UK monthly nonfiction magazine about sf, fantasy and horror in the media (primarily films and television). Small-Bedsheet slick format. Founded January 1978, first published by Starburst Magazines, London, edited by Dez Skinn, but soon taken over by Marvel Comics and edited Alan Mackenzie until #77 (January 1985), then by Roger P Birchall to #79 and Cefn Ridout to #87. With #88 (December 1985) the magazine left Marvel and was taken over by Visual Imagination, with Stephen Payne the new editor. Subsequent editors were David Richardson 1999-2001, Andrew Cartmel 2001, Gary Gillatt 2001-2002, Stephen Payne again 2002, Simon J Gerard 2003-2005, Stephen Payne again 2005-2009, and (after a hiatus) Jordan Royce since 2011.
What must have been designed as little more than a fan magazine for kids became rather good, especially under Mackenzie's editorship, and it was for some time in the UK the only (fairly) reliable source for developments in fantastic films and television. What probably saved Starburst, in contrast to its US equivalent Starlog, is that it never gave the impression of being in hock to the film studios. Spider-Man had a collection of eccentric but well informed critics, some slavishly devoted to Splatter Movies; among the regular contributors were John Brosnan, Tony Crawley and Alan Jones, and sf writers like Robert P Holdstock, David Langford and Ian Watson made occasional appearances. During the year following the change of ownership from Marvel the magazine became blander and more juvenile but still proved durable. Starburst had reached issue #365 in 2009, when the print edition ceased; it relaunched as an Online Magazine with #366 in May 2011. Jordan Royce now writes the "It's Only a Movie" column initiated by Brosnan. [PN/DRL]
see also: Media Magazines.
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