I find this worrisome.
The site claims to have 7 professional-rate short fiction markets. Some of these are strangely similar in name to existing professional-rate fiction markets, example: "LightSpeed SF", rather than Lightspeed Magazine, a legitimate market edited by John Joseph Adams.
LightSpeed SF, by the way, is already selling Volume 1 and asking for donations. You can give them paypal money, but there is no TOC listed and no cover. The paypal address listed appears to be a personal email address and account, rather than a business account.
The fiction posted on one of the magazines, Fragment Fiction, consists entirely of reprints from dead (and sometimes hilariously misspelled) authors:
On some of the markets the editor name is not listed. When it is listed, it is a name that I do not immediately recognize.
All seven markets share the same domain name, astrapublications.com, which is owned by Alex Korovessis, a name you might recognize from Kasma Magazine:
He showed up to vaguely complain that his magazine was in Background Check and to post a call for subs.
Kasma Magazine paid $10 a story. Jumping to SEVEN pro-rate markets from that without any traction or visibility worries me. The whole thing throws up a ton of red flags.
Does anybody have any further information?
EDITED TO ADD:
1) A NEW eighth "market" has popped up in the past 10 hours. - http://futuramachine.astrapublications.com/index.html
2) C.M. Daniels (posted at the bottom of the Kasma publications page) said that he was happy publishing with Kasma, a start-up ezine that paid $10/story. (He responded to my PM asking for follow up on his acceptance.)
3) However, Astra Publications keeps sending up red flags like flares from a sinking ship. They are also being discussed on Hatrack: http://www.hatrack.com/forums/writer...ML/006405.html Apparently, everybody has been getting all rejections from them, and despite having different form letters and different "editors" the rejection pattern (5 rejections to different markets sat for a few days and then were all rejected within the same 30 minute spree) suggests that there is one reader for all 7,8, whatever.
4) Speculation that this may be SEO related. Perhaps Korovessis is trying to drive traffic to... something? Kasma?
5) Readshift SF is also already selling preorders for issue 1 of the magazine for $18.98 each, the exact same price as the first volume of LightSpeed SF.
6) ALL of the buy and donate paypal buttons lead to his email address.
7) Also, forgot to mention before: it is more than a little suspicious that the front page is offering advice? Services? for starting a new magazine. As if Astra is able to give real advice on that account.
A ninth magazine has gone up on the index page, but there is no page for it yet.
- The ninth market is a "Literary magazine". The fourth story listed is the same story that appears in the free section of the Pulp Fic magazine.
...Yeah. I'd pass on this one.