Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Starlog Project: Starlog #27, October 1979: Galactica Lives ... Not

Just like with issue #23, the image on the cover of #27 is cut off (or the image ended long before the top of the cover) and replaced with black. Look inside the "A" in the logo, just above the crossbar. Years later, it would become very easy to use the Adobe Creative Suite of tools to smoothly blend the image and the black, but 1979 was an ancient time, with tools nonexistent, and most magazines were hand-painted by roomfuls of monks. Or the Starlog art staff just was too rushed. Who knows?

Starlog #27
76 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $1.95

The very first issue of Starlog that I ever ordered as a back issue, #27 has always remained a favorite of mine. It's a very nice-looking issue, and it features some great articles to please the science-fiction fan. And for fans mourning the loss of Battlestar Galactica, it was a treasure trove of information and great photos.

Kerry O'Quinn uses his From the Bridge column to complain about the injection of religion into science stories (using George Pal's Conquest of Space as an example); letter writers fill the Communications section with praise for space artist Adolf Schaller, questions about Obi Wan Kenobi's presence in The Empire Strikes Back, excitement about special effects, bemusement at a religious TV station's censorship of an episode of Battle of the Planets, and more; short news in Log Entries includes note that Saturn 3 has wrapped production, Heavy Metal magazine is making a movie, Soviet displeasure over Battlestar Galactica, Isaac Asimov was approached to write the script for the Battlestar Galactica revival TV film (wouldn't that have been interesting?), and more.

A two-page un-bylined article looks at Filmation's SF-themed programs; Bob Martin previews NBC's Martian Chronicles mini series; Jonathan Eberhart's Interplanetary Excursions, Inc., returns, this time to visit Solis Lacus on Mars; David Houston goes behind the scenes of the model makers working on the troubled SFX of Star Trek -- The Motion Picture; Susan Sackett's Star Trek Report looks at the movie's Klingon contingent; David Houston reveals the tug-of-war for special effects capacity between Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century; an eight-page yellow-pages insert features a complete Galactica episode guide, spiced up with short articles on a possible revival of the series, Mattel's Galactica toy line; a glossary to Galactica terminology, Marvel Comics' Galactica series, and definitions of the various vehicles in the series. Gerry Anderson's Space Report answers more reader mail, and it includes a flash announcement that the producer's Five Star Five space adventure is about to commence production; David Houston gives an on-the-set sneak preview of The Black Hole; David Gerrold's Rumblings column features "The Return of Solomon Short"; David Houston (who must have written half of this issue) interviews Time After Time director Nicholas Meyer; Bob Woods gives Houston a rest and previews Urshurak, an illustrated fantasy novel from the Brothers Hildebrandt; David Hutchison's SFX section features Brian Johnson and Nick Allder's special effects for Alien; David Houston's Visions column looks at "The Filming of Dune"; and Howard Zimmerman wraps up the busy issue with his Lastword look at NASA, meteors and Meteor.
"The movie will have a lot of explicit sex and nudity and a lot of violence, so it will certainly be rated R. We won't do anything that will get us an X, though, because that would bee the kiss of death. On the other hand, we can't settle for a PG either, because that wouldn't be faithful to the spirit of the magazine."
--Michael Gross, associate producer of Heavy Metal film, quoted in Log Entries
To view previous Starlog Archive issues, click on "Starlog Internet Archive Project" in the keywords below.
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