Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Online SF...

Warren Ellis (with a nifty new site redesign) posts a list of new online SF magazines.

Some of them look really professional and of interest to readers, and others need work to make the design reflect the quality of the fiction inside.

(Hmmmm...I wonder what an online pulp magazine would look like? Have to think about that one)


Matt Sheridan said...

"I wonder what an online pulp magazine would look like?"

I think there are two answers to that question. I think it depends on whether the site in question is doing a deliberate, conscious pulp thing, or if it's literally the modern equivalent of old pulp magazines.

In the latter case, it might be badly designed, but it'd damn well be eye-catching. Lurid (but modern) images, large and boldfaced text, maybe black backgrounds, etc.

In the former, however, there'd naturally be a lot of use of old pulp art (randomly cycling header bars with pulp cover closeups, for example), and maybe some kind of worn-and-tattered page effect at the borders, like an old magazine bought from a used book shop. If the site could afford custom art to illustrate its stories, it would naturally be done in a painted 1930s style (even if it's actually painted in Photoshop), but if not, it could probably get away with repurposing old pulp art. (In fact, that suggests an awesome writing game: "Ignore the text on this cover and write a short story based on the illustration.")

I'm a graphic designer and a pulp fan, so naturally I dig thinking about this kind of thing. (Reminds me of how badly I need to fix up my own blog, though...)

Jason Sanders said...

I think that some online magazines think that their content is the product; when really it's the combination of words and presentation that create an experience.