Monday, February 2, 2009

Realms of Fantasy Folds

Depressing news from the site: Realms of Fantasy magazine is ceasing publication. A partial explanation:
The closure is primarily due to plummeting newsstand sales, the problem currently faced by all of the fiction magazines. “We’re shelved in the back of the bookstores. Nobody can even find us.”
Realms of Fantasy was the last full-sized, glossy color SF magazine available at my local Barnes & Noble—before they stopped carrying it about a year ago. Now it truly is gone, over and done with, one more relic to be added to the list. That leaves Asimov’s, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (which is going bi-monthly), and Analog (all of which are, sadly, relegated to black and white digest-sized volumes easily lost at the bottom of any given newsstand). There’s not much else left. Seems everyone is feeling the pressure in these uncertain times. The optimist in me wants to believe there’s something bigger and better down the line, but Mr. Nagging Voice can’t help entertaining his worst fears. Is this an opportunity for the blogosphere to pick up the slack, or is short fiction doomed to haunt an ever smaller niche? With nowhere else to publish, will more authors start turning to their Web sites and / or blogs as a platform for storytelling? Does less print media equal an opportunity for the e-zine community—or is online fiction a wilted flowerbed, a forgotten fad doomed to remain in the shadows of a dying empire?

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