Since becoming the editor of Starlog with issue #97, David McDonnell (previously the mag's managing editor and a contributor to Comics Scene, and before that a contributor to Mediascene Prevue) made the magazine his own, as he should have done. But even before he assumed the top editorial position, his influence was clear. Cover lines became peppier – yes, sometimes controversially (remember the alien claim by Veronica Cartwright ion #81?). And with his ascension to the editorial pantheon, we got to see his judgment in article selection and presentation. We receive glimpses of why and how he chooses what, and how he presents it, courtesy of his editorials, so I don't think I'm totally giving you my simple opinion here.
Let's face it. Sometimes, editors of small magazines take the easy way out. They don't worry about articles. They don't push their writers much, because they're not being paid much (and Starlog's writers and editors were never paid enough). But McDonnell seems to have cared deeply about the details of his magazine, so I have always respected him, even when I disagreed with a particular article or presentation. I knew a professional was in charge.
Those thoughts come to me as I note the way he's taken the March 1987 issue, which is not in itself a special issue, and turns it into a mini-focus on the women of Trek. That's just smart editorial decision-making, and it's something he's done time after time.
76 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $2.95
The magazine finally updates its Starlog Trading Post section, which is where it sells products from itself and other producers. Specifically, it adds the latest editions of the Starlog Scrapbook, Best of Starlog, and Starlog Poster Magazine.
#111), tons of readers commenting on Aliens, still others writing in defense of Harlan Ellison, and more; and in the Medialog section, David McDonnell rounds up the latest genre news, such as that Mel Brooks and his company are pursuing a sequel to The Fly.
"[There was] a certain amount [of controversy about his Playboy short story]. For one thing, I had a Russian cosmonaut in the same spacecraft with an American astronaut, making the first manned moonshot. And the American was black. The story was written in 1967, just a week or two before the appointment of the first real-life black astronaut, Major Robert Lawrence. That made the Playboy legal eagles jumpy, because they were afraid my black astronaut character might be misconstrued as a portrait of Major Lawrence. Then, Lawrence was killed when his Starfighter jet crashed ..., making the situation even more touchy, and the magazine delayed publication of the story for more than a year. "
–Ray Russell, writer, interviewed by Roger Anker: "Ray Russell: Sly Old Fox of the 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.