| November/December 1999

If Wired and Spin were fused with cosmic energy a la that precursor of the computer age, Weird Science, the result might look something like the Toronto-based 'digital culture' rag Shift. Aptly named, the magazine began in 1992 as another Gen X arts and culture periodical but soon began turning its eye toward new media; and after a relaunch in 1997 the transformation was complete. Recent articles on the culture-jamming group Rtmark and the new-media employee environment (reprinted in Utne Reader, July/Aug. 1999) showcase the magazine's greatest strength: its ability to find the small-but-fascinating story that its slicker counterparts tend to miss. Another personal favorite: the list in each issue highlighting 15 top Web sites, many of which have proven dangerously addictive. At a time when even the once-revolutionary Wired is looking just a bit stodgy, Shift is a breath of fresh, ionized air.

Shift, Box 706, Markham, ON, Canada L3R 8N4. Subscriptions: $17.95/yr. (9 issues); 800/676-0466.