Sci-Fi Chronicles: A Visual History of the Galaxy's Greatest Science Fiction Info

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Reviews for Sci-Fi Chronicles: A Visual History of the Galaxy's Greatest Science Fiction:

3

Nov 07, 2014

This has really great production value and great writing. As a reference book, it covers a lot of territory, but it comes up short when it comes to covering the work of female science fiction authors. I'm still boggling at the complete absence of Octavia Butler, as well as authors such as Bujold and Cherryh, while including some obscure male science fiction authors.
5

Dec 22, 2015

Okay I will start by saying I cannot praise this book enough. It is a massive resource and I will admit that I will be going back to it time and time again. The basic premise is that it takes a theme or an era and discusses the major and influential science fiction milestones - be their an author, book, film or in fact any type of media.

I could say that for all the articles that are included I can think of many more that have been left out but I guess not only would the book be impossibly large Okay I will start by saying I cannot praise this book enough. It is a massive resource and I will admit that I will be going back to it time and time again. The basic premise is that it takes a theme or an era and discusses the major and influential science fiction milestones - be their an author, book, film or in fact any type of media.

I could say that for all the articles that are included I can think of many more that have been left out but I guess not only would the book be impossibly large it would technically never be finished.
That said the fact that many famous and not so famous subjects are discussed make up for it - so much so that hence every time I pass it I pick it up and find something new.

The real beauty of this book are however the time line and related material links - at the bottom of each page are illustrations which depending on the subject can show a wealth of information. And this for me is the real gold mine - I have already many pieces of work to my "to find" notebooks and I keep on finding more.

I cannot praise this book more simply because it is so easy to access and get drawn in and yet the amount of research and work put in it must have astronomical especially since I have seen nothing like it before which means someone had to create it all from scratch.

My only criticism and it is really nothing to do with the book - more the publishers is why do they never try and do anything like this for other genres - I know in some respects which I will not go in to here Science Fiction is a special genre but still surely something can take the same care to detail and effort. ...more
5

May 27, 2018

Now this one is a real shocker.
It encases a comprehensive chronology of science fiction, both in literature and cinema, richly illustrated with posters, book covers, photographs...

It feels compulsory whether you are just a trifle curious about one work or curious about the whole field and its subgenres.

Matching Soundtrack :
Interstellar Overdrive - Pink Floyd

---------------------------

Un vrai atlas de la littérature et du cinéma de science-fiction depuis les origines jusqu'aux dernières Now this one is a real shocker.
It encases a comprehensive chronology of science fiction, both in literature and cinema, richly illustrated with posters, book covers, photographs...

It feels compulsory whether you are just a trifle curious about one work or curious about the whole field and its subgenres.

Matching Soundtrack :
Interstellar Overdrive - Pink Floyd

---------------------------

Un vrai atlas de la littérature et du cinéma de science-fiction depuis les origines jusqu'aux dernières productions à grand budget de 2015, richement illustré et solidement documenté.
Une sacrée référence.

Fond sonore :
Interstellar Overdrive - Pink Floyd ...more
5

Jan 10, 2015

I make no bones about it: I absolutely love Science Fiction. Anyone who knows me may very well have heard my first inking of it, that being of my experience as a very young boy sitting far too close to the television set, enraptured as I was with the ears of a certain logic-spouting Vulcan sciences officer of a certain Federation starship. And I even vividly recall being stuck home from school on my very first snow day ever, sitting before the boob tube from the spell being woven by a Japanese I make no bones about it: I absolutely love Science Fiction. Anyone who knows me may very well have heard my first inking of it, that being of my experience as a very young boy sitting far too close to the television set, enraptured as I was with the ears of a certain logic-spouting Vulcan sciences officer of a certain Federation starship. And I even vividly recall being stuck home from school on my very first snow day ever, sitting before the ‘boob tube’ from the spell being woven by a Japanese import called ‘Prince Planet.’ (Google it, and you’ll see it’s real.)

Because I have a second life blogging about the daily history of Science Fiction elsewhere on the World Wide Web, I picked up Guy Haley’s SCI-FI CHRONICLES from the local book retailer with great enthusiasm. Confession time: no, I haven’t finished reading it. For those who feel that my taking time at this point (I’ve probably made my way through about 20% of it, jumping through its various cleverly and functionally designed sections conducting my own research) to pen a review is fraudulent, then I encourage you to skip down to someone else’s entry. I wanted to get something up right away because I’ve found this encyclopedic tome to be about as good as it gets for those like myself.

Principally, Haley wanted to create a visual guide to Science Fiction, and – as you’ll learn – he’s enlisted a wealth of SciFi experts from around the globe to help construct this guide the way he has. It’s broken down in several useful ways – first by timeline; second by sub-genre (SciFi encompasses a variety of specific subsets); and lastly by index – making it easy for anyone with eight fingers and two thumbs to surf pages instead of websites in pursuit of whatever nugget of information is desired. Haley and his compatriots have even crafted a variety of visible ‘timelines’ both from a macro-perspective as well as a micro-outlook; this gives all of the writers the opportunity to reflect not only on a specific property (say ‘Star Trek’) but also on how that franchise fits into the greater evolution of SciFi as a medium unto itself. And the brilliant experience is only further enhanced by the fact that CHRONICLES is chocked full of both color and black’n’white photographs everywhere.

For genre fans, this is like Thanksgiving for the eyes.

That said, I will admit that some of the entries I’ve read are a bit ‘lacking,’ but I’m willing to give Haley and co. a pass on that front. After all, a franchise like Doctor Who has had entire books written on the property, and these various journals have examined the work from the points-of-view of history to psychology to real-world application; there’s no way a compendium can truly compete with those works. CHRONICLES is meant to be a catch-all: a vast, expansive databank that hits the bullet points … so if you’re looking for greater detail then you may need to go elsewhere.

But for ‘the straight skinny’? Haley’s collection is a work of art.

HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION POSSIBLE. This is a relatively ginormous book, and I can say with great assurance that I’ll be spending many happy hours of my years ahead trapped within the pages of Guy Haley’s SCI-FI CHRONICLES. At over 500 pages of fun-filled, photographed facts documenting practically every conceivable facet of Science Fiction, there’s plenty to absorb. Granted, a few of the entries I’ve perused already may lack the kind of depth of commentary I generally enjoy when discussing the genre nearest and dearest to my heart, but that’s a small error to forgive: it’s not like any single compendium can cover every spaceship, ray gun, or robot to everyone’s liking. This? This might be as close as it ever gets.
...more
5

Jul 25, 2016

260716: ...nowhere near finished (reading it all over... though it is chronological). this is an excellent resource book, not something to read straight, each entry defined, format, media, dated, subgenred, author, universe... short passages, easy to read, find, wide net, gathers not only us but other traditions of sf... better than other 'visual sf' books that are more 'coffee table', maybe not the final resource to which referred, certainly one of the first to check...
4

Jan 27, 2019

3.5 stars rounded up. Quite informative especially for me who are not well versed in the earlier days of SF, the Golden age, and the 80s as well as comics, anime and those kinds of stuff.

The book focuses more on TV and movies, so if you are looking for SF lits (especially those which never adapted into any screen) then you should go look for something else. Maybe that is why it omitted Cherryh, Butler and Bujold, and other female SF writers including the the current ones.

I also liked that these 3.5 stars rounded up. Quite informative especially for me who are not well versed in the earlier days of SF, the Golden age, and the 80s as well as comics, anime and those kinds of stuff.

The book focuses more on TV and movies, so if you are looking for SF lits (especially those which never adapted into any screen) then you should go look for something else. Maybe that is why it omitted Cherryh, Butler and Bujold, and other female SF writers including the the current ones.

I also liked that these had Asian SF including the SF publication in China and of course Japanese anime.

While I like the time lines that it gave for some of the popular franchises, the movie posters and comic strips could be made bigger (they're only 2x1.5cm) since I need to use magnifier to see the details. ...more
5

Nov 03, 2014

from James:

You get a college degree to become proficient in a subject. The goal is to "catch you up," then it is your responsibility to stay current in your field. This book is a lot like that. It catches you up on everything from obscure early Sci-Fi books to the latest iteration of the Doctor. It covers the greatest science fiction in publications, on the radio and t.v. and at the movies.

The articles are well written and often contain the whole arc of a given story. Take the X-files, for from James:

You get a college degree to become proficient in a subject. The goal is to "catch you up," then it is your responsibility to stay current in your field. This book is a lot like that. It catches you up on everything from obscure early Sci-Fi books to the latest iteration of the Doctor. It covers the greatest science fiction in publications, on the radio and t.v. and at the movies.

The articles are well written and often contain the whole arc of a given story. Take the X-files, for example. You get the early history of the t.v. show, from the casting to the ratings, all the way through the latest new movie rumors. Along the way, the conspiracies are rehashed and the importance of the show is outlined.

In other cases, there are multiple entries. Take Star Trek. The first article is about Gene Roddenberry (which is more than just Star Trek). Then there is a longer entry about Star Trek the shows. Then there's an article about the Star Trek Universe. And finally, there are pages of photographs from the various Star Trek brands.

My only real complaint is that the book is divided into eras rather than alphabetical encyclopdedia-type divisions. I think the overall timeline given in the back would have sufficed and a dictionary listing would have made the book more usable as a quick reference tool. That aside (there is an index), the other appendices are excellent: "famous spaceships" and "genre definitions."

Aan excellent book for your perusal that I would recommend for anyone interested in the history of Sci-Fi as a whole and for detailed information about your favorite titles. ...more
4

Mar 30, 2015

Holy moly, this is one amazing book! If you like sci-fi in any form books, movies, tv shows and/or comics then this handy visual history will keep you occupied for hours on end. There are hundreds of entries, photographs, and timelines for all your favorite science fiction universes and creators, from Star Wars, Spider-Man, Dr. Who, Neuromancer and Akira to Philip K. Dick, Gene Roddenberry, Ursula K. Le Guin, Steven Spielberg, and Joss Whedon. Youre going to need the entire three week checkout Holy moly, this is one amazing book! If you like sci-fi in any form— books, movies, tv shows and/or comics— then this handy visual history will keep you occupied for hours on end. There are hundreds of entries, photographs, and timelines for all your favorite science fiction universes and creators, from Star Wars, Spider-Man, Dr. Who, Neuromancer and Akira to Philip K. Dick, Gene Roddenberry, Ursula K. Le Guin, Steven Spielberg, and Joss Whedon. You’re going to need the entire three week checkout period to pore over every detail.
- John D.

Click here to find the book at the Prince William County Public Library System. ...more
5

Jan 25, 2015

Absolutely loved reading and leafing thru this book! Anyone who loves Scifi will totally dig this book! The layout and referencing is comprehensive and authoritative including authors, magazines movies, TV, comics and radio shows going back Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein, the first scifi book. I can't recommend this book enough!
3

Jan 26, 2015

Decent, though by no means definitive, reference trip through the history of SF. Most entries are 1-2 pages, so just a bare overview, and though the book is certainly colorful, the book cover and movie poster illustrations are frustratingly small. Not one I'll be keeping for my bookshelves but worth a library check-out.
0

Jan 11, 2016

Wonderful! A MUST-HAVE for all those we love this genre. I have discovered new authors, new works... Now I have to get those books/movies.
3

Jul 24, 2019

Strictly for the layman fan, the cover alone is a terrible design. A bad version of the Enterprise, which far too many believe is the beginning of science fiction. A page for each decade barely scratches the true surface of the length and breath of science fiction. There are also errors, the most glaring of comes from Children of Dune. It's Leto II who bonds with the little makers, becoming a near immortal, leading humanity down the golden path, his sister Ghanima who's married off to disappear Strictly for the layman fan, the cover alone is a terrible design. A bad version of the Enterprise, which far too many believe is the beginning of science fiction. A page for each decade barely scratches the true surface of the length and breath of science fiction. There are also errors, the most glaring of comes from Children of Dune. It's Leto II who bonds with the little makers, becoming a near immortal, leading humanity down the golden path, his sister Ghanima who's married off to disappear from the series, not the reverse as written. Nit picking? Hardly. If someone wants my money, I want correct information. I'm glad I got this from the library and didn't purchase it. There's room for improvement, especially a mention of Leigh Brackett, the first woman nominated for a Hugo, as well as other important female sci-fi writers like Connie Willis and Octavia Butler, as well as Galaxy, Planet Stories and If magazines. ...more
3

Apr 22, 2019

Good production values, wide-ranging, and accessibly written, but still quite flawed.

The selection criteria aren't obvious and the book skews too heavily toward recent U.S. movies and TV. At the same time, there are a lot of contributors (writers especially) that are completely omitted and categories that are given very short shrift.

The entries are written with a definite editorial voice, and that's a mixed blessing. They were written by a team of contributors, and the quality ranges from Good production values, wide-ranging, and accessibly written, but still quite flawed.

The selection criteria aren't obvious and the book skews too heavily toward recent U.S. movies and TV. At the same time, there are a lot of contributors (writers especially) that are completely omitted and categories that are given very short shrift.

The entries are written with a definite editorial voice, and that's a mixed blessing. They were written by a team of contributors, and the quality ranges from insightful commentary and contextualization to shameless fanboy'ing to jealous nobodies throwing spitballs at far more accomplished writers. I'd also note that in the write-ups and captions there are more than a few factual errors.

A worthwhile book for hard-core sci-fi fans, but by no means a good best-of or anything like a reading/watching list. ...more
5

Jan 19, 2020

Negatives: the text is so small it's really hard to read if it's a little dark/you're old like me. Also - the book is so bloody vast it takes a helluva long time to read cover to cover, which I did, basically (ok, towards the end I skimmed so more obscure entries). Those aren't really negatives though. This is JAM-PACKED with content, including the biggest and the best sci-fi between Frankenstein and Avatar. SO much detail. So much content. LOVE the photos and especially little poster pics. Negatives: the text is so small it's really hard to read if it's a little dark/you're old like me. Also - the book is so bloody vast it takes a helluva long time to read cover to cover, which I did, basically (ok, towards the end I skimmed so more obscure entries). Those aren't really negatives though. This is JAM-PACKED with content, including the biggest and the best sci-fi between Frankenstein and Avatar. SO much detail. So much content. LOVE the photos and especially little poster pics. Enjoyed most of the written blurbs too. Timelines kinda redundant in many cases. But...whoa. This was so epic I monetarily revived my facebook quiz to to a sci-fi version. I freaking LOVE sci-fi. This book made me remember that. I also, truly, really loved this book. 10/10 ...more
5

Mar 24, 2018

I give this book a 5/5 because it is so good about sampling so many wonderful parts of science fiction, introducing new and old works as well as reviewing ones you know. It helps me decide on what to read next or better identify a book that ended up in my collection. The pictures are what make it really great. Unfortunately, the cover art is, in my opinion, not very good. It is ridiculously rainbow (featuring the names of famous works and authors in microscopic font) with the title on a big, I give this book a 5/5 because it is so good about sampling so many wonderful parts of science fiction, introducing new and old works as well as reviewing ones you know. It helps me decide on what to read next or better identify a book that ended up in my collection. The pictures are what make it really great. Unfortunately, the cover art is, in my opinion, not very good. It is ridiculously rainbow (featuring the names of famous works and authors in microscopic font) with the title on a big, fake, pink sticker and only features Star Trek's ship the Enterprise as a reference point. At first glance, you might think it is just a Star Trek manual. ...more
2

Aug 05, 2017

Starts out well, chronologically, but then it looks like the editors got lazy, and just covered movies and tv as the time line moved into the late 20th century. Little mention of Hugo or Nebula award winning novels, few SF authors. Too much coverage of garbage that was passed off as SF.
4

Apr 19, 2019

Great compilation of timelines, pictures and stories centered around sci-fi. Most of the information can be found on the internet so it's not worth keeping.
4

Dec 30, 2018

A relatively comprehensive (yet not entirely) guide to Science Fiction. I was honestly surprised with the level of detail that is entailed regarding the Golden Age and New Wave of Science Fiction.
4

Jun 18, 2016

A really handy guidebook that covers almost every multi-media franchise in the genre that you might care to name. I'm assuming that's why authors like C. J. Cherryh, Lois McMaster Bujold, Samuel R. Delany and David Brin have been missed out, as their works are almost exclusively literary, and a show like "Lexx" (which was only ever a TV property) are also skipped over. However, singletons like K. W. Jeter's Morlock Nights and Bruce Sterling;'s Islands In The Net rate a mention, presumably

A really handy guidebook that covers almost every multi-media franchise in the genre that you might care to name. I'm assuming that's why authors like C. J. Cherryh, Lois McMaster Bujold, Samuel R. Delany and David Brin have been missed out, as their works are almost exclusively literary, and a show like "Lexx" (which was only ever a TV property) are also skipped over. However, singletons like K. W. Jeter's Morlock Nights and Bruce Sterling;'s Islands In The Net rate a mention, presumably because they helped define aspects of the genre. There's also a heavy DC bias with 8 pages devoted to Batman while Tony Stark doesn't get a look-in.

Niggles like this aside (because no reference book like this will ever be perfect unless they devote another 150 or so pages to it) it is beautiful to look at, the entries are well-written and concise and very even-handed (the entry on E. E. "Doc" Smith's Lensman series is remarkable for its balance between focusing on the influence and literary quality of the books) and it is - as best as I could tell - quite accurate.

...more
4

Jan 29, 2015

An impressive attempt to sample the breadth of science fiction in books, movies, television, games, and comic books from the earliest days until today. A heavy read but well worth it! Like any compendium that tries to be a "sampler", you're of course going to quibble about some of their choices for "in" vs. "not in" (e.g. no mention of Alan Dean Foster, but no less than 4 pages dedicated to Batman??), and there's more than a bit of a British slant to a lot of this (especially in TV series!), but An impressive attempt to sample the breadth of science fiction in books, movies, television, games, and comic books from the earliest days until today. A heavy read but well worth it! Like any compendium that tries to be a "sampler", you're of course going to quibble about some of their choices for "in" vs. "not in" (e.g. no mention of Alan Dean Foster, but no less than 4 pages dedicated to Batman??), and there's more than a bit of a British slant to a lot of this (especially in TV series!), but still I found out about a lot of authors and TV series I wasn't aware of that I need to add to my reading and viewing list now. ...more
4

Jan 05, 2015

I really enjoyed this book. I will continue to keep it on the nightstand for some casual rereading. And, in all honesty, I can't say I finished it. It's really not something you read end to end. So I just decided to declare victory and keep it around.

My only quibble about this book is that it does not adequately discuss military science fiction. It doesn't talk about John Ringo, Dave Weber, S. M. Stirling, Jerry Pournell, Keith Laumer or Gordon Dickson and many others and their contribution to I really enjoyed this book. I will continue to keep it on the nightstand for some casual rereading. And, in all honesty, I can't say I finished it. It's really not something you read end to end. So I just decided to declare victory and keep it around.

My only quibble about this book is that it does not adequately discuss military science fiction. It doesn't talk about John Ringo, Dave Weber, S. M. Stirling, Jerry Pournell, Keith Laumer or Gordon Dickson and many others and their contribution to this sub-genre.

Besides that, I loved the book. It reminded me of all the great sci-fi books to read (or reread) and movies to see (or resee). ...more
4

Nov 10, 2014

An excellent primer for some of science fiction's most famous, most important, and most fun examples, from the worlds of prose, film, television, comics, video games, and even some music. It covers, in mostly chronological order, Frankenstein in 1818 through Avatar in 2009 (though many references are made to projects until about 2014). It's mostly American-based, but covers many British, European, and Japanese examples, some South African creators, and one example from China and the Middle East An excellent primer for some of science fiction's most famous, most important, and most fun examples, from the worlds of prose, film, television, comics, video games, and even some music. It covers, in mostly chronological order, Frankenstein in 1818 through Avatar in 2009 (though many references are made to projects until about 2014). It's mostly American-based, but covers many British, European, and Japanese examples, some South African creators, and one example from China and the Middle East each. ...more
4

Apr 18, 2015

Reading this felt like the equivalent of flipping through an annotated high school yearbook (ok, only for the 2nd half). Yep, all my old, familiar friends were included but not much in the way of new information was conveyed. So, delightful content, yes. New revelations or insight, not so much. Though some of the summaries were particularly nice (e.g. the Matrix stuff since I haven't been able to make myself rewatch those since they came out).

The content I was most unfamiliar with were the Reading this felt like the equivalent of flipping through an annotated high school yearbook (ok, only for the 2nd half). Yep, all my old, familiar friends were included but not much in the way of new information was conveyed. So, delightful content, yes. New revelations or insight, not so much. Though some of the summaries were particularly nice (e.g. the Matrix stuff since I haven't been able to make myself rewatch those since they came out).

The content I was most unfamiliar with were the books, so yay! I've reloaded my TBR pile. ...more
4

Dec 17, 2014

Such a good book and interesting read. Incredibly thorough and loved the illustrations. There is something for everyone here if there is any interest in a sci-fi world. One thing I didn't like was how sometimes the reviewers would denigrate something if they didn't particular approve of it - I suppose they are entitled to their opinions, but I thought that there would be more discourse rather than editorialising.
5

Mar 12, 2015

This is the SF book every SF fan should own. It's beautiful. And informative. With a very British bent to the content. Though it does overlook some obvious stuff, like Peter F. Hamilton is mentioned nowhere, even though he's now the United Kingdom's greatest living SF author.

Still, it's a book I'll reach for time and time again.


Buy this book. You'll love it.

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