Monday, August 31, 2009

The Phoenix Rises: Rebirth of Realms of Fantasy Magazine

I've been a subscriber to Realms of Fantasy magazine since 1999, and so was very disappointed to learn early this year that it had been shut down. Luckily, fan mobilization on facebook and other sites helped persuade Warren Lapine, owner of Tir Na Nog Press, to purchase the magazine and save it from permanent print death.

It seems every time I turn around, I read about another magazine closing, or in some cases, shutting down print operations and only offering online subscriptions. So for this reason as well, the relaunch of RoF is welcome news.

Now on to a quick review of the August issue--the first issue since the relaunch. They have kept the same basic look to the magazine, and all of the features and columns have returned as well, including the following departments: folkroots (which covers folklore and myth), the art gallery, books, movies, and games. The fiction section includes four stories, including "Our Lady Scarlet", by Tanith Lee. One of the changes they did make is switch to a thicker cover stock and much thicker mailing cover (I'm not sure what the actual name for this is, but it's the temporary, removable cover on subscriber issues). Occasionally an issue arrives slightly damaged, so this is a welcome change as each issue should better withstand rough handling.

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