Sunday, January 03, 2010

A fond look back at OMNI magazine

Paul Collins of Slate offers a fond obituary for OMNI magazine, a groundbreaking mixture of science, fiction, and speculation that (for younger readers of this blog) was a really big deal back in the 80s. It was in OMNI that the word "cyberspace" first appeared. Works from the titans of science fiction appeared in it, as did interviews with scientific luminaries like Richard Fenyman.
OMNI did spent some space on UFOs and similar speculative (some would say unscientific) topics. In general, its coverage wasn't as "out there" as some publications have offered, although I recall an article surveying readers on whether they might be alien abductees in which the symptoms it listed for determining your status were so general they applied to practically everybody.
Anyway, I miss OMNI, which was competed out of its niche in the press edition and vanished from its pioneering Internet version when its publisher died. It was nothing if not optimistic about the future, and there was good stuff in every issue.

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