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Sad News and Disappointment - Michael M Jones

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October 18th, 2010


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05:19 pm - Sad News and Disappointment
Well, the news has gone public. Warren Lapine has pulled the plug on Realms of Fantasy after two years and nine issues. It's anyone's guess as to whether or not someone will pick up the magazine and try to make a go of it again, especially since this would be its third life.

I'm not holding my breath. Times are, and have been, pretty rough for print magazines of late, and it's the rare one that makes it to the stands, much less lasts for any length of time. And I have to face the possibility that this may be it for my Young Adult review column in its current incarnation. If Realms doesn't rise from the ashes yet again, I'm faced with the choice of A) finding another magazine, print or online, to associate myself with, B) migrating to a review-oriented website, such as SF Site or Green Man Review, both of which have been very good to me, and very patient with my foibles, over the years, or C) turning my website, already a review archive, into a dedicated review blog and tr to build a brand identity for myself there.
I'm not sure which would benefit me and my time/energy/goals more. I'll think on it. The sad part is that this is the loss of a paying (it wasn't much, but it was something) print gig for me, and those are never easy to come by.

While everyone's noted that Realms is taking the dirt nap once again, another piece of news slipped out in the same announcement: Dreams of Decadece, which was to be relaunched as an urban fantasy/paranormal romance magazine, is pretty much stillborn. As noted, it may or may not come out as a free PDF via the website. I sold Dreams a story back in May, so this is a double whammy for me, losing one of my favorite gigs and a publication in the space of a day. In the grand scheme of things, this may be a passing trifle, but at the moment, it's still a hard bit of news to swallow and accept.

I'll miss Realms. Doug Cohen was a hell of an editor to work for, always ready and able to respond to emails and answer questions, to extend me that extra day when I needed it, quick to remind me when I needed to send in invoices, and great at soothing ruffled feathers. I always looked forward to Realms, for its consistent good stories, beautiful art, interesting columns, and what it brought to the genre. I think we're once again a little the poorer for its loss. There are many fine magazines online, but it kept fantasy short fiction alive on the newsstand, and that's nothing to sneeze about.

So here's to Realms of Fantasy and the four years I spent there, all the wonderful people I worked with, and here's hoping that maybe, just maybe, some lottery winner will adopt it. If not, here's seeing you in some form or fashion.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to figure out the future of my column, find out the state of my story, and raise a few drinks in memory of it all.

(And BTW, I'll be at WFC for anyone who wants to meet me, commiserate with me, and/or offer me money to review books. :> )
Current Mood: crushedcrushed

(24 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:time_shark
Date:October 18th, 2010 09:29 pm (UTC)
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Bummer, man. Sorry.
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From:oneminutemonkey
Date:October 18th, 2010 09:32 pm (UTC)
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I'll catch you later for venting and commiserating. Mary's already sick of my wailing and moping. :>
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From:time_shark
Date:October 18th, 2010 10:01 pm (UTC)
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Sounds like a great excuse to get together for a beer!
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From:dynamicsymmetry
Date:October 18th, 2010 09:35 pm (UTC)
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I saw. I figured it was probably them. I really am sorry. :( Best of luck with finding another good home for it, and for your column.
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From:oneminutemonkey
Date:October 19th, 2010 02:37 am (UTC)
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Thanks. I'm certainly going to try my best. The column has always been a thing of love for me, so I'll continue it in some incarnation. And I'm sure the story will find a home. I'm just not sure what'll happen to it at the moment, if Warren's going to put out Dreams as a PDF or what, and if that then counts as a real publication when it comes time for awards, reprints, etc. It's the uncertainty that gets me every time.
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From:cbpotts
Date:October 18th, 2010 09:47 pm (UTC)
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What a magnificently sucky bit of news for you; I'm sorry. That's more than anyone should have to bear in one day. Hope you can recover the story stat.
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From:oneminutemonkey
Date:October 19th, 2010 02:50 am (UTC)
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I'm ready for some good news from the world of publishing, that's for sure. :>
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From:melissajm
Date:October 18th, 2010 09:54 pm (UTC)
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Aw crud, I'm sorry.
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From:oneminutemonkey
Date:October 19th, 2010 02:52 am (UTC)
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Thanks, it's nice to have kind words to keep me from sulking too badly.
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From:sartorias
Date:October 18th, 2010 10:14 pm (UTC)
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Totally bummer news. I'd hoped it was a rumor, sigh.
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From:oneminutemonkey
Date:October 19th, 2010 02:44 am (UTC)
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I still wish it was a rumor!
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From:seawasp
Date:October 18th, 2010 11:13 pm (UTC)
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I'm sorry to hear it, but it's pretty much inevitable for all the print magazines in the long run, I think, just as I expect that print books are going to be fading away. Fiction-oriented magazines first, though, because they are the industry's equivalent of LP albums.
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From:oneminutemonkey
Date:October 19th, 2010 02:50 am (UTC)
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You're not comforting me!
But seriously, the trend in the genre mags really is a migration to electronic and non-print formats. It's a shame, because I'm the sort who likes a nice paper magazine or book in my hands. Especially when I'm in it. (For one thing, it always feels so much more legitimate, especially when convincing one's family that they're a real writer.)
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From:thunderpigeon
Date:October 19th, 2010 12:18 am (UTC)
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That stinks.

I'd heard the news earlier today, but I hadn't got around to thinking about the ramifications.
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From:oneminutemonkey
Date:October 19th, 2010 02:47 am (UTC)
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Yeah. This is one of those things which causes ripples. :
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From:thunderpigeon
Date:October 19th, 2010 02:28 pm (UTC)
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Actually, in this case I wasn't being quite so metaphysical--I was just trying to type while the kids are awake. What I meant to say is simply that when I read the news I thought about how many months of subscription I'd lose (probably more than a year--they used to keep sending out those subscription reminders without telling you how long you had left) and whether I had a story out to them (I don't), and it didn't occur to me at the time to remember that you had a gig writing book reviews for them--which, yeah, it must really suck for you.

I went through a similar thing a while back, where one of my corporate clients decided it was relying too much on freelancers and hired a few more full-time editors. In my case, there was a lean month, but the work ultimately came in from other directions. But in your case, it seems like it's not just because of the money, but also that RoF is a pretty prestigious credential, and these things can matter a great deal when you write a cover letter.
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From:oneminutemonkey
Date:October 19th, 2010 02:43 am (UTC)
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I'll miss you at WFC. I always like having friends around at those cons. :>
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From:copperwise
Date:October 19th, 2010 12:50 am (UTC)
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Sucks. I was working on an epic article for February. Sigh.
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From:oneminutemonkey
Date:October 19th, 2010 02:42 am (UTC)
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Ouch, that sucks also. Hopefully you can shop it around to somewhere like Fantasy, or somewhere else that'll treat it right.
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From:oneminutemonkey
Date:October 19th, 2010 02:42 am (UTC)
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I'm seriously considering trying to ramp up the YA action on my website/blog, just because I'd kind of like to have my name out there. What I liked about Realms was that it gave me specific limits and deadlines to work with, and I had a framework to keep me in check and on time. Not so easy to go free range. :> We'll see.

Losing Realms is another hit to the industry as a whole. A little one by some standards, but there aren't a whole lot of newsstand genre mags left, and very few to replace them. That's really sad.
(Deleted comment)
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From:oneminutemonkey
Date:October 19th, 2010 03:17 am (UTC)
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Unfortunately, I suspect it was pretty low. The sad truth is that most writers would rather be published in Realms than buy it. Or so it seems when you look at many of the comments.

It really is a lot easier to go online than hunt these things down in the store, assuming you can even find them on the shelves to begin with. There's not much that can be done to prevent this sort of thing unless people are willing to pony up and buy issues and subscribe, and that's never stopped magazines from dying left and right all along. :

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