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Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Murky Depths: An Obituary

Terry Martin announced last week that Murky Depths has closed its doors. It's a real shame; the magazine was gorgeous, and published really unique stories in a really unique way. It's gutting to see them go, for both readers and writers and for the horror genre as a whole.

I'm gutted on a personal level, as well. Murky Depths was the first magazine I ever sent a story to, back in April of 2008. I got a lovely personal rejection back from Anne, encouraging me to send more. So I did. Three or four stories got sent their way over the course of 2008, and each one got a detailed personal R and requests for more.

I stopped writing so much, for whatever reason, and the work I was producing wasn't the kind of thing that Mukry Depths was publishing. I moved away from writing horror and started to write the kind of odd magic-realist/soft sci-fi/weird fantasy that I write now. Yet in the back of my head, I knew that I wanted to sell a story to Murky Depths.

Earlier last month I got the idea for a pretty dark horror story that would fit perfectly there. I wrote it, checked the submission guidelines, and saw that they would be open until the end of October. I polished the story until I was happy with it, went to submit it...and saw that they were closed to submissions until further notice, despite it still being October. Weird, I thought, but they must have been overrun with subs.

A week later the announcement came. And I'm actually gutted. Murky Depths was the first magazine I ever subscribed to, the first I read cover-to-cover every single time it came, and the first that I really really had my heart on appearing in. I wanted to see my name on one of those fantastic covers by somebody like Vincent Chong or Steve Stone. I wanted my story to be illustrated by Nancy Farmer, or Nathaniel Milljour. That will never happen now.

Farewell, Murky Depths. You'll always have a proud place on my bookshelves.

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