Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Starlog Project: Starlog #57, April 1982: Mega-what?

If my entry for the previous issue, #56, was a bit of a negative one, rest assured the magazine was back on track with this issue. The designers adapted to the loss of half of their color pages quite well, and this issue is a bright and even colorful magazine. The contents page was re-jiggered to fit the new printing realities, and they did it well.

Starlog #57
68 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $2.50

Artist Ron Cobb is the cover feature, and the cover painting is cool but old; we've literally seen it before (either in Starlog or Future Life; I forget which). Then again, if they hadn't chosen a Cobb cover, I think we might have come dangerously close to having a Megaforce cover, and that would send us spiraling back toward despair.

The rundown: Kerry O'Quinn writes his From the Bridge column while sitting in a cliffside home in St. Thomas, and he compares that tropical paradise's advantages and disadvantages with his skyscraper canyon paradise of Manhattan; Communications letters include a response to O'Quinn's editorial on SF violence, more on Bjo Trimble's filk-singing column, readers correct real bloopers in the special Star Trek bloopers articles, additional thoughts on killing Spock, and more; Log Entries short news items include info on the Scott Baio sitcom The Wiz Kid, a preview of Ed Naha's book The Films of Roger Corman: Brilliance on a Budget, a peek at Barbara Krasnoff's book Robots: Reel to Real, a 1981 box office report, and more.

Anthony Clarke reports on "The French Connection," a 10-day fantastic film festival; Jeff Szalay previews Megaforce, a movie suffering from serious 1980s hair; David Gerrold's Soaring tips his hat to fans who make a difference in the world; Michael Glyer assembles a six-page "Directory to Science Fiction Fan Clubs"; Ron Miller's Futures Past column looks at "Prophecies that Failed"; James Van Hise and Dennis Fisher interview Ron Cobb in an article illustrated with many of his production paintings for Conan, Alien, and other productions; the centerfold is a two-page poster featuring AT-AT's attacking on Hoth (with an inset photo of the model-makers at ILM at work creating the scene); Mike Clark and Bill Cotter explore the Robot from Lost in Space (including profiles of designer Bob Kinoshita and actor Bob May, and a description of how the robot spoke); it's not an article, but it would become one: The Ultimate Fantasy, a promised giant SF convention to take place in June in Houston, is advertised; a photo spread celebrates the second flight of the space shuttle Columbia; Quest features artwork from model-maker Allen D. Coulter and a poem by Bonnie E. Tuggle; an unbylined article updates us on space artist grand master Chesley Bonestell (and includes a bibliography of his work); Steve Swires interviews actress Caroline Munro; Bjo Trimble explores pro-space conventions in her Fan Scene column; and Howard Zimmerman rounds off the issue in his Lastword column with a plug for Greenpeace.
"Marshall Foch said in 1910 that the airplane was 'all very fine for sport, you know. But the airplane's no use to the army.' Our own Franklin Roosevelt, in 1922: '...it is highly unlikely that an airplane, or fleet of them, could ever successfully sink a fleet of Navy vessels under battle conditions.' In Germany, until 1926, airplane patents were filed under the same classification as children's toys and shooting galleries!"
--Ron Miller, columnist, Futures Past: "Prophecies that Failed"
To view previous Starlog issue descriptions, click on "Starlog Internet Archive Project" in the keywords below.

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