Back in October, I wrote a rather snarky post (Realms Betting Pool) about the latest reincarnation of Realms of Fantasy, which had been purchased by Damnation Books. At the time, I was not hopeful. Damnation didn’t have the best reputation, and the owner’s defensive comments in Tobias Buckell’s blog made me want to weep for the fate of a magazine I cared about.
Four months later, I’m pleasantly surprised and a bit more optimistic. Damnation hired on most of the same staff, including Shawna McCarthy and Doug Cohen. For the Folkroots column, they’ve brought in kept Theodora Goss, who makes everything better simply by being Theodora Goss. They’re buying new fiction and art, and they got the February issue out pretty much on time.
I also really like the look of the February issue. I could nitpick font, but overall I think it’s a good cover. (Compare this one, the first under Damnation Books, to the “fishboobs” cover that marked Realms’ previous relaunch.)
Since I voiced my skepticism back in October, it seemed only fair that I follow up by stating publicly that I might have been wrong. I hope so. This is only one issue of the magazine, but it looks good, and I would love to see the magazine continue.
Has anyone picked up a copy of the February issue? What did you think? And for the authors, have you submitted to the new incarnation of Realms, and how did that go?