Deathrealm is long dead at this point, but for the sake of historical interest, I preserve below, verbatim, Mark Rainey's announcement of its 1997 cancellation.
-- Lawrence Watt-Evans
After serious consideration by the partners of Malicious Press (Lawrence Watt-Evans & Terry Rossio) and myself, the decision has been made that, following the release of issue #31, DEATHREALM Magazine will cease publication. Issue #31, originally scheduled for March release, 1997, will instead be pushed back to June, and will officially be the final DEATHREALM.
The reasons for closing the magazine are many; some are financial -- the distribution game has not been particularly kind in the last year or so, with so many distributors’ payments coming later and later, if at all. In early 1996, an $1,800 check from Fine Print Distributors bounced; it was later made good upon, but since that time, their payments have become considerably smaller and less frequent. I dropped a number of smaller distributors over the course of this year who failed to pay in timely manner; and increasingly, I have run into dealers who are outright indignant that they are actually required to pay for the issues that they order. In essence, I have worn myself out just attempting to collect on what is legally owed to the magazine, to a much greater degree than ever in the past.
Which brings me to the most compelling reason for closing down, and that’s the fact that DEATHREALM has been going now for ten years, and I’m tired. My own writing projects have increasingly had to take a back seat to the magazine’s business, for which I’m not being paid, and which has in fact eaten up great deals of my own personal budget; in order to continue the magazine at the level it’s reached, I would need to commit even more hours and dollars that I can scarcely afford. Having gained a fairly reputable status with my writing, I would much prefer to devote my creative energies in that direction.
The part you’re no doubt mainly concerned about is where that leaves you as subscribers and contributors. So: if you have work contracted with DEATHREALM, it should appear in issue #31, thus clearing out the backlog of material I have taken. Any contributors who are still owed for their work will be paid as contracted. Subscribers will be either reimbursed on a prorated basis after the termination of the publication schedule or have their subscriptions transferred to a different magazine, assuming that such a deal may be made and the transfer is agreeable to the individual subscriber (at this time, there is a tentative deal with Keith Burgin and Blakksoul Publications' TWISTED Magazine). Reimbursements will most likely be issued late in 1997.
While I have loved being at DEATHREALM’s helm probably more than any endeavor I’ve undertaken, I believe that after its decade-long run, it has served its purpose admirably and I can put it to bed without regrets. DEATHREALM paved the road for a lot of the publications that are still in existence, as well as many that have come and already gone over the last decade. A lot of the writers who’ve gone on to make names for themselves got their start in our pages, and I’m more than a little pleased at the respect the title has gained among my own peers.
My sincere thanks go to everyone who has had a hand in the magazine, and especially that number of you who began subscribing with DEATHREALM’s earliest issues and are still here to this day. I especially could never have done without people like James Robert (BOB) Smith, Dani D’Attilio, Andrea Locke, Stan Tal, Terry Rossio & Lawrence Watt-Evans and the incomparable Mrs. Deathrealm -- those people who were at the heart of the operation along with me and who’ve put in more than their share of work to help keep the magazine going when times have been tough. Not to mention all the contributors who’ve put in their best efforts for the token pittance we’ve been able to offer in return.
DEATHREALM has twice in its history closed up shop, temporarily, due to factors beyond the editor/publisher’s control. This time, it’s my decision (along with LWE and Terry), and I don’t expect to see the magazine return in the near future. However, with DEATHREALM having woven itself into my own identity as it has over the years, who’s to say that it won’t one day be resurrected; maybe as a magazine, an anthology... only time will tell.
It’s been a real privilege to be a part of DEATHREALM, and having it be a part of me. For now, sayonara.
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