Zombies are the middle children of the otherworldly family. Vampires are the oldest brother who gets to have a room in the attic, all tripped out with a disco ball and shag carpet. Werewolves are the youngest, the babies, always getting pinched and told they're cute. With all that attention stolen away from the middle child zombie, no wonder she shuffles off grumbling, "Marsha, Marsha, Marsha."

- Kevin James Breaux

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Book Review: “The Rough Guide to Sci-Fi Movies” by John Scalzi

If you are a fan of sci-fi (or at least someone who likes it even a little) than John Scalzi’s book “The Rough Guide to Sci-Fi Movies” is a massive collection of info dedicated to the history and current state of the genre through film from all across the globe.  I’ve seen a lot of sci-fi films but this book educated me on the genre and informed me of tons of films I either had never seen or heard of.  The “Rough Guides” book series (which also includes books on the horror, comedy, and gangster film genres) are books that provide readers with not only an overview of the genre and its start but also lists hundreds of films in the genre from all over the world and provide hundreds of pictures and posters and media for many of the films discussed.
Scalzi’s book starts with a chapter entitled “The Origins: Science Fiction Literature” before delving into sci-fi films in their infancy (i.e. Le voyage dans la lune -1902) to films of the modern age (i.e. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – 2004) and everything in between.  The book is not just a discussion on films but icons of the genre from director George Lucas and James Cameron to animator and writer Osamu Tezuka (creator of Astro Boy, among many others) and composer John Williams (Star Wars and E.T.).  This book manages to cram a lot of info into its lean 325 pages
One of my favorite parts of the book comes towards the end when Scalzi spends many pages delving into the contributions of sci-fi from other countries all over the world which informed me of films I wasn’t familiar with.  There is also a major section which includes sc-fi’s contribution to other mediums such as television, video games, magazines and websites.
The book is very easy to navigate as it is broken into easy to find chapters and there is even an expansive index for those just looking to know about a particular film.  This is a book that every sci-fi fan should include in their library as it will always be an invaluable resource.

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