BLOG 10 ways to get more out of SFX

Free apps, plugs for your blog, a book club… Your favourite sci-fi website and magazine can do more for you, explains Dave Bradley

Typically webmaster Dave Golder posts a PURE GOLDER blog on a Tuesday but he’s taking a well-deserved break. So in his place, here’s SFX ‘s overlord Dave Bradley drawing your attention to some of the free services you may have missed… :

As our regular readers will know, SFX isn’t just this website or a monthly print edition – it’s your portal to the best in science fiction and fantasy. But are you making the most of it? If you only come here every now and again following an RSS link to a Fringe review or something, you’re missing out on the coolest bits of our community. Here are 10 ways in which SFX can help you get more from your sci-fi fandom.

1/ The SFX Sci-Fi Quiz App
We could rhapsodise about how it has over 1,000 questions, five different types of category with fiendish odd-one-out rounds, cute alien graphics and sound effects and so on… but let’s skip to the part where we tell you it’s completely free. That’s right, you can test your knowledge of sci-fi, fantasy and horror on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch and it won’t cost you anything. Get it here (or here if you’re in the US ) now, with our compliments.

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2/ Digital Samples
We all know it’s possible to subscribe to all our magazines digitally (through Apple Newsstand or Zinio for PC and Android users ). Did you also know there are free issues on offer? Over a million people downloaded the issue of Comic Heroes we gave away via Apple. Were you one of them? Don’t miss out.

3/ A Boost For Your Personal Projects
SFX is your magazine. Running for over 16 years in print, it’s still the world’s leading sci-fi and fantasy magazine, available on newsstands and in bookstores all over the world. So if you have a fanzine or a club or an event or a self-published comic you want to promote to other sci-fi fans, you should let us know about it. Email with details and you might get a shout-out in the latest issue. It gets you in front of tens of thousands of like-minded people. No, no, we’re happy to do it.

4/ Post Apocalypse
You don’t have to be promoting a pet project. If you just have something to say to the world and the comment thread below isn’t enough, write to the editorial team at SFX and we’ll print the most insightful letters in the magazine every month. It’s your personal soapbox and the world is listening. We’re thrilled to have one of the largest and most active letters pages of any monthly magazine we know. (And it’s not just a great platform; you can win too – to date we’ve given away scores of books and CD audiobooks to thank people for their contributions, in conjunction with our chums at Black Library .)

5/ The SFX Forum
The current incarnation of the SFX forum has been running since the autumn of 2005. It’s a vibrant place where SFX readers and assorted sci-fi fans go to swap stories and have a bit of fun. The editorial team also hang out there, so if you want to provide some immediate feedback on the latest issue, share your thoughts on your favourite TV show (there are even threads for non-sci-fi shows!) or simply moan about how your co-workers don’t understand your love of Buffy , bookmark this page now .

6/ Ask The SFXperts
Oo, what was the name of that TV show? I remember watching it with my dad. It had that bloke with the beard who ran that hardware store and when he drank a magic potion he went off into space with that woman, or something. (Answer: it was Kinvig .) If you can’t quite remember the name of a book, TV show, author, actor or film and Google just keeps suggesting The Twilight Zone (it was Kinvig , alright? Kinvig ) then write to us. Our famous Ask The SFXperts page can remember it for you wholesale.

7/ Your Collections
We know people love to collect. Whether it’s Stargate posters, anime costumes, trading cards, Star Trek autographs or Doctor Who action figures, we know you’ve got a garage full. Why not show it off to other readers? If you have an impressive collection of merchandise or memorabilia, we could send one of our professional photographers to your house, snap your collection and print an interview with you in the magazine. Simply send a few details and a quick digital snap to marked “Your Collections” and we’ll get back to you.

8/ Social Networking
It’s not even a novelty any more, everybody on the planet is connected via Facebook or Twitter . SFX is no exception and we’d love you to join us. We regularly do Facebook or Twitter exclusive competitions, we’ll answer quick questions about the mag, we’ll do shout outs for your charity work and we’ll do quick links to people, places or events you should know about. We might even tweet to remind you when the new series of your favourite show is starting on telly.

9/ The SFX Book Club
Why not read the classics of SF and fantasy literature with us? Doesn’t matter whether you’re a voracious reader who wants company, or a newcomer to literature who wants pointers on where to begin – the SFX Book Club is free and gives you genuine insight into the best books out there. Here’s how it works: each month we recommend a classic novel. We promise it will be one worth reading, perhaps one you really should have read. You can read it and share your comments with others on the forum, but that’s not even the best bit: we’ll also invite a top notch modern author to write a short essay about it, explaining some points of interest. We’ll print that in SFX magazine, and give all past Book Club articles away free as PDFs. Get reading!

10/ Your SFXtra Newsletter
Want something to read at the weekend? Get bonus SFX stories in your email inbox, for free, every Friday afternoon. The SFXtra newsletter is a fun digest of the best sci-fi “stuff” that’s happened over the last seven days, including exclusive competitions, quick links to all the news that matters, fun quotes, reminders and special offers. It’s a hoot and it’s free, just sign up here .

There you go, 10 ways to get more from your chums on SFX for free. We haven’t even begun talking about the competition pages on this site, deals on back issues of SFX and Comic Heroes (they were half price over Easter! Watch this space for more offers), our various affordable Kindle books ready for download, or the fascinating insights of our reader bloggers . Whatever you’re into, SFX is there sharing it with you! And somehow we find time to make an internationally renowned magazine as well: the new issue is out tomorrow. See you there!

Dave Bradley

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