Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Starlog Project: Starlog #83, June 1984: Indy's Back

The first Indiana Jones film, Raiders of the Lost Ark, kind of came from out of nowhere, even though it was put together by two of the biggest names in filmdom: Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. It didn't even get its own cover on Starlog, despite the many fantastical and magical elements to the story (two words: melting face); it did share a cover with The Empire Strikes Back back in issue #51. But everyone was on to the game by the time Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom came out, so here it debuts with a Starlog cover.

Starlog #83
70 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $2.95

Cover note: Occasionally, a letter writer would complain to Starlog that its covers have more and more text on them. Magazine purists (which I am in many ways, but not in this) often want to strip a cover of most or all cover text except the logo. But Starlog was a newsstand magazine, and if it didn't have something on the cover to induce someone to pick it up and look through it, they were unlikely to buy it. Thus, everything from the big Indy film to a letters pages controversy ("Lorenzo Semple's Hate Mail") gets plugged on the cover.

The rundown: In From the Bridge, publisher Kerry O'Quinn shares a letter from an aspiring filmmaker from South America who has an eagerness for working in the United States; Communications letters include those above-mentioned responses to screenwriter Lorenzo Semple, Jr.'s tart comments on other filmmakers, including Irvin Kershner, and hey -- there are letters responding to the interview with Kershner in issue #79, where he responded to Semple and other critics; short news items in Log Entries include a look at Doug Trumbull's Showscan movie projection system, a report on 13 half-hour adaptations of Ray Bradbury stories for public radio, a look at the Destroyer series of novels, an announcement of Fangoria editor David Everitt's co-written book Not-the-A-Team Beauty Book, an obituary for Kenneth Strickfaden, and more.

Lenny Kaye's Space Age Games and Computers column sports its new title, which accurately describes what it covers; Sal Manna interviews Robin Curtis, who takes over for Kirstey Alley as Saavik in Star Trek III -- The Search for Spock; David Gerrold resurrects his quotemeister Solomon Short for a return visit to his column; Randy and Jean-Marc Lofficier visit the set of V--The Conclusion; Starlog's British correspondent, Adam Pirani, visits the set of Doctor Who episode "Resurrection of the Daleks"; Thomas McKelvey Cleaver interviews producer Frank Marshall about Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom; novelist Ann Crispin explains the art (and profession) of writing movie/TV tie-in novelizations, which she has done for both the Star Trek and the V universes; Steve Swires interviews producer Paul Aratow about Sheena, Queen of the Jungle; Thomas McKelvey Cleaver interviews Kate Capshaw, from Temple of Doom (and future wife of Steven Spielberg); C.J. Henderson interviews fantasy writer Fritz Leiber; Kim Howard Johnson makes a first appearance in Starlog's pages with an interview with special effects master Derek Meddings regarding Supergirl; and Howard Zimmerman wraps it all up in his Lastword column, where he gets a bit metaphysical.
"It's easier to open up about life and its problems when it's fiction. Almost any good story must come from this kind of searching. And, of course, what is even more interesting is when we read a good story by someone else, and it touches off our own thoughts about ourselves, and we see that there's something similar that we want to write. We all do it -- we'll see a good movie or read a good book, and we'll want to add something on -- something out of our own experience which makes the story more personal and more complete for us."
--Fritz Leiber, writer, interviewed by C.J. Henderson: "Fritz Leiber: America's Grand-Master of Fantasy"
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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