Starlog Magazine: a sci-fi movie goldmine

From Den of Geek

We salute the sadly departed sci-fi movie magazine Starlog, and the treasures to be found in its online archives...

"Good science fiction movies have been around almost as long as movies have," wrote Starlog's editor-in-chief David Houston in the first ever issue of Starlog. "But only in recent years - perhaps dating from the landmark 2001: A Space Odyssey - have SF films gained any widespread measure of respectability."

It's incredible to think that, when that first issue appeared in August 1976, science fiction movies - and mainstream cinema as a whole - was less than 12 months from a huge and unexpected change. Because along with 2001, it would be Star Wars that would affect the thinking of film producers and filmmakers for years to come, and in turn greatly affect the perception of sci-fi as a bankable genre.

Originally conceived as a magazine dedicated solely to Star Trek, before expanding its focus due to the high cost of Paramount's royalties, Starlog established itself in the midst of a science fiction renaissance. Flick through the first ever issue, and you'll find previews of future classics such as Nic Roeg's The Man Who Fell To Earth and Logan's Run, and iffy misfires, such as The Food Of The Gods (based on HG Wells' novel) and the expensive disaster flop Meteor.

The issue also documents the two rival production companies racing to create a remake of King Kong (the Dino De Laurentiis remake over at Paramount ultimately won), and there's a detailed retrospective of Star Trek, written just as the property was on the cusp of being revived for the big screen on the back of its huge fan following.

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