5 Great Magazines to Read Wondrous Fantasy Stories

There’s nothing better than finding a great fantasy lit mag, is there? Read more for some suggestions!

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Literary magazines are great for many reasons, but one is that readers can find new writers they like — and most of the time, they can do this for free! One of the most popular genres is fantasy and fantasy literary magazines are a dime a dozen. But which ones are worth looking into? We’ve gathered a few we think are worth the read!

Beneath Ceaseless Skies

'Beneath Ceaseless Skies' issue cover showing tall rocks and a snowy landscape
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This is a non-profit online magazine that publishes literary adventure stories in either a second-world or historical supernatural setting, with a literary focus. Using more literary writing in fantasy has expanded the genre, and BCS works to emphasize these stories and even helped revive secondary-world fantasy as a good subgenre of fantasy stories. They have two stories per issue, which are published every two weeks. They are released as e-books, with select stories released on their podcast. The stories are free to read since the magazine is non-profit, and they rely on reader donations to keep in business.

Fantasy Magazine

'Fantasy Magazine' October 2023 issue showing four red wolves howling at a sun with water pouring out
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This online magazine focuses on all subgenres of fantasy, from dark fantasy to magical realism. Their stories are meant to make readers think, as well as to learn what makes us human. Unfortunately, they are no longer publishing issues due to financial reasons, with their last issue published in October. But their stories are still up and can be read for free on their website or bought as ebooks. Each issue includes two short stories, two flash fiction pieces, poetry, and a featured interview, essay, etc. There may not be new content, but their issues are still worth the read.

Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine

'Fantasy & Science Fiction' magazine September/October issue showing a rocket flying around a planet

This award-winning magazine originally published works such as The Dark Tower by Stephen King. The works can be lengthy — they accept works up to 25,000 words, which is the length of a novella — but they’re worth it. The issues include fiction from top fantasy and science fiction writers, opinions on science fiction books and films, and more. You do have to have a subscription, which can either be one or two years, and it costs more to have a subscription outside of the U.S.

Lightspeed

'Lightspeed' magazine showing someone with their face partially covered and running
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Lightspeed is a digital magazine that publishes fantasy and science fiction. It covers all subgenres within these two, from epic fantasy to folktales, to near-future to sociological science fiction. They have monthly issues with short stories, novelettes, and novellas from both established — such as George R. R. Martin and Ursula K. Le Guin — and new writers. You can read for free online or buy a subscription, individual ebooks, bundles, and/or paperbacks. (A twelve-month subscription would get you about 100 stories, which is around 700,000 words.)

Clarkesworld

'Clarkesworld' Issue 163 cover showing a large astronaut suit propped against mountains with two people walking toward it
IMAGE VIA CLARKESWORLD

Started in 2006, this magazine publishes science fiction and fantasy every month. Each issue has articles, six to eight fictional works, and interviews with the writers. They have won many awards, including the Fantasy and WSFA Small Press Awards. Their issues are published on their website for free each month, but you can also buy subscriptions at websites such as Clarkesworld Citizens to get them on ebooks or in print. (They also rely on donations, as they are a small publisher.)

There are many more wonderful literary magazines for fantasy, and it may be worth a quick Google search if you’re interested in more. Happy reading!


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