Groundbreaking Czech SF Magazine Ikarie Shuts Down, Staff Start New XB-1

Ikarie November 2010 Sad news from overseas: The groundbreaking Czech SF magazine Ikarie has shut down after over 20 years of publishing and 247 issues.

Former Ikarie editor Martin Šust shared the news with me yesterday. Their last issue was published in November 2010 (see image at right). According to Martin, the unexpected closing was not due to poor sales but instead the publisher's desire to focus on lifestyle magazines.

Named after the classic Czech SF film Ikarie XB-1 and founded in 1990, Ikarie was one of the most important science fiction magazines in Europe. Published as a 8.25 x 11.5 inch, 66 page monthly with full-color covers and black and white interiors, Ikarie contained between five or six stories in each issue in addition to reviews and nonfiction articles. Over the years Ikarie published countless Czech authors along with translated stories from the biggest names in world SF. 

New Czech Magazine XB-1

The good news, though, is that Martin and other members of the Ikarie staff have already started a new Czech SF magazine. Named XB-1 in honor of the second part of the Ikarie XB-1 film title, Martin says the new magazine contains the same editorial board.

The first issue of XB-1 was published in December and they already have a nicely designed website. It appears the magazine will continue to translate foreign-language stories.

I'm particularlly sorry to see Ikarie go—over the last two years the magazine translated and published four of my stories, including my Nebula-nominated novella "Sublimation Angels." But while Ikarie will be missed, I also know Martin and the rest of the staff will do a great job with the new XB-1.

Update: I should have specified that Martin Šust was foreign rights editor for Ikarie while the editor in chief was Vlado Ríša. They are reprising their old roles with XB-1.