Realms of Fantasy yet again takes my money and dies

Realms of Fantasy is closing again, and this time their death is likely permanent. As publisher Warren Lapine explains, he dropped more than $50,000 into reviving the magazine but the horrible economy prevented the fabled magazine's resurrection.

I'm sympathetic to Lapine and appreciate him trying to revive the magazine. And I wish editors Shawna McCarthy and Douglas Cohen all the best in the coming days. But I'm also irritated about this death--irritated at myself.

You see, this is the second time Realms of Fantasy has taken my subscription money to the grave. I wasn't angry the first time. After all, periodicals occasionally fail and I prefer to err on the side of supporting great magazines. And it isn't like I rushed in when RoF returned from the dead. When Lapine revived the magazine, I took a wait and see attitude. I'd heard people at conventions muttering about the collapse of Lapine's previous DNA Publications, so I wanted to see RoF actually succeed before I resubscribed. Instead of subscribing I simply purchased copies from bookstores. If the magazine didn't make it, I wouldn't be out anything.

Then came the infamous "subscribe or we die" letter. I should have taken that as a warning to stay away, but again, I want to support my genre. So not only did I urge others to subscribe, I finally did the sub nasty through RoF's online payment system.

That's when the trouble started. My payment went through immediately but my subscription didn't. I emailed about my subscription. I repeatedly called their customer service number. Despite all that, I only received my first issue two weeks ago. And now the magazine is dead. Again.

As they say, fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. I saw this coming but didn't want to believe it. So many people told me this would happen, but I didn't listen.

I won't make the same mistake a third time.