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24 September 2009 @ 09:34 pm
The Sci-Fi Channel is Born is Science Fiction Age #1  
Seventeen years ago this month, the first issue of Science Fiction Age magazine made its debut at MagiCon, the 1992 World Science Fiction convention held in Orlando. On page 20, in the middle of Jim Steranko's "Movies" column, we printed a sidebar announcing the launch of something called ... the Sci-Fi Channel, which went on the air exactly 17 years ago today.

(Click on the scan below to view the announcement at a more readable size.)

I could already tell that Science Fiction Age had changed my life, even with only that single issue, let alone the many more to follow. I was to edit it until 2000, the same year (after a brief break editing Satellite Orbit for a company called CommTek) I started editing Science Fiction Weekly nine years ago this month for ... the Sci-Fi Channel.

Reading the sidebar now, I can see that in addition to spreading the news about this new venture, we apparently also printed a typo or two. Maybe if I'd realized how important the Channel would come to be to me, I'd have made sure the page was better proofread!

The Sci-Fi Channel also had the prime advertising space in the issue—the inside front cover. Check it out below.

Well, Science Fiction Age is no more, Sci-Fi has become Syfy, and it seems eerie to hold a copy of that first issue in my hands and realize that the blueprint for most of the next two decades of my life had already been written out.

Happy birthday, Syfy! And happy anniversary me!
JoSelleupstart_crow on September 25th, 2009 02:27 am (UTC)
Oh, MAN! I was 12 when that came out, and I still have the first issue!

I think I even remember that ad!
(Anonymous) on September 25th, 2009 02:47 am (UTC)
Tom Baker??
And I'm pretty sure that's actually Jon Pertwee as Dr. Who, not Tom Baker. Am I wrong?

That's a hell of a typo, Scott! :-)
scottedelmanscottedelman on September 25th, 2009 03:00 am (UTC)
Re: Tom Baker??
Unfortunately, I wasn't always in the office and didn't get to see every page before it went. Usually, any page I didn't see ended up with an error of some kind.
International Bon Vivant and Raconteur: Daleknick_kaufmann on September 25th, 2009 11:45 am (UTC)
Ahem, Tom Baker as Doctor Who? Seriously? How could anyone working for a magazine called Science Fiction Age not know the difference between Baker and Pertwee? Serious loss of nerd points there.
scottedelman: Kongscottedelman on September 25th, 2009 12:00 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately, while one of the two owners of the company was a comic-book fan, and even owns original Barry Smith artwork, neither one could be termed an SF nerd. They were publishers of military history magazines who saw an unfulfilled niche in SF publishing, and brought no knowledge to the table. So any page that slipped out the door without first passing through my hands was likely to contain errors.

I didn't feel as bad about this as I did when I discovered that misspellings of Ursula K. Le Guin and Anne McCaffrey had made it into print.
International Bon Vivant and Raconteurnick_kaufmann on September 25th, 2009 12:04 pm (UTC)
I didn't feel as bad about this as I did when I discovered that misspellings of Ursula K. Le Guin and Anne McCaffrey had made it into print.

Oy vey.
jamietr on September 25th, 2009 04:00 pm (UTC)
SF Age is the only magazine for which I have a complete and uninterrupted collection. I still think it was the best science fiction magazine ever produced.
scottedelmanscottedelman on September 25th, 2009 06:56 pm (UTC)
Aw, shucks!

Edited at 2009-09-25 06:57 pm (UTC)