What are waylines? According to David Rees-Thomas and Darryl Knickrehm they are a phenomenon recently discovered by NASA. They elaborate on this with the rather cryptic quotation: ‘Waylines are the seams of the universe. They are its borders, where reality and fantasy collide, where the impossible comes true. And sometimes they split open. Sometimes, the unknown slips out.’

Cool. So what, then, is Waylines? Waylines is a new bi-monthly, multi-media, speculative fiction magazine. They are currently on the lookout for science fiction, fantasy, and horror fiction – writing with a bang that isn’t afraid to take a chance or play with genre and media.

Waylines aims to set itself apart from other SF magazines by delving into short film. Their goal is to release one short film with every issue of the magazine. For full submission details, for both writing and film, visit the Waylines website.

David and Darryl are also running a kickstarter campaign to get the magazine off the ground. Check out the kickstarter website to contribute to the magazine and secure an array of sweet pledge rewards, including subscriptions, limited edition publications, t-shirts and more.

Speakeasy recently caught up with David and Darryl to discuss the emergence of their new SF mag.

Speakeasy: Can you tell us a little about how Waylines came about, and what your goals are for the magazine?

David Rees-Thomas and Darryl Knickrehm (D&D): Waylines Magazine came about as the logical result of me, David Rees-Thomas, and Darryl Knickrehm (we are co-editors) getting together and talking SF/fantasy and all that jazz every week. We are both writers as well, and we know there are a ton of great writers out there. There is always room for another magazine to highlight their wonderful stories.

The idea grew as our weekly meetings became more dominated by the idea, and as we sounded out folk, who we trusted, about their opinions. We’re now on the verge of launching as a pro-rates paying market, which is our ideal.

I worked as the Managing Editor at Ideomancer prior to launching Waylines, and I learned so much about how to keep things from getting out of control (slush keeps rolling in even as you sleep) and also, about the absolute importance of respect, for our authors, and for the process. We aim to turn stories around quickly, especially if they are ones we are not interested in publishing. We also aim to make our editorial process as transparent as we can. If in doubt, query!

Darryl has a background in film, and art, and we are editing the magazine as a team. This is important for us. We trust each other’s opinions and each of us brings a different take on an individual story.

We are both big fans of mags like Clarkesworld, Asimov’s, Lightspeed, Shimmer, F and SF, Apex, Analog, Strange Horizons, and so on. Oh yeah, and, of course, Ideomancer! We’ve been inspired by all these guys, and we also want to do something just a little different by including film as well as fiction.

Here’s a link, where you can get more of a sense of what we’re about-


Speakeasy: Waylines is currently running a Kickstarter campaign. Can you tell us a little about the campaign, how it works, and how people can get involved?

Our aim is to pay our authors pro-rates for their fiction. To this end, we started a Kickstarter campaign. The aim is to raise money to complement the money we have put in ourselves. It is not just a donation though, as you are essentially buying products or services related to the magazine, such as subscriptions, t-shirts etc. Crowdfunding has become a viable and interesting method of getting numerous art projects off the ground.

Please feel free to take a look at the page, and the video. We only have 5 days left, so any help is hugely appreciated.

Speakeasy: I understand that you are currently accepting fiction submissions; can you talk a little about the kind of work that Waylines is looking for?

D&D: Great science fiction, fantasy, horror, and all the literature that hugs the edges. Honestly, that really does cover it. We like good space opera, and we like literary works. We are not quite as keen on flash fiction as some other markets perhaps, and we prefer stories that are not just one or two scenes, followed by a twist.

Aside from that, we are very open to submissions. We can promise a fast turnaround, and transparency of process.

Speakeasy: What sort of thing immediately turns you off of a submission? Conversely, what really draws you in?

D&D: We are not turned off by much. Violence, sexism, ageism, racism etc., which seems to have no purpose in the story except to make things ‘bad’ for a character is, for sure, a big issue.

Bad cover letters and bad formatting means you are doing yourself a disservice. Why bias the editors against your work, before they even get to the story? Check the internet, read the guidelines of the magazine, keep it simple.

Speakeasy: With a range of SF publications already available, how does Waylines aim to make itself stand out?

D&D: One important thing to note is that we see ourselves as joining a family of great magazines, and publications. We will be publishing short fiction, but we also aim to spotlight short genre film as well. This aspect of the magazine may take a bit more time to establish, but it’s something we feel adds an interesting dimension.

There is so much great speculative fiction out there, just itching to get published, so we can offer another platform for new and established authors.

We are also examining how we can use new media to broaden our audience, and that of speculative fiction as a whole.

Speakeasy: Can you tell us about the decision to publish short films, and what this multi media approach means for the magazine?

D&D: We wanted to take advantage of the digital format, because there’s so much more that can be done. Darryl’s been making films for years, and, ever since he organised and produced the Kansai International Film Festival, he’s been talking about all the short genre films out there that go unnoticed by a general audience.

We both figured the digital format of Waylines would be a perfect way to screen these films. So we thought, what better way to complement short stories than with short films?

Speakeasy: I understand issue one is due out in January 2013; what is next for Waylines? Are there any upcoming developments or opportunities you’d like to highlight?

D&D: Well, we plan on releasing six issues a year and we also plan on having an e-reader version which we will send to subscribers. This may be available through Amazon. We are always working on a business plan to carry Waylines forward, so that it is an enduring publication.

Speakeasy: Is there anything else you might like to mention?

Thank you for your questions.

Please visit us at Waylines!

Julian Thumm is a freelance editor and writer. He has degrees from The University of Queensland and The University of Adelaide. He has worked with the Australian Journal of Communication, The University of Queensland Press, and Corporate Communication International through The City University of New York. He is currently based in Brisbane.

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