Emerald City Folds

Cheryl Morgan has announced online that Emerald City will cease publication this year. The Hugo-winning review and news publication, which reached issue #131 in July, likely will have two more monthly issues before the end.

Morgan attributed her decision in part to the logistical difficulties created by not having a permanent home. She also noted in a comment appended to someone’s LiveJournal that producing the reviewzine and writing her blog for its website were full-time occupations only made possible because she could not find employment, and that they were not remunerative.

Morgan also expressed disillusionment about the quality of her own work and the general usefulness of online book reviews.

But she can’t have been too disillusioned, since she also commented, apparently without tongue-in-cheek, “I haven’t been able to announce it until now because announcing a fold just before the voting deadline would undoubtedly have affected the Hugos and that would never do. (I will, of course, decline any nominations I might receive next year.)”

In reality, Emerald City‘s dominance over the sf book reviewing field could only be sustained by regular publication of high quality material, and its Best Semiprozine nomination was well-earned. (And if such a comment doesn’t make Victor come running to take back control of this website from the inmates, whatever could?) Despite her achievements as an editor and writer, Morgan seemed to shun her award prospects in the July issue of Emerald City:

I note also that I’m up for an award again, as is Emerald City. I don’t expect to win. Indeed, I very much hope that I don’t. You only have to look at the competition. Dave Langford is a much better writer than I am, and Locus is a much better magazine than Emerald City. There would, I think, be a considerable upset if they didn’t win.

I know people get sentimental about the Hugos. There is a lot of voting based on the idea that it someone’s turn to win. But honestly, if you are voting on those lines the nominee that is most deserving is the New York Review of Science Fiction. I’ve been told I didn’t deserve to win my Hugo so often now that I’ve started to believe it myself. Let’s not go through all that nonsense again, huh? The rockets are supposed to go to the nominees that are the best. Let’s keep it that way.

While the fanzine may be ending, here’s hoping Cheryl Morgan’s fanwriting will continue.

[Originally posted on Trufen.net.]