80 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $1.75
This is another issue with examples of Starlog growing, flexing its muscles, reveling in its success. It includes the launch announcement of the first spinoff magazine from Starlog, called Future (renamed Future Life a year later). The magazine also shoots its first television commercial, featuring a famous science fiction icon as its spokesman -- er, spokes'bot.
An unbylined one-pager TV Update announces the cancellations of Logan's Run and Man from Atlantis. James Obert commemorates the 20th anniversary of "Sputnik and the Opening of Space"; Charles Bogle chronicles the Charles Band movie Lasterblast, which would quickly be forgotten until it was immortalized in episode 706 of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (for completists, we might note that the Laserblast article is cut off at the bottom of page 23 -- the jump line was left off, so readers were left to page through the magazine until they get to the article's completion on page 70); Susan Sackett interviews her boss, Gene Roddenberry, on the making of the new Star Trek movie; Sackett also contributes her regular Star Trek Report column, answering questions from fans. David Hutchison provides a "Special Report on the (New) Enterprise" design; Richard Meyers writes about another soon-to-be-forgotten 1970s SF flick, Starship Invasions; the Conventions page covers Mystery Con II, Science-Fiction, Horror & Fantasy Con, and Creation Con; David Gerrold's State of the Art column publishes a pack of his Solomon Short quotes (he would do this one or two more times during his years as a columnist); James Oberg investigaes "UFOs: Reel vs. Real"; Ed Naha writes the humongous cover feature on Close Encounters of the Third Kind; David Hutchison interviews Star Wars animator Larry Cuba; it's more makeup effects masters profiled in the SFX section: Samuel J. Maronie does Dan Striepeke and Richard Meyers does the legendary Dick Smith; David Houston profiles space artist extraordinaire Chesley Bonestell; there's a one-page report on the Starlog TV commercial starring Robby the Robot, including a photo of Robby being "directed" by a script-in-hand Kerry O'Quinn; Richard Meyers writes about superheroes on TV; David Houston explores "Two Branches of Science Fiction's Conceptual Family Tree: Part I: Wishful Thinking" in the Visions column; and to close out the book we have the first column by editor Howard Zimmerman, whose Lastword issues a harsh verdict on Close Encounters.
"If Mr. Spielberg did not want to make a science-fiction movie then he should have chosen another theme. However, having chosen the theme that he did, it was his responsibility to do something with it. Spielberg had the chance to expose the public to the meat and heart of SF -- extrapolation from today to tomorrow and the personal consequences thereof -- and he blew it."To view previous Starlog Archive issues, click on "Starlog Internet Archive Project" in the keywords below.
--Howard Zimmerman, editor, Lastword