Tuesday, April 14, 2009
You might have already heard that the venerable science fiction media magazine, Starlog, has shut down its print magazine. The word is that this is a temporary situation and I hope that is true. Even though I've never purchased a copy of it, or for that matter, I've never held a copy of Starlog in my hands.
It makes me sad though, because the name, Starlog, brings me great nostalgia. The Starlog Group was and is the publisher of Fangoria, a magazine I've always loved.
Not so much now though. I guess I'm getting to be an old bastard, but the horror movie world no longer seems like home to me. Oh, I still adore scary movies, but for the most part I watch the older ones. The new fans and community seem alien to me. But that's for another column.
It's always sad when something as old as Starlog dies. The magazine began publishing in 1976. Created by periodical visionaries Kerry O'Quinn and Norman Jacobs, the premier issue featured Star Trek on its cover. It successfully ran for over three decades.
Starlog will continue as an online publication, but we all know that's not the same thing. E-Books, online magazines, etc be damned. There's nothing like holding the genuine article in your hands.
And you don't have to remind me that I publish fiction electronically here at Horror Drive-In. I know it's a half-assed way to do it. But for the time being at least, it's the only way I can get certain stories and authors out to the world.
As I previously noted, I've never been a Starlog reader, but the same thing could happen to any genre magazine. Fangoria, Rue Morgue, Video Watchdog, Shock Cinema, Videoscope and yes, even Cemetery Dance. Look back to demised treasures like The Twilight Zone Magazine, Cinefantastique, Film Threat Video Guide, Psychotronic. The cool little horror fiction magazine out there are struggling or dying.
There's only one way to prevent this: Subscribe. Subscribers are the lifeblood of magazines. Advertisers are critical, yes, but without subscribers there are no advertisers.
Don't let print magazines die in this plasticized, homogenized planet. We don't want to be stuck with Premier or Entertainment Weakly and their clones. Or getting all of our needs from the unhealthy light of these computers.