The first is that under Crowley’s short-lived editorship (he has now moved on, or perhaps back, to The New Statesman), Granta now has a significant online component, much of which is free. You can go there and check out interviews with authors, weekly updates on relevant stories, recent events, and much more. Some of this complements the printed version, but much of it is free-standing and so of use to those who don’t subscribe to or otherwise read Granta. Two on-line items worth checking out are the interview with Tim Lott, whose “The Judgement of Lut” appeared in issue 101, and online editor Roy Robins’s essay on politics and publishing in the context of the current US election cycle. (The Lott piece concerns the gruesome murder of his film agent, Rod Hall, by a homoerotic / homophobic Muslim, Usman Durrani, in 2004, and part of what Lott explores is the dynamic between the three words used above to describe Hall’s killer.)
The second is simply the quality and range of the content. On content, you can just cruise through back issues yourself online. Annie Proulx’s “Family Man” in 101 and Kathleen Jamie’s “Pathologies: A Startling Tour of Our Bodies” in 102 are two recent examples that What Sorters might be interested in (though it looks like you can’t get those for free …), but that’s really just the tip of the iceberg. Human-focused, forward-thinking, often provocative. Check it out.