This year, four science fiction-loving booksellers will delve into Fantastic Planets, Forbidden Zones, and Lost Continents: The 100 Greatest Science-Fiction Films, the new book by film historian Douglas Brode. They’ll watch the movies, read Brode’s take, and tell you – point blank – how they feel about all of it.
Fantastic Planets, Forbidden Zones, and Lost Continents was released by University of Texas Press in late 2015. Top 100 lists of all kinds are hotly debated (indeed, that seems to be their primary purpose), but few debates can match the passion with which science fiction fans defend, or deride, certain titles. Brode has made some bold claims in this book, and we four booksellers have already had a few heated discussions about them. The discussions have been so fun that we’ve decided to bring them to you in blog form for the duration of 2016. But before we begin, let’s introduce the players, shall we?
ABOUT DOUGLAS BRODE
Douglas Brode is, among other things, a screenwriter, TV & film historian, journalist and educator. He has published a number of film related books with UT Press including From Walt to Woodstock: How Disney Created the Counterculture and Multiculturalism and the Mouse: Race and Sex in Disney Entertainment. His science fiction credentials include books about both the Star Trek and Star Wars universes and cultural impact, as well as a book about Rod Serling and The Twilight Zone.
Sarah H – Internet Order Coordinator
“I don’t remember exactly when I realized I was a sci-fi lover. It kind of crept up on me. I’d always loved Star Wars, Star Trek TNG, Aliens and Bladerunner, thanks to my eldest sister who is abashed about nothing (thankfully). But I didn’t consider myself a “fan girl” by any means. It was not until I was exposed to the genius of Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer series in the late 90’s did I start to have an inkling of how much the sci-fi genre was going to guide my life and define my tastes. Even then, it was a few years before I really embraced this about myself. For me, science fiction was steeped in the ideas I was always thinking about but had no real answers for. Ideas as big as humanity’s place in the universe, where we came from, where we are going, where we are now, and why. And doing it in exciting, thought provoking, and sometimes completely absurd and bizarre ways. Suddenly I realized I was home when I escaped into these stories.”
Joe Turner – Special Orders
Joe Johnston Turner thinks science fiction movies peaked with 1974’s The Final Programme (also known as The Last Days of Man On Earth) and is still waiting for the further cinematic adventures of Jerry Cornelius. The rest is commentary, go and study.
Demi Marshall – BookKids Event & Marketing Coordinator
Demi has been a science fiction fan for as long as she can remember. She likes speculative fiction, high space fiction, and retold fairy tales. Her favorite movie on Brode’s list is Inception, because Tom Hardy.
Thomas W. – Master Bookseller
“I learned science fiction at the right hand of my father from a very young age. I was four the first time he showed me Star Wars and from then on it never stopped. My first R rated movies were the Terminator and Terminator 2, the only movie I’ve ever camped out for was Phantom Menace, and I will never not ever not love Will Smith. For me the thing I love most about sci-fi is that it is an incredibly wide genre, free to explore political, social, and other weighty subjects in fantastic and epic ways. Of course not every sci-fi film needs to be that weighty; hell we all love Independence Day right, or is that just me? So when I was asked if I would do this blog series, I was really excited and said yes almost right away. When I had a look at the list I got even more excited because I’d seen two thirds of it and there’s some great classics, modern marvels, and a few provocative choices that I can’t wait to explore.”
In addition to our yearlong blog series, we’ll be screening selected titles right here at BookPeople in our 3rd floor event space. Stay tuned for more!