We’ve become sadly familiar with the experience of first-rate print magazines vanishing from the shelves, because of declining circulation. The biggest loss in recent years was probably that of Sherlock, a splendid magazine, which under the editorship of David Stuart Davies covered the whole world of crime fiction, not just Sherlockiana. But after several successful years, the owner lost heart. Unfortunately, the trend of disappearance isn’t confined to print publications. A couple of worthwhile ezine projects have faltered in the last year or so.
One was Cobwebby Bottles, produced by fellow author and blogger Rafe McGregor. This had a Sherlockian emphasis, and was really very promising. Now comes the news that Crime Fiction Gazette, the brainchild of rare book specialist and new novelist Paul Moy is also coming to an end after only two issues. A pity.
The snag is that producing print magazines takes a considerable financial investment, and even with ezines, there has to be a significant input of time and effort if the publication is to be sustained. It’s hard work, and I can well understand why those involved give up.
On a happier note, there are still various magazines available which do a terrific job of discussing the genre, and they deserve the support of crime fans everywhere. In the US, I can think of Mystery Scene, Deadly Pleasures, Give Me That Old-Time Detection and The Strand. In the UK, we have CADS, which I think is quite brilliant, and also excellent online resources such as Shots and Crime Time. I like all of them, and admire all the editors who do such a good job with them – but I’m sure there is room for fresh publications too.