Old friend Warren Lapine mailed me a copy of Realms of Fantasy with the stipulation that I write a review on my blog. The idea of writing a review, or at least having a review written has a certain appeal. As if I am enough of an authority that my views on writing merit consideration.
I'm not, and they don't but I but will plow ahead undaunted, secure in the knowledge that any damage to the oeuvre will be negligible.
First, let me mention that "Realms of Fantasy" is a magazine which recently returned from the great newsstand in the sky. Reports of it's demise were not greatly exaggerated, yet publisher Warren Lapine, with his incurable desire to promote and share speculative fiction, stepped in and resuscitated the venerable publication after the lid already had been nailed shut and the coffin lowered into the well you get the idea.
Bravo, well done sir. I greedily devoured the August issue while procrastinating on more pressing obligations. And it was worth it. The pain of my wife's exasperation was nothing to the pleasure I derived from the majority of stories.
Tanith Lee, Ian Creasey, Dennis Danvers and Bruce Holland Rogers offer up new fiction in the issue. Reviews of games, movies, music, art and books are also present. For myself, the review of the new Harry Potter movie by Resa Nelson was the first article I read and it only served to whet my appetite.
My only disappointment was the story "Well and Truly Broken" by Bruce Holland Rogers. It was too short. As the last story in the issue, finishing it only meant my chores could be put off no longer.
The connection that Publisher Warren Lapine has to Local Bias is that he lived in Greenfield many years and began his career as Sci Fi Mogul here. I had the honor to read some unsolicited manuscripts for him while chowing on pizza and hanging out with other readers during "slush" parties.
I was always impressed by the number of stories generated by unsolicited writers. Some of them were quite enjoyable, but the majority were given only a cursory look. Warren himself rarely got past the first sentence before consigning the missive to be returned or recycled. Occasionally, one would be so poorly written that it had to be read aloud and everyone would have a good chuckle. That's why I choose to use a pseudonym.
I don't have to hide behind a false name to say that I'm impressed with the resurrection of Realms of Fantasy and encourage any lover of speculative fiction to give it try.