Realms of Fantasy was launched in October 1994 by Sovereign Media, as a sister magazine to Science Fiction Age (published 1992 – 2000). Sovereign Media canceled Realms with the April 2009 issue, blaming “plummeting newsstand sales, the problem currently faced by all of the fiction magazines.”
The magazine was purchased by Warren Lapine’s Tir Na Nog Press and reappeared in July 2009, skipping only one issue (May 2009). A year later Lapine announced the magazine would be shut down after the October 2009 issue, but Realms was spared again when small press publisher Damnation Books acquired it and resumed publication with the December 2010 issue.
Today Damnation Books publisher William Gilchrist made this announcement on the Realms of Fantasy website:
When we purchased Realms of Fantasy last year we truly thought that we could suceed in publishing the magazine for the foreseeable future. We were unable to realize this goal, have been loosing (sic) money, and we must regetfully 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 tabletop 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 knowning 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…
If there is anyone interested in purchasing the magazine we will listen to all offers. Those intersted should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shawna McCarthy, who was the Editorial Guest of Honor at last weekend’s World Fantasy Convention, has been the magazine’s Fiction Editor since its first issue. Editor Douglas Cohen had this to say in his farewell message:
We reached issue 100, and with this latest issue we’ve managed to publish 600 stories in RoF’s lifetime… 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.
Farewell Realms of Fantasy. You will be missed.