Happy New Year!

Already it looks like 2011 is going to be a big year for Locus. The magazine is publishing Issue #600 this month, and it now has digital editions — e-mails will be going out to our early subscribers later today. In addition, this is the first Official Post of the ‘New and Improved’ Roundtable blog.

What can you expect to see here in the coming days? Well, January is a good time to talk about beginnings, so we will have a number of authors and editors dropping by to tell us a bit about how they got started in the genre. Charles Stross will start us off later today, and there will be many more coming throughout the month.

On Monday we’ll feature the first discussion from our re-formed Roundtable group. This group includes many folks who have been associated with Locus over the years. We hope that you’ll find their discussion of science fictional aesthetics to have plenty of jumping-off points for a larger discussion.

Later this month we’ll start a series of occasional podcasts featuring authors and editors in conversation. While we don’t want to count unhatched chickens, it is probably safe to say that Gary K. Wolfe will be involved. We also plan to have semi-regular columns from some of our regular contributors, such as Andy Duncan and Paul Graham Raven.

Meanwhile, we wanted to point out some changes that we’ve made to the blog’s infrastructure. While the overall look of the site hasn’t changed much, we’ve been fiddling about behind the scenes to try to improve things. Such as:

  • Comments are not going to be moderated except for the usual spam filter. Comments with multiple links will get held for moderation but should be released quickly. Otherwise, comment away!
  • Blog posts now show in their entirety on the main page
  • You can see Recent Comments in the left sidebar, and the number of comments each post has gotten from the main page
  • The site can be viewed from mobile phones in a format optimized for small screens
  • There is now a link to the RSS feed from the left sidebar

These are all minor things, but with luck they’ll make the reading experience a little smoother. If you have suggestions for other improvements, please leave them in the comments. We can’t guarantee that we’ll follow each suggestion, but we’ll definitely listen to them all.

Thanks so much for reading, and we hope you’ll stick around as we get this ball rolling again!

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