Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Starlog Internet Archive Project: Starlog #11, January 1978: Lookin' Good

Starlog kicks off 1978 with a good issue that contains lots of solid content, nicely designed articles, and further evidence that the title was beginning to flex its muscles. The magazine announces the second in its Photo Guidebook series of trade paperback books: Science Fiction Aliens. Publisher Kerry O'Quinn relinquishes his editor-in-chief role and leaves sole top editing responsibility to Howard Zimmerman (at least one assumes so, judging from the staffbox). Another special-effects shot on the cover and, as with issue #8's dinosaur model cover, it's both a nice cover and a bit of a snoozer.

Starlog #11
80 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $1.75

Makeup special effects take center stage this issue. Also, William F. Nolan gets back at columnist David Gerrold, who dissed his Logan's Run novel in the previous issue.

Kerry O'Quinn's From the Bridge column looks at the leap of faith SF fans are -- almost always -- willing to take to enjoy their movies. In the Communications letters, the debate over Anita Bryant and homosexuality spills into the SF world, and author William F. Nolan attacks David Gerrold. Fun stuff. The short news in Log Entries includes Carl Sagan's Voyager record, real-life domestic robots, Disney's Return from Witch Mountain, William Shatner discusses Kingdom of the Spiders, and more. Charles Bogle (methinks that's a pseudonym) writes about the Magic Lantern animation company; Howard Zimmerman explores the classic Patrick McGoohan series The Prisoner, complete with a detailed episode guide; David Houston gives the low-down on the Quark science-fiction parody; Ed Naha (not a pseudonym) contributes a retrospective of The Incredible Shrinking Man; a new Conventions department reports on Suncon and Star Trek America; Susan Sackett's Star Trek Report gives a progress report on the Star Trek film, including comments from her boss, Gene Roddenberry, on how he's resurrecting the classic series; Richard Robinson writes "The Computer's Game," looking at home PC games; Richard Meyers previews Close Encounters of the Third Kind; David Houston interviews Logan's Run production designer Mort Rabinowitz; the TV Update section includes an early report on the upcoming NBC Buck Rogers TV series and production info on Man from Atlantis. Apparently none the worse for the fracas with Nolan, David Gerrold uses his State of the Art column to explain the difficulty of getting a coherent vision to the TV screen in a series (with more comments on Logan's Run and some info on the Buck revival); Richard Meyers interviews Superman producer Ilya Salkind. In the SFX section, it's a collection of profiles of makeup effects masters: Sam Maronie on John Chambers; Richard Meyers on Stuart Freeborn and Rick Baker. Peter B. Gillis writes "Looking for SF in the Comics"; and the Visions column looks at some fanciful technology at the heart of some SF productions.
"[David Gerrold] calls the novel's premise (compulsory death at 21) "stupid ... silly, unbelievable and a waste of time" -- while admitting he's never read the book. Now, there are many SF novels which are stupid, silly, unbelievable and a waste of time (including Mr. Gerrold's own clumsily written The Man Who Folded Himself -- which I did read) but Logan's Run is not among them. It is, in plain fact, a modern classic."
--William F. Nolan, letter, Communications
To view previous Starlog Archive issues, click on "Starlog Internet Archive Project" in the keywords below.
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