Apologies for the silence over the last few months: The WildEye has been on something of a hiatus while I put the finishing touches to my new book (yes, another one)… And it’s a bit of a doozy. Science Fiction, Italian Style is a whopper, 287 pages long, 18.9 x 24.6 cm, covering all science fiction films made in Italy between 1958 and 2000. In other words, it’s bigger than anything I’ve written before; I’d also argue that it’s better (although of course I’d say that). It is certainly different from some of the other books I’ve done in that it’s more of a linear study of the films – a collection of extended essays into different genres and sub genres – rather than a collection of reviews; I don’t know why I did it like that, it just seemed to suit the subject better.
Anyway, here’s the blurb:
Italy is not a country generally known for its science fiction cinema. Over the years, however, a number of films belonging to the genre have been made and – while there might not be a single, defining science fiction ‘movement’ as such – they make for a curious, compellingly disparate whole. From critically acclaimed futuristic satires to cheapjack exploitation films featuring deadly extra-terrestrials; from counterculture polemics set in an imminent dystopia to post-apocalyptic action movies populated by Mohican-sporting thugs. There might be many different types of films, but they all deal with shared themes and concerns. And that’s not even mentioning the giant chickens and flesh-eating fish.
This is the first English language book to deal comprehensively with the subject. Covering all Italian science fiction films made between 1958 and 2000 in detail – as well as including an overview of productions made in subsequent years – it examines a range of interconnected sub-genres, looking into how recurrent narratives came about, evolved and eventually faded. So zip up your space suit, settle back in your anti-gravity seating device… and welcome to the wild, wild world of Science Fiction, Italian Style.
The contents themselves cover all kinds of science fiction films made in Italy, including (deep breath): Peplum / science fiction crossovers, comedies, space films (like the Antonio Margheriti Gamma One series), alien invasions, mad scientists, creature features, body horror, spy films with a fantasy element, fumetti adaptations, dystopian future films, Mad max rip-offs, robots and cyborgs… and much much more. There’s also a section which looks at a science fiction films made since 2000.
So when’s it due? Well, if the final proof (which I’m currently waiting for) turns out to be OK, then probably next week. Just for a change, this time round I’m distributing it through Amazon, which thankfully for me means no more depressing visits to the post office in my lunch break and boxes of books crammed in every wardrobe.
Here are some pictures: