Friday, January 13, 2012
Realms of Fantasy, Penumbra eMag, And a Surprise Announcement from Musa Publishing!
Readers and fans of speculative fiction were saddened and perhaps a little traumatized by the announcement last November that Realms of Fantasy was closing its doors for good. I know I certainly was. Like many other fantasy writers, I pored over issues of RoF, reading all those outstanding short stories and appreciating the sheer beauty of the art and illustrations of the magazine. Realms of Fantasy was close to the hearts of many writers like myself, where we could study the stories that made it past the golden portals of the RoF slushpile and onto those lovely pages.
As soon as the announcement was made, the directors here at Musa and I discussed what the closing of RoF would mean to the lover of short speculative fiction. I'd just returned from the World Fantasy Convention in San Diego, and Penumbra, the spec fic eMag we'd launched at the same time as Musa, was getting a lot of positive attention.
It took us less than an hour to decide that we would offer to fulfill and complete the contracts of Realms of Fantasy's electronic subscribers. I'm not going to be disingenuous and claim that we don't have ulterior motives. Of course we do--we want the Realms of Fantasy readers to take a look at Penumbra and what we do there. But by the same token, we wanted to offer something not only to the readers of RoF, who lost a magazine they loved, but also to the owners and staff of RoF, who'd tried so hard for so long to keep the magazine going. So I contacted RoF to submit our offer--and, after discussions on both our parts, the following agreement was reached:
First: Penumbra eMag, a division of Musa Publishing, will fulfill the remainder of the contract terms between Realms of Fantasy and their subscribers. Although Realms of Fantasy was a bimonthly publication, we are considering the terms to be the annual contract. So say, for example, a reader had two issues left on their subscriptions. At Musa, that is the equivalent of four issues of Penumbra.
Second: In addition, all Realms of Fantasy electronic subscribers will immediately receive the November, December and January issues of Penumbra. We will be sending out our welcome packet to RoF subscribers, including those three issues, over the course of the next few days.
And finally: Penumbra will provide some/any/all Realms of Fantasy print subscribers with ONLY the November, December, and January issues, and include them in our February subscription mailing as well. Because there's no way for us to track this provision, we've agreed to provide these issues on an 'honor' basis.
Realms of Fantasy was one of the great speculative fiction magazines, beloved of writers and readers alike. The magazine will be sorely missed in the industry because every issue was a work of art--not only the visually stunning illustrations and covers, but amazing fiction and in depth articles written by authors at the pinnacle of the genre. You, as subscribers to RoF, have a very distinctive palate--a taste for sf/f fiction that is both refined and forward-thinking. That's why throughout the course of your association with Penumbra, we'll be polling subscribers, seeking your input on our content as we continue to build and add new elements to the magazine.
We at Musa Publishing and Penumbra eMag are proud to welcome the RoF readers to our world. We'd like to thank Realms of Fantasy magazine, the Gilchrists and all their outstanding staff for not only the wonderful magazine brought to us over the years, but also for granting us the honor of introducing Penumbra to their loyal readers.
Realms of Fantasy subscribers may contact Penumbra for more information or for any questions. RoF print subscribers: to claim your issues of Penumbra, email me at email@example.com to receive your first three issues of Penumbra and our welcome packet. You'll receive your fourth issue, the February Shakespeare issue, on February 1 along with all our other subscribers.
Farewell, Realms of Fantasy and thank you for the years of cutting edge speculative fiction you've given your readers and fans.
And welcome, Realms of Fantasy subscribers to life on the edge of the eclipse--welcome to Penumbra.