Sad news: Ann VanderMeer out as Weird Tales editor

August 23, 2011 § 2 Comments

I just learned that Ann VanderMeer is out as editor of Weird Tales.  This is very sad news for two reasons.  First, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Ann and her husband Jeff over the past three years and I think the world of them, both as people and as people who have excellent taste in literature.  Although I am confident Ann will bounce back from this setback and continue to be a major player in the presenting of new voices and different styles of weird, steampunk, and fantasy fiction, I cannot help but to feel this is a terrible development.

Second, I worry about the future of Weird Tales.  I had a two-year subscription recently expire (I had bought the latest via the iBooks store for my iPad) and I had planned to subscribe digitally.  This is due to Ann’s efforts at making Weird Tales fresher and more up-to-date for readers such as myself who might have otherwise dismissed Weird Tales as being a hidebound relic more devoted to sucking at the mummified teats of H.P. Lovecraft than at furthering awareness of newer weird fiction writers.  Based on the little information found in the press release, it sounds like the new publisher plans on turning his back on the newer writers in favor of Lovecraft pastiches.  For some, that might be ideal, but for me that is unappealing, so it is with some sadness that I probably will not be following this new direction at the magazine.

But since there is little I can do but mourn, at least I can re-read with pleasure the issues that Ann did edit and rejoice in knowing that there were some excellent writers I was introduced to due to her time as fiction editor and then general editor.  That is perhaps the strongest tribute I can give at this time and I hope others hearing this will take the time to check out the stories that Ann promoted during her years at Weird Tales.  There are some gems awaiting those who do check out the magazine’s website or the e-issues available for individual purchase. 


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