Another great magazine has been destroyed by a vicious economic climate and a lack of reader support. And it’s really not the readers fault; it’s just the times, they are a-changin’. It’s such a shame that so many great magazines are sinking – but it’s at least partly the cost of our new digital age. As we progress deeper and deeper online, with more people expecting more stuff for less outlay, the economic pressures of running an actual print magazine like Realms Of Fantasy become impossible.
You can read the full story here. As publisher Warren Lapine says in that article:
Ultimately, I believe Realms failed because of a terrible economic climate. When I purchased the magazine I did not believe that the worst economy since the Great Depression would actually get worse; that was a mistake.
I think that’s true, but not the whole story. It’s also another symptom of our progression away from traditional forms of print media. It’s altogether possible that Realms could survive as an online and/or ebook publication, without the outlay required for physical copies and distribution. I think that’s going to be the case for more and more fiction markets if they intend to survive. Places like Clarkesworld and Tor.com are seemingly very strong markets (you can never be certain in this game). While it’s very sad to see the decline of another bastion of the printed speculative fiction range, it’s really just part of the price we pay for moving into the future we’ve all been writing about.
As Robert Silverberg said at Worldcon recently, someone once introduced him with the words, “Robert Silverberg has made a career writing about the future. Now he’s condemned to live in it.”
Vale, Realms Of Fantasy. If anyone wants it, you can get it for a dollar.
(Hat tip, Lisa Hannett for this news.)