Douglas Cohen (douglascohen) wrote,
Douglas Cohen

ROF: October 09: TOC

All right, folks, here is the complete fiction TOC (no order) for the October 2009 issue of Realms of Fantasy:

--"Red Dirt Kingdoms" by Jay Lake, illustrated by James A. Owen

--"Flower Fairies" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, illustrated by Michael Hague

--"Tio Gilberto and the Twenty-Seven Ghosts" by Ben Francisco, illustrated by John Kaiine

--"Bob and the Mermaid" by William R. Eakin, illustrated by Zak Pullen

--"Nell and the Devil" by S.E. Ward, illustrated by Lori Kofed

There are lots of things I want to say/note about this issue, so I'll just jump into it.  First, in case you haven't seen the cover for the Oct. '09 issue that Warren posted on his blog (illustrated by Antonis Papatoniou), you might not be aware that this issue marks the 15th anniversary for Realms of Fantasy.  Pretty awesome.  The next big milestone of this sort will be issue 100, although that's a little under two years off, iirc.

I'm also happy to note that my first slush survivors under the new regime have found their way into RoF's pages, in the form of "Tio Gilberto" and "Nell and the Devil."

Next, being as it generated some interest/curiosity about a month earlier, I'll note that "Bob and the Mermaid" by William R. Eakin is the mermaid story I was talking about when I said there was almost a mermaid story we ran last issue.  It ended up getting bumped to this issue instead.  Those who have been reading RoF for a while will understand what I mean when I say this is another one of Bill's Redgunk tales.  For those who are new to the magazine, Bill has published quite a number of fantastical tales in our pages over the years (I'd guess around eight) that take place in the town of Redgunk.  This would be the latest one, and I believe it's the first we've published since I've joined the magazine. 

Continuing, being as there has been so much interest in the art department of late, I thought folks might be interested in a little extra information in this area.  As Art Director, I stand behind all of these pieces, but I'll note that the ones I sent out on assignment are "Red Dirt Kingdoms," "Flower Fairies," and "Tio Gilberto."  The illustration to "Tio Gilberto" was actually the first one handed in to me as Art Director.  As to "Bob and the Mermaid" and "Nell and the Devil," both of these illustrations were part of Sovereign Media's inventory and were transferred over to Warren when he bought the magazine.  If anyone has a problem with these latter two pieces when they see them, feel free to take issue with the job I'm doing as Art Director.  I'll simply say two things: first, I do like the art.  Second, even if I hated this art, I think it was important for the magazine to honor its commitments to the original artwork accepted by Sovereign that these artists put their blood, sweat, and tears into, just as we're honoring all of the fiction that Shawna accepted back with Sovereign.  And it goes without saying that if you have a problem with "Red Dirt Kingdoms," "Flower Fairies," or "Tio Gilberto" I am fair game. 

Lastly, this is for the benefit of some of the authors out there with pieces we've accepted.  I realize there are still some of you (four, to be exact) who have stories with art transferred over from Sovereign Media whose stories won't be appearing this issue.  So you might be wondering why it is "Flower Fairies," "Tio Gilberto" and "Red Dirt Kingdoms" have managed to leapfrog you when you've been waiting for what feels like ages for your story to be published in RoF.  The explanation behind "Red Dirt Kingdoms" is the easiest one.  Of all the fiction we have in inventory, "Red Dirt Kingdoms" is actually the story we've had the longest, by a RATHER WIDE margin.  But until now, it didn't have art.  As to why it went so long without having an artist assigned to it, well, that's a question you can ask of the previous regime.  But when Warren took over, this piece was among the first ones sent out on assignment, and now that the finished artwork is in, we're wasting no time publishing it.

As to "Flower Fairies" and "Tio Gilberto," here's the thing.  In terms of raw wordage, we can only devote so much space each issue to the fiction.  We also want to have at least five stories per issue going forward.  The four remaining stories with art from Sovereign are all north of 6500 words, and two of them are almost 10,000 words.  "Flower Fairies" and "Tio Gilberto" are both shorter pieces, and publishing them instead allows us to stay within the overall word count for the issue while still providing our readers at least five stories.

And that's the story behind the stories.  We realize how long some of you have been waiting to see your stories published, and we have no wish to make you suffer.  In fact, I know Warren would love for us to publish all of these pieces sooner rather than later, so that he can move forward with some projects he has in mind for the magazine.  But unfortunately, it's not so simple as, "Well, these folks have been waiting the longest, so we'll just go ahead and publish all of them now."  If only.  Hope all of this makes sense and makes the wait a little easier on you.

So that's pretty much where things stand.  Here's hoping you enjoy the next issue.   

Tags: rof art department, rof magazine

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