publishing for twenty years, Meteorite magazine will close down at the end
of this year.
and Derek Sears were given the magazine by its founder-editor, Joel Schiff,
in 2005. When illness suddenly
struck, Christine Schiff sent out a letter to subscribers announcing the
end of the magazine. Hazel and Derek
have managed and published the magazine since then, with a short
intermission in 2008. Initially,
Larry and Nancy Lebofsky were the editors, but in
2010 Derek assumed the editorship, with Robert Beauford
years is a decent amount of time, and we feel that during those twenty
years the magazine has performed a service that has been both unique and
appreciated. We have seen some
pretty spectacular events, like major new sources of meteorites opening up,
several spectacular witnessed falls, and our first close-up glimpse of the
parent objects that most of our meteorites are coming from, the
asteroids. We have seen the martian meteorites and the lunar meteorites go from a
small handful to major collections in their own right. At the same time, we have reported on the
health of the major collections, and the everyday world of meteorite
hunting and collecting.
in the spirit of being realistic, one has to move with the times. Hard copy publication gets more difficult
every year. Joel Schiff tells us
that the subscription list for Meteorite reached its peak in 2001, and has
then dropped continually. He blamed
it on the events of September 2001, but we think it was the juggernaut
internet that began to bite into the role of hard copy publication at that
time and has increased in appetite ever since. It is hard to imagine how any quarterly
publication, or even a weekly, can compete with the depth, breadth,
immediacy and cost of on-line publication, even given the special joy of
handling a hard-copy magazine fresh from the printers and the poor quality
of a lot of on-line material.
have weighed the options for Meteorite magazine, and bearing in mind that
we have other exciting projects that necessarily demand our time, we find
that it is time for the magazine to close.
We approached about a dozen groups with the capability and in a
situation to run the magazine, and they all declined; they were also aware
of the times.
has been a worthwhile project. Like
many niche publications, Meteorite magazine has a very strong hard core of
readers and supporters whose loyalty has been faultless. We hear from them when they write notes
with their annual subscriptions or when they call with address changes or
queries about delivery. Just a few
days ago, we received a heart-warming note attached to a new subscription
saying how much they were disappointed with other sources of meteorite news
and how the magazine was recommended to them. Following closely in loyalty are the
columnists who cheerfully send in their regular contributions, tolerating
our continual requests for format changes, and always producing a quality
product. Their columns are the
favorites of many of our readers.
The associate editors are a fairly recent addition to our editorial
office. On one occasion, when we
asked for suggestions for articles to solicit, we had five or six
well-discussed and well-deliberated suggestions in one morning and by the
end of the day the issue was full.
We have maintained our income from advertisers in the last few years
and did discuss, at one point, scrapping subscriptions and relying entirely
on advertiser income. But what the
advertisers bring to the magazine is not just the income, but the vote of
support that having them in the magazine represents.
does not make it any easier to close the magazine but the time is
right. It is time to move on and to
say a sincere thank you to everyone involved in this venture. Before the end of the year, we will
reimburse the handful of subscribers who have paid for 2015. The last issue will be circulated in
November and it will be a celebration of all that has gone before during
the 20-year life of the magazine. We
will close the magazine with a sense of accomplishment, proud of what we
have done and thankful for all the friends we have made.
Derek Sears, Editor
Hazel Sears, Business Manager
METEORITE MAGAZINE ONLINE
Go to our Shop
page to buy an advanced copy of our final issue, a celebration of 20 years
of Meteorite magazine
requests must be made before December 15th, 2014.