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!