Monday 1 September 2014


The first issue of the (still going) British SF magazine SFX, published in June 1995.  

In retrospect, I think everyone agrees that the Tank Girl movie probably wasn't the most monumental choice for the first edition's coveted cover spot.  

For me, SFX came as a breath of fresh air after years of the "that'll do" antics of the various image-heavy/ text-light Visual Imagination titles (masters of making the same finite material go a long way by packaging it in different ways across various regular titles and specials) and the stuck-in-a-rut PR-friendly ways of the STARLOG.  


  1. I love SFX - I bought my first issue in December 1999 (dated January 2000) and one of the things I really like is the fact that there are several pages devoted to letters unlike its' only remaining rival Sci Fi Now which ditched its' letters page years ago with no explanation. SFX also doesn't take itself too seriously and includes humour with things like Couch Potato and the amusing captions on photos - in contrast to the po-faced Sci Fi Now.

  2. an excellent point about the lack of a letters page in most mags...even the marvel collector editions say its because they dont get enough letters to fill even a page..hard to believe...yes sfx probably has the edge but sci fi now has some very good retro articles

  3. I do read Sci Fi Now every month so I'd agree with you there, Ed. Yes, I too remember reading a Marvel Collector's Edition that claimed it had received no letters to print, very strange in this age of instant e-mail.

  4. another excellent point...the editor is practically begging for more letters...I've already e-mailed a new letter to MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL so there's a good chance it will be printed...

    back to SFX, isnt it a shame they recently cancelled their spin-off title COMIC HEROES..the editor told me that it only had a minor fact they had already changed the format and thats always a sign of falling sales...

  5. Regards lack of letters in the email age: my guess is that readers so inclined find it easier/more natural to discuss things in social networking forums rather than construct a letter of comment these days.

  6. definitely a factor krusty but as colin said, SFX still runs at least 4-5 pages of letters per issue so the tone and content of the mag is generating more feedback than other mags...

  7. I used to be an avid reader of SFX for several years, but their increasingly inordinate coverage of certain series, particularly Farscape and Buffy (when an issue covered the first Scooby-Doo movie for instance, only SMG appeared on the cover), at the expense of other contemporary productions, started to grate.

    Science-fiction television series have been cancelled before their time since the 1960s, so why the cancellation of Farscape in particular merited a multi-page article still boggles the mind. Around the same time there was an increasing dismissal of other television productions that utilised formal speaking for characters, i.e., they didn't use "Buffy-speak". Again, something of a dubious position to take.

    In its early years however, particularly the first three, when magazine co-founder M.J. Simpson was still directly involved, SFX was indispensable. Nigel Kneale’s curmudgeonly dismissal of one of the most popular series on the planet at the time (The X-Files) is a hilarious (and brave) standout!


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