John Scalzi has a book out for our reading pleasure, The Rough Guide to Sci-Fi Movies. He explains what we need to know before rushing out in a buying frenzy and grabbing a copy or three.
As you might expect from the title, the book is a guide to science fiction film, from the very first SF film in 1902, to this summer's biggest science fiction extravaganzas. That's 103 years of science fiction film in 325 pages, including the index (lovingly indexed, I'll note, by the super-competent and generally awesome Susan Marie Groppi). But -- of course -- it does some scene setting as well, putting SF films into context.
Thethe centerpiece of the book is The Canon: Reviews and commentary on the 50 science fiction films you have to see before you die. I'm sure you see what's coming next. Byzantium's Shores has officially converted the canon into a blog meme. According to estabished tradition, one must copy the list onto one's blog and bold those movies that one has seen. This is to be followed by a few words explaining ones geekiness or lack thereof.
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension!
Back to the Future
Bride of Frankenstein
Brother from Another Planet
A Clockwork Orange
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
The Day The Earth Stood Still
Escape From New York
ET: The Extraterrestrial
Flash Gordon: Space Soldiers (serial)
The Fly (1985 version)
Ghost in the Shell
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956 version)
Mad Max 2/The Road Warrior
On the Beach
Planet of the Apes (1968 version)
Solaris (1972 version)
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
The Stepford Wives
Terminator 2: Judgement Day
The Thing from Another World
Things to Come
28 Days Later
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
2001: A Space Odyssey
La Voyage Dans la Lune
War of the Worlds (1953 version)
What's interesting (or maybe not) is how closely my list mirrors PZ Myers' list. It was probably inevitable that I would be a science fiction geek. I grew up during the space race. i read comic books during long car trips with my family. When I was ready to graduate from comics to paperbacks, there was David Neiwert ready to loan me his Doc Savages. I hit the age when I was old enough and had enough money to go to the movies by myself right at the beginning of the 1968-78 golden age of science fiction movies. I'm just surprised that there is anyone my age who isn't a science fiction geek.
It's also a tradition that any list of this sort be met with cries of outrage over its omissions. Here's my contribution: Good lord man! How could you have left off King Kong?!? Even if you don't feel that the giant beast genre deserves inclusion (it does and Godzilla isn't sufficient representation), King Kong deserves recognition for Willis O'Brien's dinosaur modelwork.