(Segue: From Sovereign to Tir Na Nog to Damnation, does anyone else get this heroic/mythic journey vibe going on? Clearly, the story's not over, since there has to be some kind of redemption or return or rebirth or reincarnation or some such. Or does Eternal Press, a subset of Damnation, count in that regards? Laugh if you will, but these things have meanings and resonance.)
I was understandably wary when I heard about our new overlords and masters. Who wouldn't be? I'd never heard of them before, and the news that was coming out wasn't all good. That's why one of the conditions I placed upon my remaining with the magazine was dependent on the editorial staff. I wanted to know if Doug and Shawna would be coming back. I knew they were talking to the Gilchrists, asking questions, being very upfront about their own reservations. And I knew that their decisions would be the factor which helped drive my own course of action. You see, I like and trust Doug Cohen. He's a great editor who communicates with his people, is invariably honest and straight-forward, goes to bat for us when needed and delivers the bad news like a champ when called for.
So Doug and Shawna are staying with the magazine. Realms of Fantasy will have the same editorial team and pretty much the full non-fiction team as before. There should be almost no real lapse in terms of schedule or quality, and even fiction that was under consideration or in the purchase bin is being restored to its spot in line. In short, nothing's really changing except the people signing the paychecks.
If you liked Shawna's taste in fiction, it'll be the same material. If you liked the art (and I believe we can all agree that the Fishboobs thing is behind us by now), the art will be the same. If you read the magazine for the articles (don't lie, I'm sure SOMEONE did!) they'll still be there. If you liked Realms of Fantasy, well, guess what?
We're not dead. Again.
I know, and understand, and sympathize that people are wary. They're tired of being burned, tired of mourning the death of a magazine, and tired of the same old pleas. But y'know what? Let's give Realms one more shot. If you always meant to subscribe, do it. If you meant to submit, do it. If you don't care, continue not caring. Maybe this is the last gasp, and print magazines are on their way out, but let's at least make this attempt a good one. And by all means, do go read Doug's post. He's spoken directly with the new owners, and has much more useful things to say than I do.
Me? I'm going to do my best for as long as I have a column and a home for it, and I'm going to think positive thoughts, damn it. :)