The Hungarian SF Magazine Galaktika’s 301 issue

    Galaktika 301 Galaktika 301XL

    The Hungarian SF Magazine, Galaktika – one of the oldest Eastern European SF Magazines, together with Colecția Povestirilor Științifico-Fantastice/The Collection of the Science Fiction Stories – established in 1955 in Romania by Adrian Rogoz), Nowa Fantastyka (succesor of Fantastyka, Poland, established in 1982 by Adam Holanek), XB-1 (czech succesor of Ikarie, established in 1990 in Czechoslovakia and edited by Ondřej Neff) and Mir Fantastiki (The World of Fantastika/Мир Фантастики, established in September 2003 in Russia) had recently published it’s 301 issue.

    Galaktika is published in two versions.

    Galaktika’s 300 issue, an anniversary one featuring 100% Hungarian SF authors : Böszörményi Gyula, Parti Nagy Lajos, Hartay Csaba, Pataki Éva  Dragomán György, Burger István, Mund Katalin, Csányi Vilmos, Kiss Noémi, Benedek Szabolcs, Egressy Zoltán, Szabó T. Anna, Vörös István, Darvasi László, Cserna-Szabó, András Bárdos, Deák Ágnes, Csaplár Vilmos, Ménes Attila.


    „The Hungarian SF Magazine Galaktika was launched in September 1972 by  Péter Kuczka through Morá Publishing Press (Péter Kuczka started the Morá SF books series, Kozmosz in 1969).

    Galaktika is the first Hungary’s SF magazine and it’s first issue sold out its initial print run of 39,800 copies. Péter Kuczka was assisted on many issues by Lászlo Fazekas.


    Péter Kuczka (Székesfehérvár, Hungary, March 1, 1923 – Budapest, Hungary, December 8, 1999) was a Hungarian writer, poet and science fiction editor.  He was the editor of the Kozmosz Fantasztikus Könyvek (Cosmos Fantastic Books) series, whose books were the first science fiction books in Hungary. Péter Kuczka was the founder and editor of Galaktika, which had a definitive influence on the evolution of Hungarian science fiction. He was the editor of the publisher Móra Ferenc könyvkiadó (Móra Publishing Press) from 1976. Móra was a high-quality publisher that has helped the literary education of Hungarian children.

    Galaktika was originally quarterly and issued in large-digest format, running to 128 pages. It was not until 1985 that it expanded into full-flat-magazine format, by which time it was selling over 50,000 copies a month, and was ranked amongst the most respected SF periodicals in the world.


    Peter Kuczka tryed to do his best for Hungarian SF by producing a magazine of high quality.

    Each issue was a blend of translated material from a wide variety of sources (despite the title, it was not drawn chiefly from Galaxy) plus several Hungarian original stories, reviews and articles.

    Many issues were themed, either by author or subject. The first issue, for instance, ran an article on ans several stories by Robert Sheckley.

    Galaktika’s # 2 Issue  featured Ray Bradbury, # 3 French SF, # 4 A.E.Van Vogt, # 5 artificial intelligence, # 6 Italian SF and so on.

    By publishing material from such diverse sources, Galaktika became one of the most cosmopolitan of SF magazines, far more so than any English-language title, and presented such a fund of ideas and approaches to storytelling that it inspired a whole new generation of writers.

    Those whom Peter Kuczka published and helped develop in Galaktika included Béla Kasztovsky, István Nemere, Gyula Fekete, Zoltán Csernai, Péter Szabo, Lászlo Lörincz and Mária Szepes, all of whom are now amongst Hungarian’s leading SF writers. With or without the support of fandom, Peter Kuczka was determined that Galaktika would present the best that he could find and succeeded. The 1974 European SF Award was the first of several awards that he and his magazine would received.

    The editors of the Hungarian science fiction magazine Galaktika were ambitious enough to show concisely and plainly the birth, development, present, and possible future of Hungarian science fiction. Writing about Hungarian science fiction is both a rewarding and a thankless challenge. On one hand, sources are plenty, there are no translation difficulties, on the other hand it is hard to be objective, especially when writing about the present. The contributors managed to put together an informative and interesting issue that is not drowned in scholarly terms yet  academic in depth.

    The editors of Galaktika magazine started publishing an annual collection, MetaGalaktika almanach, in 1978 as a special issue. These were thematic anthologies focusing on the SF literature of a certain nation or a certain author (with Soviet and American themes, for example). There are novels, novelettes and short stories as well as essays.

     Before the original Galaktika ceased publication in 1995, nine MetaGalaktika issues were published. The collection that was planned as annual originally, became sparse and went into torpor together with the magazine.

    After the reboot of Galaktika in 2004, the series was relaunched in 2007. The first issue was the unconventional MetaGalaktika #9.5, because editors experimented with a new structure and published scientific articles by Hungarian specialists, as well as short stories. This was the starting point of the new HiperGalaktika series, that has three issues up to this date and is focused on science. In 2008, a real MetaGalaktika was published, that, inspired by the Beijing Olympics, contained Chinese short stories and essays on China and its SF literature.

    In 2009, MetaGalaktika endeavored to introduce another country’s science fiction literature: Hungary’s. This issue aimed to show the history of Hungarian science fiction in its entirety from its beginnings to the present. This meant that editors have picked stories  that did not belong to the genre but their theme was close to it. The issue contains ten short stories, one excerpt from a novel, and nine essays that are arranged according to chronological relevancy. It is interesting to know that the illustrations in the issue are the covers made by Péter Sallai for the Galaktika Fantastic Books (Galaktika Fantasztikus Könyvek) published by Metropolis Media, the publisher of Galaktika magazine. The last pages of the issue try to sum up the themes of Hungarian science fiction with the help of a few examples.

    The result is a compilation that is unique. Although there have been theoretical and academic works on science fiction in Hungary, summary volumes were absent.

    Each historical period (dualism, first World War and the interwar period, early and late socialism and present)  and subgenre (fantastic voyages, utopias) covered in the issue is represented by an essay and a short story.” – Mariann Benkö and Gábor Takács, translated by Csilla Kleinheincz

    Romanian SF Dossier : Voicu Bugariu/Victor Kernbach/Vladimir Colin (Galaktika no.12/1975)


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