Name some magazines online that are worth subscribing to?
September 7, 2004 5:22 PM   Subscribe

Name some magazines online that are worth subscribing to. [More in Inside Cover Flap]

Mainly, I'm looking for science-oriented magazines, but anything thought-provoking will do. No essentially current-affairs type like Time, Newsweek, or lounge rags like Maxim..etc. Also, not only should the topics be interesting, but they should be covered well. I've heard that New Scientist tends to be tabloidesque, with headlines now and then, screaming "How discovery 'X' will revolutionize science". The magazines that might fit the bill are Scientific American, New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, Reason. Correct me if these magazines aren't in that mold. What else?
posted by Gyan to Media & Arts (18 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Free zines welcome as well :-)
posted by Gyan at 5:23 PM on September 7, 2004

The only thing I'd add to your list is The Economist: quite topical, and wonderfully written.

Arts and Letters Daily is a portal to what's being discussed in major and minor periodicals; it's an essential bookmark.
posted by PrinceValium at 5:47 PM on September 7, 2004

I am seriously mulling a subscription to the Economist, which has surprisingly good coverage of science and technology, and is definitely thought provoking.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 5:47 PM on September 7, 2004

Oh yeah, I subscribed to the Economist last year. Forgot about them. My friend gets them now, so I don't.
posted by Gyan at 5:50 PM on September 7, 2004

Well, there's always Consumer Reports, Red Herring and Wired.

Beyond that, you could check out The Baffler, Harper's, and StayFree!
posted by Smart Dalek at 6:03 PM on September 7, 2004

I don't know much about science mags but maybe Mental Floss would fit your bill. For thought-provoking, you might dig The Baffler, The Believer, or Harper's. If you like short stories, I'd recommend One Story. Granta might be good, too. Or Zembla. Stay Free is a thinking person's Adbusters. Punk Planet is pretty consistently good. Shots is a superb amateur photog publication, imo. And though you can't subscribe, the back issues of Gadfly are worth a read.

On preview: SD beat me to 3 of 11.
posted by dobbs at 6:23 PM on September 7, 2004

IMO, the magazines you must subscribe to nowadays are, in order of value with a couple ties:

- The Economist / The New York Review of Books
- Atlantic / New Yorker / Harper's
- Scientific American / Science / (and I've heard good things about 'Seed')
- Times Literary Supplement (London Times, not NYT Book Review)
- a newspaper, like WSJ or NYT, because nobody actually reads the newspaper (all of it!) online, in my experience.

After that, it's all up in the air. I would nix The Believer / McSweeney's: mediocre fiction, mediocre writing in general, IMO, and very insular because it's all from writers living inside the walled citadel of Dave Eggers. You should also check out A Common Reader, which is a great pointer towards more good reading. I read a ton, and I find that the subscriptions I'm consistently happiest with are the Economist (because of its international news, finance, and sci-tech) and the NYRB (because they publish great, in-depth articles on every imaginable subject, and do things like review at great length every important book about the Iraq war, 9/11, etc.). I think those two are indispensable. And I would pick the Atlantic over the New Yorker because of Benjamin Schwartz's book reviews.
posted by josh at 6:35 PM on September 7, 2004 [3 favorites]

Dobbs, Stay Free looks great!
posted by josh at 6:36 PM on September 7, 2004

I am seriously mulling a subscription to the Economist, which has surprisingly good coverage of science and technology, and is definitely thought provoking.

Actually, the Science and Technology section is what I read after the Leaders. Excellent, very informative coverage...accessible to a general audience, but by no means dumbed down.
posted by filmgoerjuan at 8:22 PM on September 7, 2004

posted by troutfishing at 8:37 PM on September 7, 2004

Also, I second the Economist - which I hold in high regard for it's nearly unparalleled overal caliber and which I deeply respect for it's candid admission of it's own journalistic bias : overall, a formidable publication.

Get both. Read The Economist in the morning - for practical knowledge - and read Resurgence, before bed, to feed your dreams and your spirit.
posted by troutfishing at 8:45 PM on September 7, 2004

I know you said no current affairs sorts of things, but give a look to The Week. It's sort of like a Reader's Digest, but for said current affairs magazines and news.

Oh, and it's written for grown-ups, unlike its sources. Good stuff.
posted by codger at 9:38 PM on September 7, 2004

I strongly recommend the Wall Street Journal, which is available online if you prefer it without paper.

I've subscribed to many newspapers--Christian Science Monitor, Washington Post, New York Times, Chicago Tribune and The Oregonian at various times. The Wall Street Journal blows them all out of the water.

As a five-day a week newspaper, WSJ does cover current events. But the level of in-depth reporting on an array of interests that don't get covered anywhere else blows me away just about every day. It also contains actually useful columns, such as one that recently told readers how to block unsolicited credit card offers

I don't really agree with the op-eds. I read them when I feel like being challenged, and I skip them the rest of the time.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 12:09 AM on September 8, 2004 [1 favorite]

Definitely a business-specific magazine, but there are often good science related articles in Business 2.0.
posted by shinynewnick at 12:25 AM on September 8, 2004

Scientific American sometimes has really cheap offers for multi-year subscriptions. Watch out for those. My favorite is New Scientist though. It is definately tabloidesque sometimes as you mentioned and quite light reading. For a weekly mag it does do a good job covering current science related news, especially developments outside of the U.S. I find the format great for my train commute; nothing too long or challenging.
posted by Meridian at 5:40 AM on September 8, 2004

You could try Prospect, it's a British magazine covering current affairs and cultural debate, though with a distinctly international outlook. It has been described as "more readable than the Economist, more relevant than the Spectator, more romantic than the New Statesman".

You can get up to half of the articles on line, the rest (both online and on paper) by subscription.
posted by biffa at 6:15 AM on September 8, 2004

i've just (re-) subscribed to the london review of books. it has fairly long, usually well-written, sometimes dense articles that are related, often only vaguely, to books. subjects vary as widely as books, but there is an emphasis on the arts.
posted by andrew cooke at 6:48 AM on September 8, 2004

Utne, it's like Reader's Digest for people who don't like to be spoon fed.
posted by m@ at 8:10 AM on September 8, 2004

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