I don’t usually write posts about the publishing industry because I have next to no knowledge of it. I’m a writer, yes, but my publishing credits are few. I have not dealt with the politics of publishing firsthand. But when I heard the news today that Weird Tales was purchased and the entire staff will be fired, I had to pause.
I’ve read Weird Tales for quite some time. I enjoy it. I like the direction Ann VanderMeer took the magazine. That’s why I’m upset to learn she will no longer be editing it. She, a cultivator of the weird, has rejected me numerous times and I know it was for good reason. But I always had hope that one day, I’d break through. One of my very first submissions began with, “Dear. Ms. VanderMeer.” Sad.
As if that weren’t enough, the debut issue under the new editor will be Cthulhu-themed. I’m all for themed issues, but this seems strange. Weird Tales, a long time ago, was one of the original places to publish H.P. Lovecraft. Like, for real. When he was alive and stuff. Making the issue “all Cthulhu, all the time” is a bit too self-referential for my taste.
I guess my point is this: wouldn’t the best way to honor Lovecraft and all the mythical monster makers of the past require setting aside a space for the authors of today to create the next generation’s monsters and weird, fear-worthy things? Wouldn’t that be the best way to encompass what is “weird” and let the magazine live on in the tradition of Lovecraft, rather than in his image?
I know I’m basing this just on the theme of the first issue, but still. I can’t help but think this is a bad decision.