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Well, here we are! Welcome to the new-look Strange Horizons.

First thing first: although pretty much everyone at SH has been beavering away trying to get this new site ready for you, in one capacity or another, the lion's share of the work and the thank-you must go to Matthew Kressel (in his guise as Sunray Computer, rather than Nebula-nominated writer), who built the design you see before you, and Kris Dikeman, who came up with our snazzy new logo. Transferring the SH archive from the rather creaky database in which it previously existed to its new WordPress home was not a straightforward task—and if I'm honest, we were not the easiest clients—but Matt was never less than a pleasure to work with, and has, I think you'll agree once you've looked around, done the magazine proud. We're incredibly grateful to him for his work.

So what's new?

Let's start with the front page. Obviously we have a nice big space to properly showcase the art that accompanies the magazine—including a selection of works by Tahlia Day that will be on rotation in weeks when we don't have original commissions. Below and to the left of that, however, you'll find the table of contents of the latest issue; and then, a bit further down again, a list of recent comments across the site (you can find our comments policy here; everyone's first comment will need to be approved).

Moving into the middle of the page, you'll find a tiled area (condensed down to a single column on mobile) which will contain two kinds of post: recent issues (so they don't just vanish from the front page after a week), and posts from our new blog, Azimuth, which is your one-stop shop for SH news, and perhaps a bit of comment. At the moment this area is dominated by fund drive posts (thank you again to everyone who donated, by the way!), but in normal weeks it will be a more even mix of material.

And at the top of the front page is our main menu. Working from right to left, we have a full-text search, links to our various social media and related sites—as well as RSS feeds for every subdivision of SH material you might be interested in—a link to Azimuth, information on how to submit (still closed to fiction submissions, I'm afraid, but we're geting closer to re-opening), how and why to donate, some background about the magazine, and then our main archives menu.

The first thing you'll find in that latter menu is that we now have a dedicated page for back-issues, which also means that each issue has its own page. (You can also go forwards and backwards from issue to issue—the links are at the bottom of the table of contents.) After that, each department has a page—although note that we now have an overall non-fiction index, as well as separate pages for reviews, columns, and articles. All of the department archives can be filtered by month and year. And then the last entry in the menu is another way you might want to investigate the magazine: a list of contributors, with each contributor having their own page with links to all their work in our archives.

When you get down to an individual work, you'll see in the top-right corner of the content area various options to adjust the text size and presentation for ease of reading.

And that, I hope should be enough to get you started!

There are, of course, a few caveats. As I said right up-front, this was a big, complex task, and we know the site isn't perfect yet. There may be errors in some contributor biographies; there will definitely be some internal broken links; and there may be some works that have been assigned to the wrong person during the import process. We are and will be working on cleaning up the archives for a while to come—and building in additional features, like a new gallery for the art department—but if you stumble across something that needs fixing, please do let our webmasters know. Otherwise: browse and enjoy!



Niall Harrison is a reader and fan.
13 comments on “The Tour”

This looks nice. And you have a large readable font! Thank you.

Looks good. (I am unreasonably fond of the diagonal purple slash/stabby stalagmite bit.) I wish you easy updates and smooth maintenance.

Pretty! And it's nice to see the art in full display. I appreciate that the ability to see all fiction, all reviews etc. was kept.

A moment of silence for the old one which, while not so pretty and not as organized as this, had a certain comforting simplicity to it.

Niall Harrison

Thanks all!

@Megan: Yes, we love the diagonal. 🙂 So simple and so right. All credit to Kris Dikeman.

@SojournerStrange: Hmm, I see your username is a touch long for our columns! Agree entirely about the art, I've been going back over work from the last few years and seeing it in a new light. And yes, a part of me is sad that the old site is gone, it was easy at the front end. (Part of the reason it's gone is that it was a royal pain at the back end, though.)

Vajra Chandrasekera

And I had only just gotten used to all the old systems, too!

janice

I like the new look. I am not enchanted with the way the Fiction Archive is set up. There's no easy way to go back to the really old stories. Or, I can't find it, anyway. I liked the way you could page through the fiction and easily jump backward and forwards in the archive. It was easy to find titles in the list format.

Niall Harrison

@Janice: That's partly a technical limitation of the build, unfortunately. If you filter by year (and don't select a month) it will display all the stories from that year -- but loading all sixteen years on one page would have been prohibitively slow.

Niall Harrison

(For example, here is everything from 2001.)

Fabio Fernandes

I loved the new look! Thank you everyone involved!

Looking great, Strange Horizons folks!

Janice

Thanks for the explanation, Niall. I guess every new thing has it's good features and some annoying ones, too.

Susan F

I like the appearance, and I'll get used to the things I find odd (above the fold on the front page is all art ... OK). I hope the revival of comments means you've found a way of dealing with the problems that made you shut them down before. I don't want to read all of them, so I'm not asking for an RSS feed of all comments, but can you make the Recent Comments column show the difference between new and visited links? And is it deliberate that the "Current Issue" listing doesn't show reviews that haven't been posted yet? Thanks for all the work!

Niall Harrison

@Susan: Hi! Thanks for the feedback. In order:

We talked about whether the art space should be more modest, but in the end like the way it shows off our illustrations as works in their own right;

Yes, comments should be a bit more stable now; good point about new and visited links, we can look into that (we do also have a comments RSS feed if anyone does want that);

And no, definitely not deliberate on that last one. What has happened there is that the site was built to show the upcoming reviews ... but it turns out that it only shows them to people with a Strange Horizons account who are logged in, i.e. staff. So none of us realised until yesterday that it wasn't working for everyone. We're on it. 🙂

 

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