In that first year I got to meet quite a few idols when we staged a Starburst Sci-Fi and Fantasy Convention in London. The advantage of running an SF magazine was that most of the local celebs in the SF world had heard of us, so we were able to persuade more than our fair share to attend.
A partial guest list included Guest of Honour Ray Harryhauen, Barry Morse, Paul Darrow, Jacqueline Pearce, Ingrid Pitt, Caroline Munro, Dana Gillespie, Dave Prowse, Peter Mayhew, Milton Subotsky, Roy Ashton, Martin Bower, Harley Cokliss, Mat Irvine, Brian Johnson, Terrance Dicks, Ian Scoones and Richard O'Brien.
Incredibly, we premiered John Carpenter's The Fog and ran a whole host of sci-fi and horror classics in the Convention's screening room.
And yet all this was accomplished on the tiniest of budgets and a three month lead time.
Sometimes I think about what we could have achieved if we'd made the effort to organise the event properly ...
While the magazine itself ran like clockwork, I always felt that Marvel UK management didn't really know what to do with this publication. I think they believed that as the company was called Marvel Comics, Starburst didn't fit in to their game plan because it plainly wasn't a comic.
At first, they ignored it, hoping it would go away. But it didn't. In fact Starburst persisted in making a profit, month after month. No money was spent on promoting it. My writers were paid rates that were way below NUJ minimum. I was fortunate that they all cared enough to work pretty much for the love of it. But the Starburst hardcore of John Brosnan (now a successful novelist and screenwriter), Tony Crawley, Richard Holliss, Alan Jones (now a publicist and film reviewer for mainstream publications like Radio Times) and my dear friend Phil Edwards made the magazine what it was - a great magazine in its day and a pleasure to work on.