Thursday, March 18, 2010

Starlog Internet Project: Starlog #17, October 1978: Time for Galactica

A 20-cent boost in the cover price greets buyers of Starlog #17, but they get some other, more-welcome changes, as well. For the first time since the very first issue, there's an illustration on the contents page, which is a good move to break up that text-heavy page. This issue also has a poster insert. On the staff side, Rita Eisenstein begins her march to the top of the company, where she's now listed as the advertising sales contact. Bob Woods (a future editor of Future Life) is the mag's new managing editor.

Starlog #17
80 Pages (including partially numbered poster insert)
Cover price: $1.95

Battlestar Galactica gets its first Starlog cover, and it's a great space-opera action shot, the best cover since Star Wars had Starlog #7's cover. (That's not to say anything about the merits of the Galactica program. Just cool special effects. All I'm saying.)

In his From the Bridge column, Kerry O'Quinn has a nightmare about the movie studio destroying the Star Trek movie; Communications letters include a certain Isaac Asimov writing in with his thoughts on Robin Snelson's recent article about harvesting solar power from space, other writers take on the question of ESP. There's a warning notice on page 10 about people who subscribed to Starlog through the magazine's TV advertising campaign but didn't receive their subscription copies; short items in Log Entries include a planetary exhibit at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, a preview of the film The Last Wave, announcement of the Future Space Art Club (kind of a painting-of-the-month club), Electric Light Orchestra's spacey stage show, news of The Boys from Brazil, and more.

Jonathan Eberhart's Interplanetary Excursions, Inc., visits the solar system's planetary rings; Steve Swires makes the first of gazillions of appearances in Starlog by interviewing Steven Spielberg; A Special TV Update section includes reports on Buck Rogers (with a cool and clearly unused preproduction drawing by William Stout), Nova, Battlestar Galactica, Mandrake the Magician, Saturday morning TV roundup, Brave New World, Project U.F.O., and Mork and Mindy. The great Ralph McQuarrie is interviewed by David Houston and supplies the artwork for the pull-out poster (from Battlestar Galactica); Joe Bonham (a pseudonym for senior writer Ed Naha) interviews Gene Roddenberry on Star Trek -- The Motion Picture; Eric March interviews SF writer Joe Haldeman; Richard Meyers writes "Return of the Video Superheroes" -- i.e., Wonder Woman, Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk; In Space Report, Gerry Anderson writes about making commercials with his supermarionation techniques; Susan Sackett's Star Trek Report gives Trek movie updates on makeup, costumes, story editor, etc.; David Hutchison's SFX section covers "Explosions for Miniatures," illustrated with lots of cool photos of things blowing up in SF films, including the step-by-step destruction of Emperor Whang's castle in Flesh Gordon; Richard Meyers documents Doctor Strange's television program; having taken on Star Wars, David Gerrold's State of the Art now dissects Close Encounters of the Third Kind; David Houston's Visions column looks at "The Space Fantasy of Edgar Rice Burroughs," illustrated with two great Frank Frazetta paintings; and editor Howard Zimmerman wraps it up in his Lastword column by hailing real TV science fiction.
"In less than a decade, filmmaker Steven Spielberg has succeeded in astounding millions of moviegoers worldwide with his surreal sense of celluloid imagery. His is the realm of man-eating sharks, ethereal saucer children and bloodthirsty tractor-trailers. He is considered by many to be the great white hope of the current motion picture industry and his fans number in the millions."
--Steve Swires, writer, "Filming the Fantastic: Steven Spielberg"
To view previous Starlog Archive issues, click on "Starlog Internet Archive Project" in the keywords below.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That illustration of Steven Spielberg is mine!
I did that back in 1978!
José Cruz