Inspired | January 2021

Every month, I share the articles and sites that I found most interesting. Here’s what caught my attention in January: digital newsletters, five years without Bowie, and more.

Is Substack the Media Future We Want? by Anna Wiener

The durability and sustainability of the digital-newsletter model remain to be seen. Carving out new ways for writers to make money from their work is surely a good thing: the United States lost sixteen thousand newsroom jobs this year, and many mainstream publications have struggled to overcome issues like discrimination, clubbiness, and prohibitively low compensation. But whether Substack is good for writers is one question; another is whether a world in which subscription newsletters rival magazines and newspapers is a world that people want.

‘His life is a rebuke to cynicism’: what five years without David Bowie has taught us by Lynsey Hanley: “Many of us have spent the last five years wondering where he is when we really need him, but he supplied us with more than enough solace in his lifetime to help us through the rest of ours.”

Nothing Has Been the Same Since David Bowie Died. Even His Own Legacy. by Alan Light: “It felt like we were living in a world that no longer had room for this kind of visionary, ground-breaking artist. Not much since has offered evidence to the contrary.”

Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction: … “a comprehensive quotation-based dictionary of the language of science fiction.”

What’s the most interesting thing you saw online this month?