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ROF: February 2011 Issue: Update

  • Jan. 27th, 2011 at 2:39 PM

 The February 2011 issue went to press today.  Next up is shipping.

You can already find the TOC for this issue on our website, but in case you haven't seen it, here's what you're in store for in RoF's first issue under Damnation Books:

"The Swan Troika" by Richard Parks, illustration by Ruth Sanderson

"Thirteen Incantations" by Desirina Boskovich, illustration by Kurt Huggins

"Magpie" by Mark Rigney, illustration by Lori Koefoed, which is also our cover illustration

"No Tale for Troubadors" by Pauline J. Alama, illustration by Walter Velez

"The Time of His Life" by Scott William Carter, illustration by Tomislav Tikulin

Among the authors, Mark Rigney and Pauline J. Alama will both be appearing in the magazine for the first time.  Among the artists, this is the first appearance in RoF for Ruth Sanderson and Tomislav Tikulin.
In the nonfiction department, Theodora Goss begins her run as the Folkroots editor with an article about the Femme Fatale at the Fin-de-Siecle, in our our Artists Gallery Karen Haber covers the work of Dominic Harman, in the Movies section Resa Nelson discusses the best foreign horror movies of recent years, and we're offering the usual review columns for your reading pleasure on general speculative books, YA books, Paranormal Romance & Urban Fantasy, and graphic novels.  When the issue becomes available our gaming column can be found for free online with a listing in the magazine to point you in the right direction.

And as a reminder, while we're always working to improve our product, much about the magazine will be as you remember it, which will help preserve continuity: same editors (well, Theodora is new, but she was scheduled to begin this issue as Folkroots editor months ago), same columnists, same copy editors, same website, and with the artists and authors it's the usual mix of regulars and folks who are new to our pages.
Overall this has been a very smooth transition/process in getting to this point.  As you might expect, new publishers mean new ideas and new energy. One new feature that's already been implemented is the ability to purchase PDF subscriptions, and in the coming months and issues you'll see other features meant to improve our product while still preserving the best aspects of RoF.

I'll be sure to announce when the issue ships and when it's available for purchase, and as soon as I receive contributor copies they'll be out the door to everyone who helped make this issue happen.  Further website updates will also take place once the latest issue is available. We're not quite there yet, but the finish line for this latest rendition of RoF is most definitely in sight.  

Stay tuned.

RoF: December 2010 & Passing the Torch

  • Dec. 2nd, 2010 at 12:59 PM

Hi All,

Warren has reported on the RoF Facebook account that the December 2010 issue of RoF is shipping today.  This is the last issue under Tir Na Nog Press with Warren Lapine as publisher.  Starting with the February 2011 issue, RoF will begin its run under Damnation Books with Kim & William Gilchrist as publishers.

Under Warren the magazine will have put out nine issues total, and while I know things didn't end the way he wanted, he still did a great thing by first rescuing the magazine, and then selling it to someone else who was seriously interested in keeping it going when he could no longer continue publishing it.  Let's all hope that RoF will continue publishing for years to come.  If it does, Warren deserves a big round of thank yous.  Regardless of what happens with the magazine going forward, he is now an important part of RoF's history.

Every new publisher brings something new to the table.  For example, under Warren we launched RoF's paranormal romance/urban fantasy column.  With Elizabeth Bear as its inaugural columnist, the reception to this column has been very positive.  Warren also gave the magazine the best website it's ever had and made RoF available for purchase in digital formats for the first time.
Our new publishers will be bringing new ideas to the table as well.  Some of them you know about already: expanding RoF's availability in the digital domain, a dark fantasy issue* for the April issue, an expanded page count to celebrate issue 100 come the June issue.  In talking to them I know they have other ideas as well, though it's too early to tip our hands about a lot of these things.  Suffice it to say we have a number of upcoming changes to the magazine, changes we think you'll like, because even with these changes, our new publishers still want this magazine to feel like RoF.  They just want to build on it and make it an even better reading experience for all involved.

One change you'll see starting with the February 2011 (besides it being owned by new publishers) is the Folkroots column will start its run under Theodora Goss as Folkroots editor.  This was something we had in the works back when Warren was publisher, but the timing is working out that Theodora's first issue happens to be February 2011.  So right from the jump you'll be seeing a change in RoF under Damnation Books, one I think many of you will enjoy.
I'll keep this next part brief, but I do want to at least mention it with RoF's third life now on the horizon: if you like what you see from us in the upcoming issues (or even the current one), please consider subscribing.  If you want to wait and see what kind of product the magazine puts out under the new publishers before subscribing, then please consider purchasing an individual copy from the newsstands.  Or you can purchase a digital copy, which is cheaper.  We realize there are all sorts of free options out there to get your short fiction fix, so that means it's up to us to make our product appealing enough that you want to put down some cash to read us in addition to these other venues.  We'll be doing our best to make this happen with each issue, so at the very least, do make sure to keep us on your radar in the upcoming months.  We just might surprise you.

Anyway, while the December issue has been available as a free PDF for some time, here is a quick rundown of what you'll find in this issue should you be a subscriber or wish to purchase a newsstand copy:

"Maiden, Mother, Crone" by Ann Leckie & Rachel Swirsky, illustration by Kristina Carroll

"Queen of the Kanguellas" by Scott Dalrymple, illustration by Petar Meseldzija

"Tools of the Devil" by Jerry Oltion, illustration by David Palumbo
"The Banjo Singer" by Dennis Danvers, illustration by Andy B. Clarkson

The artist gallery features Terese Nielsen.  And you can find the usual assortment of other nonfiction features.

Rachel, Scott, and Jerry all have stories appearing in RoF for the first time.  Among the artists, Kristina & Petar both have illustrations appearing in the magazine for the first time.

*I keep reading about people wondering whether this dark fantasy issue means that RoF is changing its approach and becoming a dark fantasy magazine.  Many people are making this assumption because Damnation Books publishes a lot of dark fantasy novels.  The answer is no.  NO.  N-O.  The publishers have said as much and now one of the editors is telling you this too.  The April issue is one themed issue of dark fantasy.  That's it.  The new publishers already had a booth at World Horror Con before they purchased RoF.  So we're putting together a dark fantasy issue to promote RoF as well while the publishers are at this con.  And that's it.  RoF remains a magazine interested in all realms of fantasy.  Like I said, the new publishers want the magazine to still feel like RoF.  One issue of dark fantasy won't change what we are.    


Hello Everyone,

So I guess silence can indeed be deafening.  It's been interesting reading the Internet the past few days as it has wondered what will become of Realms of Fantasy's future under new ownership, what's the deal with the editors, the staff, etc.  Of course, none of what I have read--be it positive, negative, or just plain curious--has been terribly surprising.  In fact, I sort of expected it, so a tip of the cap to the Internet for not failing to disappoint.  I know a number of you have emailed me about Realms of Fantasy, some wondering if I was coming back, others operating under the assumption I was coming back and asking me questions about the magazine.  I'm sorry for not returning your emails, or for being mysterious if I did.  A lot of things needed to be figured out/determined.  Until they were, I thought it was best not to say anything about RoF in any sort of official capacity.  Things are much clearer now, so I'll be returning your emails at my earliest convenience.  Thanks for your patience.

Anyway, let's cut to the heart of it.  Shawna and I are both coming back to our old positions with the same division of labor and the same creative control.  Shawna is currently out of town, but she's given me permission to blog on her behalf about this.  As of today, we're both back.  Our publishers also want to bring back our nonfiction columnists and copy editors.  I've been in touch with them throughout this process.  A number of them have already committed to coming back.  I'm still waiting to hear back from a few.  When  I have a clearer picture about who's coming back (hopefully everyone), I'll share this information. 

I'm sorry it took so long for us to announce this.  Warren Lapine was very honest with us throughout RoF's run under Tir Na Nog Press.  When Realms folded, it was hardly a surprise to us.  What was a surprise was everything that followed.  Warren had offered to sell the magazine when he announced its closure, but Shawna and I had pretty much closed the book on RoF.  So when a serious buyer showed up with interest in bringing us back, we had to reevaluate our situations.  We had to make sure we wanted to go through the work of another relaunch, which I know from experience is quite a lot of work.  We had to talk to these new publishers and get an idea of what it would be like working with and for them.  We also had some questions about their previous work in the field.  So we asked them questions.  A lot of questions.  Then we spoke to each other.  Then we asked them more questions.  Then we spoke to each other again.  And so on.

We wanted to make sure about everything before we committed to coming back.  And after asking Kim & William Gilchrist (these would be the new publishers) everything we could think of, we've decided that we're comfortable working with these folks, that as the community comes to know them better they'll be comfortable working with them too, and that they want nothing more than to help RoF become the best magazine it can possibly be.  In perusing the Internet, I've come across a number of concerns that were raised about our new publishers.  Shawna and I made certain to ask about these things, and we found the answers we were given to be satisfactory.  I could share those answers, but being as I wasn't part of Damnation Books/Eternal Press when these incidents (for lack of a better word) took place, I really don't think it's wise to pass along information secondhand en mass to the great and all-powerful being that is the Internet.  That is a recipe for potential disaster.  That said, if you have questions or concerns, Kim and William are more than happy to answer them, just as they did for me and Shawna.  Before they bought the magazine, they understood that people would point out certain tidbits on the Internet and very naturally start to wonder about this.  So they're approaching this with eyes wide open.  You can contact them directly at kim@damnationbooks.com.

Our new publishers have already have found some ways to cut costs for the magazine without hurting the product.  They also have a wide distribution in the digital realm thanks to their book publishing business.  This could help lead to additional electronic sales for the magazine while it continues being sold on newsstands and through subscriptions.  They're very excited to be taking over as publishers for this magazine, as they've been fans of it for years.  It's comforting knowing they're familiar with the product, because it means they already have an understanding of what the readers want.  I think they're going to bring a lot of energy to the magazine, and I do believe they're going to do everything in their power to help it flourish and be around for years to come.

This post is getting somewhat long and I can't possibly cover everything now (nor am I going to try), but with all of this out of the way, let me try to cover a few additional things right now:

1) As has been noted, we're open for submissions effective immediately.  Guidelines for fiction and art can be found on the website.  They're the same guidelines as before with the same pay rates as before.  I've also been informed that the publishers want to use the same contracts that Warren was using with Tir Na Nog Press.  I can't recall hearing complaints about these contracts in the past, so I imagine this should make most folks happy.

2a) I know a number of you had stories with us in various states of consideration at the time of the magazine's closure.  When Tir Na Nog folded, Shawna and I did the only fair thing by releasing the manuscripts.  Some authors had been waiting for a long time for a response.  We had no wish to make these authors wait indefinitely while Warren put the magazine up for sale.  If you have a story that was passed along to Shawna, it's my understanding she still has it in her possession.  I'm assuming she'd still like to read these and consider them, although we understand that some of you may have already sent your stories elsewhere.  We're going to have to figure out how we'd like to handle this.  Shawna and I will talk about this once she's back in town, which should be in another couple of days.  I also had some manuscripts I was supposed to pass along to Shawna.  When the magazine folded, I'm afraid those manuscripts were discarded. However, if you'd like to resubmit your manuscript to me via email, I will be happy to print it up and pass it along to Shawna the next time I see her.  I know there are also a few you who had queried at one point about your stories and learned that Shawna intended to buy them the next time she did a buying run.  RoF ceased publication before that could happen and before contracts went out, but if Shawna liked your story before she's not about to stop liking it now.  I'm not going to speak on her behalf about buying it if you're still interested in selling it to us, but you should feel free to send me an email if you're so inclined to get the wheels in motion.  I know I'm not covering everything here, but again, when Shawna's back in town and we can discuss this a little more at length, we'll sort this out.
2b) A reminder that the old editorial staff is still intact, meaning if Shawna or I rejected your story in the past, please don't send it along again.

3) I know some people are wondering what will become of the Realms of Fantasy website.  My understanding is that when the new publishers take over with the February 2011 issue, the current website will remain in place for the magazine.  The Facebook account should also remain intact.

4) With the nonfiction, while I'm still waiting to hear back from a few columnists (just heard from another one who is coming back--yay!), all the old columns will be back either way.

5) It sounds like the December 2010 issue (the one that is currently a free PDF) should be going to press soon.  I heard an exact date, but I want to confirm this before announcing it.

6) It's been announced several times already, but again: all existing subscriptions are going to be honored by the new publishers.

And I think that's enough for now.  Again, I know I haven't covered everything.  Try and stay patient with us.  More information will be coming. As when we relaunched with Tir Na Nog Press, I'll be blogging about our progress regularly.  You may expect a series of updates in the coming days and weeks, but if you have questions now, go ahead.  I'll answer as time allows assuming.

And off to work I go ...


Douglas Cohen

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