(Ann VanderMeer and Stephen Segal accepting their Hugos for Weird Tales)
My wife Ann’s statement / press release is below. I have no comment except to say that Ann did great work at Weird Tales under sometimes trying and difficult conditions, and she was extremely patient, professional, and worked hard to un-ossify Weird Tales and make it true to its original mission statement: to provide a safe haven for unclassifiable and unique weird fiction. – JeffV
FROM ANN VANDERMEER:
(Also posted at the Weird Tales blog where you can comment.)
I am very sad to have to tell you that my editorship at Weird Tales, which has included one Hugo Award win and three Hugo Award nominations, is about to come to an end. The publisher, John Betancourt of Wildside Press, is selling the magazine to Marvin Kaye. Kaye is buying the magazine because he wants to edit it himself. He will not be retaining the staff from my tenure. I wish him the best with the different direction he wants to pursue, including his first, Cthulhu-themed issue. The current issue of Weird Tales is #358, just published. My last issue will be #359, which Kaye plans to publish in February of next year. Other stories I bought will be published in various issues thereafter.
The past five years reading fiction for Weird Tales magazine has been an honor for me. I had a blast doing this but I have also contributed to the canon of “the weird tale”—a responsibility I take seriously, not only for the readers of today, but for the readers of tomorrow. This iconic magazine originally blazed a trail for new approaches to dark fantastical fiction, and I did my best to return to that legacy. In addition to bringing home the first Hugo Award win in the history of Weird Tales, I was also only the second female editor of the magazine, and presided over the only all-female staff ever for the magazine.
My current plans include final work on THE WEIRD: A Compendium of Dark and Strange Stories out from Atlantic in October. This huge reprint anthology, perhaps the largest ever published for this kind of fiction, includes 116 stories from the last one hundred years and totals 750,000 words. I will also be shepherding the anthology ODD? to completion through my and my husband’s e-book imprint Cheeky Frawg, along with completing several other anthology projects. In addition, I will continue to talk about and promote weird fiction through a new blog associated with THE WEIRD that will act as a repository of information and features, as well as providing a home for a new slate of “one-minute Weird Tales,” although they will of course be called something else. Beyond that I am considering this a chance to explore new and exciting opportunities.
If you have questions about this announcement, or interview requests, please direct them to my publicist, Matt Staggs, at [email protected] Thank you for your support.
Because I will not have the opportunity to write a final editorial for the magazine, I would like to say a few additional things as part of this announcement.
First, I would like to thank all my readers for coming along on this adventure at Weird Tales with me, and trusting me to find the kind of stories that you love. Thanks also to the writers and artists for trusting me to take good care of your work and to present that work to the world. I had the opportunity to bring to your attention some great short fiction while also helping further the careers of a lot of up-and-coming writers.
I also want to thank the talented people I’ve worked with: Stephen Segal, Paula Guran, Mary Robinette Kowal, Tessa Kum, Dominik Parisien and Alan Swirsky. You all are the best.
I am proud of what I have accomplished these past five years. I worked hard to publish a wide variety of weird fiction. In addition to work from Weird Tales’ stalwarts like Tanith Lee and Darrell Schweitzer, I published a new Elric novella by Michael Moorcock, and new fiction from brilliant writers like Kathe Koja, Jeffrey Ford, Michael Bishop, Norman Spinrad, J. Robert Lennon, Ian MacLeod, Felix Gilman, Sarah Monette, along with forthcoming work by Conrad Williams, Joel Lane, and Stephen Graham Jones.
With the aid of Weird Tales creative director Stephen Segal during my first couple of years, we ran many memorable theme issues, including the “85 Weirdest Storytellers” issue to celebrate 85 years of publication, an Uncanny Beauty issue, a steampunk issue and an International Fiction issue. In fact I published work by contributors from 21 countries during my five years with the magazine, more than any prior editor—including from New Zealand, Canada, Spain, Bulgaria, Philippines, Israel, Serbia, Italy, Slovakia, Czech Republic, France, The Netherlands, Brazil, Finland, Singapore, and Sweden.
I also published many, many new or up-and-coming writers, including: Ramsey Shehadeh, Jeff Johnson, Matthew Pridham, Karin Tidbeck, Leena Likitalo, Tamsyn Muir, Tom Underberg, Peter Atwood, L.L. Hannett, Alistair Rennie, Kelly Barnhill, Micaela Morrissette, Jonathan Wood, Gio Clairval, Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, Amanda Downum, Catherine Cheek, and N.K. Jemisin.
During my tenure, Weird Tales also truly entered the twenty-first century, by establishing a submissions portal and regularly producing the One-Minute Weird Tales videos, in the context of a newly revamped website.
It was a great ride, but now it’s over. I am still dedicated to seeking out the best of weird fiction wherever it is and bringing it to you. I just won’t be doing that under the Weird Tales masthead anymore.