|Publisher||Starlog Group, Inc.|
|Founder||Kerry O'Quinn and Norman Jacobs|
|First issue||August 1976|
|Final issue||April 2009|
|Company||The Brooklyn Company, Inc.|
Starlog was a monthly magazine devoted to science fiction films, television series, and books published by Starlog Group, Inc. One of the longest-running and most popular publications of its type, the magazine was created in 1976 by publishers Kerry O'Quinn and Norman Jacobs. Starlog was one of the first publications to report on the development of the first Star Wars movie, and it also followed the development of what was to eventually become Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
Many fans[who?] of the long-running magazine considered its heyday to have been the 1980s, with very little substance to the content in later years, and many of its long-time contributors having since moved on. But it continued to boast some top-flight genre journalists, including film historians Will Murray, Jean-Marc Lofficier, and Tom Weaver.
Starlog is currently a digital magazine published by The Brooklyn Company, run by longtime Fangoria President Thomas DeFeo.
In the mid-1970s, Kevin O'Quinn and high school friend David Houston talked about creating a magazine that would cover science fiction films and television programs. (O'Quinn and Norman Jacobs had gotten their start in publishing creating a soap opera magazine.)
O'Quinn came up the idea of publishing a one-time-only magazine on the Star Trek phenomenon. Houston's editorial assistant Kirsten Russell suggested that they include an episode guide to all three seasons of the show, interviews with the cast, and previously unpublished photographs. During this brainstorming session many questions were raised, most notably legal issues. Houston contacted Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry with the intention of interviewing him for the magazine. Once they got his approval, O'Quinn and Jacobs proceeded to put together the magazine, but Paramount Studios, which owned Star Trek, wanted a minimum royalty that was greater than their projected net receipts, and the project was shelved.
O'Quinn realized that they could create a magazine that featured only Star Trek content, but without it being the focus, and therefore getting around the royalties issue. He also realized that this could be the science fiction magazine he and Houston had talked about. Many titles for the new magazine were suggested, including Fantastic Films and Starflight, before Starlog was chosen. (Fantastic Films was later used as the title of a competing science fiction magazine published by Blake Publishing.)
The first issue of Starlog, scheduled as a quarterly, was dated August 1976. While the cover featured Captain Kirk, Spock, and the Enterprise, and the issue contained a "Special Collector's Section" on Star Trek, other science fiction topics were also discussed, such as The Bionic Woman and Space: 1999. The issue sold out and this encouraged O'Quinn and Jacobs to publish a magazine every six weeks instead of quarterly. O'Quinn was the magazine's editor while Jacobs ran the business side of things, dealing with typesetters, engravers and printers.
One of the magazine's milestones was its 100th issue, published on November 1985. It featured the 100 most important people in science fiction as determined by the editors. This included exclusive interviews with John Carpenter, Peter Cushing, George Lucas, Harlan Ellison, Leonard Nimoy, and Gene Roddenberry.
In 1985 and 1986, Starlog teamed with Creation Entertainment to produce a series of conventions called the Starlog SF, Horror & Fantasy Festival. (Starlog produced other small-scale conventions during this period as well.) The first show was held March 30-31, 1985, at the Boston Sheraton in Boston. Another one was held June 15-16, 1985, at the Center Hotel, Philadelphia. In 1986, a show was held May 10-11, at New York City's Roosevelt Hotel. Nicholas Courtney of Doctor Who fame was a guest at all three shows.
Sale to Creative Group, Inc
After the entire magazine industry took a serious tumble in 2001, Starlog Group was eventually purchased by Creative Group, Inc., which continued to publish Starlog and Fangoria, and expanded its franchises into the Internet, satellite radio, video, and TV.
Starlog published its 30th Anniversary issue in 2006.
On December 5, 2007, a warehouse operated by Kable News, in Oregon, Illinois, which contained all back issues of Starlog and Fangoria magazines, was destroyed by fire. As back issues of Starlog are not re-printed, the only remaining back issues are now housed in private collections or those available on the secondary market.
Starlog publisher Creative Media filed for bankruptcy in March 2008, and, in June 2008, sold its assets to a group led by private equity firm Scorpion Capital Partners LP. Starlog and Fangoria and all related assets were purchased by The Brooklyn Company, Inc. in July 2008. The official website at Starlog.com ceased to operate in December 2008.
In March 2009, Starlog became a sister site to Fangoria magazine's official site, with a new url tied to Fangoria. Simultaneously, production was halted on issue #375, scheduled for May 2009. New content began to appear on the Starlog website on April 7, 2009, after the site returned to its original Starlog.com domain. The folding of the print edition was officially announced on April 8, 2009, with the unpublished issue promised in the near future as a web-only publication.
In April 2014, Fangoria announced that Starlog would return in the summer of 2014, first as a relaunched website and later in the year as a digital magazine.
O'Quinn was the magazine's first editor, with Houston taking over for a year, and then replaced by Howard Zimmerman, when Houston was promoted to the "Hollywood Bureau." Zimmerman was eventually succeeded by David McDonnell, who is still the editor of the web-based magazine.
In addition to Starlog, O'Quinn and Jacobs also published dozens of other magazines, including the science/science-fiction hybrid Future Life, Comics Scene, Cinemagic, and Fangoria, which is dedicated to horror films. Over the past 30 years, Starlog has produced books, videos, science fiction conventions, trivia books, and more. It has also had a number of foreign editions, including in Japan, Germany, France, The UK, Brazil, and Australia. Starlog also spun off a number of related publications including the Starlog Poster Magazine, Starlog Science-Fiction Explorer, Starlog Presents... and monthly magazines dedicated to covering the production of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek: Voyager.
As of January 2014, Fangoria is the only magazine launched during Starlog's run to be still in production.
- Issue 1 on Internet Archive
- Pirani, Adam. "Starlog Lands in New England," Starlog #96 (July 1985), p. 28.
- "Fires Burns Fangoria." Dread Central (December 10, 2007).
- American LaFrance, Delphi, Haven, Marcal, Creative: Bankruptcy 08-10975, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan), March 24, 2008.
- BusinessWeek: Companies "Creative Media, Inc.: Snapshot" 2-24-09
- Fangoria announces sweeping new web initiative at fangoria.com, Fangoria.com, October 17, 2008.