Galaktika was arguably the most popular science fiction magazine of Hungary, published between 1972 and 1995. The peak of 94,000 copies was very high (compared to the population of Hungary [10 million] while Analog magazine was printed in 120,000 copies in the USA [pop. well over 200 million]), when reached its peak period, it was one of the largest science-fiction magazine of the world, and the quality of individual volumes was high.
The selections contained "thematic", "national" and "mixed" issues; the first type concentrated on a similar theme of stories and the second selected from the literature of a specific country. It was the only possibility for many Hungarian and Eastern-European authors to get their short stories printed. Also, many of the world's most popular science fiction authors got their way to Eastern European readers via Galaktika (accompanied by the Kuczka-edited SF-novel series Kozmosz Fantasztikus Könyvek (Cosmos Fantastic Books) and later Galaktika Fantasztikus Könyvek (Galactica Fantastic Books)), including Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Harlan Ellison, Robert Sheckley and Philip K. Dick. Some of the issues have also contained black-and-white versions of comic books such as Conan The Barbarian and The Adventures of Funky Koval.
Péter Kuczka was the editor from the beginning till the end, when it was no longer possible to print Galaktika and sell it for a price covering the printing and the royalties. Thousands have mourned its death, and there is a living market for its old, rare issues.
The numbering started with 1 in the summer of 1972 with 38,000 copies on 125 A5 pages. After issue #60 the format changed to the larger A4 format of 96 pages in 1985, then back to the A5 in a black bordered format in 1993 which persisted until Galaktika's death.
In its long and successful life 2,257 short novels and articles by more than 1,000 authors were published.
The return of Galaktika
The publishing of Galaktika restarted in November 2004, with issue #176, after a nine-year hiatus with completely changed page and editorial structure and ownership.