Thursday, December 04, 2014

At Flashbak: The Five Best Starlog Covers (And the Three Worst)

My new list at Flashbak considers the five best Starlog covers, and the three worst ones.

Here's a snippet and the link ( ):

"Before the Internet Age, sci-fi geeks had to get their information about upcoming genre entertainment the old fashioned way: from print magazines, sold at the local newsstand, or delivered to your mail-box via monthly subscription.

From 1976 to 2009, Starlog Magazine – more than three decades -- reported extensively on the world of science fiction television, movies, and literature. The mag featured columns by “The Trouble with Tribbles” author David Gerrold (first “State of the Art,” then “Rumblings,” and then “Soaring.”)  Starlog also featured David Hirsch’s detailed and informative updates about the world of Gerry Anderson (“Space Report,”) in particular, behind-the-scenes information on Space: 1999 (1975 – 1977). 

The magazine featured great retrospectives from the likes of great writers such as Lee Goldberg and Jean-Marc Lofficier, and interviews from the meticulous film scholar, Tom Weaver. 

Starlog also grew up at the same time I did, and at exactly the right time, covering the release of Star Wars, and the post-Star Wars boom that brought us Alien (1979), The Black Hole (1979), Meteor (1979), Moonraker (1979), and Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

As a kid who grew up in the seventies and eighties, I remember the rush of discovering a new issue of Starlog, whether at a vendor location (mine was at the Englishtown Flea Market in N.J.), or in the mail.  It was always a thrill to see the cover of the magazine, and find out -- at a glance – what magical entertainments were impending.

With that thought in mind, here are five of my selections for the best Starlog Magazine covers from the span 1976 – 2009, as well as those for the three worst."


  1. John, like you as a boy, in the '70s and '80s STARLOG magazine was our "internet". Excellent thoughts on STARLOG covers! I subscribed since I was a boy in the '70s and saw a STARLOG television commercial [during a Lost In Space rerun on a local UHF station] featuring Robby The Robot. Local stores did not carry the magazine so a subscription saved the day.


  2. Each of the covers from the first couple years of Starlog still instill in me a sense of wonder, if not nostalgia. By the early 1980's the magazine seemed to stagnate a bit. By the late 1980's I had lost interest but it seems to me that might have more to do with my age than the content of the magazine. By 1981, I was starting college and had moved onto Cinefantastique and Cinefex magazines. My interest in the genre seemed to be affected by every studio's interest in churning out big budget but somewhat vapid sci-fi and fantasy epics. Still, the mid 1970's to early 1980's were a golden time for me.

    For me personally, I would swap out the Roger Moore and Flash Gordon covers for issue #10 (the When Worlds Collide cover with so many wonderful articles inside) and issue #16 with the unused Bob McCall concept art for Buck Rogers.

    Thankfully, I still have many of these well-read and worn out issues!