I've already written this obituary -- twice -- here and here. This has gotten convoluted enough that I missed posting about RoF's sale, though I did post about their impending (past tense) switch to e-subs.
Ian Randal Strock reports some details on SFScope today, announcing "The third death of Realms of Fantasy". He includes this posting from the latest owners:
When we purchased Realms of Fantasy last year we truly thought that we could succeed in publishing the magazine for the foreseeable future. We were unable to realize this goal, have been losing money, and we must regretfully announce the closure of the magazine.
During our time with the magazine we picked up without missing a single issue and were lucky enough to produce the 100th issue. We were able to introduce poetry and bring back the table top gaming column. We have been truly amazed at the positive feedback on the issues we have produced from all of the fans. This is what makes this decision so painful for us.
As we were considering closing the magazine we thought it was important for the October 2011 issue to be released in print for the fans. We did this knowing there would not be a return on the investment, but did it simply because we felt it was right. This does mean the October 2011 issue will be the last issue. The issue did go to newsstands and we have copies for those who are not active subscribers.
Since the October issue shipped late please allow until November 15th before contacting us about lost mailings. International subscribers please allow an additional two weeks.
We are currently trying to work with other magazines to assume the subscription list. This will ensure that subscribers get something for the portions of the subscriptions not fulfilled. This does mean that we will not be issuing refunds unless we are unable to secure a deal, at which point we will follow our posted refund policy. We will update you when we have more information.
If there is anyone interested in purchasing the magazine we will listen to all offers. Those interested should send an email to support [at] rofmag [dot] com.
We would like to thank Shawna McCarthy and Douglas Cohen for all of your support and help. You have both been wonderful to work with during the last year. We would also like to thank all of the remaining staff for the quality columns and attention to detail. Lastly, but definitely not least, we would like to thank all of the fans for your support and encouragement.
Please direct all further inquiries to support [at] rofmag [dot] com.
William and Kim Gilchrist
Damnation Books LLC
As the deja vu-ness of this all unfolds, we have farewell editorials (again) by Shawna McCarthy and Douglas Cohen, whose closing comments included:
There is of course that small voice in the back of my head, saying, “Maybe you’ll rise from the dead again!” Hey, maybe we will. But as I said to Shawna, “Each cancellation has felt a little more final than the last one. This one feels like the end of the road.”
If it is, we’ve had a final year we can be proud of. We’ve won a Nebula Award, and we were nominated for another one. Our longtime fiction editor, Shawna McCarthy, was honored at this year’s World Fantasy Convention as the Editorial Guest of Honor. Artwork we’ve published has received some wonderful honors. We reached issue 100, and with this latest issue we’ve managed to publish 600 stories in RoF’s lifetime. We published poetry for the first time, and in my admittedly biased opinion, the work our nonfiction columnists delivered was second to none. There’s a lot to be proud of in this final year, and I’m glad we and the magazine managed to have it. It makes for a fitting end. It’s time to move on, and I’m excited at what the future holds for me in this field.
As I said in January 2009 and October 2010, I'm not much of a fantasy writer, so it's not that this is a market that I submit to. But it's one I've read from time to time, and a lot of the writers I know DO write fantasy. So I know this will affect some people.
Is this REALLY the end? Dunno. Lots of people tell me that the glossy physical magazine is dead in this e-world -- and "no one" has figured out how to make money in said e-world. Dunno about that either. Still, someone else might pony up and restart RoF again -- nothing would surprise me. And copy-and-paste is making this easier each time. (sad wry grin)