And for those of you minutiae-watchers, this is the first issue of the magazine that sports the little "Starlog Press" circular "S" logo that would adorn the covers of almost all (but not all) Starlog Group magazines for nearly the next three decades.
100 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $3.95
This is also the issue in which Starlog does a long-form report on Ultimate Fantasy, an attempted spectacular science-fiction convention in Texas that featured lots of cast and crew members from the Star Trek franchise and even boasted Starlog publisher Kerry O'Quinn as MC. But the event was a bust, poorly organized and poorly attended, and Starlog includes three separate articles in this issue explaining what happened, how everyone involved dealt with it, and why things like this take place. One note: In some quick online research, I find that Jerry Wilhite, the gentleman who planned the event and expected to be made rich from it, is now a Christian minister.
David Hutchison describes the creation of the "Genesis effect" SFX in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan; Bjo Trimble provides plans for convention mass letter-writing efforts to support the space program; Robert Greenberger interviews The Greatest American Hero producer Frank Lupo, writer Babs Greyhoskey, and story editor Patrick Hasburgh; Susan Adamo interviews Peter Barton, the young actor starring in The Powers of Matthew Star; David Hirsch compiles an episode guide to Doctor Who's 1982 season; and David Hirsch reviews the film scores to the summer SF lineup.
A one-page introduction leads off the summer film review section and introduces the reviewers; Alan Spencer pens a list of spurious secrets of Hollywood; David Gerrold reviews Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan; Robert Greenberger reviews Conan the Barbarian; cartoonist Phil Foglio contributes a page of SF cinema-themed comic strips; Alan Dean Foster gives us his thoughts on E.T.; Norman Spinrad reviews Blade Runner; Ed Naha tells us what he thinks of Tron; Ron Goulart grades Poltergeist; Alan Spencer (yes, his third appearance in this issue) reviews the new production of The Thing (with a sidebar written by Steve Swires, in which Kenneth Tobey, actor in the 1951 version of The Thing, gives his comments on the remake); another page by Phil Foglio continues his cartoon look at summer cinema; and Fangoria editor Bob Martin reviews The Road Warrior, and he writes one of my favorite lines of the issue: "And since I begged the editor of this magazine for the opportunity to say some nice things about the film (after all, it is the only film I know of that closes with a grateful acknowledgement to Mack Trucks), I am definitely going to take advantage of the opportunity."
Steve Swires interviews Tron and Time Bandits star David Warner; Martha Bonds writes a long article (sprawled over 10 pages), "Ultimate Fantasy Report," giving a behind-the-scenes look at the failed convention; Kerry O'Quinn pens his own report, "From My Eyes Only," about what it was like to be caught in the center of the hurricane; and Howard Zimmerman wraps up this great issue with yet more thoughts on E.T., plus some explanation for why "a magazine that never prints reviews is printing eight of them in one issue."
"Whether you love or hate E.T., it can't be denied that it works on its audience. Spielberg and Mathison have told the tale they intended to tell. Me, I loved it, because I've shared the same dream since I was a boy. There are times when adult cynicism needs to be put aside and we all need to feel like a kid again."
--Alan Dean Foster, reviewer, "E.T., The Extraterrestrial"To view previous Starlog issue descriptions, click on "Starlog Internet Archive Project" in the keywords below.