I got my October issue of Realms of Fantasy over the weekend. Then I found out today that the magazine is folding, this time for good. Realms has had more rebirths than the phoenix, seems like. It was the little magazine that would not die. Alas, ’twas not be.
My short stories Into the Dark and Ice were both published in Realms of Fantasy, and they were two of my proudest sales.
Shawna in her farewell essay says:
Since this is my third attempt at a farewell editorial, you’d think I’d be adept at it by now. Not so much, I’m afraid. Realms has been my baby from the first issue in 1994 to the last (sob) in 2011.
Shawna, it was a truly amazing run. I am sorry it can’t continue. Thank you for the pleasure of reading some of the best contemporary fantasy out there.
Two stories in the October issue of Realms of Fantasy stood out: Saint’s Paw, by Alan Smale, and Halloween, by Euan Harvey.
Halloween made it pretty clear that I am a wuss when it comes to horror. The story was a selection of creeeepy vignettes of the kind that kids love because it keeps them up at night and then they can lie in their beds quivering with fear because the masks are real, the thing under the bed will grab you, the boyfriend who turns into a monster never was a boyfriend and always was the monster, and so on. Harvey’s bio says that he “fear-tests” his stories on his kids. I predict that we’ll be hearing about Mr. Harvey’s children on the police blotter pages in a few years.
In Alan Smale’s Saint’s Paw, all Rachel did was try to dissect her dead father. He was already dead! He wasn’t even using his body anymore! But, like, everyone overreacted, and she takes shelter in St. Stephan’s Church, which has a few skeletons in its closet as well.
Much to like about this story, beginning with the heroine’s smart, dry-eyed, dispassionate self-awareness and the manner of her deliverance. There were many good bits, but my favorites were these (pardon typos):
Was anything in this church genuine?
St. Stephan was out of her system. Yet right in front of her was a man who had treated her like a side of beef just seconds before, a man whose laughter would have rung in her ears as they humiliated her. …. Rachel went for him under her own steam, rage filling her.
Pick up a copy. There’s good stuff inside.
Many apologies for the Great Outage of 2009. I lost some content, and will try to restore that over the next couple of days. But here are some general housekeeping notes.
The Mammoth Book of Time Travel Romance hit my mailbox today, and it looks good. I read the first story, “The Key to Happiness” by Gwyn Cready, and it’s smart and funny and sweet. I’ll give you my impressions as I go. I’ve also started The Singers of Nevya by Louise Marley, while waiting for my daughter to have her wisdom teeth out, and I’m enjoying it. In her non-writing life Louise sings, and in this book, an omnibus of three of her novels, she makes use of her knowledge for a fine fantasy.
In other reading news, I’ve read the stories in the most recent Realms of Fantasy. Some fine stuff — again, when I catch up I’ll share my thoughts.
Now for news of my own work: As an apology for the website outage, I turned to my Amazon Author page and posted the first chapter of my newest complete project, The Unexpected Miss Bennet, there. If you haven’t had a chance to visit, please do. If the blog is down here, I will try to keep you updated there.
The third book in the Gordath Wood series is well underway, about 27,000 words complete. I want to get a bit further along, but I will also post the first chapter here in January, once I polish the heck out of it and make it all purty and shiny. (While working from home today to tend the aforementioned daughter who had her wisdom teeth out, we watched Firefly. Hence the dialect.)
So that’s what’s been going on. Let’s hope that the Tech Gods remain happy at least through Christmas. I don’t think I could take another outage like that one. Apologies again, and enjoy the new content!