Monday, April 09, 2007

SciFi Now and other Sci-Fi magazines

It's probably not a shock to discover I buy Sci-Fi magazines. I'm not a consistent buyer - heck, I don't even have Doctor Who magazine on subscription - but I do buy a large and random number of magazines on a regular basis. In fact, apart from rare forays into "In Style" (I like the occasional bit of fashion lusting), if I'm in a magazine store I'm most likely to purchase Sci-Fi magazine above anything else: Cult Times, Buffy/Angel magazine, SFX, Starburst, the late lamented (print edition) DreamWatch, and of course DWM - all have walked through my door in my sticky paws, eagerly allowing me to devour opinion and information on this world.

But here's the thing.

I often end up not reading whole sections until several months after purchase.


'Cos I've retained a desire to avoid spoilers.

Stupid isn't it, in this age of mega-internet spoilerage at every turn, that I should still take a "la-la-la, I'm not listening!" approach (even when it's well signposted at some of my favourite spaces it can be hard to completely avoid). But it is true... and it can lead to some strange reading practices such as trying to glance only at pictures and ignore text (and sometimes even captions); spotting the paragraphs that look 'safe' and only reading those; or skipping whole articles even though I'm desparate to read them.

So why buy another sci-fi magazine: SciFi Now? Sure, it has that nice spiffy Ten/Martha picture on the front cover that's doing the rounds on all the mags at the moment, but I can scarcely bring myself to read the Who article as it identifies the best episodes for scares etc. Remember, if I could manage it, I'd keep myself from even knowing the damn episode titles! So why was I still tempted? Well I have to say I dis quite like the TimeWarp section with its overviews of past series and films serials; and the Fanboys* section had a neat collation of convention news plus a nice summary of the history of sci-fi literature. Additionally, the overall layout is very plush and readable. And it is the first issue. So of course I had to try it out. Will it last in this now somewhat busy marketplace for this material? Who knows? Especially if it wants to maintain its scale (140+ pages), it will need to pull in considerable and comparable readership. What may work in its favour is that unlike some areas of magazines, this is one that lends itself to multiple buying regardless of overlap (in that respect I'm probably fairly typical).

Watch this space to see how it fares long-term.

*sic - please, I know its an accepted stereotype but could you at least acknowledge the existence of equally geeky female fans?!

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