Starburst (magazine)

Starburst is a British science fiction magazine published by Starburst Magazine Limited. Starburst contains news, interviews, features, and reviews of genre material in various media, including TV, film, soundtracks, multimedia, books, and comics books. The magazine is published monthly, with additional news and reviews being published daily on the website.

EditorJordan Royce
Former editorsDez Skinn (1977–1981)
Stephen Payne (1985–1999, 2002, 2005–2009)
CategoriesScience fiction
FounderDez Skinn
First issue1 December 1977; 43 years ago (1977-12-01)
CompanyStarburst Magazine Limited
CountryUnited Kingdom
Based inManchester

Publication historyEdit

Starburst was launched in December 1977 by editor Dez Skinn with his own company Starburst Publishing Ltd. The name Starburst was settled on after rejecting other names, including Starfall, as Skinn considered it too negative.[1]

Starburst was taken over by Marvel UK with issue #4, as part of deal whereby Skinn was put in charge of the UK comic reprints division.[citation needed] Marvel put the title up for sale in 1985 and it was bought by Visual Imagination and published by them from issue #88.[2]

Having reached issue #365 in 2008, the magazine ceased publishing due to Visual Imagination folding.

In early 2011 Starburst Magazine Ltd announced that Starburst would resume publication as an online magazine. Founder Dez Skinn was named Honorary Editor-in-Chief. The first online issue (#366) was released on 14 May 2011, and carried an editorial by Skinn.

Starburst was returned to print publication by Starburst Magazine Ltd in February 2012, with issue #374.

The magazine celebrated its 40-year anniversary with issue #443 (2017), which included an editorial by creator Dez Skinn. Starburst headquarters is now based in Manchester.


Columns and featuresEdit

Starburst's review sections were edited by writers and reviewers such as Alan Jones (films) and David J. Howe (books), and, for several years, the magazine also carried a column by the writer John Brosnan. Its television review column, TV Zone, was used as the title of its sister publication, TV Zone.

Current columnsEdit

  • TV Zone by Paul Mount[3]
  • It's Only a Movie by Jordan Royce; previously penned by the late John Brosnan[4]
  • Horror Obscura by assistant editor Martin Unsworth
  • Roll for Damage by literary editor Ed Fortune
  • OST by Nick Spacek


Starburst radioEdit

On 19 March 2011 Starburst magazine presented its first weekly radio show on Manchester Radio Online.[5] The show has since moved to Fab Radio International.[6]

Starburst podcastsEdit

Starburst produces the following podcasts:

  • Starburst Radio Podcast: The podcast of the Official Starburst Radio Show presented by Martin Unsworth, Kris Heys and Mike Royce
  • The Blue Box Podcast: The Starburst Doctor Who podcast presented by JR Southall
  • Brave New Words: The Starburst book and graphic novel podcast presented by Ed Fortune, the magazine's literary editor
  • TV Zone Plus: The podcast of the TV Zone column, presented by TV Zone columnist Paul Mount

Starburst festivalsEdit

1980: Marvel Comics Film & Fantasy ConventionEdit

On 18–19 October 1980, Starburst (at that point owned by Marvel UK) produced the inaugural Marvel Comics Film & Fantasy Convention at Lawrence Hall, London[citation needed]. The guest of honor was Ray Harryhausen; other guests include Barry Morse, Paul Darrow, Jacqueline Pearce, Ingrid Pitt, Caroline Munro, Dana Gillespie, David Prowse, Peter Mayhew, Milton Subotsky, Roy Ashton, Martin Bower, Harley Cokeliss, Mat Irvine, Brian Johnson, Terrance Dicks, David Maloney, Dick Mills, and Richard O'Brien. The convention included the presentation of the 1980 Starburst Awards[7] as well as the 1980 Eagle Awards.

2016: Starburst International Film FestivalEdit

From 26–28 August 2016 the first Starburst International Film Festival[8] was held at Manchester Metropolitan Students' Union Complex. Guests included Dez Skinn, Doug Naylor, Steve Pemberton, and Toby Whithouse. The festival culminated in the Starburst Fantasy Awards 2016 on Sunday 28 August 2016 in which Doug Naylor won the Hall of Fame Award.[citation needed]

2018: Starburst MediaCity FestivalEdit

With a sponsorship deal secured with MediaCityUK the second annual festival was slightly re-branded. Starburst MediaCity Festival[9] was held 16–17 March 2018. Guests included Dez Skinn and Tom Paton.[10] Winners of the STARBURST Fantasy Awards 2018 included Emma Dark[11] for Best Director with Salient Minus Ten, and Michael Melski[12] for Best Feature with The Child Remains.


  1. ^ "In Praise of Peter Beale". Starburst. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  2. ^ "Starburst", Science Fiction Encyclopedia.
  3. ^ "TV Zone - By veteran Paul Mount". Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  4. ^ "It's Only a Movie by Jordan Royce". Starburst. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  5. ^ "Manchester Radio Online".
  6. ^ "FAB Radio International". FAB Radio International. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  7. ^ Starburst 029 (Marvel UK, Jan. 1981).
  8. ^ Starburst International Film Festival
  9. ^ Starburst MediaCity Festival
  10. ^ Tom Paton
  11. ^ Emma Dark
  12. ^ Michael Melski

External linksEdit