On my very first day at Starlog in October 1982, I had to make some daunting phone calls. Editor Howard Zimmerman delegated to me, the magazine’s new Managing Editor, the task of dealing with Starlog’s formidable trio of California-based columnists.
All three writers couldn’t have been friendlier to a newbie. As part of my job, I phoned at least twice monthly, reporting our ever-shifting deadlines and (eventually) artistic choices re: layouts, discussing upcoming column topics as well as sending them stuff (checks, magazines, forwarded fan mail). I grew especially close to Gerrold, an SF novelist who even contributed to the “Get McDonnell a Home Phone” fund spearheaded by my colleagues Zimmerman and Cinemagic Editor David Hutchison (I didn’t have a phone by choice; they sprang for one of those trouble-making infernal devices I loathe nonetheless).
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David McDonnell, "the maitre’d of the science fiction universe," has dished up coverage of pop culture for more than three decades. Beginning his professional career in 1975 with the weekly "Media Report" news column in The Comic Buyers’ Guide, he joined Jim Steranko’s Mediascene Prevue in 1980. After 31 months as Starlog’s Managing Editor (beginning in October 1982), he became that pioneering SF magazine’s longtime Editor (1985-2009). He also served as Editor of its sister publications Comics Scene, Fangoria and Fantasy Worlds. At the same time, he edited numerous licensed movie one-shots (Star Trek and James Bond films, Aliens, Willow, etc.) and three ongoing official magazine series devoted to Trek TV sagas (The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager). He apparently still holds this galaxy’s record for editing more magazine pieces about Star Trek in total than any other individual, human or alien.
Copyright 2015 David McDonnell