Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Starlog Project: Starlog #101, December 1985: Ewoks and Harlan Ellison -- Eeyikes!

So make it three-for-three: Of all of the controversies that have raged in Starlog's pages over the past decade, three of them involved a certain meek writer named Harlan Ellison. First, he got into a spat (a relatively silly one, admittedly) with Star Wars star Mark Hamill. Then he wrote one of the all-time great movie reviews in Starlog #33, in which he dissected Star Trek – The Motion Picture and set off a vociferous response from readers and industry professionals alike. Now, he is back with an interview in which he bites the hand that, um, interviews him.

Starlog #101
76 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $2.95

Ewoks. Why did it have to be Ewoks? The teddy bears take center stage on the cover this issue. Maybe Ellison's right.

The rundown: In his From the Bridge column, Kerry O'Quinn breaks the news that David Gerrold's column in Starlog is ending; letters in the Communications section include praise for Sting, reactions to Return to Oz and Back to the Future, comments on the Starlog Festival in Los Angeles, and more; poof! there's no more Log Entries, the short-news section that has appeared in Starlog since the very first issue, and it is replaced by Medialog, which this issue includes Patrick Daniel O'Neill with an update on Doctor Who, Eddie Berganza on the Hugo Award winners, Kerry O'Quinn on Star Trek IV, and more.

Julius Fabrini interviews actor and author George Takei; David Gerrold ends his long-running column with "Hail and Farewell"; Bertrand Borie and Randy and Jean-Marc Lofficier interview Sting about his work in The Bride and Dune; Fan Network includes a photo report on the premiere of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, and queries from readers (including, "I love Godzilla and want to know more. When is the new movie due?"); Will Murray profiles Fred Ward (Remo: The First Adventure); Adam Pirani interviews Ewok portrayer Warwick Davis; Marc Weinberg profiles Misfits of Science actor Kevin Peter Hall; Lee Goldberg completes his two-part interview with writer Harlan Ellison ("My role in life is to be a burr under the saddle"); Randy and Jean-Marc Lofficier explore The Jetsons; John Adcox interviews author Lloyd Alexander; Brian Lowry profiles screenwriter Hal Barwood (Warning Sign); Adam Pirani visits the set of Irwin Allen's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland; Jean Airey and Laurie Haldeman provide a one-page chat with Doctor Who producer John Nathan-Turner; Will Murray reports on Doc Savage's return to radio; Edward Gross interviews actor Roddy McDowall (Fright Night, Planet of the Apes); the Videolog column covers the Video Visions Space Archives, and more; Chris Henderson's Booklog column reviews a number of new books; the Future Life pages include David Hutchison on an Imax astronauts film, Max Shannon on biochips, Scott Zachek on Cassini's mission to Saturn, and David Hutchison on a NASA phone service that lets you listen in on space shuttle mission talk; Adam Pirani interviews Legend director Ridley Scott; David Caruba profiles actor Patrick Macnee about A View to a Kill and Avengers; and David McDonnell's Liner Notes column recounts a pretty bad day, which included the Starlog editor reading Harlan Ellison's critical comments about Starlog.
"I have known [publisher] Kerry O'Quinn for years and I wrote for Future Life, so I will give you a very candid answer. I am always suspicious of whores. Starlog, Fantastic Films, almost all the magazines with the exception of Cinefantastique are flacks for the industry. They live off the free hand-outs and they can't really say bad things. How honest can a magazine like that be? ... I respect some of the things that Kerry tries to do. I respect some of the writers. The magazine does what the magazine does. I don't revile it and I don't usually publicly put it down."
–Harlan Ellison, writer, interviewed by Lee Goldberg: "Harlan Ellison: 'Call Me a Science-Fiction Writers – I'll Tear out your Liver!"
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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