Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Starlog Project: Starlog #102, January 1986: Enemy Mine, Frenemy Mine

Six degrees of separation: The movie featured on the cover of this edition is Enemy Mine. The novelization of the movie was written by David Gerrold (with Barry B. Longyear). Oh, wait, that's just one or two degrees of separation. Science fiction's a small world.

This month, Starlog publishes its annual postal statement of ownership and circulation. The total paid circulation for the issue closest to the statement's filing deadline is listed as 217,435 (up strongly from last year's 190,699), including the number of paid subscriptions of 12,945 (down from 13,408 last time).

Starlog #102
76 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $2.95

In his Linter Notes column in upcoming issue #104, editor David McDonnell will explain the genesis of this issue's alien cover. Apparently the editors, publishers, and art director were in agreement about putting Enemy Mine on the cover, but they disagreed about whether to feature the alien photo (Louis Gossett Jr. as alien Jeriba) or the clean-cut human photo (Dennis Quaid as Davidge). Which is more science fictiony? Well, aliens, natürlich, so the Gossett lizard-man photo went to the cover. In his #104 column, McDonnell displays both covers. I think the Quaid one would have been nice, too, but that might just be because Dennis Quaid is easy on the eyes. But no one asked me.

The rundown: Kerry O'Quinn's From the Bridge column relates the publisher's experience playing the live-action game PHOTON; Communications letters include a plea to cover Silverado, an English special effects supervisor who takes umbrage at comments about his countrymen, corrections to Starlog's trivia book, and more; Medialog includes McDonnell's headline-news roundup of genre developments (such as Tim Burton being signed on as the new director of the Batman movie), plus Edward Gross talks with The Fly writer Charles Pogue.

Mike Clark goes behind the scenes to preview Irwin Allen's Alice in Wonderland; David Bianculli reports on a press conference with Steven Spielberg, who comments on his Amazing Stories TV series; the Fan Network pages include answers to readers' questions (such as, "Where can I write Supergirl's Helen Slater?") compiled by Anthony Timpone, plus a Fan Notebook collection of news bits (such as a report on a concert by The Replicants), a Star Trek IV contest, and more; Ben Landman interviews former Doctor Who Peter Davison; Booklog features Chris Henderson's overview of new releases (including Harlan Ellison's An Edge in My Voice, which includes columns he wrote for Starlog's departed sister magazine Future Life – another couple degrees of separation connected with this issue) and Michael Vance's chat with writer Stephen R. Donaldson; William Rabkin visits the Munich, Germany, set of Enemy Mine; Robert Greenberger interviews Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy creator Douglas Adams; William Rabkin previews Clue, the movie version of the board game; Steve Swires interviews actress Mary Woronov; Lee Goldberg interviews Kirstie Alley ("She isn't Saavik. I am."); Kim Howard Johnson dissects the problems Terry Gilliam had with the studio working on his Brazil film; David Hutchison lists new genre video releases in Videolog; Will Murray talks with Remo: The First Adventure director Guy Hamilton; Anthony Timpone interviews actor/producer Michael Douglas about The Jewel of the Nile; Lee Goldberg talks with director Jeannot Szwarc about his Santa Claus; Karen E. Bender profiles actors Nicholas Rowe and Alan Cox about Young Sherlock Holmes; Brian Lowry interviews Bugs Bunny voice magician Mel Blanc (with a sidebar by Anthony Timpone: "Friz Freleng on Mel Blanc"); and editor David McDonnell wraps it all up in his Liner Notes column with an announcement that he will be succeeding the departed Fangoria editors Bob Martin and David Everitt as "interim" editor of that mag, plus he shares the tale of his first meeting with Mel Blanc.
"They offered me less money than they did for Star Trek II, so I figured they weren't very interested in me for Saavik. ... I thought [new Saavik Robin Curtis] was at a real disadvantage playing a role someone else established, especially with Star Trek, which has an enormous following. I think she did a fine job. I have no problem with what she was doing except that, when I saw the film, I said, 'She isn't Saavik. I am.'"
–Kirstie Alley, interviewed by Lee Goldberg: "Kirstie Alley: 'She isn't Saavik. I am.'"
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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