OMNI, the magazine that showed us the future we all actually want to live in, has returned as OMNI Reboot! OMNI published a print magazine from 1978-1995, and moved to an all-online format until it closed in 1998 following the death of its co-founder, Kathy Keeton. The spirit of the original magazine is finding new life in OMNI Reboot, with Claire L. Evans as the editor-in-chief. Evans authored this fantastic piece on OMNI’s history for Motherboard back in May, in which she described her love for the magazine and gave an outline of its storied history, and followed up with an article about its return. These articles highlight the most important thing about OMNI: it erased boundaries, and pushed its readers to look at science as part of a larger cultural conversation.
When you opened an issue of OMNI you’d find remarkable fiction (like, William Gibson, George R.R. Martin, Julio Cortazar, Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King, and William S. Burroughs) right next to interviews with scientists like Freeman Dyson, and then you might turn the page and see art by H.R. Giger, which would give way in turn to a serious article about alien abduction. It didn’t just try to make science fun—it put the beauty of science right in the foreground for its readers to see.
OMNI Reboot promises to draw on the print magazine’s 18-year history, but more importantly states that it has to be new “in order to be truly OMNI,” and to act as a “future radar.” In their first week back online they already have fiction from Bruce Sterling and Rudy Rucker, an interview with their original editor-in-chief Ben Bova, and some haunting philosophical work about the end of the world. You can follow OMNI Reboot on Twitter, and you can also access the entire back-catalog of the print magazine, if you want to see how our future is stacking up so far.
Leah Schnelbach always hoped the future would be like Quantum Leap, but she guesses an OMNI future is acceptable.