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Great Science-Fiction & Fantasy Works

  Science-fiction & fantasy literature: a critical list with discussions.

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Welcome to the Great Science-Fiction & Fantasy Works web site!

You have apparently come to this page from a link on a search engine or another site. If this is your first visit here, I much recommend that you take a few minutes to look over the introductory material accessible via the red “Introductory” zone of the Site Menu available from the “hamburger” icon in the upper right of this (and every) page. An understanding of the purposes and principles of organization of this site will, I hope and believe, much augment your experience here, for this page and in general. You can simply click this link to get at the site front page, which, unsurprisingly, is the best place to start. Thank you for visiting.

SF&F Movies

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“I thought you might like to see this.”

– The Player of Games,
Iain M. Banks

Why Movies on a Books Site?

Why not? While this site is about speculative fiction literature, it would be a shame not to a at least cast a glance over at speculative fiction in other media, whether or not derived from books. This page deals with science-fiction and fantasy movies; in time, I may even add a page on television shows.

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The Movies

The brevity of this list wants some comment. In part, I am not much of a movie-goer; indeed, some of the entries on even this short list are films I am including based on examination of reviews (those are marked by a (?) before the film’s name). And believe me, I have put in many a midnight dreary, pondering, weak and weary, over lists of SF&F movies and reviews thereof, and this is the mouse to which that mountain of effort gave birth. (Though I would still scarcely say that it’s an exhaustive list.)

But beyond that personal limitation, there are large economic realities. The cost of making even a modest-budget movie vastly exceeds that of bringing out a book; movie-makers can easily lose many millions on just one film if it does not gross well. While a publisher can, literally, afford to take a flyer on an unknown author or a perhaps limited-appeal work of quality, a movie-maker has to do everything possible to assure a wide and numerous audience for each movie ventured. The inevitable consequence is that there is a sharp tendency to appeal to the lowest-common-denominator moviegoer. Movies of merit—the equivalent of what this site tries to present for books—are then necessarily going to be few and far between.

One other point: movies, unlike books, can appeal visually even if their content is lacking. Avoiding the “eye candy” syndrome takes some will power. An awful lot of reviewers, amateur and professional, seem—especially for SF&F movies, which often have lots of eye candy on display—to let the sexy images blind them to the absence of much meaningful content.

The list has some indicators: the number of foreign-made films, and the suprisingly large number of comedies. Think about it…

(The listings within each category are simply alphabetical, excluding leading A, An, The. As noted above, a (?) signfies a movie I have not myself seen but include based on a consensus of reviews. The links are to the Internet Movie DataBase page for the film, whence one can go to reviews, cast lists, and more.)

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This page was last modified on Sunday, 4 February 2024, at 5:32 pm Pacific Time.