The sale of Night Shade Books is killing the best new science fiction magazine of the past year

We were afraid of this. Now that Night Shade Books is being sold off, this means a premature end to Eclipse Online, the online magazine started by Jonathan Strahan as a continuation of his acclaimed Eclipse book series.

Strahan gave us this statement just now:

Eclipse Online to close effective immediately

Seven years ago Eclipse One was published and went on to be part of one of the most respected original science fiction and fantasy anthology series of its time, featuring major awards winners and nominees, stories destined to become classics, and either winning or being nominated for the World Fantasy, Aurealis, Ditmar, and Locus awards.

In October 2012 Jonathan Strahan and Night Shade Books decided to relaunch Eclipse as Eclipse Online, an online magazine featuring two new previously unpublished stories and artwork by Kathleen Jennings each month. Eclipse Online has featured stories by Christopher Rowe, K.J. Parker, Eleanor Arnason, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Lavie Tidhar, Christopher Barzak, Genevieve Valentine, F. Brett Cox, Susan Palwick, Peter M. Ball, E. Lily Yu and An Owomoyela.

It is with sadness, therefore, that we are announcing that Eclipse Online has ceased publication effective immediately. All stories in inventory have been returned to their authors, and no new stories will be considered for publication. All authors have been paid. Any queries regarding other payments should be directed to Night Shade Books.

Editor Jonathan Strahan said today: "While I am disappointed to see Eclipse Online close, I will always be grateful to Jason Williams, Jeremy Lassen, Ross Lockhart, and the team at Night Shade Books for their enthusiastic and energetic support of Eclipse over the past seven years. It was a joy and privilege to work with the authors and with Night Shade to produce such wonderful work, and I am deeply grateful to them all. There are no future plans for Eclipse at this time, but Night Shade will always be a critical, valued part of its past."

When we talked to Night Shade Editor in Chief Jeremy Lassen earlier today, he mentioned that there might be a final print volume of Eclipse, called Eclipse Five, collecting all the stories that have been published in the online magazine. But that depends on whether Strahan accepts the deal that Night Shade is offering its authors and anthology editors — and Strahan declined to comment on that.

Meanwhile, if you're wondering about the terms Night Shade is offering, and why authors are objecting to them, you should check out this cogent analysis by literary agent Joshua Bilmes.