Friday, April 2, 2010

The Starlog Project: Starlog #47, June 1981: The Junior Varsity Team of SF Movies

The Starlog staff continues to change and grow, fueled not only by normal turnover but by continued growth at the Starlog publishing company, which was already publishing or within a few months would be publishing Starlog, Future Life, Fangoria, Fantasy Modeling, Comics Scene, Fight Game (a boxing magazine), Country Rhythms, Screen Greats, and probably some others I've missed. Anyway, the Starlog staffbox now includes names such as John Clayton (staff photographer), financial manager Joan Baetz, contributing editor Barbara Krasnoff, and an ever-changing lineup of designers and art staff.

Starlog #47
68 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $2.50

This issue features two big films that weren't as good as those that have gone before (yes, a personal judgment, I know, but it's my blog). Superman II wasn't as good as Superman -- The Movie, and Outland simply wasn't good. Harlan Ellison would soon take star Sean Connery to task in the pages of Starlog for accepting second-rate flicks like Outland, and in his column in sister magazine Future Life, Ellison would pick apart the movie piece by piece. So it's not just my personal judgment after all.

In his From the Bridge column, publisher Kerry O'Quinn describes meeting and interviewing George Lucas, which would see print beginning in the next issue; Communications letters include feedback on Altered States, ideas for supporting the space program, Buck Rogers critiques, and more; Log Entries short items include an update on the Heavy Metal movie (which is slated for an August release), a possible Man from U.N.C.L.E. movie, Britain's Hammer Films aims for the small screen, the SF musical-comedy Search for the Gods?, the new Harlan Ellison Record Collection, and more.

Alan Brender interviews Outland star Frances Sternhagen, who plays a doctor's role originally written for man; David Gerrold writes about moving beyond adolescence; Alan Brender reports on the Star Wars radio program made for public radio; Susan Adamo interviews Douglas Adams about his Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy; James H. Burns interviews Sarah Douglas, who plays Kryptonian baddie Ursa in Superman II; Burns also talks with George Takei in part one of his interview; Martin J. Bower describes (in text and many photos) the miniatures used in Outland; Alan Brender interviews Buck Rogers' Dr. Goodfellow, Wilfrid Hyde-White; Michael A. Banks interviews David A. Kyle; David Hirsch's In Syndication looks at "The Return of Doctor Who"; David Hutchison explores the props used in Star Trek -- The Motion Picture; Quest features a fake final exam for Jedi students, some Jedi cartoons, and some space art from various readers; and Howard Zimmerman uses his Lastword column to praise The Greatest American Hero and to criticize the Oscars.
"Mark Hamill is especially excited about the radio show. In an interview with Starlog during the premiere at the Griffith Observatory, he comments: 'It appealed to me because it wasn't money-oriented. It sprang purely from the desire to help revitalize interest in radio."
--Alan Brender, writer, "Star Wars' Latest Incarnation: It's a Radio Play"
To view previous Starlog issue descriptions, click on "Starlog Internet Archive Project" in the keywords below.

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