The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction Movies: From 1897 to the Present (Facts on File Film Reference Library)

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9780816040438: The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction Movies: From 1897 to the Present (Facts on File Film Reference Library)

The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction Movies is the most complete reference available on the subject. Written by a noted film reviewer and journalist, this volume is a fascinating A-to-Z historical overview of science fiction in the cinema from the earliest experiments in silent film in the 1890s to the most recent blockbusters. Each of the more than 1,300 entries includes the film's vital statistics - title, year released, director, screenwriter, cast, studio, and running time - along with a summary of the film and a critique. Select entries contain additional information, such as anecdotes on the making of the film provided by the cast and crew.

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From Booklist:

One wonders if the world is in need of yet another science fiction encyclopedia, be it covering film, television, or literature. Yet it is hard to fault this offering from Facts On File. In spite of some rather dubious additions to make the work appeal to the science fiction market (an off-putting introduction by Star Trek's William Shatner and an interview with Frank Herbert discussing the first movie adaptation of Dune,) it provides a basic overview of the science fiction movie genre.

The main part consists of alphabetically arranged entries for more than 1,300 theatrical-release science fiction movies. Some basic credits are included, as well as the availability of the title on video, DVD, or laser disc. Then follows a synopsis and the author's opinions of the movie's watchability, validity as science fiction, and overall contribution to the genre. There is no standard length, with some entries earning two or three columns depending on their importance. The author, a film critic, makes no apologies for the fact that the opinions are his and his alone.

The work tries to include "as many movies as possible." It opens with an entry on the horrendous Abbott and Costello Go to Mars (1953) and closes with Z.P.G. (for zero population growth) (1971). In between are some of the gems of the genre, including Enemy from Space (Quatermass II) (1957), Metropolis (1926), and This Island Earth (1954).

The entries are followed by four appendixes, one a useful list of literature adapted to the screen and another of science fiction at the Oscars. The other two, the aforementioned interview and a chart explaining the language created for Quest for Fire, add nothing. The book is a worthy addition to science fiction reference, but libraries with tight budgets might want to assess if their collections are already complete enough before purchasing. RBB
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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C. J. Henderson, William Shatner (Foreword)
Editore: Facts on File (2001)
ISBN 10: 0816040435 ISBN 13: 9780816040438
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