Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Starlog Project: Starlog #140, March 1989: End of an Era

Readers of the Starlog staff box noticed a big change this month: Kerry O’Quinn, the magazine’s co-founder and co-publisher (and very briefly, editor), is no longer listed as a publisher. He is now an “editorial consultant,” though his From the Bridge column continues to appear.

What happened? Well, on his former personal web site, O’Quinn explained a decade or so later that he had sold his interest in the company to his longtime business partner Norman Jacobs (who would continue to run the company until it ran out of money in the early part of the new century). O’Quinn’s column, renamed at some point simply “Bridge,” would eventually be severed from its front-of-the-book location next to the staff box and would float throughout the magazine, but he would also continue writing it into the new century. Meanwhile, he was embarking on a whole new stage of his life, preparing himself for producing film and television products. And that, folks, is what you’ll find him pursuing in Hollywood right now.

I should take this time to get caught up on some other staff changes. Jim McLernon, previously associate art director, takes over from Maggie Hollands as the magazine’s art director, a post he will hold longer than any predecessor; and last issue Maurice Woodson became listed as being in charge of “advertising design,” a somewhat ambiguous title.

Starlog #140
76 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $3.50

Select quote from a letter to the editor regarding Star Trek: The Next Generation: “Why is the doctor on the Bridge all the time? She should be in Sick Bay like any good doctor would be. ... She should visit the Bridge when needed or on occasion to say ‘hello’ to the captain.’”

The rundown: Actors Eric Stoltz and Daphne Zuniga pose for the cover shot from The Fly II. In his From the Bridge column, Kerry O’Quinn responds forcefully to a teacher who tore to pieces a student’s copy of Gorezone magazine because she was so disgusted by it; Communications letters feature lots of readers responding to the exits from The Next Generation of Gates McFadden and Denise Crosby (and include the usual hysterical claims that this spells doom for the series – which of course would go on to be a record-breaking hit for Paramount), and more; Medialog includes Adam Pirani with a short check-in with director Robert Zemeckis (who discusses his three consecutive film hits – Romancing the Stone, Back to the Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit), plus David McDonnell’s roundup of genre news bits (such as, oh, which one to choose? How about: Jim Henson’s returning to TV with a weekly Jim Henson Hour on NBC).

Michael Vance interviews authors Janet and Chris Morris, who discuss, among other things, about the flack they caught for including sex in their novels in the 1970s; Jean Airey and Laurie Haldeman continue their talks with everyone from the British SF series Blake’s 7, this time chatting with actor David Jackson; the Fan Network pages include an article by Vicki Hessel Werkley on the continuing fan support for the cancelled Starman TV series, answers to reader questions (such as, “In the movie Beetlejuice, why is the name spelled ‘Betegeuse’ instead?”), and more; A Fish Called Wanda and other new genre releases are highlighted in David Hutchison’s Videolog column (and no, Wanda wasn’t even remotely science-fiction, but a very enjoyable movie nonetheless); Tom Weaver and Michael Brunas profile This Island Earth actor Rex Reason; Ian Spelling interviews actor Bill Murray, who discusses Ghostbusters and Scrooged; Marc Shapiro explains what when wrong with the attempted TV series Something Is Out There; Eric Niderost interviews The Fly II star Eric Stoltz.

Monty Python expert Kim Howard Johnson previews Terry Gilliam’s underrated The Adventures of Baron Munchausen with a talk with actor and writer Charles McKeown; Margaret A. Baroski profiles actor David Greenlee, who played Mouse in TV’s Beauty and the Beast; in part two of Bill Warren’s three-part interview with screenwriter Nigel Kneale, we learn how postwar paranoia fed the imaginations of Brits and possibly led to some of their greatest genre stories; in a four-page “The Guests of Trek” section, Edward Gross profiles formerly blacklisted writer Oliver Crawford ("The Galileo Seven” and others) and director James Komack (“A Piece of the Action”); Ian Spelling checks in with Star Trek: The Next Generation's Wil Wheaton, “Token Teenager”; and David McDonnell’s Liner Notes column talks Joe Dante.
“[The sequel] is not going to be called Ghostbusters II. We’ll burn in hell if we call it Ghostbusters II. I’ve suggested The Last of the Ghostbusters, to make sure there won’t be anything like a Ghostbusters III. But the script is nowhere near ready, and we start shooting soon. Jeez, more pressure. We’ll figure it out ... or we won’t.”
–Bill Murray, interviewed by Ian Spelling: “Bill Murray Ain’t Afraid of No Ghosts!”
Yes, the sequel was called Ghostbusters II.

To read 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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