Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Starlog Project: Starlog #95, June 1985: A View to a Kill

Maybe I'm not getting an accurate view because I'm consuming (well, re-consuming) these issues in a relatively compressed period of time, rather than taking them one month at a time without the benefit of hindsight, but it seems as if just last week that the previous James Bond film was all the rage at Starlog. Yet here we are with A View to a Kill, the latest Bond film, and co-star Grace Jones grabs the featured cover slot this issue.

Starlog #95
76 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $2.95

Starlog has never had an overflow of advertising. Perhaps it was just a matter of the publishers' business philosophy to charge readers more and have fewer ads, or perhaps it was because advertisers don't like magazines that don't have independently verified circulation figures (because they can't be sure they're being told the correct number of people who might see their ads). But whatever the reason, Starlog nearly from the beginning had a lot of "in-house" ads that sold products from other companies; you sent the cut-out coupon to Starlog, but the delivery of the product was fulfilled by the other company (and, presumably, the other company paid only for the number of fulfilled orders). So what are some of the products you can buy in this issue of Starlog? How about a Doctor Who wallet or coffee mug, or a Raiders of the Lost Ark movie program?

The rundown: In his From the Bridge column, Kerry O'Quinn writes about the secret to success; the Communications section is filled with three pages of readers' thoughts on the Dune movie; and in the Communications short-news section, items include David McDonnell and Adam Pirani on the cancellation -- er, hiatus -- of Doctor Who, genre historian Will Murray on the return of pulp character Moon Man, Chris Henderson on fantasy writer Barbara Hambly, and more.

Brian Lowry interviews Jonathan Betuel, scripter of The Last Starfighter and director of My Science Project; the Fan Network includes science-fiction pen pals, reader questions, a Mark Hamill fan club, and more; John Sayers and David McDonnell profile Edward Feldman, producer of Explorers; David Gerrold's column comments on computers and writing (a favorite topic of the author's, who even today, in 2010, is still a columnist for a computer magazine); Merritt Butrick, Star Trek film actor, is interviewed by a young writer named Anthony Timpone, who would soon be editing sister magazine Fangoria (and would continue to do so for a quarter century); Adam Pirani interviews Grace Jones about the new Bond film; Adam Pirani writes "On the Set of Oz, Part Two," but I don't remember part one; Mike Clark interviews actor Frank Ashmore about V; Randy and Jean-Marc Lofficier visit the location shooting of the Mad Max sequel, Beyond Thunderdome; Patrick Daniel O'Neill interviews actress Mary Tamm, who portrayed Doctor Who companion Romana in the Tom Baker years; Kim Howard Johnson visits the set of the Ron Howard film, Cocoon; in the Future Life pages, John Clayton (the same John Clayton who's the magazine's staff photographer?) explores the designing of a space station, plus news items on phased-array radar and space lasers; Lee Goldberg interviews Ladyhawke and Blade Runner actor Rutger Hauer; Marc Weinberg interviews a cute Matthew Broderick, who plays "Mouse" in Ladyhawke; and Howard Zimmerman wraps it all up in his penultimate Lastword by talking about some trends in genre films.
"I used to hear stories that Rober [Moore] always played tricks on all the girls with whom he had love scenes, like pulling out dildos and things like that. Maybe. I don't know. So, I decideed, during our scene, to get back at him before he got to me. ... Oh, I can't say. I'm not going to tell! They recorded it on film, too. But it won't be shown."
–Grace Jones, actress, interviewed by Adam Pirani: "Grace Jones vs. 007: 'Trouble Follows Me Around'"
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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