— Ellie Broughton

BFI book review

aliens-1986-artwork-1000x750_0

Book Review: Days of Fear and Wonder, edited by James Bell | Litro

Split into three strands, as per the films included in the program, the book focuses on futurism (“Tomorrow’s World”), outsider characters (“Contact”) and perceptions of reality (“Altered States”).

In all, the book covers everything you’d hope: robots, aliens, feminism, class, gender, race, the Cold War, anxiety, technology, time travel, virtual reality, evolution, sci-fi TV, space operas, special effects and costumes. The only thing missing was a chapter on music or sound — though the chapter on afro-futurism discusses the connection between sci-fi and black artists.

The inclusion of essays by the likes of John Clute marks Days of Fear and Wonder as a book smart enough for sci-fi nerds, and it’s also a brilliant read for any film fan (and would make a generous, gorgeous Christmas present). It’s certainly essential reading for aspiring writers and critics.

If you don’t treat yourself, make sure you mention it to Santa (or Doctor Who — whoever delivers the presents).

Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder is published on Tue 21 Oct with a promotional offer at the BFI Shop at BFI Southbank of £15 (RRP £16.99).