Stardate

Tagged: Game | Publication

US Games Magazine, letter-size in Slick format, published first by gaming company FASA for issues #1-#7 (which included two double issues), November 1984 to July/August 1985. These issues contained no fiction, but did have sf reviews and articles. With #8 (October 1985) Stardate changed hands (to Associates International, Inc, Delaware), subtitle (becoming Stardate: The Multi-Media Science Fiction Magazine), editors (David Bischoff, with Ted White as Editorial Director) and contents (one third gaming, one third film/tv and one third fiction – the latter including two comic strips). The fiction, which included stories by William Gibson, Jack Haldeman, Damon Knight, Rudy Rucker, Robert Sheckley, John Shirley and William F Wu, was good, often very good, but sat uneasily in what still presented itself overall as a gaming magazine. Nevertheless it was an improving package, with circulation and interest increasing, when it all suddenly collapsed after the discovery that the financial status of the publishing company's backer was not as rock-solid as had first seemed. Overnight the magazine had to be wound up and sold. As a fiction Print Magazine it lasted four issues to #11 (March/April 1986). The magazine was sold to Reluctant Publishing, Utica, Michigan and returned in February 1987 as volume 3, in much the same format as the original gaming magazine, though not on slick paper. This incarnation ran no fiction, though it did carry a continuing Star Trek role-playing adventure. It lasted for six issues, to August 1987, before it ceased again through funding problems, but had one last gasp, retitled Stardrive, for just one issue in February 1988 before ceasing altogether. In the circumstances Bischoff and White did an excellent job at producing a hybrid magazine with good quality fiction, unfortunately sandwiched in the middle of a very traditional gaming title. [MA/PN]

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