Category Archives: Books

The Rough Guide To Sci-Fi Movies

RoughguidetoscifiJohn Scalzi is the author of a great book called Old Man’s War, as well as The Rough Guide to the Universe.

He also writes an absolutely fantastic blog, called Whatever, which I highly recommend to everyone who reads and enjoys any of the crap I write. I read it daily, and John has inspired me to make some major changes when I return to blogging at WWdN (more on that in a future post.)

Today, John announced the release of his latest book, The Rough Guide To Sci-Fi Movies.

As you might expect from the title, the book is a guide to science
fiction film, from the very first SF film in 1902, to this summer’s
biggest science fiction extravaganzas. That’s 103 years of science
fiction film in 325 pages, including the index (lovingly indexed, I’ll
note, by the super-competent and generally awesome Susan Marie Groppi).
But — of course — it does some scene setting as well, putting SF
films into context. The book is arranged in the following chapters:

The Origins:
The history of science fiction and other speculative fiction, reaching
back to ancient Greece and then following through with written science
fiction through the 21st Century.

The History: A quick jaunt through the eras of science fiction film from 1902 to 2005, not only in the US but worldwide.

The Canon: Reviews and commentary on the 50 science fiction films you have to see before you die (more on this in a minute)

The Icons: The people and characters of enduring significance in science fiction film.

Crossovers: Film genres that mix and match with science fiction, including fantasy, thrillers, horror and animation.

The Science: A look at the science (or lack thereof) in science fiction films.

The Locations:
Significant studios and locations where science fiction is filmed, and
places (real and otherwise) made famous by science fiction.

Global: Snapshots of science fiction films from all over the world, from Canada to South Korea.

Information: Past and present science fiction in other media.

There’s much more information about the book in John’s blog, so if you’re interested at all, you should head over there and check it out right now, then you should buy it today. Then you should buy a copy for a friend, and while you’re at the store, ask them why they don’t carry  Just A Geek. Be sure to mention that it’s a Star Trek book that’s all about Star Trek, and you have to love Star Trek to enjoy reading it. That’s always good for a laugh.

Congratulations, John!

turn the page

Via Slashdot, I saw that the British Library has an online exhibit of some amazing works of literature, including manuscripts in the authors’ original hand, like Leonardo DaVinci, and Lewis Carroll. There are flash and non-flash interfaces, to serve users of varying bandwidths and preferences, and the images are simply amazing.

This is one of the greatest advantages of living in these times: I would almost certainly never get a chance to see any of these works in person, but The Internets bring them right into my home.

If you like this exhibit, you’ll probably like WikiSource and Project Gutenberg too.