Monday, May 10, 2010

The Starlog Project: Starlog #88, November 1984: The Last Review Issue

This is the third and, alas, final annual special issue featuring reviews of the previous summer's science-fiction and fantasy films. I've always thought it was a great idea, but next year at this time, the magazine would be celebrating with a special 100th issue, and it would never again publish a special review issue.

At least they went out in style. This issue features more big names than the previous two review issues. For example, reviewers include David Gerrold and Ben Bova, both huge names in the SF world, but neither even gets listed on the cover. It's that packed with big names.

Starlog #88
100 pages
Cover price: $3.95

In the realm of the greater Starlog publishing family (er, factory?), the ad for the company's growing cadre of licensed film magazines has been revamped and now includes the previously unseen The Best of Stallone (good luck finding this on eBay for less than $25 today) and Rocky III. Also, if you remember my note in my entry for Starlog #87 where I noted a mistake on the cover, the publisher offers an explanation (see quote at bottom). Still, didn't anyone at the offices see final proofs before printing?

The rundown: Gremlins wins the top spot on the cover, continuing that nasty little film's climb to the top. In his From the Bridge column, publisher Kerry O'Quinn shows his love for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; Communications letters include reader feedback on Gremlins and V, Starlog milks the Starlog-hates-Lost in Space meme, muppets, and more; and short news includes Doc Savage's 25th birthday, a check-in with Jon-Erik Hexum, The Cabinet of Doctor Fritz, and more.

Marc Weinberg interviews Hoyt Axton about his experiences in Gremlins; Chris Henderson previews Bantam Books' Castles book (and yes, even though I'm a space opera aficionado, fantasy castles are really cool); Randy and Jean-Marc Lofficier and Julius Fabrini complete their two-part interview with Star Trek actor DeForest Kelley; operating on their own, Randy and Jean-Marc Lofficier interview Raffaella DeLaurentiis about his Dune film; Thomas McKelvey Cleaver interviews Dreamscape screenwriter David Loughry; author Howard Weinstein reviews Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; but wait, we're not done: Arthur C. Clarke and A.C. Crispin also separately review Trek III; writer and comics historian Ron Goulart reviews Ghostbusters; Psycho author Robert Bloch reviews Gremlins ("... Gremlins emerges as a genuine novelty"); novelist Lawrence Watt-Evans reviews Conan the Destroyer; celebrated author Theodore Sturgeon (who has a law named after himself, didn't you know?) reviews The Last Starfighter; author Norman Spinrad reviews Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes; writer Alan Dean Foster reviews Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom; writer and Starlog columnist David Gerrold reviews Dreamscape ("The film is just good enough to suggest what it could have been and isn't."); writer George Clayton Johnson reviews Brainstorm; Ben Bova reviews The Right Stuff ("What happened? What got lost in the translation? The heart. Because it's so obvious that The Right Stuff failed..."); and David McDonnell provides his omnibus and entertaining roundup review of fantasy films (such as Iceman, The Neverending Story, Nate and Hayes, Metropolis, All of Me, and many more).

Lee Goldberg interviews 2001: A Space Odyssey star Keir Dullea; Adam Pirani previews the George Orwell film adaptation 1984; Bill Cotter previews the weekly V series; Thomas McKelvey Cleaver previews a little SF adventure from James Cameron called The Terminator; Robert Greenberger interviews the late actor Richard Deacon; and Howard Zimmerman uses his Lastword column to say goodbye to departing designer Neil Holmes, plus he offers some reading and viewing tips.
"P.S. Before thousands of readers send us letters pointing out that our top cover line in Starlog #87 is about 'Bones" McCoy, but the accompanying photo shows Admiral Kirk – we know! The fault lies not in our office, but somewhere in Hong Kong, in a color separation plant where somebody decided we didn't really want DeForest Kelley and substituted William Shatner. I guess everyone in the world isn't a Star Trek fan. Apologies to all!
–Kerry O'Quinn, publisher, From the Bridge: "Yearning!"
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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