Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Starlog Project: Starlog #41, December 1980: A Flashy Flash

Milestones this issue: Robert Greenberger (future founding editor of Starlog's Comics Scene magazine), joins the staff as a production assistant; Susan Adamo graduates from an associate editor to the magazine's managing editor; David Houston, who'd dropped off the staffbox last issue, returns to join the columnist list; however, science columnist Jonathan Eberhart is no longer listed -- we've seen the last of his Interplanetary Excursions, Inc., column. No matter how much Isaac Asimov liked it. Also, the magazine prints its postal statement of ownership and circulation in a more timely manner, a couple months earlier in the year than it did it last time (February 1980). The paid circulation for the issue closest to the statement's filing deadline is listed as 146,637 (up 1,000 from the previous year), including the number of paid subscriptions of 19,000 (the same as last time).

Starlog #41
68 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $2.25

Dino DeLaurentiis' big-screen re-imagining of the science-fiction/fantasy Flash Gordon takes center stage this issue. And two running controveries -- draft registration and the David Gerrold/Dorothy Fontana vs. Fred Freiberger issue -- continue burning. Meanwhile, another controversy is resolved happily.

Publisher Kerry O'Quinn's From the Bridge column covers his love for Carl Sagan's Cosmos science TV series, plus some critical feedback from readers; if you thought O'Quinn had criticial feedback in his column, turn the page to the Communications section, where there's almost a page of reader response to his editorial against the draft, plus D.C. Fontana responds to Fred Freiberger's interview; in Log Entries, short news items include first word about Outland, an update on the Heavy Metal movie, the resolution of the Star Wars - Battlestar Galactica copyright infringement war (Galactica won), Tex Avery dies, Mark Hamill and Harlan Ellison bury the hatchet, and more.

Karen E. Willson interviews Sam J. Jones about starring in the Flash Gordon movie (and the article includes a sidebar on the lawsuits over contract claims at the movie); David Gerrold's Rumblings explains why he's still bitter about how Fred Freiberger "Cloud Mind-ed" him and his work on Star Trek; Susan Adamo covers the science-fiction parody Starstruck; Steve Swires interviews director John Carpenter about Escape from New York; Bjo Trimble talks about "Running a Con for Fun and Break-Even"; Quest prints some cartoons and illustrations by a batch of readers; "Return" is a one-page poem by Howard Zimmerman, illustrated by Mark Mutchnik; David Hirsch presents a three-page photo overview of the miniature constructions used in Alien; Gerry Anderson's Space Report runs its thirtieth and final column; William Millman visits the set of The UFO Chronicles; Karen E. Willson interviews Melody Anderson, Dale Arden in Flash Gordon; Ron Goulart begins a multi-part look at "SF in the Comics," focusing on the early years of the 20th century (Up in the Air, The Explorigator, Little Nemo in Slumberland, and others); John A. Rupkalvis looks at 3-D special effects; David Houston's Visions column looks at the 1950s, the "Golden Age of Science-Fiction Television"; and Howard Zimmerman's Lastword recommends Gregory Benford's Timescape book, says farewell to Space Report, and tries to egg on readers to demand more SF comics coverage.
"[A]t the same time Mr. [Fred] Freiberger was finding himself 'a victim' of my so-called 'non-professionalism,' I was writing two Lancer scripts, two High Chaparrals, and two Big Valley scripts for apparently satisfied producers. Further, Gene Roddenberry hired me in 1973 to be Associate Producer/Story Editor for the first season of Star Trek Animated and, to my knowledge, was satisfied with my season's work."
--D.C. Fontana, letter writer, Communications
To view previous Starlog issue descriptions, click on "Starlog Internet Archive Project" in the keywords below.
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