Carp and fork shoot. It seems Realms of Fantasy are going out of business
. A shrinking market shrinks further. We're all saving our money and we should be, but we may lose things we don't want to lose.
I remember once when I was a contractor, doing really good work and my contract came up for renewal. My boss wanted me to stay, the clients wanted me to stay, the team wanted me to stay, their managers wanted me to stay, their managers' managers wanted me to stay. The decision landed on the director's desk, an ignorant f*ck of the type found all to often in senior management. He decided he wanted to save money and said I should come back in 3 or 4 months. There were other ways to get money and other ways to save, but he was an old-style boss and he had decided. This the day before my contract ended. Of course this is not the way things work. Contractors don't wait around. They look for new work, especially in a good economy. I had 3 interviews the next day (a Friday) and started a new contract on the Monday. Naturally I never went back. The user team were very upset. Some months later they approached my company about a return and I declined. I was settled in at a new place. And anyway, why put myself back into an unpredictable situation like that?
Sometimes the opportunity to keep something of value is just here for the moment, and then it's gone forever. You may have a reprieve, you likely will not. We're making that same kind of financial decision, one where we really ought to be thinking more about the future. Many of us are choosing collectively to buy fewer magazines of quality short-stories and instead to save our money... or more likely to focus it elsewhere. I'm betting we still have full cable, a nice DVD collection and so on. It's not just the economy, that's just the last straw.
Short stories are kind of magical. There is so much packed into a small space. And writing! It should never cease to amaze us that little black marks on paper can turn into living, vibrant universes in our minds, more alive than even on a screen. And yet we're selecting them out of our world, and the world of readers has shrunk still further.