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Magazine Spotlight: Best of (Part I)

November 21, 2013 | 7:07pm EST

You love AmLit. I love AmLit. We all love AmLit, but for those of us who need some sort of creative stimuli as we await the next release of our beloved semiannual student publication, is a great gift. On our college budgets, dismal and meager, pretty interest magazines published on premium card stock with minimal advertisements are usually out of our financial reach., an online hub of self-produced publications, is here to help you bide your time before AmLit’s December release. Here are a few free magazines featured on the website that’ll quench the literary thirst of the curious. Au Science Magazine Latest issue: Like our precious baby AmLit, Au Science Magazine is a publication written, edited and produced by university students. Unlike our baby, Au is a product of the University of Aberdeen and focuses on current science research, views, and news. The complete opposite of what we go for, but intriguing nonetheless. In its latest issue, “Dauntless Discovery”, Au “explores just how far science can take you, and how – even without the melodrama of big screen films – some of the quietest labs have sparked the most dauntless discoveries ever made.” The magazine is able to hold the interest of those of us who aren’t the most science-savvy by tying unexpected topics together with the academic, like space psychology, historical diets, and relief efforts to save endangered, “ugly” animals.

Off LIFE Comic Latest issue: I’ve never been one to read comics because I’ve never found a comic book – not a graphic novel – that really spoke to me, especially after I got over my short-lived Sunday newspaper Peanuts obsession (my frustration with Charlie and that football, however, still persists). Luckily, I discovered United Kingdom-based Off LIFE Comic. A little over 20 pages, the comic book reads like a book of short stories. Most comics are only two pages and in order not to bombard the reader with illustration after illustration, Off LIFE also includes interviews with comic artists and writers. It’s not surprising that the publication prides itself as U.K.’s only street press comic magazine, especially when it holds so much substance in its collection of short comics.

Hot Rum Cow Latest issue: Hot Rum Cow was, admittedly, a surprising find. Its print magazine is typically 100 pages, but because the publication is based in Edinburgh, U.K., its sample 18-page issues on Issuu will have to suffice. Fortunately, Hot Rum Cow packs a lot of alcohol-soaked punch in its pages. Self-described as a “bi-annual independent magazine for people who are fascinated by great beers, wines & spirits – and the extraordinary stories behind them,” Hot Rum Cow spotlights one type of alcohol for each issues. For its most recent issue, Issue 4, the magazine focuses on sherry, a fortified wine made from white grapes that was once the drink of choice for kings and Shakespeare. Fancy stuff, but Hot Rum Cow insists that sherry has a wild side. This issue explores the 3,000-year-old history of a drink once savored by Phoenicians, interviews a man who drank 30,000 beers, and introduces a rock star turned Michelin-star chef. It’s a magazine drunk off its love for alcohol. As for its odd name, its editors say, “We’ve named it after a warm cocktail made from rum, milk, brown sugar and nutmeg. Some people love it, others don’t get it – and that’s exactly the sort of magazine we publish.”

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