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Author Archive: John Rivers

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The Military Science Of Star Wars by George Beahm (book review).

August 13, 2018 | By | Reply More
The Military Science Of Star Wars by George Beahm (book review).

When I first saw the title of this book, I did a double-take: ‘The Military Science Of Star Wars’ by George Beahm. The what now? ‘Star Wars’ is a fantasy, it doesn’t even stretch to becoming Science Fiction often, a Campbell and Tolkien rip-off that tapped into a cultural need when the world needed it […]

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The Moviemaking Magic Of Star Wars: Creatures And Aliens by Mark Salisbury (book review).

August 10, 2018 | By | Reply More
The Moviemaking Magic Of Star Wars: Creatures And Aliens by Mark Salisbury (book review).

Growing-up watching ‘Star Wars’, I was often amazed at the quality of the creature-making and mask work that the series had. Don’t get me wrong, I was equally fascinated by the work of, for example John Friedlander on ‘Doctor Who’, but ‘Star Wars’ had an extra-special something. This is something that is presented in a […]

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The Art Of Solo: A Star Wars Story by Phil Szostak (book review).

June 28, 2018 | By | Reply More
The Art Of Solo: A Star Wars Story by Phil Szostak (book review).

With the dust having settled on ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ and the franchise’s own fandom becoming entangled in a Sarlacc pit of self-loathing that has reportedly caused Disney and Lucasfilm to review the next planned movies, how refreshing it is to lose oneself in one another of Abrams’ excellent examinations of the movies’ production […]

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Reign of Iron (The Iron Age Trilogy book 3) by Angus Watson (book review).

May 15, 2018 | By | Reply More
Reign of Iron (The Iron Age Trilogy book 3) by Angus Watson (book review).

‘Reign Of Iron’ is the third and final part of Angus Watson’s ‘Age Of Iron trilogy’, a blood and guts soaked fantasy series set some 45 years before the son of a carpenter decided making cupboards wasn’t for him and decided to be the Son of God instead. This is a crucial point in British […]

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Clash Of Iron (The Iron Age Trilogy book 2) by Angus Watson (book review).

May 14, 2018 | By | Reply More
Clash Of Iron (The Iron Age Trilogy book 2) by Angus Watson (book review).

It’s a weird thing seeing something you wrote quoted in the blurb for a book, even if not attributed to me and just ‘SFCrowsnest’ it’s still gives one a tiny thrill. The book in question is ‘Clash Of Iron’ the second in the ‘Age Of Iron trilogy’ by Angus Watson. The quote came from my […]

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Space Helmet For A Cow – The Mad, True Story Of Doctor Who – Volume 2: 1990-2013 by Paul Kirkley (book review).

May 4, 2018 | By | Reply More
Space Helmet For A Cow – The Mad, True Story Of Doctor Who – Volume 2: 1990-2013 by Paul Kirkley (book review).

The return of ‘Doctor Who’ is in many ways a remarkable thing. Today, it’s tempting to forget just how unlikely the show’s comeback once was, given the false-start with Paul McGann and the 1996 TV movie. The wilderness years, followed by the magnificent re-launch in 2005 is the subject of Paul Kirkley’s excellent ‘Space Helmet […]

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Running Through Corridors – Volume 1: The 60s by Robert Shearman and Toby Hadoke (book review).

May 4, 2018 | By | Reply More
Running Through Corridors – Volume 1: The 60s by Robert Shearman and Toby Hadoke (book review).

‘Running Through Corridors: Volume 1: The 60s’ is the first volume of Rob Shearman and Toby Hadoke’s correspondence as they attempt to watch and listen to all of ‘Doctor Who’ from start to finish. As expected, this book covers both William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton’s stories as the series emerges in late 1963 with ‘An […]

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The Mabinogion Tetralogy by Evangeline Walton (book review).

April 28, 2018 | By | Reply More
The Mabinogion Tetralogy by Evangeline Walton (book review).

‘The Mabinogion’ is the cornerstone of Welsh myth comprising of a collection of tales that fuse folklore, culture and Arthurian romance. They are hugely valuable in our understanding of the myth of Arthur as the stories have been dated to before the writings of Geoffrey of Monmouth, where our analysis of the legends of Arthur […]

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The Shannara Chronicles: The Elfstones Of Shannara (book 1) by Terry Brooks (book review).

April 27, 2018 | By | Reply More
The Shannara Chronicles: The Elfstones Of Shannara (book 1) by Terry Brooks (book review).

There can’t be many fantasy novels with the MTV logo on it, but here I am looking at the 2015 re-release of ‘The Elfstones Of Shannara’ by Terry Brooks, complete with a headline telling me that it’s ‘NOW AN EPIC TV SERIES ON MTV’. Spoiler alert: it was cancelled after two seasons. ‘The Elfstones of […]

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The Annotated Sword Of Shannara (Shannara book 1) by Terry Brooks (book review).

April 26, 2018 | By | Reply More
The Annotated Sword Of Shannara (Shannara book 1) by Terry Brooks (book review).

It was with a great deal of trepidation that I approached Terry Brooks’ ‘The Sword Of Shannara’. It was once described by the critic David Pringle as the novel that showed that ‘fantasy really did have the potential to become a mass market genre’. Published in 1977, ‘The Sword Of Shannara’ appeared alongside other fantasy […]

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