Friday, June 4, 2010

The Starlog Project: Starlog #112, November 1986: Star Trek Birthday Overdose

This issue is one that I can not think about without remembering a specific time and place. I was in my first semester at university, and my attention was elsewhere. I decided I wasn't interested as much as I had been in science fiction (I was reading The New Republic more than Starlog), so after issue #111, I stopped reading Starlog.

That lasted one whole month, and then I decided I missed it and began reading (and subscribing) again. But it makes Starlog #112 the only issue I ever missed buying (or receiving in the mail) in the 30 years that I read the publication. Luckily, I quickly got #112 as a back issue, because it's a great issue. It's almost completely devoted to Star Trek, on the occasion of that franchise's 20th anniversary. Starlog had even thrown a special 20th anniversary convention to celebrate the occasion, and it sounds like it was a highlight for all involved.

Starlog #112
100 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $3.95

Some production notes: The 100-page issue includes lots of color, though all color pages in the magazine (not including the covers) are printed on non-glossy paper stock. But the color is still very crisp, clear, and bright; in addition, the black-and-white pages are heavier and whiter than normal. This issue also is printed with a perfect (aka squarebound, or glued) binding, instead of the usual staples, for the first time in years.

The rundown: A classic-Trek photo of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy graces the cover. Kerry O'Quinn's From the Bridge column recounts the highlights of the magazine's convention, which was called (with a rather unwieldy title) Creation Conventions presents Starlog Salutes Star Trek; Communications letters include still more people angry at Gene Roddenberry's criticism of Christianity in his interview in #100, some thoughts on the Trek movie franchise, an anti-Trek complaint, and more; Medialog features David McDonnell's roundup of genre news (such as the announcement of a Mel Brooks SF satire to be called Spaceballs – originally titled Planet Moron); Fan Network stretches over six pages with an extensive listing of fan clubs, reader queries answered (such as, "Will you ever reprint the Star Trek episode guide from Starlog #1?"), Gigi Porter on location with Star Trek IV's crew; Richard Gilbert on the current (in 1986) whereabouts of the Star Trek Galileo shuttlecraft, Carr D'Angelo on an Enterprise-themed motorcycle that has to be seen to be believed, and more.

Former columnist David Gerrold pens a special essay on "What Star Trek Means to Me"; novelist Howard Weinstein writes the Other Voices guest column on "If You Think It's a Long Way to Tipperary, Try Following a Starship for 20 Years..."; Allan Asherman explores myths and Trek; in the Comics Scene section, Daniel Dickholtz looks at new Trek comics; an unbylined article features Gene Roddenberry's words from the Starlog Trek convention; D.C. Fontana's comments from a panel discussion at the convention get two pages; Edward Gross interviews Trek writer/director John Meredyth Lucas ("The Changeling," "Enterprise Incident"); in a "Writers of Star Trek" section, Gross also profiles Gilbert Ralston and Art Wallace; Carr D'Angelo reports on the Starlog convention itself in a six-page article, complete with lots of photos of speakers and attendees; Dan Madsen interviews actor William Shatner; convention appearances by Leonard Nimoy and DeForest Kelley get a couple pages each; Randy and Jean-Marc Lofficier interview James Doohan; John Adcox interviews George Takei; Nichelle Nichols' audience question-and-answer session is transcribed; Walter Koenig tells the convention crowd about his desire to take Chekov to Disneyland; Majel Barrett talks about how she got the part of Nurse Chapel; in a "Guests of Trek" section, Frank Garcia profiles Bruce Hyde (Lt. Riley) and Craig Huxley (Kirk's nephew), and Garcia and Mark Phillips profile Lee Bergere (Abraham Lincoln); Robert Greenberger uncovers the world of Star Trek novels; and Charles Washburn writes about his behind-the-scenes experiences as an assistant director for the Star Trek TV series.

In a non-Trek article, Alan Howard explains the special effects behind the film Flight of the Navigator; Randy and Jean-Marc Lofficier interview the great French comics artist Moebius (real name, Jean Giraud); John L. Flynn explores the world of science-fiction fan costumes; David Hutchison notes the latest genre video releases in Videolog; and in Liner Notes, editor David McDonnell recounts the many connections between Starlog and its partial namesake, Star Trek.
"Working with [Alejandro] Jodorowsky was a very intense collaborative process. We met every morning at eight, and worked until the evening. Jodorowsky was molding my personality. The first time he asked me to redo something, I was astounded! Nobody had ever questioned what I was doing before. But he always had a reason. It was never gratuitous. The whole creative process became like an initiation. It's because of this situation that I don't consider Dune a failure. For me, it was a success because I left the production a richer man."
–Jean Giraud, comics legend, interviewed by Randy and Jean-Marc Lofficier: "Jean 'Moebius' Giraud: Stripping the LIght Fantastic"
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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