"While print is dead, words are still very much alive." -- Jeff Gomez
Yesterday I was contemplating writing about the sad demise of genre magazines, and today I learned the stalwart science fiction publication Starlog will cease its decades-long run. Its Web site will live on, but the magazine itself is dead and gone.
So many other great magazines have bitten the dust -- Cinescape, Science Fiction Age, Premiere, Sci-Fi Universe, Cinefantastique. Realms of Fantasy seems to also be coming to an end, despite rumors that it might still continue under different ownership. Others have had to reduce their number of annual issues, like The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction which is now bi-monthly. The history of 'zines is littered with great mags that are no more, like Amazing Stories and so many others.
The magazine business is a tough one, especially nowadays when people can get their news online faster, cheaper, and in much more abundance. Starlog became an overpriced dinosaur in an age when thousands of bloggers where getting all the scoops.
I still believe that the cries about the Death of Print are mere hyperbole. Even though Print is certainly losing serious ground to its electronic competitors, there will still be a place for newspapers, magazines, and obviously books. Publishers just need to find a way to adapt, fix their business models, and better serve their audience, otherwise, yes, they will surely die.
In the meantime, we remember Starlog fondly, and all the magazines that came before, while looking forward to all the publications that are yet to come for which it blazed an incredible trail to follow.