Friday, March 12, 2010

Starlog Internet Archive Project: Starlog #5, May 1977: Start Reaching

Readers of Starlog for most of its first two and a half decades of life quickly came to recognize (and, I think, appreciate) a signature factor in the magazine's content and character: the "reach for the stars" philosophy and encouragement of co-publisher Kerry O'Quinn, and here we get the first of umpteenth number of editorials by O'Quinn in that spirit. This issue, O'Quinn also takes over as editor-in-chief in the wake of founding editor David Houston's departure (Houston would soon be named the West Coast editor of the magazine). Other staffbox changes include co-editorship by James M. Elrod and Howard Zimmerman. This issue sees the first ad for a Starlog Photo Guidebook, Spaceships; in the coming years, Starlog would publish dozens of these high-quality and lavishly illustrated trade paperback books on a variety of SF topics (Aliens, Special Effects, Space Art, etc.)

Starlog #5
68 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $1.50

The cover painting is by artist Don Dixon, who is also profiled in the issue. Space art would remain a strong love for the magazine (and its short-lived spinoff, Future Life).

Kerry O'Quinn kicks off things in his editorial by highlighting the success of people who made careers out of their love for space and science fiction. Communications is filled with interesting letters, including one from a "Richard A. Pini" in Taunton, Massachusetts. Is this the Richard Pini who, with wife Wendy, created the Elfquest comics? Log Entries has the usual previews and news, including some making-of info on the new King Kong and a report on William Shatner's college speaking tour; columnist David Gerrold writes about some religious pressure that resulted in the changing of a Star Trek animated episode to suit some Baptists' sensibilities; David Hutchison continues his extensive look at 3-D science-fiction movies; Robert M. Hefley puts together a "Science Fiction Address Guide" for television productions; David Houston interviews spacescape painter (and cover artist) Don Dixon, in an article illustrated with many of Dixon's beautiful SF paintings; in the magazine's first foray into controversial political topics, writer Frank Gilstrap looks at how an episode of the live-action Star Trek was censored by a Texas television station on religious grounds (a nice live-action complement to Gerrold's animated column this issue, eh?); Howard Zimmerman examines the Gerry and Sylvia Anderson UFO TV series; Tom Rogers contributes a complete episode guide for that UFO series; Starlog publishes an episode guide to the final six episodes of Space: 1999's second and (wait for it...) last season; a selection of reader letters on Space: 1999 are published in a special article; Star Teasers has some movie anagrams; and the Visions column looks at the search for extra-terrestrial life.
"This issue is dedicated to these people ... and to all of our readers who are equally demanding of their lives. Whether you have already done it or will demand it of yourself in the future, there is no greater success in life than turning your pleasure into your profession."
--Kerry O'Quinn, editor-in-chief (and co-publisher), From the Bridge
To view previous Starlog Archive issues, click on "Starlog Internet Archive Project" in the keywords below.
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