Locus Online


16 Jun 1998

Restructuring Update
Already I've revised some of the things I said last week (below), but the beauty of publishing on the web is that you can change the stuff you've already put out! I'll refrain from changing the words below, though. (But would you know if I did?)

Anyway, I keep refining the internal structure of some of the sections here. Eventually I'll get it right. In Books and Magazines the 'Received' pages will be called 'New This Month' instead, to avoid confusion with the much more comprehensive listings in Locus Magazine. (One might imagine that material compiled by the magazine could be posted here directly, but for logistical reasons that's not always practical.)

The idea of the 'New This Month' pages is to have a place to post notices of new publications for which 'Profile' material is not available. The Books Profiles are usually derived from the reviews in Locus Magazine, or occasionally my own reading. The Magazines Profiles are based entirely on my own reading; I'm the short fiction reviewer for the magazine, and most of the short fiction comes from the magazines. But there are plenty of magazines I don't get around to reading, and plenty of notable books that are not reviewed (for various reasons) in the magazine. The 'New This Month' pages, which should be updated at least weekly, will allow immediate notices of new publications that are in the stores and on the newsstands now -- in contrast to listings in the magazine of what came out a month or two ago.

Also, I'll post as 'New This Month' all books sent for review to Locus Online. (Contact me for the address.) Books received are listed with Amazon links and often cover scans; and they are eligible for quoting on the new Opening Lines page.

I hope to use this space for more fun things soon, including comments about books I've read and even movies I've seen. I recently caught up (on videotape) with most of the Hugo nominated movies this year; read Gardner Dozois's extensive comments on last year's movies, in his new annual; and have read the fun bits in the new film-themed issue of F&SF. Wanna know why I dislike almost all SF films? I'll be happy to tell you.

10 Jun 1998

Some section and structural changes are being implemented this week and next. There's now a Data File page for news items that don't need to bump the main news stories down a notch. The division of Main Stories and The Data File parallels the layout of Locus Magazine. The Announcements page is moved under the ''Events'' heading, and is reserved for descriptions of future events that aren't author appearances or convention listings.

''Aether Vibrations'', meanwhile, will be linked not to the News pages but will be considered an independent 'feature' in its own right. ''Aether Vibrations'' is down at the moment; I hope to have a backlog of material posted in the next week. A couple of other feature pages in work are the notices of ''Other Reviews'' -- reviews of genre books in mainstream publications -- that have been intermittently posted in the past months; and ''Opening Lines'', a selection of quotations from the beginnings of current books, which should be amusing.

You may or may not notice a structural change underway: the top-level pages in all sections (but not all the archived pages) are being reduced by 15 pixels in width, from 600 pixels to 585 pixels. This is for those folk viewing the site with monitors set to 640 x 480 pixel resolution, who until now have gotten a horizontal scrollbar because, with the width of browser frames and whatnot, the 600 pixel width webpages haven't quite fit on their screens. (At the moment, this page and the front 'index' page have been reduced to 585 pixels; the Books page has not. It's a slight difference.)

On the Horizon
We plan to start offering advertising, both banner ads and classified ads, in the next month or two, as soon as we figure out a rate structure. Stay tuned. The various Links pages need updating and will be better integrated with the rest of the website, instead of sitting as a separate section. An example of this is the first magazines links page. There will be a ''Magazines Received'' page to list highlights and contact information for current magazines in addition to those profiled in detail on the main Magazines page. And the ''Awards Archive'' linked from the News pages is due for an overhaul. The plan is to archive all award nominations and winners not just as news items but in a separate section with hierarchically structured links by year, by award name, etc.; something more comprehensive and readable than any existing SF awards resource on the web. (In fact, much of the awards data from Locus Magazine over the past 30 years already resides in a database, which might eventually be posted to the web as both listings and indexes, along the lines of the existing Locus Poll Index. No forecast for when this might get done, however.)

--Mark R. Kelly

  • 21 May 1998: Website changes; K. C. Cole nonfiction
  • 19 April 1998: Website anniversary; Bertelsmann; the evolving Web

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