Thursday, October 28, 2010

The end of Realms of Fantasy begs the question: Too much fantasy on the market?

This post over on the Cyclopeatron blog closely mirrors my own thoughts on why I think Realms of Fantasy and other magazines in the short fiction market are largely a dying or endangered breed.

It’s not necessarily the bad economy (though I don’t doubt this is a contributing factor). And it’s not necessarily the changing face of publishing, which is moving from print periodicals to PDF and/or web delivery (though this likely is a contributing factor, since publishers of all stripes have struggled with monetizing content delivered on the web).

Rather, like Cyclopeatron, I’ve long believed that there’s simply too much fantasy fiction on the market, and that magazines have gotten the squeeze as a result.

At first this may seem like a ridiculous notion. Realms of Fantasy, one of the few remaining print fantasy magazines in the market, goes under, and it’s because there’s too much fantasy for it to complete against? Yes, at least in my opinion. Here’s why.

To read the rest of this post, visit the Black Gate website .

7 comments:

cyclopeatron said...

Thanks for linking to my post Brian, I'm glad you found it interesting!

Each new generation of writers has to compete with all the writers that came before. In a genre 100+ years old the bar has become insanely high.

Eric D. Lehman said...

Realms of Fantasy has/had what always seemed to me a 1980s aesthetic that I think people/readers are moving past (although it still tugs at the strings of my childhood, and it could just be my personal associations). "Fantasy" has expanded so much in the past 15 years that the magazine probably seemed strangely limited to the casual reader. I would add that alongside your reasons, and some of the reasons in the comments thread over at Black Gate.

Anonymous said...

hey Eric a 1980's aesthetic in the art or in the stories themselves?
Francisco...

Brian Murphy said...

Cyclopeatron: No problem with the link, I loved your post. When I read it I had a moment of strong recognition as I had been formulating the same theory for quite some time.

Eric: I agree, the covers and the stories (at least the few that I read; I only own three issues) felt like airy, epic fantasy in the vein of The Belgariad or Piers Anthony or The Mists of Avalon. Not really my cuppa tea.

Eric D. Lehman said...

I think Brian answered your question, Francisco - both! But definitely the covers.

Unlike you, Biran, that type indeed USED to be my cuppa tea - back then I breathed Belgariad and Piers Anthony. Not these days. And 'the kids' as my wife likes to call the new generations, have more options easily found than the 'fantasy' section of Waldenbooks, where I lived for about a decade.

Eric D. Lehman said...

Whoops - "Biran" - that sounds like a name from one of those old fantasy short stories. "Biran of Malkendorf strode to the window. Alas! His kingdom was under attack."

Brian Murphy said...

Biran--I like that. How about Lord Biran!