Ann VanderMeer has announced that she will no longer be editing Weird Tales. Apparently Marvin Kaye has purchased the magazine, intending to edit it himself.
I find this decision most unfortunate and, I must say, rather weird. Weird Tales had become a much more interesting magazine under Ann VanderMeer and her staff, an intriguing blend of high fantasy, dark fantasy, absurdism, even a little science fiction. It's had a gorgeous look with Mary Robinette Kowal as art director and interesting features under non-fiction editor Paula Guran. I wasn't the only one who was impressed -- the magazine just won its first Hugo Award two years ago.
VanderMeer says the first issue with Marvin Kaye as editor will be "Cthulhu-themed," which suggests the new direction will be a big step backwards. Perhaps there's still a large untapped market for H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard pastiches, although the ongoing struggles of Weird Tales to stay afloat since the 1950's suggest otherwise. But as much as I love the old pulp version of Weird Tales, it seems to me that writers have already had plenty of time to add to the Cthulhu mythos and explore Conan-style sword & sorcery. I suppose I shouldn't pre-judge what Marvin Kaye plans for Weird Tales, but his initial decision to jettison the current excellent staff does not bode well.
I just subscribed to Weird Tales for the first time this year, but now I highly doubt I'll be renewing that subscription.