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.