Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Starlog Project: Starlog #91, February 1985: Sting and Dune

Sting, lead singer for The Police and a co-star of the new David Lynch Dune film, is on the cover. In his end-of-the-book editorial, editor Howard Zimmerman says the magazine is taking a big risk by featuring Dune, because the early word on the film is that it's a sleep-inducer. Nonetheless, they must have thought Sting would bring in a certain number of new readers to reduce the risk.

Some updates on the world of Starlog: The magazine's cover logo is now sporting a new boxed tagline: The Science Fiction Universe. (The company would eventually make that tagline a registered trademark, along with the logo itself.) Also, the fourth volume of The Best of Starlog magazine, now including some never-before-published articles (so, not really a best-of magazine after all, is it?), is out.

Starlog #91
72 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $2.95

There's no foldout poster this issue, as those two pages are moved elsewhere into the magazine and another two pages are added (hence the slightly higher page count, as with issue #87, but at least this time they didn't trumpet it on the cover).

The rundown: In his From the Bridge column, publisher Kerry O'Quinn gives encouragement to a reader seeking help with his artistic career; letters in the Communications pages include Walter Koenig thanking the magazine for plugging his stage show, reader reaction to Buckaroo Banzai and The Neverending Story, thoughts on actor Jeff Goldblum, and more; short news items in Log Entries include Chris Henderson on a traveling museum exhibit on robots, Chris Steinbrunner on the upcoming World Fantasy Convention in Ottawa, David McDonnell on the departing magazine design staffer Denise Lewis Balestracci, Chris Henderson on The Plague Dogs, and more.

David Gerrold's column prints some of his lymericks; Lee Goldberg interviews 2010 actor Elya Baskin; Kim Howard Johnson talks to the Monty Python troupe about their "wacky TV exploits with flying saucers and alien desserts"; Steve Swires previews Larry Cohen's black comedy The Stuff; Marc Weinberg interviews actor Charles Martin Smith about his work in Starman and his screen test for the role of Luke Skywalker; Weinberg also interviews Kenneth McMillan, who plays the villainous Baron Vladimir Harkonnen in Dune (plus a sidebar by Paul Mandell talking with Alicia Witt, who plays Alia); Martha J. Bonds interviews actor and author Walter Koenig; Lee Goldberg interviews author Michael Crichton about Runaway; Dennis Fischer previews the CBS program Otherworld; David R. Smith recounts plans for a Disney version of an Oz story in the 1950s, The Rainbow Road to Oz; David Hutchison examines the special effects of V; and in his Lastword column, Howard Zimmerman shares his misgivings about Dune.
"I liked the idea of bringing some creature from outer space into a mundane English suburban setting, and then being almost ignored and all but absorbed into everyday English life. That reminds me – we actually did start writing a film with a science-fiction opening, with these aliens coming out of their spaceships, rather like Close Encounters. Suddenly, the door bangs shut behind them, they can't get back in and suffer enormous embarrassment."
–Michael Palin, a real python, interviewed by Kim Howard Johnson: "Science Fiction, According to Monty Python, Part I"
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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