Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Starlog Project: Starlog #98, September 1985: The Perils of Science at Home

In 1985, there were a lot of genre films somewhat related to a theme: My Science Project, Weird Science, Explorers, and Real Genius. Young people get caught up with science gone awry, things blow up, things (more or less) end happily. What was it about the mid-80s that made this a theme, instead of space opera or adventure?

Starlog #98
76 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $2.95

In the minor-design-items-of-note this issue: The contents page has featured multiple photos for a couple years, but none of the photos were full-color. (They tended to be tinted different colors; a cost-saving measure, I assume.) This issue, the contents page pictures are all in full color. In Starlog staffing news, Eddie Berganza, who had been an editorial assistant, is now listed in the staffbox as the assistant editor of the magazine. Oh, and the fourth edition of the Starlog Poster Magazine is out, so clear some wall space in your room.

The rundown: In his From the Bridge column, publisher Kerry O'Quinn comments on an SF fan with physical ailments who withdrew from the world; Communications letters include a reader accusing Starlog of not helping women and minorities in the genre (the editors' response is even longer than the reader's letter), multiple comments on the film Ladyhawke, praise for Kim Howard Johnson's Monty Python articles, appreciation for the new Future Life section, and more; Log Entries this issue is a mere two and one-thirds pages, but it still includes a big Medialog report by David McDonnell with updates on all kinds of genre media, Bob Schreiber on new Mars Attacks trading cards, and David Hutchison with a roundup of video news (including the promise that next issue Videolog would spin off into its own column).

Robert Greenberger interviews actress Jennifer Beals, but not about being a "flashdancing maniac," rather for co-starring with Sting in The Bride; writer Norman Spinrad explores "Jack Barron vs. The Black Tower" (about plans to adapt his Bug Jack Baron for the screen) in the Other Voices guest column; Brian Lowry visits the set of My Science Project; the Fan Network pages include info on an animation gathering, an announcement of the new edition of the Fandom Directory, and Eddie Berganza on Harrison Ford's performance at Cannes; Lee Goldberg profiles Mr. Teen Wolf/Marty McFly himself, Michael J. Fox; Randy and Jean-Marc Lofficier interview Starlog favorite Joe Dante, director of Explorers and Gremlins; Patrick Daniel O'Neill talks with director Martha Coolidge of Real Genius; Anthony Timpone provides a brief interview with Anthony Michael Hall of Weird Science; Dennis Fischer profiles actor Ernie Hudson about Ghostbusters and Spacehunter; Adam Pirani interviews actress Tanya Roberts (Sheena, A View to a Kill); Ian Spelling interviews Cocoon star Tahnee Welch (this is the first article by Spelling, who would become one of the magazine's most prolific contributors over the next couple decades); Kim Howard Johnson interviews Welch's costar Steve Guttenberg; Randy and Jean-Marc Lofficier interview two of the young stars of The Goonies, Jeff. B. Cohen and Corey Feldman; the Lofficiers also interview Australian director George Miller, he of Mad Max fame; Brian Lowry visits the set of Warning Sign; in the Future Life section, Bruce Gordon and David Mumford explore Disneyland's Tomorrowland; and David McDonnell wraps it up in his Liner Notes, in which he echoes my comments about the interesting number of teens-in-Sf/fantasy storylines at this time (honest, I didn't peek at his editorial before I started writing this thing).
"I want to be a comedian/actor all my life. But, I know it's not a real stable business. One day, you're hot, one day, you're not. So, I think what I would do is go to college and get a degree in brain surgery, because I have really good manual dexterity. No, no, I was thinking of being something like a brain surgeon, but that's too gross for me, so I'll probably be a dentist instead. But I do have really good manual dexterity."
–Jeff B. Cohen, actor, interviewed by Randy and Jean-Marc Lofficier: "Gooning Around with Jeff. B. Cohen and Corey Feldman"
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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