posts, fantastic stories and other related contents like essays or articles. The texts's chosen format is appropriate, simple and readable.

DIASPAR
UNDEAD
6 published issues.

Diaspar caught my attention when I knew about it's existence. With quite a colorful format that reminded me the videogaming magazines I read in the 1990s, it offers a diverse content. News, interviews, comics and stories all of them exhibited with a not too fortunate edition. The way used to distribute the text in very narrow columns and the ill-adjustment to margins weights the whole. Since I've been unable to find a link that could lead to the download of the latest issue and I haven't located news about a seventh number, I've opted to sort this publication as undead. Nevertheless, take into account that the Diaspar's publishing rhythm appears to be around six months.


EL TEMPLO DE LAS MIL PUERTAS
ACTIVE
32 published issues.

I had my doubts about including this publication or not in the list, regarding it's exclusive focus on young and young adult literature. But the fact that it's just in that niche where more fantastic genres' novelties appear, and since they dedicate an entire section to fantasy, compelled me to insert this magazine here. What you'll find in it is a panoply of contents centered in news, reviews and interviews. The layout is not complex but tends to illustrate the offered text with photos, apart from decorate pages in a different way depending on it content's matter. They write much more about non-spanish written literature, maybe because it sells more, but there are articles and news about spanish written works too.


FANzINE
ACTIVE
3 published issues.

This is one of the most recent to appear in the fantastic literature's scene. Focused in terror and science fiction, brings quite a handful of stories, poetry and some articles on each issue. They have a good line-up of contributors and shows a decent edition work. As a curiosity I'll note that the stories published on each issue are —or, at least, the ones from the last one—, too, published in the publicatión's blog. Yes, I see this magazine as something recommendable to read. Moreover, it's published monthly. Let's hope it'll last.


FUTUROSCOPIAS
ACTIVE
2 published issues.

Science fiction stories, that's it's subject, and sobriety in the edition, it's signature. Until now, it's two only issues share a simple and elegant edition style. The narrations's texts are exposed in an absolutely correct and worthy of reading two-columns format. Even, every story comes preceded by an illustration, something that spices the whole thing up. It has an (almost) annual regularity so, with luck, this spring will bring another issue of this magazine. By the way, I must admit that they have a very well designed and fitting web for the magazine.


GACETA DE UBIK
DEAD
24 published issues.

Another project from the UBIK association, also ancient history. This way I leave here this curious reference, since they've took the trouble of recovering some of it's contents. It was published between 1988 and 1999 in paper, but I suspect that the new web technologies which were starting to appear on those years killed the publication.


HÉLICE
ACTIVE
15 published issues.

Among all magazines mentioned here, Hélice is the most technically-oriented of them all. You won't find stories in it, only research articles, essays and comparable texts that try to look into the nature and winding paths of what they call speculative fiction —science fiction to friends. The group in charge of this magazine is the Asociación Cultural Xatafi, but they count on several contributors who write from different places of the world. Their edition without flourishments and a remarked academic character makes this publication something difficult to read for people with no knowledge of the genre dealt with here. But if you give it a chance, maybe you'll get surprised with what Hélice can provide to the ones who approach it.


IANUA MYSTICA
ACTIVE
5 published issues.

Don't worry about neither the magazine's name, nor the cover of it's latest issue. This is not some sort of paranormal publication. This is a literary magazine up to it's last page, although with an edition style that reminds me to some publications that you can find on the street —a point in it's favor, of course. Inside of it you'll find stories, diverse articles and more —even ads. As far as I could see, this is a very good reading option which deserves a look.


IMAGINARIOS
DEAD
15 published issues.

To my surprise, this magazine will end with the launching of the march issue of this year (2013). That's the reason why I've marked Imaginarios with the fatal status of demise. At least we'll have, for a while, all the published numbers available in the Issuu platform. I'll describe in past tense this publication, because of it's inminent extintion. It was a magazine that stood out thanks to it's polished and prodigal in illustrations or photos appearence. Further, it didn't had many stories in it, but in it's pages could be found reviews or articles and news about the novelties that would appear through the trimester which each issue covered. Those contents weren't just about literature, but films, comics and videogames. It can be read nowadays without problem, even the novelties that are no more can make you remember titles that you thought to try but forgot later.


LA PLAGA/THE PLAGUE
DEAD
7 published issues.

Internet hides, in dark corners that only an automated search system dares to bring to light, oddities that few could believe possible to be found. The Plague is one of them. With an irregular edition, where backgrounds with colours that harden the reading were applied, this short fanzine series had a selection of stories, poetry and some articles. I won't value the contents themselves, but I'll tell you in advance that the visual aspect of this publication is far from pretty —the first issue in particular. For sure, I've seen worst things. Remark done too over the fossil that is the web where the seven pdf files of the publication are linked, it's quite surprising for me the fact of it being still active. Maybe the people of The Dreamers don't remember it anymore... Or they care for it with the affection someone could have to the first model done as a child. In the end, don't expect a wonder. You've been warned.


LOS ZOMBIS NO SABEN LEER
ACTIVE
12 published issues.

Just the cover for the twelveth issue of this magazine is a statement, apart from the name of the domain where it's webpage is hosted. Los zombis no saben leer is focused exclusively in the publishing of pulp-themed stories. That's it, they can be anything but always with that imperfected demeanour, adventurous and mind busting attitude which defined those stories in their golden days. There are barely any illustrations among the narrations. A comic strip can be found too but, as I already written, this publication is heavily centered in print short written pulp narrations. Sometimes in parts even. The edition is nice and with the detail, in the pdf version, of having applied in all pages a background that make them look aged and sinisterly stained with blood on its borders. In the web they offer, too, a couple of supplements and the epub version of all the published issues. I must warn you, it looks like they don't restrain themselves in their works, something that I find wonderful.


LUPUS IN FABULA
ACTIVE
4 published issues.

I have the little suspicion that this four-monthly magazine is the heir —or replacement— of Imaginarios. It's a publication focused on fantasic genres but it's take on it is with a variety of contents. Articles, reviews, news, illustrations and some stories fill it's well designed pages. So to speak, the definition of a modern magazine. I don't think it'll dissapoint you at all.


MINATURA
ACTIVE
124 published issues.

Here's another truly veteran, the digital magazine miNatura. Known too for its short stories and poetry competitions —and the anthologies they publish with the selected texts—, it's a publication that dedicate entire issues to one genre or subject. Sometimes it happens to be some science fiction (robots, space travels), sometimes terror (vampires) or pure fantasy (epic, angels). I don't mean that they only publish stories, they pour interviews and related articles into each issue too. It can be easily worked out that they like to bring diversity to the magazine. Likewise, they insert related illustrations to the texts, but the layout is not as good as it could be expected from a publication with such a long career. Don't misunderstand me, it's perfectly readable and it has a good aspect but it lacks those details in its visual design that could make it to stand out much more. Although maybe it doesn't truly need it.


NECRONOMICÓN
ACTIVE
23 published issues.

If you already thought that I didn't had any other rarity to show you, think again. Here's another one, also related to the UBIK association, but focused in terror. Among it's characteristics is the fact of being another veteran —it started it's irregular history back in 1993—, the extreme shortness of all of it's issues —two or three short stories each, with an editorial and a introduction of each author— and the utter impossibility of predicting when will appear a new issue. All of this gives to Necronomicón a special charm. Furthermore, I read a couple of the stories found in one of the latest numbers and I found them interesting —and well edited too. Give it a chance, it won't take too much time to read all of the issues in one go.


¡NO LO LEAS!
ACTIVE
171 published issues.

They have balls in this magazine, because there is no other way to explain how did they publish 171 issues at a weekly pace with almost no break. Now, does it deliver enough quality? Regarding the edition itself I have to say that is simple but correct for reading, besides they offer several file formats to choose. Well, I suspect that the texts don't receive a decent revision period. Not just at an orthographic level but more regarding the stories, dialogs and other related trifles. On the other hand, be aware that they offer their stories on instalments. In every issue they offer a part of a chapter of every story and, to the one that ends, all it's pieces are collected together in one single edition. Overall, it looks like they have it well organized and offer a product worthy of reading. Another thing, of course, is that you like what they narrate...


NM
ACTIVE
27 published issues.

First thing, I think, should be explaining that curious name. It seems that this publication is the continuation of another one that was called Nuevomundo. NM, then, it's just an acronym of that previous one. It's not as old as others already mentioned in this list, but it already has several years. It appeared in 2006 and has endured there, something that is very commendable. On each issue they offer a selection of fantastic stories, soberly edited in two columns. This is made up for with impressive and full of quality covers, at least the few I've seen looked that way to me. The good thing about a simple edition, not just in this case but in others, is the small size of the pdf files available. This is a quarterly magazine and they inform about new issues in this blog.


PLANETAS PROHIBIDOS
ACTIVE
6 published issues.

The magazine shares it's name with it's responsibles' web, Planetas Prohibidos —and yes, it's too a homage to the classic science fiction film Forbidden Planet. On each number is offered a chosen batch of articles and stories that sometimes, some of them, are focused to a concrete subject. For instance, in number five they were centered around the work of Lovecraft and the issue before was a tribute to the deceased Ray Bradbury. This way, you can expect contents related not only to science fiction, but fantasy or terror. They offer some comic strips and illustrations that go with the texts. The design is done in two columns over fair and sometimes illustrated backgrounds, although without embellishments. It can be read well and seems to offer a lot of contents, although I'm not sure about it's periodicity —it appears to be six-monthly but I'm not sure.


PORTALCIENCIAYFICCIÓN
ACTIVE
1 número publicado.

This is a very recent project, started on february of this year (2013). In their first and, for now, only issue offer stories and articles all of them focused on science fiction. The texts are distributed in two columns, although the designer has played a bit with that layout. There are a lot of illustrations and pages with decorated backgrounds but reading the contents is never hindered by it. The truth is that it seemed to me a good beginning for this magazine from the Portal Ciencia y Ficción web. Let's hope they keep doing it this way —or improve it even.


SCI·FDI: REVISTA DE CIENCIA FICCIÓN
ACTIVE
7 published issues.

Coming straight from an academic environment, this magazine with a quite odd title is published every six months by people from the Facultad de Informática de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid. It contains stories, essays, reports and interviews which can be told apart thanks to a colour code applied alternatively to the left and right margin of every page. Well, it's this way in the last issue, I haven't checked previous ones. With the classic two-columns allocation they hand out the texts in the magazine, but with no illustrations at all. However, it doesn't have a dull design and it's easy to read —that's what matters in the end.


UBIKVERSO
UNDEAD
4 published issues.

By the name I think you'll already imagine who are the ones responsible for this publication —yes, the UBIK association again. With a complete uncertainty about it's regularity, is very hard to tell if there's going to be a new issue in the near future or not. Still, I can tell you that this is a magazine devoted completely to publish science fiction and fantasy stories. Using an extremely simple layout, although correct, they expose the narrations in it's pages. These, moreover, have been increased in number with the passage of time, due more to the growth in lenght of the stories they've been including in each issue. In short, I won't dare to call this a rarity, but it's quite close.


ULTRATUMBA
ACTIVE
23 published issues.

With a name like that we're not expected to be dealing with a publication versed in pretty and colorful things. This is it, in this magazine there's place just for the sinister, the gothic and the supernatural. Although not just in black and white. In addition to offer terror stories, articles and similar texts, this monthly publication stands out thanks for it's photo galleries. On each issue there is always one at least, usually with some model who wants to contribute posing dressed with some kind of clothing related to the themes covered in Ultratumba. Don't be afraid and dare to enter in the dark ins and outs of this magazine. It won't leave you indifferent, almost sure.


TEMPLUM
ACTIVE
5 published issues.

This is the little surprise I was saving for the end. The Templum magazine is not about literature, not by a light year. It's theme is the art of digital illustrations and truly embraces it absolutely right. Each page contains a good sample of the craft that are capable the artists included on each issue. In fact, I wasn't surprised to find some names that I already knew when this publication started. With a design that gets in your eyes effortlessly, it's a good place to go if you are a writer and are looking for inspiration. Even more, they interview the artists —who are from around all the world—, offer complete tutorials and have an english edition of every issue published. You won't tell me this doesn't sound interesting.

The last thing I'd like to say is that I hope that all that many magazines that are listed here as ACTIVE, keep being that way through many years to come. Later it's a bit messy to remember to update this damned list...

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