Monday, April 19, 2010

The Starlog Project: Starlog #72, July 1983: Seventh Anniversary Party

A rather unlikely ad appears near the end of this science-fiction magazine: the movie Porky's II: The Next Day, which is only science-fiction in the sense that it was considered a real motion picture. Starlog also announces two licensed movie magazines it's publishing this summer: the James Bond thriller Octopussy and the Superman III flick.

Starlog #72
100 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $3.95

This extra-page issue features some neat extras, such as the first installment of a three-part excerpt from David Gerrold's A Matter for Men novel, which itself was the first in a series of landmark novels chronicling the invasion of earth by the Chtorr. As always with Gerrold, it's all to give him a platform for discussing his philosophy of life (and one does occasionally get the sense that he spent a little too much time in 1970s-era pop psychology seminars, but what the heck? The Chtorr books are great, and Gerrold has interesting things to say about life). Oh, and because I know you really care: on page 96 of this issue is my second letter ever published in Starlog, in which I say good-bye to recently departed staffer David Hirsch. It just seemed like the thing to do.

The rundown: I guess we've seen the last of the contents-page anniversary collages; at least, there's not one in this issue. Instead, it's a big picture of E.T. In his From the Bridge column, publisher Kerry O'Quinn discusses reaching for the stars; Communications letters include birthday greetings from readers, response to the television debut of Star Trek – The Motion Picture, a brilliant letter praising David Hirsch, and more; Log Entries short news items include Steve Martin's The Man with Two Brains, the fifth annual SF Short Film Search, Norman Jacobs goes to the UK to acquire magazine licensing rights to the Octopussy film, the winners of the Starlog Treasure Hunt Contest, the Disney Channel debuts, and more.

Steve Swires interviews Mark Hamill; Ed Naha's L.A. Offbeat column looks at the making of the special effects for The Right Stuff; Charles Bogle interviews Roger Moore; David Gerrold's A Matter for Men is excerpted, with introductory notes by the author and illustrations by Alex Nino.

In the special full-color anniversary section, there's a photo review of the top SF films of the past year (E.T., Blade Runner, Star Trek II – The Wrath of Khan, Tron, The Dark Crystal, The Thing, The Road Warrior, Airplane II, Conan the Barbarian, and Poltergeist); Robert Greenberger pens a review of science-fiction television of the past year; Greenberger also highlights the top toys of 1983; an unbylined short article begins a three-page look at fantasy art; actress June Lockhart is interviewed by Steve Swires; Ed Naha interviews William Shatner; Charles Bogle interviews Desmond Llewelyn, the actor who plays Q in James Bond films; Robert Greenberger interviews Annette O'Toole about her work in Superman III; Ed Naha profiles Sam Nicholson's Zenon Company, one of the special effects contributors to Star Trek -- The Motion Picture; and Randy and Jean-Marc Lofficier interview the great Ray Bradbury about Something Wicked This Way Comes, which people born after 1990 only know about as a song in one of the Harry Potter movies.

Lenny Kay's Space Age Games column reviews Gorf, Wizard of Wor, Dragonfire, and Countermeasure; James Van Hise interviews Peter Srauss about his work in Spacehunter; four pages of anniversary greetings include everyone from George Takei ("Congratulations on your seven year trek. We're up to Warp Seven and holding steady. All the best wishes") to Alan Dean Foster to Howard Cruse and onward; and Howard Zimerman uses his Lastword column to share a few words about E.T. and the Oscars.
"As I leave the Right Stuff complex and head toward the airport and out of San Francisco for superslick L.A., I chuckle one last time at the vision of the spinning plane and the sterno cans. Madness. Insanity. Wizardry."
--Ed Naha, columnist, L.A. Offbeat: "The Right FX for The Right Stuff"
To view previous Starlog issue descriptions, click on "Starlog Internet Archive Project" in the keywords below or visit the Starlog Project's permanent home.
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