The sixth issue of Starlog hit the stands on April 19, 1977, the third of the eight-times-a-year issues. Readers start getting more contentious, Star Trek: The Motion Picture continues to be a quagmire, and the Doctor makes his first appearance. Also, personal gripe: it's never okay to use three exclamation points, especially on the cover of a print magazine. It's just not!!! (See what I did there?)
Wanna see all the stuff I skipped? The full run of Starlog is available over at the Internet Archive, and here are the previous installments of this series.
1. The Editors Give in.
Jeez, are you people happy now? I love that they list the most pragmatic reason first, that it saves them a few millimeters of horizontal real estate, and also point out that the whole thing is very dumb and basically allows the bullies to win.
Then there's the question of what the terminology even means...
2. Yeah, But Where Are the Ray Guns?
For starters, the teeth of his comb weren't fine enough to notice the part on the very first page where they explicitly state that Rickard had done a different Star Trek parody for Mad. This letter is also an exercise in faint-praise damning, what with "Pretty close to being one of the most entertaining and satisfying" and finding an article to be "acceptable," give or take the article's writer having a definition of science fiction which is different from the letter writers', and thus is obviously wrong.
The editors slapped him down gently but firmly.
Meanwhile, a Kiwi tells us what's what in the rest of the world, including the first reference in Starlog to Doctor Who.
Remember, for as anathema as it is now, Dr. was an entirely appropriate spelling in 1977, as evidenced by that year's Annual (and all the Annuals leading up to it). So you're gonna see that spelling in a lot in the near future, at least in the near future of Starlog.
Indeed, they promise more to come.
And, of course, the epic complaint we've all been waiting for.
As a queer woman in 2013, all I have to say about this is, heh. "Fancy Gap."
Well done, Starlog.
3. Almost There...Stay on Target...
So close! The release date was apparently believed to be June at that point, and a few of the details are sketchy, but no matter. It's always great to see Ralph McQuarrie's art, and Starlog is promising to go full Star Wars in their next issue.
4. No Mere Posters, These!
Or so insists the ad copy for these works by the great Kelly Freas. A few liberties are taken in the caricatures, of course, but I'm sure George Takei didn't mind getting a six-pack, and it's still more realistic / less creepy than Boris did the crew, and Sulu in particular.
5. The Enterprise Continues to Prepare to Not Fly in Space.
By this point, I think they hadn't yet scrapped the idea of retrofitting it to go into orbit, and you gotta figure that replacing that huge duck's ass seemed like a daunting challenge.
6. Ladies and Gentlemen, Please Welcome Your 1977 Kal-El.
Oh, Christopher. Henry Cavill was fine (and I consider Brandon Routh's performance to be underrated), but since one of my earliest filmgoing memories is my family seeing Superman: The Movie when I was five and a half years old on Christmas Eve of 1978, Reeve will always be my Superman. It's astonishing to think that he the 6'4" Reeve was only 190 lbs when he got the role, though, and you can see his rail-skinniness in his screen test with Margo Kidder.