My literary standards

The upcoming second issue is much like the first one, a mixture of styles. The proposed third issue is now about half full, and leans toward light SF combined with humour. This is a reflection of the sort of submissions I’ve been receiving.

Further more, it could be argued the majority of the material in the third issue, thus far, is rather old-fashioned. Well, so am I. I imprinted on such as Burroughs and Heinlein in my youth, and remain a sucker for anything resembling H.G. Wells or Lovecraft. Literary I ain’t. A ripping good yarn wins me over every time. I tend to be concept oriented. Idea driven is more important to me than character driven, though I do like offbeat characters.

On the other hand, I’m not opposed to “New Wave” or “Modern” SF, I just haven’t received many such stories yet.

Then again, there’s a much more diverse mixture of sub-genres in the poetry I’ve received, all of which I like.

And that’s the key, I publish what I like.

What do I like most? Probably the discovery of a derelict alien spaceship, artifact, or ruined city, with the human characters attempting to figure out what it all means. Yeah, that’s the ticket. The cover of issue #3, an evocative piece by M.D. Jackson, reflects this theme well nigh perfectly.

I’m not keen on internalized angst, in other words. I prefer characters resolved to struggle against the odds and win in the end, even if they have to make sacrifices and achieve only a partial victory. Failure is an option, but only if it is extremely interesting. Or, even better, intriguing.

I guess I’m really a twentieth century sort of reader, leaning toward the kind of speculative fiction which stirred my wonder as a teenager half a century ago. But I have eclectic tastes. Polar Borealis may surprise you yet.

Meanwhile, Eric Chu polished up his cover for issue #2 (for which I thank him for putting in the extra effort–it’s a great cover!), adding detail, making the image crisper, and changing the publication date to July/August. That be more in line with reality, methinks.

The message of the cover, of course, is that there ARE squids in space! Isn’t that cool?


Horror-themed special issue upcoming

I am planning an issue, possibly #4 in 2017, centred around the Horror Genre. Horror sub-genres include: Alternate History, Dark Fantasy, Gothic, Lovecraftian, Monsters, Mythological, Science Horror, Steampunk, Supernatural, Weird Tales, and no doubt others I can’t think of at the moment.

In other words, surprise me. As long as it is horror-related and imaginative. Want short fiction 3,000 words or less, plus poems on the same theme. Already have a cover by Jenni Merrifield which is Noir/Gothic in appearance. Very atmospheric.

Still open for any & all SF&F works for issue #3, too.

I note that the kind folks at Duotrope have listed Polar Borealis as a market. Huzzah! Absolutely imperial!

Cheers!  Graeme

More submissions!

Wow! It’s starting to rain submissions. They’re beginning to pour in.

Two short stories and three poems in one day. Excellent.

But I’ll wait to read them because I’ve been sick as a dog the last twenty hours or so. Food poisoning maybe, or a particularly wretched flu.

It does my potential contributors no favour to struggle through a first reading while resisting the urge to vomit. And for all the wrong reasons too.

I think I’ll wait till I’m in a more impartial frame of mind. Will get back to everybody within a week or less. As someone who spent 40 years waiting for word from assorted persnickety editors I figure I owe it to contributors to respond ASAP. I know the pain of waiting.

Issue#2 IS full up, so anything I select from now on will be going into issue #3 which may not come out till January. And there’s a special “themed” issue for later in 2017 I may put contributions aside for. More on that in the near future.

Cheers! The Graeme


PB #2 gets more content

In addition to the items listed in the previous post, three more items have slipped in under the wire as last minute additions to the bulging file of Polar Borealis #2.

They are:

Two poems by Colleen Anderson: PILOT FLIGHT and SHORT SIGHTED, both with rich and beautiful imagery,

And a short story, A MATTER OF ANTIMATTER, by Ron Friedman, which I think readers will find delightfully whimsical.

Publication of PB #2 has been pushed back to July, but I will publish earlier if at all possible.

Meanwhile, I am always open to submissions. Don’t yet know when the third issue will be ready, but no later than January of next year and hopefully earlier.

Cheers all!   The Graeme

Issue #2 Contents Finalized.

I am very happy to report it looks like Polar Borealis #2 is complete. Still needs lots of preparation, editing, and proofreading, and the contracts have yet to be sent out, but I’m hoping for publication by the end of June, or sometime in July at the latest. Earlier, if possible, of course.

Here is the projected table of contents to whet your enthusiasm:


00) – EDITORIAL – R. Graeme Cameron

00) – THE NATURE OF DEMONS – by Stan G. Hyde

00) – THE ENTHRALLERS’ VALHALLA – (Poem) by Rissa Johnson

00) – THE SEARCHERS – by Steve Fahnestalk

00) – ROOMMATE – by Michael John Bertrand

00) – MOONTRACE – (Poem) by Mary Choo

00) – MUSHROOMS – (Poem) by Eileen Kernaghan

00) – TOUGH CROWD – by Holly Schofield

00) – PINK VENUS – (Poem) by Rhea Rose

00) – THE NIGHT ATLANTIS BURNED – by David Perlmutter

00) – DEVOURED – (Poem) by J. Y. T. Kennedy

00) – ARTIST IN A LANDSCAPE – by R. Graeme Cameron

00) – SONNET 13 A&C – (Poem) by Rissa Johnson

00) – THE CUP – by Catherine Girczyc

00) – MAJOR MAX – by dvsduncan

00) – RUNNING OUT OF TIME – (Poem) by Eileen Kernaghan

00) – ANONYMOUS TIP – by Nina Munteanu

00) – ARBORVITAE – (Poem) by Rhea Rose

00) – THE HAT THING – by Matthew Hughes

00) – ROSETTA 2051 – (Poem) by Mary Choo

00) – THE GUY WITH THE EYES – by Spider Robinson


Welcome to Polar Borealis Magazine


(Note: PB #2 Cover art by Eric Chu)


POLAR BOREALIS Magazine is a non-profit semi-professional SF fiction magazine which costs nothing and is free to anyone who wants to read it. No income is derived from distribution of this online non-profit magazine, nor is any income derived from any ads contained within its pages. All ads are placed at no charge to the advertiser. Polar Borealis Magazine is strictly a private hobby publication.

NEVERTHELESS POLAR BOREALIS IS A PAYING MARKET FOR CANADIAN AUTHORS AND ARTISTS, albeit for sums less than SFWA standards, which is why POLAR BOREALIS is deemed “semi-professional” rather than “professional” by definition. All contributors are normally paid on acceptance (depending on the Publisher’s state of finances).

So, if you want to read the latest issue, simply go to Current/Back Issues, click on it, and open the appropriate file. Download if you like. It’s free.

And if you’d like to submit a story, poem or art to Polar Borealis, check out the Submission Guidelines, the PB FAQ, and anything else that looks interesting, then send your query and/or word document MS to:

Take note that the upcoming fourth issue is complete. I am currently gathering poems for the fifth issue, and will reopen for short story submissions possibly as early as September.

Since it is not easy to cover costs on a fixed pension income, I have started a “GoFundMe Campaign” asking anyone interested in supporting this magazine to donate small amounts to help with costs. All, and I mean ALL the money received will go directly to pay the authors, poets and artists contributing to the zine. Any and all help appreciated.

You are welcome to donate at:

Thank you!

Cheers! R. Graeme Cameron

P.S. Check out Duotrope at < > for listings of this magazine and other writers markets.

Quick note on Fiction Pay Rate:

Duotrope lists my poetry rate as semi-professional because $10 CA exceeds $5 minimum US.

However, Duotrope lists my fiction rate as “Token Payment” because I pay less than 1 cent a word US. True. But I pay 1 cent a word in Canadian funds, and publish only Canadian authors, so the 1 cent a word does indeed = 1 cent, just not in American funds. So, speaking for myself, I still regard Polar Borealis as semi-professional, at least within a Canadian context.

Apart from my delusional thinking, please understand that a “Token Payment” sale (by American calculation) is still a legitimate and genuine sale, albeit not up to SFWA standard.

I highly recommend Duotrope as a superb listing service of potential markets for writers. As a publisher, I’ve found them lightning fast in responding to update information. You can’t go wrong with Duotrope.

Another excellent source is <  >