12.30.2003

Best Online Magazines

I live in the most isolated capital city on Earth. You can't see there from here. Ever. And for that reason, if no other, I spend a lot of time reading online magazines and have fairly firm views on them. They need to be accurate, up to date and reliable. Those are things that count. They also, because I'm the reader, need to be to my taste. So, when it comes to best online magazines, I have definite views.

To be honest, Fantastic Metropolis (for all of its merits) was never to my taste and wouldn't feature in my Top 10 online 'zines. It's been both unreliable to access and unreliable to update. Add to that the fact that I don't care for it's content, which contains too many reprints and isn't to my taste, and you can see why I wouldn't rate it.

Which begs the question: what you I think ARE the best online magazines? Well, since you asked:

Best Online Fiction Magazine

For my money, hands-down, no-competition, the best fiction site on the net is Ellen Datlow's Sci Fiction. It is reliable, regular and the quality of the fiction is beyond question. This year alone Sci Fiction has published excellent work by Lucius Shepard, Jeffrey Ford, Maureen F. McHugh and others. Runners-up include Eileen Gunn's fine The Infinite Matrix and Strange Horizons.

Best Online News Magazine

I'm going to first admit to conflict of interest here. I work for Locus, so I'm likely to say this, but...I think that Mark Kelly's independently edited Locus Online is the best news site/link portal on the web. Others do a fine job, but this is the best.

Best Mixed Content Online Magazine

By this I mean, a site or magazine that regularly publishes a mix of fiction, non-fiction etc. This is a little harder. I like the non-fiction published by Ariel at The Alien Online and by the Infinity Plus crowd. I also like some of the non-fiction at The Infinite Matrix and Strange Horizons, but The Alien Online would probably be my pick. I should probably mention both SF Site and SciFi.com before finishing. I like bits of both sites - Paul Di Filippo's reviews at SciFi.com and the news section at SF Site, but they seem very uneven.

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