Star*Line History

Since January 1978, Star*Line has been the official publication of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. Star*Line started out as a newsletter, but has developed into a journal and is the method that the SFPA uses to bring together poets and readers.

The early years of Star*Line were packed with articles about constructing poems, with a few examples. Another important role Star*Line initially played was to relay news about markets and science-fiction poets.

Under editor Suzette Haden Elgin (SFPA Founder), the magazine moved to feature a mix of articles and poems. The format changed from 8.5" x 11" to 5.5" x 8.5" format in the third year. Also, the frequency changed to 6 issues per year, down from 12. The very first illustrated cover was issue 1.7 (July 1978—coincidentally, the first Rhysling anthology). Again, in 1979, issue 2.7 (the second Rhysling) also had an illustrated cover. Beginning with issue 3.1 (Jan/Feb 1980) cover illustrations were the norm. Robert Frazier became the editor in the beginning of the fourth year, 1981; this year also saw the cover printed on colored stock.

Over the years the editors have continuously striven to make Star*Line a professional and quality publication. They brought their experience from other publications to the process, producing a polished journal. Starting with the 33.5/6, the last issue of 2010, each cover has been printed in full color. Star*Line is quarterly as of 2011. The numbering system for Star*Line issues is in the format XX.Y, where “XX” signifies the SFPA year, counting from 1 in 1978, and “Y” signifies the issue within a given year.

The early editors did everything: typing, layout, labels and labeling; it was a real labor of love. As Elissa Malcohn remembers, this was “still in the days of manual paste-up and on a tight budget, so improv was part of the fun. I put together clip-art montages until I could get enough drawing submissions. Scissors, White-Out, and glue-sticks completed my toolbox.”

As Star*Line matured, additional staff were added to handle layout and production duties. Production managers have included Mike Williams and Malcolm Deeley. Layout designers have included Mike Allen and Robert Frazier.

Below is a complete list of Star*Line's editors. Many used more than one masthead during their editorships. We have included a representative masthead for each.

—Rich Gombert

Editors and Representative Mastheads

Jean-Paul Garnier 2021–

Melanie Stormm 2021

F. J. Bergmann 2020–2021

Vince Gotera 2017–2020

F. J. Bergmann 2012–2017
2016 Star*Line masthead

Marge Simon 2004–2011
2004 Star*Line masthead

Tim Pratt 2002–2004
2003 Star*Line masthead

David C. Kopaska-Merkel 1996–2002
2001 Star*Line masthead

Marge Simon 1992–1995
1993 Star*Line masthead

Richard Rowand 1991–1992
1992 Star*Line masthead

Robert Frazier 1988–1991
1990 Star*Line masthead

Elissa Malcohn 1986–1988
1987 Star*Line masthead

Robert Frazier 1981–1985 & Gene van Troyer 1983–1985
1983 Star*Line masthead

Suzette Haden Elgin 1978–1980
1978 Star*Line masthead

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