This is one of my favorites. And it may be a favorite because I was able to pick up the entire run of the digest editions in one go, for a very reasonable price…either at a Philcon or a Lunacon.
Many years after that acquisition, I was able to pick up the entire run of over-sized issues (“Large Pulp”) at the San Jose Worldcon, completing the run with one possible exception.
That exception would be a final issue that was assembled in galleys but never printed, though a few copies of the galley proofs are said to exist. I suspect that obtaining one would be difficult and quite expensive, so obtaining one will have to wait until some kind of monetary miracle occurs.
The magazine was edited by Sam Merwin (Fantastic Story Magazine, Fantastic Universe, Startling Stories, Thrilling Wonder Stories, Galaxy, Beyond Fantasy), Leo Marguiles (Fantastic Universe, Thrilling Mystery, My Best Science Fiction Story anthology) and Frank Belknap-Long (Hounds of Tindalos and a Lifetime Achievement World Fantasy Award from). Pretty solid chops for editors.
One primary goal for the magazine was to effectively compete with the relatively new onslaught of paperback novels. Startling Stories’ concept of publishing a full-length novel in each issue (“The Magazine That Is A Book” and “A Complete Science Fiction Novel In Every Issue!”), along with a handful of shorter works was adopted for Satellite and this proved to be effective, placing the magazine towards the top of the heap of all of the other Astounding competitors.
Among its claims to fame are the publication of Philip K. Dick’s first novel (later revised) A Glass of Darkness. Novels by Algis Budrys, Hal Clement and Jack Vance were also published.
Also published was an excerpt from Wells’ The Time Machine that had been excluded from all editions of that work following its initial publication. (This can be found in the August 1958 issue of Satellite. Internet Archive edition.).
Sam Moskowitz also wrote several essays about authors in the field which would later be incorporated into his Explorers of the Infinite history.
The cover art was pretty spectacular too, with most being done by Ed Emshwiller, Alex Schomburg, Frank Kelly Freas, Mel Hunter and Paul Lehr, the majority by Schomburg. Homage to its roots, there would also be a Frank R. Paul cover (December 1957).
Under pressure to make the magazine more visible on newsstands, the format was changed to “slick” or “Large Pulp” in 1959, but this increased expenses beyond a sustainable level and the magazine ceases publication with the May, 1959 issue.
Most, if not all issues of the magazine are viewable at Archive.org. Here’s the search that contains most of them, though a bit of scrolling will be necessary.
And here’s the cover of its very first issue, an illustration that certainly reflects the name –
My copy is a little worn, as you can see. It’s up for replacement.
And, because the covers are almost universally by some of the most renowned artists in the field, many creating these covers during their heydays, here are all of the remaining covers from Satellite Science Fiction’s entire run: