Monday, March 15, 2010

Starlog Internet Archive Project: Starlog #10, December 1977: The Howard Cruse Era

Howard Cruse, who began contributing comic illustrations to Starlog a couple issues earlier, replaces Linda Bound as art director with this issue, and the magazine's design shifts toward bolder use of photos and type treatments. (Art directors really make a difference in a magazine, and Howard Cruse was one of my favorite at the Starlog magazines; another is his successor, Robert P. Ericksen.) Ed Naha is now managing editor of the magazine, and advertising starts to pick up.

Starlog #10
76 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $1.75

It's not quite issue #7's Star Wars dogfight, but the rocketship blasting off on the cover of this issue shows the direction Starlog wants to go. And for completists: For the first time, the next-issue preview is in the same location in the magazine as the on-sale date of that issue. Exciting, no? Well, at least the lineup of personalities in this issue is exciting, indeed.

Kerry O'Quinn's From the Bridge editorial frankly gushes with pleasure at the inclusion of big names in this issue, such as Ray Harryhausen (interviewed), George Pal (interviewed), and Isaac Asimov (contributing writer). The letters in the Communications section range from complaining that Starlog bleeped out Harlan Ellison's four-letter words to praising Robbie the Robot. Log Entries' short news items include a Japanese fishing boat, the Zuiyo Maru, that found a dead animal believed to be a prehistoric monster, Pigs in Space, a new SF comic called Star Hawks, and the "Earth Sounds" record carried by the Voyager spacecraft. Isaac Asimov explains the unlikelihood of faster-than-light space travel; Susan Sackett's Star Trek Report covers the reunion of the Trek cast on the Paramount lot, and the beginning of the construction of the starship Enterprise model; Kirsten Russell relates the difficulty of getting any reliable information out of the production company putting together Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and a one-page editor's note follows up to say that the production has gotten even more publicity-phobic since Russell's article was put together (the inability of Starlog and Steven Spielberg to share information would come to a head with E.T., which led to an extended editorial by O'Quinn explaining the futility of it all); David Houston looks at the Space Academy TV series; David Gerrold's State of the Art column whacks Space Academy and has some choice words for TV's Logan's Run; David Hirsch writes about the concepts for Space: 1999 that were abandoned; a special eight-page "yellow pages" insert features "The 1st Annual Science-Fiction Merchandise Guide"; Ed Naha contributes an extensive eight-page interview with the great producer George Pal; Richard Meyers then interviews SFX great Ray Harryhausen; Richard Meyers talks with Ralph Bakshi about his animated Lord of the Rings movie; Ed Naha, who began his career as a rock journalist, here contributes "The Rock Connection," looking at the SF-rock intersections (I mean: David Bowie -- 'nuff said); Kerry O'Quinn profiles composer Albert Glasser (who would be the subject of a forthcoming Starlog Records LP); Richard McEnroe writes this issue's SFX section, focusing on homemade special effects movies; and the Visions column wraps it all up by linking Jules Verne with great innovators throughout history.
"Which brings me to Logan's Run. I have never read the book. I have no intention of reading the book. I thought the basic premise of the book was stupid when it was first published, and I still think so today."
--David Gerrold, columnist, State of the Art
To view previous Starlog Archive issues, click on "Starlog Internet Archive Project" in the keywords below.


Anonymous said...

The Starlog article about the Zuiyo Maru carcass is the only source that I am aware of for University of Chicago paleontologist Leigh Van Valen's defense of the Japanese paleontologist's claims that the carcass may have been a plesiosaur.Great stuff!

jzipperer said...

Thanks for the info. Yeah, Starlog was nothing if not the leader in rare dinosaur carcass reports!