Monday, January 12, 2015

Weird Tales: The UNDEAD Issue is that Weird Tales is DEAD

“Friends, readers, countrymen and those fans from distant shores, lend me your ears.                      
I come not to bury Weird Tales Magazine, but to praise it.                                                                 
he evil that ownership has done to subscribers, well, that is a tale for a civil court.                         
The good works it will no longer publish, so let it be….                                                                     
So let it be with Poe, Lovecraft, Bloch, Quinn and Bradbury;
So let it be with yours truly and other emerging writers;
So let it be for anyone never ever to be seen again under this masthead…
Let death be not proud because this is not a fitting end to a pulp that was so vital.
But it is an ironic end for a magazine that claimed new life through its last print; The Undead Issue.”

Weird Tales was born in 1923 and the history of this standard bearer is both amazing and yet spotty. The artists and writers who have appeared between its covers are the giants of any age. But as with all that is ‘art’, corporate and business concerns have interrupted it, sought to kill it under minutia and have choked the life from it, leaving it for dead.

In the case of Weird Tales this has been a recurrent nightmare.

Ownership changes have meant changes in editorial approach, meaning the magazine became its own science experiment destined to fail because frankly it seems no one actually cared and no one actually had the vision to celebrate the magazine’s strengths.

The pulp will not reply to any questions concerning future issues, unfulfilled subscriptions and captive manuscripts. Questions concerning control and ownership appear to mirror a publishing and business model akin to the ‘Keystone Cops’.

During my life Weird Tales was the goal of every horror and fantasy writer. The pulp was the ‘big leagues’, the guide, the brass ring. I know when I made my appearance it was a dream come true and when my second piece was accepted I felt as though I was on the proverbial 9th cloud.

But that second piece never appeared. Then the website was hacked. There were issues with the next issue and all went dark. This was the 1970s, 1980s, and recent history all over again and again.

But this proverbial cat, this romantic and glorious phoenix doesn’t seem to be stirring. Like any ancient oldie this case of ED appears permanent without any of external help on the horizon.

Whether cursed or not, Weird Tales is dead and to that there is no issue. It is sad. It is so sad.   

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