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All or Nothing: The Authorised Story of Steve Marriott: by Simon Spence (2021)

All or Nothing: The Authorised Story of Steve Marriott: by Simon Spence (2021)

The careers of many heroes of the British Invasion and musicians of the 1960s have been adequately documented in books, films and memoirs. Some performers, nevertheless, have still not yet received the attention and the praise they deserve. If there was a reliable ranking of the best British soul/blues singers of all times, it could […]

Toys in the Age of Wonder: Science Fiction, Society and the Symbolism of Play by Mark Rich (2020)

Toys in the Age of Wonder: Science Fiction, Society and the Symbolism of Play by Mark Rich (2020)

As it happened so often before, fiction by authors of early wonder and adventure tales, such as H. G. Wells, Jules Verne, Edgar Allan Poe, William Rice Burroughs, and others, provided man (and particularly children and youngsters) with hopes and fantasies about machines that featured technology not yet been invented to dream a while. As […]

The Guitar: Tracing the Grain Back to the Tree by Chris Gibson and Andrew Warren (2021)

The Guitar: Tracing the Grain Back to the Tree by Chris Gibson and Andrew Warren (2021)

There is no other instrument that so profoundly influenced contemporary popular music, than the guitar. In its electrified version it has coined modern pop, and naturally rock music from the 1950s onward. Authors Gibson and Warren – who are neither music historians, luthiers nor professional musicians, but geographers and economic geographers from the University of […]

Deconstructing Dr. Strangelove: The Secret History of Nuclear War Films by Sean M. Maloney (2020)

Deconstructing Dr. Strangelove: The Secret History of Nuclear War Films by Sean M. Maloney (2020)

The Cold War, with all of its threats and visions of mass destruction and apocalyptic scenarios appears far away these days. However, when the menace of nuclear weapons that possibly would be fired if wrong decisions were made by a few incompetent men in the military back in the 1960s, stories, novels and mostly movies […]

The Modern Myths: Adventures in the Machinery of the Popular Imagination by Philip Ball (2021)

The Modern Myths: Adventures in the Machinery of the Popular Imagination by Philip Ball (2021)

The days when (ancient) myths – be they Greek, Nordic or from whatever region – were rather important to man as they served as guidelines and offered counsel are long gone; or so it seems. Because popular culture has created books, tales and stories that are inhabited by artificial men, werewolves, vampires, ghost hunters or […]

Exploring The Orville: Essays on … by David Kyle Johnson and Michael R. Berry (eds.) (2021)

Exploring The Orville: Essays on … by David Kyle Johnson and Michael R. Berry (eds.) (2021)

In 2017, the first episode of the science-fiction series The Orville premiered on Fox. So far, two seasons of the space adventure show that never denied its relatedness to 1990’s Star Trek, exist. The TV series immediately was described by critics as something between a parody, homage, fan fiction, Star Trek rip-off, and bad copy, […]

Pulp Empire: The Secret History of Comic Book Imperialism by Paul S. Hirsch (2021)

Pulp Empire: The Secret History of Comic Book Imperialism by Paul S. Hirsch (2021)

Comic books as media today would not raise much attention if they featured heavy use of violence or representations of vigilantes who take the law into their own hands. On the contrary, the media now is deeply absorbed into the popular canon of the US. “The comic book, whether in the form of a collectible […]

Projections of Passing: Postwar Anxieties and Hollywood Films, 1947-1960 by N. Megan Kelley (2021)

Projections of Passing: Postwar Anxieties and Hollywood Films, 1947-1960 by N. Megan Kelley (2021)

The debatable term of “passing,” initially used to describe a basically 19th and 20th century strategy of African-Americans to pass for white (and avoid Jim Crow laws, absurd segregationist rules and social exclusion), in the mid- 1950s took on other forms and meanings. Actually, then it depicted new ways of passing/acting out or incorporating somebody […]