In this issue, Messenger probe team member Chris Krupiarz tells the story, “Blinded by the Light,” recounting when the Mercury-bound spacecraft stopped talking en route. Chris was responsible for the flight software, and he takes us through some fingernail-biting moments as he worried whether the third mission he worked on, like his first two, would fail to reach its target.
Carolyn Roberts never liked girly drinks. Beer was her style, especially Scottish ale. She demanded barkeeps “Put a Head on It.” She shows us the rapid growth in craft brewing in a country that used to define certain kinds of beer.
Can an electronic pet ever dream of being real? Alison Hallett, not yet a cat-lady, explains her “Cat Fancy.” Brittany Shoot, our managing editor, and a perfect name for a photographer, gives us an image of the appeal of plastic-lens cameras, and the difficulty of making prints in “Toy Story.”
The vice that Jeff Porten engages in keeps him busy. He thinks of it like work, and puts in the hours to make a sort of living. In “Manufacturing Luck,” we learn how Jeff balances obsession, self-destruction, and free food and lodging.
Our cover illustration is by Dylan Meconis, who also illustrated Alison’s article. (The illustrations from this article will be available in T-shirt and other forms in the near future.)
Alison’s cat looks at Dylan’s illustrations.
We like to tell stories that are short enough to read in a single sitting, but long enough to show you the full scope of a subject. As opposed to short stories or long-form non-fiction (which is often 5,000 words or longer), we’ve liked to refer to medium-form: about 1,500 to 2,500 words. (Perhaps we’re the Baby Bear from Goldilocks of magazines: just right.)
Starting back on November 1, we’re delivering a different kind of “medium”-length story with the site Medium. Medium, which comes from the same folks who pupped Twitter (Obvious Corporation), has built a truly lovely publishing system that has a simpicity that we appreciate here at The Magazine. Medium started life as a kind of blogging engine, and as it’s matured, it’s developed its own editorial staff that assigns articles, and commissions both political and non-political cartoons.
It’s also partnered with publications, like us. Just as we’ve brought to Boing Boing some of our archived and free content — a small portion of what we publish in each issue — we’ll be bringing some stories to Medium’s audience. But we’ll also produce new, shorter work for the site at The Magazine on Medium. Medium has no advertising and is free to read, and is experimenting with the future of journalism and writing. So are we, and we’re glad to collaborate.
The new stories so far:
“Une Femme Marchant: Walking as a woman in Paris” by Rosie Spinks.
Mark Harris explains “The Most Boring Machine in Seattle” is actually quite interesting.
In an excerpt from his self-published book, Matthew Amster-Burton introduces us to the rules of “Tokyo Trash”: is it combustible?
The Magazine proper will continue to appear every other week with five (sometimes more) of our “medium-form” features. Subscriptions fund our ability to pay for this depth of journalism and essay writing, and the editing and illustration that goes along with it. Subscribers have access to new issues and our entire archives, whether in the iOS app or via the Web site for reading, and can download or email themselves EPUB and MOBI ebook versions, too. We’ll be adding more benefits for subscribers in the future.
Medium is letting us expand our coverage and try new things out while we all learn about what you want to read and where.
(If you’d like to read more of the “inside baseball” story of what we’re experimenting with, see “Medium Length” by your loyal editor at Medium.)
Our upcoming book
Watch our Twitter feed and elsewhere for information soon about our print and ebook collection drawn from our first year of publication.
You can tap the Share button in iOS at the top of any article and then tap Write Letter to Editor. Or email us with your thoughts, noting any article to which they apply. We also read comments and questions on Facebook, Twitter, and App.net. (Although we see iTunes reviews, we cannot respond there; please contact us directly with any issues that need a response.)
The Magazine is produced by a small but dedicated editorial staff.