Monday, April 5, 2010

The Starlog Project: Starlog #55, February 1982: Blade Runner, Time Bandits and Quest for Fire

It's extra-treat time again, as Starlog for the third (and final) time includes a bind-in record with an issue of the magazine. This time, one side of the vinyl 33-1/2 rpm record features excerpts from the Starlog Records LP First Men in the Moon, and the other side features excerpts from an upcoming (and, I think, the final) Starlog Records LP, The Avengers. Also this issue, the magazine's former space art advisor, Ron Miller, joins its lineup of columnists. Meanwhile, do you like all the color in the magazine? Enjoy it ... while it lasts.

Starlog #55
68 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $3.50

Time Bandits, the great Terry Gilliam film is a ... what? Dark fantasy? Science Fiction? Historical romance? Whatever. It's one of his finest, and it's got pride-of-place on the cover and contents page this issue.

The rundown: In his From the Bridge column, Kerry O'Quinn has a response to people who worry about violence in science-fiction media; Communications letters include a library that is subscribing to Starlog, praise for Lawrence Kasdan and Harrison Ford, pleas for Spock's life, descriptions of Starlog staffers' lunches, and more; short news items in Log Entries include a preview of the muppetastick Dark Crystal, publication of a book on Scrooge McDuck, CBS bought rights to Star Wars: A New Hope -- but couldn't get The Empire Strikes Back, rumors about Star Trek II (called at this point "The Uncharted Continent"), plans for a Universal theme park in Florida, and more.

Part two of James Van Hise's look at the Star Trek bloopers reel takes up a page; an unbylined page has info about the music on the bound-in record; James Van Hise interviews Philip K. Dick about Blade Runner; David Gerrold discusses writer's block in his Soaring column; Ed Naha returns to Starlog's pages with a look at the new Quest for Fire movie (Naha's been keeping mostly to Future Life for the past couple years, so one might surmise that this article was originally intended for that magazine, which had just ceased publication); the winners of the Starlog fifth anniversary contest are listed; Bjo Trimble keeps up the pressure by urging support for the space program in her Fan Scene column; Kerry O'Quinn and David Everett interview studio executive Alan Ladd, Jr., who talks Alien, Star Wars, and Blade Runner; Don McGregor finishes his two-part interview with The Greatest American Hero's Robert Culp; a three-page feature showcases color photos from Time Bandits; David Hirsch interviews UFO's Ed Bishop; David Hutchison goes on location with Doug Trumbull to talk about his movie Brainstorm; Ron Miller's Futures Past column debuts, with a look at Hugo Gernsback's 1911 SF novel Ralph 124C41+; the science-fiction paintings of Stephen Schwartz are featured in Quest; and in Lastword, Howard Zimmerman belatedly presents his third-annual Zimmerman Awards (which, among other things, awards That's Incredible the "most mind-boggling weekly SF-TV series" prize).
"I asked for a copy of the latest screenplay [for Blade Runner] and they sent it over last week. This is the February '81 version by David Peoples. Now there's no problem. Now I can quite sincerely say that I am terribly enthusiastic and it won't be just the special effects because there will be a coherent storyline. There's an excellent storyline. Peoples did a terrific job."
--Philip K. Dick, author, interviewed by James Van Hise: "Philip K. Dick on Blade Runner"
To view previous Starlog issue descriptions, click on "Starlog Internet Archive Project" in the keywords below or visit the Starlog Project's permanent home.

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