Tuesday brought some very sad news from those parts spooky and frightening of the internet. Murky Depths is closing down.
Issue #18 of Murky Depths will, unfortunately, be the last.
I realise that a lot of readers of this blog will be wondering what that is, which is sad all in itself. But for the benefit of those people, Murky Depths was a magazine. A very good magazine. In fact, it was one of the best genre magazines this country has produced. Edited by Terry Martin, it published the finest fiction alongside some brilliant short comics and artwork in a format I’ve never seen an exact equivalent of.
I first encountered Murky Depths in early 2009, when I was first embarking seriously upon writing. It was a magazine which caught the eye, and after my girlfriend bought a copy of issue #1, I decided to splash out on a subscription. Not something I’ve regretted. I have the last issue (#18) on my desk, half read at the moment, and I almost don’t want to finish it, because I don’t want it to be over.
My intense disappointment at the news on Tuesday night was somewhat offset by, on Wednesday, the lastest issue of Black Static dropping through my door. This is the only other print magazine (along with it’s sci-fi sister mag, Interzone) to which I subscribe, and is run by Andy Cox and the team at TTA Press. It takes a more traditional approach, with stories, reviews, interviews and columns, and although I’ve only read the first story of #25, I know it’s up to its usual standard.
Here we have two different examples of top-class genre print magazines. Black Static is the stalwart of the British horror scene. It publishes the best in the business, and to people who are even tangentially involved in the genre it is well-known. On the other hand, Murky Depths was superb and adventurous, but never quite seemed to gain the widespread awareness of Black Static. The world is a sadder, less exciting place for its demise.
So what should you, the horror-interested reader, do? Well, I’d suggest two things. Firstly, head on over to Murky Depths‘s website, and buy some back issues. You won’t regret it, and you likely won’t get another chance. This is some of the best writing and artwork you’ll see in the genre, and a piece of genre history now. Secondly, take out a subscription to Black Static. Or Black Static and Interzone. They’re both well worth the money.
And there’s something about the print magazine. Something about the smell. Something intoxicating. Something…a little sinister…