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ROF: Wrap-Up

  • Nov. 2nd, 2011 at 4:34 PM

Well, things seem to have settled down enough that I have a little time to post here.  For those living under a cyber-rock, Realms of Fantasy announced its third closure today.  The publisher announcement, Shawna's farewell editorial, and my own farewell editorial can be found here, here, and here respectively.  I've mostly said what I need to say in my editorial, but there are a few tidbits I'd like to mention here as well.

First, since it didn't occur to me mention it before, I should mention that every last slush story was replied to prior to the closure.  There is nothing left in the P.O. box, because the P.O. box was closed down a while back to make the switch to electronic submissions.  If you never received a response, chances are your submission didn't reach us before the closure, or that my reply was lost in the mail.  That said, if you need to query me, please feel free.  On the automatic passes, while I do expect this is the end of the line for the magazine, for the moment I'm holding onto them in case William and Kim should surprise me and sell the magazine to an interested buyer.  If they don't, I'll mail back those manuscripts to those who provided postage for the return of their submissions.  If they do sell the magazine, well, I'll deal with that when and if it happens, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

There is also another matter I'd like to address.  As many of you know, over the weekend I was at the World Fantasy Convention.  I knew about the magazine's closure before I went there, but rather than avoid what is my favorite convention for fear of constant reminders about the magazine's fate, I decided to go there as planned, and damn it, I meant to enjoy myself.  I'm glad I went, as it proved to be one of my better conventions.  However, while I was there, there was probably one question I encountered more than any other (besides the requisite "How are you?"), this being, "So how's everything with Realms of Fantasy?"  I did my best not to lie, but it's fair to say that I skirted the truth as I didn't want to get into this at the convention.  First, I personally didn't want to spend my weekend talking about Realms of Fantasy's closure.    But even more than this, I didn't want Shawna to have to spend her weekend discussing RoF in this manner.  As you may recall, she was the editorial GoH at this year's WFC, which is quite an honor.  So I asked the publishers if they could delay the announcement until after WFC, so that Shawna would not have to spend the weekend being a GoH and listening to the same two words over and over, these being "I'm sorry."  The publishers very graciously agreed to this request, and for this they have our sincere thanks.

This said, I want you to know it was no fun for me skirting the truth about RoF, especially as I consider many of you to be friends or, at the very least, friendly acquaintances.  I especially hated playing this game with people who had stories scheduled to be published in future issues.  I know what it's like to be the editor of a magazine going under, but I've never had the rug pulled out from under me on a story that's been accepted for publication.  I'm sure it's not a pleasant feeling.  I feel awful for you guys, and I hope you don't feel betrayed if we discussed the magazine over the weekend.  Everything I did was with the best of intentions (see previous paragraph), but if you're annoyed with me, please accept my sincere apologies.  It just seemed best to let as few people as possible know about the closure before its announcement.  I hope you understand.

Anyway, it's been great hearing from so many of you.  I appreciate the well wishes, and all the nice sentiments being expressed about RoF are quite awesome.  The fact that the magazine is closing for the third time in just under three years could have been greeted with all sorts of snark, but that really doesn't seem to be the case.  To this point, the overwhelming sentiment from the community has been extremely positive.  If you all didn't approve of the work we've done in the last year or so, well, let's just say the Internet has never been shy about voicing its opinions.  So even if the end is coming sooner than we'd like, at least we know that the community approves of the work we've done in our final year of publication.  It's a comforting thought.   

As to me?  The only time I was truly feeling bummed out was late last night, but I watched Captain America and that perked me right up.  What an awesome movie!  But this aside, I do believe that every once in a while the universe speaks to you.  In the same month that I learned of the magazine's impending closure, I managed to sell not one but two stories to quality markets, my first fiction sales in almost six years.  I've had some other opportunities that have also been presenting themselves within the genre, though I'm not liberty to speak about these just yet.  It's pretty wild that such positives and negatives within one aspect of my life should all take place within a single month.  Professionally speaking, it's definitely been the most interesting month of my speculative life.  So perhaps the universe speaketh to me, and perhaps I need to listen.  As I said in my editorial, I'm excited about what the future holds.  I'll be wrapping up some loose ends with RoF today, and then it's full-speed ahead as I explore new avenues.  I can't wait.  


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