Wednesday, August 17, 2016

#geekread - Magazines

With people everywhere embracing their inner geekdom as part of #geekread this month, we decided to feature our top 3 geek magazines today. The best part of these is that they will continue long after August, providing regular nourishment for your newly found geekosity. 

There are plenty to choose from, with something to entice everyone's the inner nerd. Given how many, this was a tough list to create. With candidates like the World of Knowledge magazine, the "new monthly magazine crammed full of amazing stuff about the world we live in", geekdom is certainly in a golden age of periodicals. But, although embracing your nerdhood is about acquiring knowledge, this is not simply a case of knowing stuff for the sake of knowing stuff. It's about passion, about absorption in a topic that goes beyond what people would classify normal limits. So, as amazing as the magazine is, we thought it wasn't ideal. So we have searched our catalogue and given you three recommendations, each cover a different variety of publication, which we consider the best geekzines. 

Best Speciality Geekzine: Aero Australia

This is a large category, so a lot had to be excluded. Our architecture magazines, Architectural Review and Architecture Australia, although fulfilling the speciality category were a little less geeky than we would have liked, with architects having their geek-cool air while sipping their macchiatos at trendy cafes. Digital Photography was a strong choice, covering all your camera needs. And their were really strong runner ups for this category with Inside History and the Smithsonian Magazine, both fascinating magazines for any history lover. But Aero had something a little bit more...geeky. With its focus exclusively on all things aeronautical, it swoops to the lead with its unfaltering devotion to its subject, something that reveals the best in all geeks.

Best Science Geekzine: New Scientist

This was an especially competitive field. Science has long been the domain of the geek herd, and so choosing between the best science magazine that would both cheer the long established geeks as well as the new converts is a tough call. Astronomy would be a fine choice, its content, much like the best of the geekosphere, is not concerned with the terrestrial, but with the galactic. But, we did give our top biography spot to physicist Brian Cox, and it could seem like bias if we were to give the top spot of this category to an equally physics-centric choice. For those whose geekdom is more of the terrestrial kind, we have Australian Geographic and National Geographic Magazines. Discover takes a broader approach, and in its pages it "shares new findings and shows you what makes our universe tick". Science Illustrated does an equally marvellous job at delivering "natural science, break through discoveries and an understanding of the world for the entire family." But in the end it came down to two: New Scientist and Popular Science. Like Popular Mechanics in the next category, these magazines have been staples of the nerd community for generations. Choosing between these two was not easy, and frankly, we ended up letting a coin flip decide. And it went to New Scientist. (Although we have to say we are more than a little happy about thatthe word 'popular' for a geekzine seems a little out of place.)

Best Tech Geekzine: RasPi Magazine

As with the number two slot, this was an equally tough field. With more tech focused magazines than you could throw a virtual spanner at, we had our work cut out for us trying to find the best one for your #geekread needs. We started by looking at Macworld and Android Magazine. While both are informative, we thought giving it to either would severely limit the geekarama that a new reader would be able to experience (not to mention our desire to remain neutral in the Apple v. Android war that still rages in many domains). Gizmos and Gadgets made a valiant effort, with it giving those inclined a great many toys to drool over.  How it Works came in with a more practical edge, which gave it a great deal of tech-geek cred. But then we remembered the leader of the tech mags, known for its combination of unbridled nerdery yet still having some larger appeal. It is, of course, Popular Mechanics. We're talking geek pedigree here, an institution that has been around since 1902. How many magazines claim to help "the reader master the modern world". As close as a nerd ever came to world domination. And although that would be the obvious choice, it is, well, the obvious choice. It has a popularity that makes us feel a little weird giving it the top spot. So we decided instead to go for RasPi, for its singular focus on making to most of your Rasberry Pi credit-card sized computer. This is not world domination (unless RasPi does an A.I. issue sometime in the future) but a full-on geekfest on a single device. Surely the best display of geekism.

Not your idea of a #geekread magazine? Check out the rest of our magazines and emagazines to find one that speaks to your own geekdom.  

Disagree with our list? What #geekread magazines fulfil your geek needs? Let us know in the comments below.

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