Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Starlog Project: Starlog #31, February 1980: Into The Black Hole

Susan Adamo, a future managing editor of the magazine, is now sharing "associate editor" listing with Fangoria's Robert Martin. And it's just in time for Starlog #31, a Disney-heavy issue. (Okay, there's no connection that I know of between Adamo and Disney.) Also this issue includes the annual postal statement of ownership and circulation. So, as I did with its first appearance in issue #19, here are the main stats: The paid circulation for the issue closest to the statement's filing deadline is listed as 145,637 (a drop of about 50,000 from the previous year), including the number of paid subscriptions of 19,000 (drop of about 4,000).

Starlog #31
68 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $1.95

Disney's attempt to enter the big-budget science-fiction sweepstakes with The Black Hole is featured on the cover of this issue. Disney's movie wasn't a big hit, though there are plans afoot three decades later to film a remake of the movie. This issue also features a bit of design re-jiggering, with the column and department headings simplified (or boring-ified, if you're catty). Check out what I mean at the top of the SFX article included in this post.

Kerry O'Quinn's From the Bridge article is headlined "Touching Each Other," and it features stories about people who were positively affected by Starlog's publications, including the gay youth who says Davd Gerrold's Future Life article about anti-gay legislation in California is the reason he's still alive today; Communications letters include accusations of male chauvinism, additional Wonder Woman episode descriptions, promises of survival for Han Solo, and more; short Log Entries news items include a check-in with Harlan Ellison, a statement from Tom Baker (the then-current Dr. Who), PBS' Lathe of Heaven, and more.

Gerry Anderson's Space Report answers more reader questions (about music for Space: 1999, the disappearance of Space's regular actors in some episodes, and Tony and Maya's love. Aww.) David Houston interviews Disney executive vice president Ron Miller (not to be confused with Starlog's space art advisor, also named Ron Miller) about his company's Black Hole gamble; David Gerrold's Rumblings features the excerpt of a chapter from his new Star Trek novel, The Galactic Whirlpool; David Houston provides a roundup about all of the Empire Strikes Back rumors (such as Boba Fett's background, or with whom Princess Leia will fall in love); it's part two of Walter Koenig's Chekov's Enterprise excerpt; Alan Brender interviews The Black Hole star Joseph Bottoms; Jonathan Eberhart's Interplanetary Excursions, Inc., returns with "Port of Call: Stickball in Stickney"; a list of winners -- with some illustrations -- is printed from the submissions to the magazine's recent design-a-Starlog-pinball-machine contest; Bob Woods previews Elfspire; David Houston interviews film musician Miklos Rozsa; David Hutchison's SFX section looks at the special effects in Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea; Mike Jittlov writes about Disney's Major Effects, which stars Joseph Bottoms (he of The Black Hole, interviewed earlier in this issue); David Houston's Visions column continues his examination of artificial intelligence with a look at the Colossus trilogy; and editor Howard Zimmerman's Lastword reviews a year in science-fiction television.
"[Joseph] Bottoms admits there are some similarities to Star Wars in this film, but there are also many differences. 'The robots are cuter. They have big wide eyes and look more like Mickey and Minnie Mouse -- very Disney. And there's no maiden in distress.'"
--Alan Brender, writer, "Joseph Bottoms: The Space Cowboy in Disney's The Black Hole"
To view previous Starlog Archive issues, click on "Starlog Internet Archive Project" in the keywords below.
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