Interstellar: Beyond Time And Space by Mark Cotta Vaz (book review).

November 28, 2014 | By | Reply More

In many respects, the making of book ‘Interstellar: Beyond Time And Space’ by Mark Cotta Vaz seems more like a love letter to director Christopher Nolan. When you count up the number of photographs of Nolan against production staff and cast, you should see what I mean.


It also points out Nolan’s love for ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ and how he took on this film ‘Interstellar’, written by his brother Jonathan, after some chap called Steven Spielberg decided not to direct it after all. There was then a brief stage of adapting it to what Nolan would see the film as and getting his favourite composer, Hans Zimmer, to compose a musical piece to capture the family aspect of the film, unknowing that it was for a Science Fiction film to gear him up for production.

Nolan isn’t one of those directors who relies on CGI but giving as much physical toys to his cast to play with as possible. From that, he creates the farm where the Cooper family lives to locations for the alien water and ice worlds, both fortunately close together in Iceland. Rather quaintly, when Nolan was scouting the area, his guide announced that the glacier was called the Batman glacier having been used in ‘Batman Begins’, not knowing who the director was in the flesh.

Having read the novelisation before reading this book, it did confirm my thoughts that Nolan’s need for realistic technology was a mix between ‘Gravity’ and ‘2001’ with a little jump into the future that it could use stable wormholes and suspended animation and explain aging with relativity. Interestingly, it doesn’t go as far as meeting certain monoliths but it also avoids showing salient points I read in the novelisation, so if you get this book before the film, you won’t see any significant spoilers.

Usually, when I read books, I tag various pages with slips of paper as pointers for comments for review that I need to point out. Coming to the end of this book, there was very few used. Mostly because it didn’t point out anything that significant. Nolan wanted a realistic look and just upscaled NASA tech with the only significant differences was in going for smaller helmets for the astronauts. Looking at the photographs, it was obvious that it also made it easier to spot who was wearing them. The only person who had problems was Anne Hathaway when she was in the water in Iceland and got a soaking when one of her zips wasn’t closed properly so was mostly an uneventful shoot.

If anything, it appears the production of ‘Interstellar’ was a smooth ride. You’ll learn some of the things about how it was made but I do hope the film has a bit more go in it than displayed here.

GF Willmetts

November 2014

(pub: Titan Books. 152 page illustrated oblong hardback. Price: £29.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-78329-356-8)

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Category: Books, Scifi

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About UncleGeoff

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’
If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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