John Scalzi’s latest book is a reference tome called The Rough Guide to Sci-Fi Movies.
Me? I love a good reference book. I definitely wouldn’t mind getting my hnds on a copy to peruse and salivate over. Unfortunately for my inhuman hunger for all things sf-related, Amazon does not currently let surfers preview the book.
Here’s the Amazon blurb:
The Rough Guide to Sci-Fi Movies is a comprehensive guide to the ‘final frontier’ of film. It explores our fascination with space exploration, time travel, fantastical worlds and alternative futures. This guide explains how everything from the philosophy of Plato to classic Victorian tales and cult comic books have helped to create one of cinema’s most engaging genres. Discover the classics from Mexico, Russia and Japan, not forgetting the Anime science fiction tradition, along with everything else you need to know from Metropolis to Star Wars, via Blade Runner, 2001 and Alien. The Rough Guide to Sci-Fi Movies is your essential guide to a galaxy of film unbounded by time or space.
And here’s a bigger, better description from the author himself:
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.