Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Starlog Project: Starlog #45, April 1981: Buck Rogers' Swan Song

Inflation strikes back, as the cover price goes up 25 cents. There's a special four-page heavy-paper "3-D module kit" insert in this issue, but the price increase remains next issue, while the insert does not. Also, as noted last issue, David Houston's Visions column is no more, and now he has also finally been taken off the list of columnists in the staff box.

Starlog #45
72 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $2.50

John P. Hogan, the inventor of the 3-D model kit in this issue, is actually making at least his third appearance in the magazine. His modular paper designs rated a Log Entries item years earlier, and a couple years earlier he reappeared in an item about a Starlog solar t-shirt he designed (which publisher Kerry O'Quinn modeled in a photo).

Kerry O'Quinn touts his company's various products in his From the Bridge column; Communications letters include definitions of science fiction, questions about Space: 1999, comments on space war, and more; Log Entries short news items include a first look at the King Arthur fantasy Excalibur, ChesleyBonestell's reaction to real pictures of Saturn, a Christian science-fiction story (The Namos Chronicles), the imprisonment of Russian SF author Oles Berknyk, and more.

Alan Brender interviews Thom Christopher, who plays the new Buck Rogers character Hawk in that show's second and final season; Bjo Trimble answers readers letters about Star Trek; David Gerrold makes the case that mankind has to get into space; James H. Burns previews Kingdom of the Dwarfs, a new book from David Wenzel; Samuel J. Maronie visits the set of John Carpenter's Escape from New York, one of the great low-budget SF films of the past few decades; Robert Greenberger previews Panic Offshore, a made-for-TV monster movie; the four-page paper 3-D model kit is introduced with a short article on creator John P. Hogan; there's also (on page 66) instructions for assembling the kit; Joseph Veverka completes his "Voyager View of Saturn" space science article; Robert Greenberger looks at the phenomenon of science-fiction art books; Alan Brender interviews writer/director Peter Hyams about his new film, Outland; Quest features the artwork of Benjie Small and the short-short fiction of Phil Yahnke; Ron Goulart's "SF in the Comics" series covers the science-fiction boom in the 1950s; David Hutchison's SFX section looks at the Flash Gordon movie's mattes; David Hirsch's In Syndication looks at how the Planet of the Apes was packaged; and Howard Zimmerman's Lastword column covers hopes for the space shuttle's inaugural launch.
"The Namos Chronicles is a filmstrip that has the makings of a science-fiction story. There's a planet, Namos, locked in battle against the evil Kaprians. There are spaceships and laser guns. Even alien monsters. What distinguishes Namos Chronicles from most other SF stories is that underneath the hardware are the parables of Jesus."
--Log Entries: "Scriptures in Space"
To view previous Starlog issue descriptions, click on "Starlog Internet Archive Project" in the keywords below.

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