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February 17, 2011 9:56 AM   Subscribe

What alternatives are there to IO9? What are the cool review and news sites for science fiction and fantasy? For comic books? For sf&f tv and movies?

With the recent Gawker redesign, IO9 has become completely unusable for me, given the legacy IE6 and IE7 browsers and the blocking proxy at my work. I'm looking for general topic sites rather than narrow-focus or authors' blogs, but if there's a fantastic single interest site, I'd love to hear about it too.
posted by bonehead to Media & Arts (17 answers total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
Topless Robot and Bleeding Cool spring to mind. You may want to try io9's mobile site as well.
posted by Oktober at 10:08 AM on February 17, 2011 [3 favorites]

Best answer:, SF Signal.
posted by Zed at 10:08 AM on February 17, 2011

Not sure if this counts as an answer to your question but why not use a feed reader?
posted by turkeyphant at 10:34 AM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Seconding turkeyphant -- I read Lifehacker (part of the Gawker network) via Google Reader, and didn't even notice the redesign until I read about it on another site. The default Gawker feeds are snippet views, but you can subscribe to the full-view io9 feed at
posted by Rhaomi at 11:03 AM on February 17, 2011 [4 favorites]

Sounds like you're saying you can't access the site at all. If I understand that incorrectly and the site is just a mess for you, one thing that helps somewhat on any of the newly convoluted gawker sites is to add "#!classic" onto the end of the url, e.g.,!classic or!classic. That switches the main pane from one big story to the usual scrolling list of stories. Annoying side list is still there to the right, but this is now how I view all gawker sites.

Here are two fantasy fiction sites for you:

The Ranting Dragon - Fantasy news and reviews

Pat's Fantasy Hotlist - news, reviews, interviews
posted by Askr at 11:08 AM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I do use Google Reader to read the site, but I was only seeing the snippets. I had no idea that the VIP feed existed. I'll try that.

My combination of ad-blocker + old browser makes the current Gawker design very unpleasant. I see great gobs of rogue javascript and neither of the scroll columns work. Things are fine at home where I use Chrome or FF, but older versions of IE I'm required to use at work just seem to puke on the new design. I've mailed them (and Lifehacker) about it, but no dice.

Thanks for all the suggestions so far. Even if I can continue to read io9, I'm still very interested in sites I don't know about. I still miss
posted by bonehead at 11:16 AM on February 17, 2011

I'll note further that there's a lot on I'm not interested in, but Jo Walton's reviews and other pieces are some of the best and smartest things being written about the genre that I know of.
posted by Zed at 11:22 AM on February 17, 2011 [2 favorites]

For I use the web address to view in the old layout. I ferreted out that trick from various comments on the site.

Maybe hunt around and see if there is a similar workaround for IO9? I agree the new format is shitty.
posted by jbenben at 12:09 PM on February 17, 2011

Just wait a few months, I think this is one redesign that people will not adjust to. I stopped reading io9, I still read gizmodo because exists, and when that stops existing I'll stop reading. I think this is where most people are. Eventually gawker will realize that those people aren't coming back and will cry uncle, its just a question of how much financial damage they take before Denton can finally swallow his pride.
posted by tempythethird at 1:01 PM on February 17, 2011

Denton is not changing his mind, he's a genius.

Though it's nice that people try I too have found all the proffered solutions for trying to read io9 somewhat lacking. I don't even really like the vip feed - I'd sooner read an article in it's native formating, but clicking through usually ends badly. Plus the vip feed has a fair share of naked spoilers.

Of semi-equivalent sites that have been mentioned I'd probably recommend and SF Signal the most - SF signal have a great daily round up of SF stuff in the form of a list of single line links and it tends to encompass a lot of the good stuff - hell, if thre's something good on io9 you'll find a link to it there as well.

I'd also add SFX to the list.
posted by Artw at 4:08 PM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Given your interests, you might enjoy, an eclectic site that touches on all the things you mention and more (notably music and games.)

Disclaimer: I met my spouse at a NeedCoffee event at Dragon*Con, during which I also won a bust of Captain Kirk by doing an imitation of William Shatner singing "Rocketman." I now contribute to the site myself. So I could be considered somewhat partisan.

(Yes, I am still in possession of both spouse and bust. That was a good con.)
posted by oblique red at 5:03 PM on February 17, 2011 [2 favorites]

At the top of the page where it says "Top Story" there's a tiny grey little icon to the right of it. Click this and "Top Story" will change to "Blog View" and you'll be much happier.

I honestly hope they change this crap quick...I have noscript installed in FF and when I loaded the page the only thing that showed up was the freaking logo. Zero content. Absolute BS.
posted by Elminster24 at 5:39 PM on February 17, 2011

Comics Alliance, though I mostly read it for Chris Sims

topless robot is fun
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:40 PM on February 17, 2011 [2 favorites]

I mostly stopped going to io9 after Gawker's easyDNS mess; bottom line for me is it was a really good aggregator so you'll probably have to replace it with at least a handful of other sites. For comics news, try this thread. All of the film-related news at io9 is easily available at dozens of places around the web; the studios send those trailers and announcements to everyone. Try Slashfilm. And I've mentioned this before, but for science news, Scientopia, Wired's Science Blogs and keeping an eye on a few traveling blog carnivals is working for me.

It's do-able, and you'll find some cool new sites in the process.
posted by mediareport at 6:46 AM on February 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I've added tor and the IO9 VIP feed to my newsreader (also works for LifeHacker). I'll see how that works out.

Thanks too, everyone, for the other site recommendations. I'll be checking those out over the next few weeks (yay for tab groups). My first impressions of SFX and needcoffee are good, but I want to give all of them a chance for a while.
posted by bonehead at 8:21 AM on February 18, 2011

Escape pod has reviews.

Also, metafilter user theophileescargot is very well read and does reviews of what he's reading and watching 2 or 3 times a week at
posted by garlic at 1:36 PM on February 18, 2011

No idea how long it will last, but gets you back to the old format...
posted by nonliteral at 3:30 PM on February 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

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