Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Starlog Project: Starlog #115, February 1987: Paper Trail

Just like issue #112, all of the full-color interior pages in #115 are no longer glossy paper; they are still full-color, but are printed on non-glossy paper. The black-and-white pages, meanwhile, are upgraded to a whiter, stronger paper stock. It's likely a cost-saving measure, but frankly the color still looks great, and the black-and-white looks better than ever. This will remain the case for the next few issues.

This month, Starlog publishes its annual postal statement of ownership and circulation. The total paid circulation for the issue closest to the statement's filing deadline is listed as 212,664 (down slightly from last year's 217,435), including the number of paid subscriptions of 8,747 (down significantly from 12,945 last time).

Starlog #115
76 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $2.95

Editor David McDonnell's column in this issue is, perhaps oddly, one that I have always remembered and thought about when considering other magazines. He explains that magazine issues that are on sale in January don't sell as well as other issues throughout the year, despite various gimmicks the editors might deploy to try to gain newsstand buyers' attention. For the record, he also mentions the situation with the previous January's issue, #103, which – as I wrote in my description of the issue – featured the same Clan of the Cave Bear cover photo as Heavy Metal magazine, which went on sale weeks before Starlog.

The rundown: Aliens is featured on the cover once again. In his From the Bridge column, Kerry O'Quinn urges readers to tap into their hidden talents (then again, it's the same column in which he says of some of the young filmmakers who entered the Cinemagic Short Film Search that "some of these so-called filmmakers should consider frying hamburgers at McDonald's"); Communications letters include more than a dozen readers responding to Bruce Gordon's article in #108, "The Other Marty McFly," and among those letter-writers is Back to the Future writer/producer Bob Gale; Medialog includes Jean Airey's brief chat with Doctor Who actor Colin Baker, plus David McDonnell's roundup of genre news (such as, oh, a reunion TV movie of the Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman).

Clifford Meth interviews Superman actor Christopher Reeve; in his Booklog column, Chris Henderson covers the new genre print releases, including The Reader's Guide to Robert E. Howard; legendary comics editor Julius Schwartz writes the Other Voices guest column, "The Solar Sales Service: Remembering Leigh Brackett and Edmond Hamilton"; speaking of whom, Will Murray features Edmond Hamilton and his famed pulp creation, Captain Future, Man of Tomorrow; Steve Swires, meanwhile, talks with the late writer Leigh Brackett in an interview he did with her in 1975; Randy and Jean-Marc Lofficier interview producer Buck Houghton, who talks about The Twilight Zone; in his Videolog column, David Hutchison covers SpaceCamp and other new video releases; Lee Goldberg interviews actor DeForest Kelley about Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; Joel Eisner interviewed Ted Cassidy, the late actor from Star Trek, Lost in Space, and The Addams Family; in the cover story, Brian Lowry interviews Aliens actress Jenette Goldstein; Jean Airey and Laurie Haldeman interview former Doctor Who actor Tom Baker; Steve Swires talks with director John Carpenter about Hollywood disappointments; in the Fan Network pages, Richard Gilbert writes about a fan-club-made Enterprise bridge, plus short bits about Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy references in Aliens, an ice-covered convention, attempts to get SF-related postage stamps made, and more; David Hutchison explores the special effects behind the Michael Jackson 3-D film, Captain EO (plus a sidebar on the Disney ride Star Tours); and David McDonnell wraps it all up in his Liner Notes column by explaining how he's tried to buck the January sales blues.
"When [Roger] Newton reached manhood, he vowed to fight the kind of super-criminals who had killed his parents and who threatened the stability of the nine worlds. A brash redhead who wore a grey synthsilk zippersuit and a phaserlike proton-pistol at his hip, Captain Future – [publisher Leo] Margulis had ordered [Edmond] Hamilton to change the name from Mr. Future to the more romantic form in the middle of writing the first novel – was part scientist and part space cowboy."
–Will Murray, writer, "The Once & Future Captain"
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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