A Brief History of Locus Online, or,
How I've Spent My Free Time the Past 10 Years
by Mark R. Kelly
- April 17: 10th anniversary.
- April 1: Neil Gaiman One Step Closer to Sainthood.
- February: a Book Editors page is compiled as reference for the new Hugo Award category for Best Editor, Long form
- Fall: Locus Online begins posting selected columns and reviews from Locus Magazine, by Cory Doctorow, Graham Sleight, and regular reviewers
- Spring: a poll for best poetry of the year and of all-time draws a light response
- April 1: Barry Malzberg to Fly Virgin Galactic Free
- By year-end the homepage layout is refined with new colors and link arrangements (still the current design).
- Feature reviews are gradually scaled back to cover significant genre films and occasional essays, but not regular book reviews
- May: current webpage templates are rebuilt using style sheet tags instead of hard-coded html for spacing and formatting
- April 1: Charles Stross Achieves Posthuman Status
- Locus Online receives a Hugo Award nomination for Best Website but loses to Sci Fiction by one vote.
- Fall: The first version of a Cover Art Gallery is posted.
- October: editorial blog Views from Medina Road launches.
- April 1: Ben Gory Gerdorf reviews The Einstein Code.
- January: updates to the What's New page are discontinued, as the homepage loses the colored tab sections and posts become strictly chronological, blog-like; at the same time archives are split by section -- News, Monitor, etc.
- Separate pages for Aether Vibrations, Field Inspections, E-Publications, etc., are discontinued due to time constraints, and are replaced by a Blinks column, first on the What's New page, then on the homepage.
- Still running lots of reviews, by Lawrence Person, Cynthia Ward, Jeff Berkwits, Greg Benford, et al.
- June: Locus Online wins first of three Wooden Rocket awards
- April 1: Clarion Recalls Classes of '96 and '98, and others.
- Throughout year: dozens of reviews and commentaries by John Shirley, Gary Westfahl, Rich Horton, Lawrence Person, Philip Shropshire, Jeff VanderMeer...
- September: Locus Online wins a Hugo Award for Best Website.
- August: regular pages launched for New in Paperback and Classic Reprints, as New Books pages go weekly (in theory)
- Directories of each year's books by category begin.
- March: The Locus Index To Science Fiction Awards expands to full capacity with 80+ awards, FAQs, tables, statistics, essays.
- December: My last monthly review column ("Distillations") is turned in to Locus Magazine.
- On 9/11, reports from New York City (scroll up for more), followed by an essay by Marleen Barr
- Pop-up This Week windows [pop-up function now discontinued] track new books and author events for most of the year, before merging back onto the homepage
- May: the homepage layout widens, with a new left pane, and coloring is made more uniform
- The site runs numerous special-to-the-website reviews by John Shirley, Claude Lalumiere, Nick Gevers, and others
- Cumulative necrology and awards listings are tracked on the homepage and archive page
- More April Foolishness
- Spring: first online Locus Poll and Survey ballot includes a bonus question for online voters: Name the 5 deceased 20th century SF & fantasy writers you think will still be read 50 years from now
- June: the Locus Index to Science Fiction Awards launches
- Website readers are asked what they like about the website and we respond
- Several pages of Prose Quotations are compiled; these would eventually find a home at the bottom of each week's New Books page
- A short-lived Skiffy Flix feature tracks critical reactions to sf/f/h movies
- We try to keep up with E-zines
- The site starts running occasional special-to-the-website full length reviews
- March: ICFA inspires Locus Online's first April 1st issue.
- In August the homepage (which had looked like this) is cleaned up with colored tabs.
- The site conducts an independent poll with categories for all-time short fiction, and survey
- Review extracts from the magazine highlight two books a month
- Year-end best books are tallied
- We get lots of letters
- New sections are added: Field Inspections, Media Refractions, a weekly Bestsellers page, and descriptions of nonfiction books
- October: site redesigned and renamed Locus Online, with an editorial, descriptions of new books, magazines, and websites, and a page called Aether Vibrations.
- April 17: Locus website launches, with listings and samples from the magazine, a Breaking News page, letters, and a quiz. (Update history)
(See the website's Site Map for links to complete archives, and many more homepage captures.)