Some more books

Dental work today, so not much energy for blogging. So I’ll catch up on some books I ran out of space for last week.
KEEP WATCHING THE SKIES: American Science Fiction Movies of the Fifties, The 21st Century Edition, is the updated version of Bill Warren’s classic film guide from the 1980s. The original was good, but at the time, there were movies the author hadn’t seen since childhood, and couldn’t find on DVD; for most of the movies herein (except a few real obscurities) that’s no longer a problem. The book covers synopses, actor bios and production detail for everything from War of the Worlds and Creature From the Black Lagoon to such lesser fair as The Giant Claw and L’il Abner (which involves a miraculous bodybuilding potion); movies with just an occasional monster or SF element are included in various appendixes. Also stuffed with more photos than the first edition, this was worth every penny, and it cost quite a few (even at my author’s discount——I have the same publisher).
ANNOTATED ALICE: The Definitive Edition combines Alice in Wonderland, Through the Looking-Glass and two editions worth of Martin Gardner’s annotations on both (plus The Wasp in the Wig, a manuscript widely believed to be a deleted chapter from the second book). I’ve loved Alice from the first time I read it and Alice’s adventures remain one of the building blocks of my mind in a way I can’t describe (but similarly to Sherlock Holmes and Silver Age DC Comics); the books remain charming, fresh, funny and eccentric, no matter how many times I reread them.
This was the first time in years that I read them straight through without wandering off into Gardner’s fascinating notes on chess, mirrors, Charles Dodgson in-jokes and philosophical conundrums. The few annotations I glanced at remain as fascinating as ever, though I think later books such as In The Shadow of the Dreamchild are spot-on when they critique Gardner (and many other critics and Dodgson biographers) for interpreting everything as somehow about Dodgson’s unrequited love for Alice Liddell (which said books point out may be a myth); thus the Gnat’s heavy sighs in Through the Looking-Glass are interpreted as Dodgson’s sighs at Alice slipping away from him.
Annotated or not, this remains one of my personal favorites.

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2 responses to “Some more books

  1. Pingback: The earth stood still for Mussolini on the 3:10 to Yuma: movies viewed | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  2. Pingback: Standout SF from the 1950s: movies and TV | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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