It was quietly announced, via their moribund Facebook page, that the revival of venerable NEW WORLDS magazine is dead. After getting out (I think) two issues via a clunky, ugly and largely broken website, this was no more than raising a headstone over something that was already cold. Even Michael Moorcock, the defining editor of the magazine’s peak years in the Sixties, and who licensed them the name, never saw an issue, and wasn’t aware that they were officially titling the revival “Michael Moorcock’s New Worlds.” “New Worlds Of Nostalgia?” Mike observed. NEW WORLDS was never supposed to be a nostalgic enterprise. But, perhaps, publishing a speculative fiction magazine is. I had drinks with an editor in publishing last night who remains apoplectic that print sf magazines stubbornly refuse to meet the future, change tack, publicise or advertise. We laughed about still not knowing how many copies INTERZONE sells per issue, and how few people seem to know it’s still going.
I’ve written a lot about NEW WORLDS and sf magazines elsewhere in the past. This new end of NEW WORLDS (there have been a few) comes a few days after learning that Rudy Rucker’s FLURB, my favourite online speculative fiction magazine, has also ended its run. This week I bought myself (in PDF) the new issue of BLACK CLOCK, run by novelist Steve Erickson. I’ve been thinking a lot this year about the history of fiction magazines and journals run by writers.
This is all just idle thoughts waiting to be collated into something with a point. Perhaps DARK MOUNTAIN, with its speculations surrounding a post-civilisation condition, now starts to define an ecology of arts about new worlds. I sit and wonder.