Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Starlog Project: Starlog #44, March 1981: Houston, We Have a Problem

Starlog releases its newest Starlog Record, First Men in the Moon. On the contributor front, former editor David Houston is still listed as a columnist, but his column has been replaced by associate editor David Hirsch's new In Syndication column.

Starlog #44
68 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $2.25

It's a real-space-heavy issue, a true NASA-lover's delight. Meanwhile, the various controversies take a low profile this issue, as the magazine gets down to its usual bring-us-the-news business.

Publisher Kerry O'Quinn's From the Bridge column is a collection of reader letters (including someone accusing O'Quinn's editorials of ruining Starlog) and his responses; Communications letters include reader reactions to Howard Zimmerman's criticism of Cosmos, feedback on the magazine's 3-D coverage, and more; short news items in Log Entries include information about the upcoming Dino De Laurentiis Conan movie, a Howard the Duck lawsuit, DC Comics' Green Lantern Corps mini-series, and more.

James H. Burns interviews Bob Balaban, star of Altered States; David Gerrold uses his Rumblings column to urge readers to actively support the U.S. space program; Alan Brender interviews Verna Fields, the studio executive behind The Incredible Shrinking Woman; Brender also pens a studio-by-studio roundup of science-fiction film and television productions that were affected by the 1980 actors strike; it's real-science time again, as Joseph Veverka steps into Jonathan Eberhart's sciency shoes and writes the first of a two-part feature on Voyager's trip to Saturn; Michael Smith previews the Disney Condorman movie; Suzanne Weyn profiles artist Walter Velez; Bjo Trimble's Fan Scene is the second blow of the one-two punch of Gerrold-Trimble this month, as she urges readers to write to politicians to get them to support space exploration; Bill Pearson and David Hirsch explore the miniature models used in the Flash Gordon movie; Ron Goulart goes "From Flash Gordon to Wash Tubbs" in part four of his "SF in the Comics" series; Alan Brender interviews Flash Gordon director Mike Hodges; David Hirsch's In Syndication column premieres, covering the syndicated world of genre programs; and Howard Zimmerman answers readers' criticisms of his negative take on Cosmos.
"The initial sequence saw Flash and Dale on Mongo being hunted as outlaws by the forces of Ming the Merciless, a price of 'a thousand gold mingols' on their heads. The first line Flash speaks sets the style for what is to follow for the next few years. As he pilots a rocketship, one-handed, toward a safer patch of territory, he says, with Dale perched on his lap, 'Alone at last!' Almost immediately, their ship explodes."
--Ron Goulart, writer, "SF in the Comics: Part IV: From Flash Gordon to Wash Tubbs"
To view previous Starlog issue descriptions, click on "Starlog Internet Archive Project" in the keywords below.
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