The good news is that you don't have to worry about those pesky subscription cards and scratch-and-sniff inserts. The bad news is that to get magazines without these annoyances, you have to ferret around on the Internet. Still, subscribing to electronic magazines can be worth the effort. They're typically free, and they often deal with narrow subjects you won't find on the newsstand.
More than 400 electronic "zines" are available on the Internet, from the Journal of the American Academy of Research Historians of Medieval Spain to Z*Net International PC Online Magazine for Atari. Zines are delivered as electronic mail.
One interesting offering: Edupage, a summary of the week's news on information technology. To subscribe, send e-mail to email@example.com with the message subscribe EDUPAGE (your e-mail address here). You will get back a confirmation when your subscription is processed.
A partial list of electronic magazines can be retrieved by typing gopher etext.archive.umich.edu at the prompt, then looking under "Zines." Or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the message GET EJOURNL1 DIRECTRY and GET EJOURNL2 DIRECTRY on two separate lines.
The Assn. of Research Libraries publishes the most complete and authoritative list of electronic magazines; unfortunately, it is not available electronically. The third edition is titled "Directory of Electronic Journals, Newsletters and Academic Discussion Lists" and costs $47. Call (202) 296-8656.
To discontinue an electronic subscription, you must send a message telling the publisher to take you off the mailing list. For example, to stop Edupage, send e-mail to email@example.com with the message signoff EDUPAGE (your e-mail address).