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Starlight SF

Entry updated 10 January 2017. Tagged: Publication.

Early UK Online Magazine accessible via the Prestel dial-up viewdata system operated by British Telecom from 1979 to 1994. Edited by David Langford; media editor Barbara Conway; published by Micronet 800. Trial version late 1982; officially published 1983-1985.

Starlight SF, resulting from one of George Hay's initiatives to take sf into new media, was vaguely affiliated to editor Langford's newsletter Ansible and chiefly contained news snippets and brief reviews. Brevity was enforced by the Prestel screen format, limited to 25 lines (two reserved for system information) of 40 characters, though fortunately the system allowed multi-page articles with automatic cycling. Starlight fiction comprised a number of the 50-word stories which Brian Aldiss had termed "mini-sagas" (see Flash Fiction), mostly resulting from reader competitions. The longest item was a reissue of "Why I Should Have Been the New Doctor Who: The Case for a Marxist in the Tardis" (November 1984 Foundation) by UK actor-comedian and author Alexei Sayle (1952-    ); other featured authors included John Brunner and Ian Watson. Starlight SF was one of the rare online sf publications to predate the World Wide Web. [DRL]

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