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Noir Fiction and Film: Diversions and Misdirections by Lee Clark Mitchell (2022)

With some interesting observations and a huge collection of data about genres in the book under discussion here, there are some good and fresh points concerning style, method and procedure, even when hard-boiled fiction and films noir are reduced to their most basic configurations. Naturally, there are variations of the stereotypes, and with regard to […]

The History and Politics of Star Wars. Death Stars and Democracy by Chris Kempshall (2022)

As the most successful movie franchise in history, Star Wars has generated millions of fans worldwide, not to mention the billions of dollar revenue it created already. Soon after the first movie release, critics and academics began their study of the background, intentions and inspirations of the saga. This project until today remains mostly incomplete, […]

Dangerous Visions and New Worlds: Radical Science Fiction, 1950–1985 by Andrew Nette and Iain McInty

Kicking off roughly in the early 1950s, British and American science fiction authors of the new breed, labeled New Wave later, brought massive changes to the genre and changed the way the future of mankind was perceived. They spoke for a growing readership that was hungry for new visions and speculative prospects, now being prepared […]

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 […]

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 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 […]

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 […]

Excavating Indiana Jones. Essays on the Films and Franchise by Randy Laist (ed.) (2021)

The stories of the fictional archaeologist and adventurer Dr. Henry Walton Jones Jr. drew millions to the movie theaters, as his tales, for one reason or another, satisfied a number of interests altogether. Such as 1930s style heroic high-paced action, stereotypical enemies, mysterious riddles, occult worship, exotic settings, and the unique chance to witness the […]