Fantasy Magazines

Reminder: Book Giveaway #1 ends at midnight, my time, tonight (in about four more hours)! So if you want to enter, make sure to get your garden description in by then. For the rules, look under Book Giveaway #1 below. I’ll be reading the descriptions tomorrow and selecting a winner. And then I’ll be announcing Book Giveaway #2!

I came to a realization today. First, Realms of Fantasy folded, and now Fantasy Magazine is being incorporated into Lightspeed. That means in one year, we’ve lost two dedicated fantasy magazines. I’m sure Lightspeed is going to be wonderful, and of course there are still many places to read fantasy, both in print and online. All of the major genre magazines publish it. But I miss having magazines that focused on fantasy, as opposed to fantasy, science fiction, and horror, as the online and print magazines do now. I want my fantasy fix.

Actually, you know what I really want? I want The Journal of Mythic Arts back.

Do you remember The Journal of Mythic Arts? It was published by Terri Windling from 2003 to 2008, and it was gorgeous. It reflected Terri’s aesthetic, which is lovely and sophisticated and deeply informed by all the art I most love, and also her intelligence and knowledge of the fantasy field. You don’t get a publication like The Journal of Mythic Arts without an editor like Terri Windling. It came out four times a year, once each season, and each issue was packed with fiction, poetry, essays, book reviews, and art.

The thing about a publication like The Journal of Mythic Arts is that you always know it’s going to be wonderful. You always know that the quality of the contents is going to be high, and that the issue itself is going to give you visual pleasure. You can read it the way you would drink a really good cup of coffee. (Like a skinny peppermint mocha – sorry, ignore me, that’s my current vice.)

The Journal of Mythic Arts also had a different point of view from the publication that are out there now. The ones out there now tend to be darker. What I always felt, when I read The Journal of Mythic Arts, was a sense of hope – a sense that the world was magical, and magic was a good thing, a sort of gift. I think we need that in fantasy now, to counterbalance both the dystopian tendency that seems to have taken over in literature and what we see happening in the world itself. We need some escape from that, some refreshment from it. We need to believe that magic is possible, despite all the tragedy we see every day (in literature and on the news). Don’t get me wrong, we need tragedy, we need to explore dystopias. But we also need beauty and pleasure and respite.

I posted about this on Facebook, and didn’t anticipate that people would immediately suggest my editing such an online magazine. I know how very, very hard Terri worked to make The Journal of Mythic Arts a reality. And my life is so full right now that I can’t even think about it – not for a while. But I really do see the need for something different, a voice and viewpoint that we’re losing.

We need a dedicated fantasy magazine.

I don’t know what to do about that, not at the moment. But sometimes identifying a need will get a ball rolling, and then something positive will happen. So I’m putting the idea out there.

Universe, now it’s your turn! (And if you want me to do something like this, to take on a significant project, you might give me some more time. Just saying.)

The above, by the way, is either Circe by John William Waterhouse or me thinking about how much we need a new fantasy magazine. But probably both!

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16 Responses to Fantasy Magazines

  1. We lean toward fantasy at Kazka Press, but sci-fi is also a part of our landscape. We love both, but I understand your sentiment. I’m quite sad that Fantasy is getting folded into Lightspeed, but such is the market these days.

  2. Zann Carter says:

    I love all that you said here.

  3. John Joseph Adams says:

    FWIW, fully half of LS’s content will be fantasy going forward, so it shouldn’t be much different than having Fantasy as a separate magazine.

    • I think the combined Lightspeed is going to be terrific. 🙂 But there’s a sensibility Terri had that I don’t see in fantasy anymore. Maybe I’m not looking hard enough, but I feel as though something is missing. It may be something that can only be replicated in something like JoMA, which was basically nonprofit and a labor of love. I do want to give a big shout out to Lightspeed, though, which is publishing terrific stuff!

  4. Sofia says:

    I am sad about Realms, and I have been sad about the Journal of Mythic Arts for a while. There is absolutely a need for something like that now. And it is possible that by giving you the idea, the Universe is saying you should do it. I know that’s what I’M saying.

  5. Thoraiya says:

    I’m sad about Zahir. *sniffle*

  6. Your Facebook commenters anticipated my own response. I think a journal edited and curated by you would be an amazing thing.

  7. Midori Snyder and I were very very sad to close down The Journal of Mythic Arts — which ran for 11 years, actually. (It was in 2003 that we went quarterly, instead of publishing new material whenever the heck we felt like it, and started calling it The Journal of Mythic Arts instead of simply the Endicott Studio website). I absolutely loved editing JoMA, but it was an unpaid labor of love and very time-consuming (in those pre-blog days when every page had to be coded by hand) … and after eleven years Midori and I were … tired.

    JoMA is not necessarily dead forever, though. And some lovely web journals have popped up in its wake, like Goblin Fruit, Cabinet des Fees, and Stone Telling.

    • Sofia says:

      Tons of people you don’t even know, such as myself, thank you for your work and understand that it couldn’t go on (and we will not forget the words “JoMA is not necessarily dead forever”).

      I thought of GF, CdF, and ST, especially CdF. But surely there’s room for more? Think of all the zines dedicated to sci-fi. Also, two of those three only accept poetry! What I want is Goblin Fruit for stories.

      • Kathrin says:

        JoMA ~ yes! that sensibility, that sense of wonder and hope… important and missing in too many publications…
        Yes, Sofia, a Goblin Fruit for stories!
        I have little to no experience in editing or curating a journal, and so to those of you who have and/or are (Terri Windling, John Joseph Adams, Amal El-Mohtar and Jessica P. Wick, Rose Lemberg…and thankfully so many more) a great big thank you. I rely on and appreciate your work. Because fantasy and a sense of wonder and hope are vital to being human and vital to creating that world of wonder and hope toward which we yearn.
        And of course thank you to you, Theodora Goss, and to all writers and dreamers.

  8. Tim Pratt says:

    We’ve lost our dedicated-fantasy year’s bests, too — both The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror (which was only half fantasy, but it was a BIG half) and the Year’s Best Fantasy series disappeared in recent years. There are some mixed-genre year’s bests, but every year I feel the absence of those two series, which filled so many wonderful hours for me.

  9. Margaret Fisher Squires says:

    I’m so glad you posted this. I’d been wanting to ask you what to do now that RoF is no more.
    I want to join my voice to all who say, “Thank you, Terri Windling, for all you’ve done.”
    I want to join my voice to all who say, “Please do it, Theodora!” I would dearly love to see a magazine infused with your “sense of wonder and hope” (to borrow Kathrin’s phrase).

    I am a psychotherapist, which means that I see many wonders of healing and growth, but it also means that I hear stories of darkness and horror. And I try to keep aware of current events–not the mass-media catalog of murders and scandals, but the currents of the economy, social justice or its lack, international relations, and the environment. Again with the darkness and horror. When I read for pleasure, the last thing I want is darkness and horror. So,often, I find myself not reading the no-doubt wonderful stories in many no-doubt wonderful ‘zines–I don’t want to get a third of the way into a story only to find myself burdened with yet another horrific image. I wish editors would mark each story in their mixed-speculative journals as to horror content.

    The names of certain authors are a signal to me that I can trust the work to amuse and encourage, not burden me. Your name is certainly one of them!

    Could editing such a journal somehow be nested in with your professional duties, if that would provide an economy of time? I know some literary journals and at least one fantasy magazine are somehow part of the activities of some academic departments.

    Please do it, Theodora! I promise to subscribe!

  10. I was all caught up with the Imaginary Garden Week One contest so I just read all this. I will so miss Realms of Fantasy. It was a dream of mine to have a story in it one day and now it will not happen. I have saved nearly every magazine since the beginning, a beautiful legacy, the most exquisite art, lovely stories by new and also familiar writers, Theodora Goss’s incredible debut; hours of radiant moments. I also mourned the end of The Journal of Mythic Arts, as I had just finally gotten my first computer and found it held a wonderland I never knew before (always thought to be a luddite by my children, it was just…no time, no time to become tech-wise, until 2006, when more time arrived). JoMA & ROF were more inclusive than anything offered now. But if we believe in enchantment…clap hands, now, something should rise up…Though I don’t think we should pester anybody until they have time. All in good time, I hope, I hope, I hope.

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