Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Starlog Internet Project: Starlog #16, September 1978: New Style

Starlog gets its third art director in three issues, as Robert P. Ericksen assumes the duties. Ericksen remains at the helm for some time, and in my humble opinion is the best of the magazine's long line of art directors. The design of the magazine beginning in this issue achieves a beautiful mix of a colorful, eye-catching look with a tasteful use of nice headline typefaces. Yes, this is all design geek stuff, but it helps cement Starlog's role as a professional magazine that's on another level from the rest of the science fiction media pack.

Starlog #16
80 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $1.75

And it keeps growing: included in the magazine's in-house ads are the release of the third Starlog Photo Guidebook, Fantastic Worlds, and the second Starlog-produced record, The Fantastic Film Music of Albert Glasser.

Kerry O'Quinn's inner Ayn Rand comes through in his From the Bridge column, in which he describes helping a youth from communist Hungary overcome idiotic government restrictions on freedom of thought; Communications letters range from DC Comics Editor Jack C. Harris on SF art to a critic of Capricorn One; Log Entries short items include the launch of the Japanese edition of Starlog and Future magazines (as one Japanese magazine under the Starlog banner), space mirrors to beam energy to earth, preview of the film Warlords of Atlantis, announcement of an Avengers TV revival, a progress report on Ralph Bakshi's animated Lord of the Rings, and more.

Susan Sackett's Star Trek Report showcases a big color photo showing the back of one of the computerized bridge sets from Trek; Michael Cassutt interviews Alan Dean Foster, "SF's Hottest Young Writer," back when his Splinter in the Mind's Eye was throught to be a possible sequel to Star Wars: A New Hope; Mick Garris -- yes, the future movie director -- writes about the new Invasion of the Body Snatchers film, starring Leonard Nimoy; Ed Naha profiles producer Bert I. Gordon; Al Taylor and Richard Meyers remember the making of the Fantastic Voyage film; a three-page color photo spread reprints space-related postage stamps from around the world; Louis Broadhurst previews the new Buck Rogers, illustrated with pre-production paintings from the great Bob McCall (one of whose paintings graces the cover of this issue, see above); Gary Gerani remembers The Invaders TV series and provides a complete episode guide; James C. Odell covers The Body Human, a CBS science series; David Gerrold gets into serious geek territory with his State of the Art column, which digs into various aspects of Star Wars and looks for their meaning or extrapolates from them; David Hirsch -- the resident Gerry Anderson expert -- covers supermarionation in the SFX section; Robin Snelson reports on space-based solar power possibilities; Jonathan Eberhart's Interplanetary Excursions, Inc., visits"The Incredible Shrinking Planet"; David Houston explores "The Invisible Visions of Star Wars" in the Visions column; and editor Howard Zimmerman discusses his Close Encounters of the Third Kind controversy in Lastword.
"And so, barely out of his twenties, Alan Dean Foster is preparing to take the SF world by storm. Oddly enough, however, his phenomenally successful career started out as a goof. 'It all happened by accident,' he reveals."
--Michael Cassutt, writer, "Alan Dean Foster: SF's Hottest Young Writer"
To view previous Starlog Archive issues, click on "Starlog Internet Archive Project" in the keywords below.
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