As I mentioned back in December, 2009 was likely to be a horrible year for SF/F magazines. It didn't take long for that prediction to come true. In only the last few weeks, we've learned that
- Realms of Fantasy will cease publication in April (and after they published a great January issue).
- Year's Best Fantasy and Horror anthology is no more.
- F&SF is going to a bi-monthly publication schedule.
On top of that, Asimov's and Analog last year changed to a new format that was more economical to print, while Locus and NYRSF have both recently asked for more subscribers to keep their financials solid. Add this in with problems in the magazine distribution business and cut backs in the book publishing industry, and it isn't hard to see how more bad news could come down in 2009 for written SF/F.
So the question is: Where do we go from here? It seems to me that SF/F anthologies are doing well right now, as are online magazines like Baen's. Amazon is also getting set to release a new version of their popular kindle e-book reader. I also think the other major SF/F magazines--Asimov's, Analog, F&SF, and Interzone--appear to be in a solid position to continue publishing great SF/F. So perhaps 2009 is a tipping point year, in which the world of written SF/F gets shaken up before going on to new and greater things.
I certainly hope that's the case.