R.I.P., Murdaland

Damn, what a shame. The Rap Sheet has the news from editor Michael Langnas on why the magazine is shutting down after just two published issues:

We tried very hard in 2008 to keep Murdaland going
as a viable entity, but, sadly, it’s just no longer possible. We can’t
rule out our return one day, but for now we’re going to have to accept
facts and wrap things up.

upset as we are by this turn of events, we are greatly consoled by the
support and enthusiasm we witnessed–not just for one doomed magazine
but for the very idea of literary crime and noir stories. Writers like
yourself are embarked on a labor of both love and stringent craft.

pay very little and markets are few. You’re thus asked to make the
sacrifices and meet the demands of love (for literature, for the short
story form, for the genre) while confronting the imposing standards of
an extremely difficult craft.

That so many of you continue to write and work on such stories is an inspiration.

take solace in the knowledge that countless gifted writers are out
there laboring to create just the kind of quality dark fiction we were
fortunate enough to feature for a time.

We wish you the very best with your work. We’re just sorry that Murdaland won’t be around to provide a home for it.

This is regrettable for many reasons. The content, for one, which was always quality and at times outstanding. It also reprinted an excerpt of Don Carpenter’s tremendous debut novel HARD RAIN FALLING when, frankly, no one else was willing to touch that book anymore. Good people busted their ass for little money to supervise the transom and edit. And perhaps most of all, because we really needed another print outlet for crime (and related) fiction and now it’s pretty much back to AHMM and EQMM – and great as those venues are, MURDALAND filled a necessary void.

So once again: damn, what a shame.