Thursday, March 18, 2010

Starlog Internet Project: Starlog #18, December 1978: Scary Spice

From our distance in the future, we can look at this issue's 76-page-count as a bit of a harbinger of what would soon become the norm at the magazine within the next year: 76- and 68-page issues as inflation eats away at things. But the magazine is still a science-fiction aficionado's delight, and it continues to innovate/merchandise into broader realms. One of the most unexpected but kind of most innovative is the original Starlog/Future book advertised on page 43: The Boy Who Saved the Stars, a "space fable" children's book written by Doris Vallejo and illustrated by Boris Vallejo. And on page 75, we learn of the release of Space Art, the newest (and, at 200 pages, the largest) Starlog Photo Guidebook.

Starlog #18
76 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $1.95

It's Halloween time at Starlog, as the cover highlights various fright-related features in this issue. They've even pimped the staffbox, widening it enough to include a photo of the entire staff, a number of them wearing Halloween masks. (It's also a reminder of something pleasant a reader of Starlog pointed out long ago: Has there ever been a picture published of Kerry O'Quinn where he's not smiling?)

Speaking of O'Quinn, the publisher's From the Bridge column is something of an ode to joy; letters in the Communications pages include a follow-up to the Hungarian SF fan noted in a recent From the Bridge, plus Star Wars Visions, and reader thoughts on SF productions; Log Entries short news items include a call to save Forrest J. Ackerman's science-fiction memorabilia collection, a new NASA plane, a report on a new KISS telefilm (including comments from SF fan Gene Simmons), an attempt to import more Dr. Who into America, and more.

Joseph Kay interviews Empire Strikes Back producer Gary Kurtz; David Houston interviews (separately) the two stars of Battlestar Galactica, Dirk Benedict and Richard Hatch; David Gerrold's State of the Art continues his attempts to seek "Implications in CE3K"; Richard Meyers covers some new Dracula productions (including Love at First Bite); a special eight-page "yellow pages" insert features the second-annual "Science-Fiction Merchandise Guide"; David Hutchison puts together a portfolio of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde photos (getting scared yet?); Richard Meyers previews The Boys from Brazil; David Hutchison uses his SFX section to lift the lid on the scary happenings in local Hollywood legend Bob Burns' backyard; Jonathan Eberhart's Interplanetary Excursions, Inc., visits many moons (illustrated with a big painting by Ron Miller); Ed Naha previews Joe Dante's Piranha; Gerry Anderson's Space Report reflects on the first Space: 1999 convention, held in Columbus, Ohio; Susan Sackett's Star Trek Report describes the filming of the first scene on the new Enterprise's bridge; David Houston reports "The Adventures of Stella Star: An Actor in a Strange Land" (which stars David Hasselhoff, who is interviewed); David Houston's Visions column tackles things that would destroy the earth (in science-fiction films); and Howard Zimmerman wraps it all up in his Lastword column by summing up all the attention SF is getting in the media these days ("these days" being late 1978).
"On this very page, our austere, sophisticated office and editorial staff has taken a moment out of their hectic schedule to gather in the conference room for a family portrait. As you can see by looking beyond the hideous grins on our lovable faces, some of us have fangs, some horns, some only minor physical defects -- but basically we are just plain folks."
--Kerry O'Quinn, publisher, From the Bridge
To view previous Starlog Archive issues, click on "Starlog Internet Archive Project" in the keywords below.

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