Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sixth Book of Christmas

On the Sixth day of Christmas, I woke up and found that a Nor'easter had completely snowed me in and decided it was a good day for an at-home film fest.

The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction Movies from 1897 to the Present is a really fun resource for the science fiction fan and really for any film buff. It's arranged in an intuitive encyclopedia format with entries alphabetical by title and ample cross-references. Written by noted author and critic C.J. Henderson, the book covers over 1,300 movies from all over the world and the entries includes plot summaries as well as production information and available formats. There is trivia, information on literary sources, an interview with Dune author Frank Herbert, and even a foreword by Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner. Remember, that job he had before Boston Legal?

I got this book for my husband when it came out in 2001 and have referred to it regularly ever since. Given that it came out in 2001 the format information- i.e., what's available on DVD- is probably out of date. And the section on Star Wars ends with The Phantom Menace, since it was published before the other two prequels were released. So it wouldn't be the worst thing if it was updated. I know, it's only six years old, but that can be an eternity in the world of movies and it would be nice to see the Star Trek section updated and to have some information on more recent scifi movies like Serenity, a spin-off from the cult Firefly television series.

But the volume is far from worthless. It's a great compendium of the little-known and the famous, covering early years that don't often get play in other resources. I like it as a tool for finding neat movies to watch- you can browse through it and say, "oh, that's the one I want to rent next." I'm a big advocate of resources that allow independent learning and exploration at any age and The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction Movies from 1897 to the Present is a great place to begin or continue your exploration of science fiction cinema. Click on the photo to purchase from your local Booksense-affiliated independent bookseller and start your journey today.

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