Author: John Guy Collick

  • Perry Rhodan

    Perry Rhodan

    I briefly came across the German science fiction series Perry Rhodan in the mid-seventies when Futura/Orbit published the first 38 novels in the series, and later on when I picked up half a dozen of the US Ace translations. Despite its many detractors, the vast sprawling saga consisting of almost 3000 episodes has endured in […]

  • The BBC TV Shakespeare (1978 – 1985)

    The BBC TV Shakespeare (1978 – 1985)

    The BBC’s failed attempt to create the definitive set of the complete works of Shakespeare adapted for TV demonstrates just how hard to pin down the bugger can be. From his rediscovery at the end of the eighteenth century through to the middle of the 20th the received wisdom was that the Bard was the […]

  • Astral Jewellery and the Mind-Exploding Climax

    Astral Jewellery and the Mind-Exploding Climax

    At the end of his ground-breaking book One Hundred Years of Science Fiction Ilustration, 1840 – 1940 (1974), Anthony Frewin included an appendix on the adverts that appeared in the pages of Amazing Stories, Astounding and Science Wonder in the 1920s and 30s. Unsurprisingly in an America slowly emerging from the Depression, self-help and education […]

  • Point and Click Horror – The Last Door

    Point and Click Horror – The Last Door

    Recently I’ve started playing a handful of point and click horror games, mainly because I do a lot of travelling and at the end of the day I often want to unwind with something simple I can put down and pick up whenever. Mainstream PC games can demand a lot of time and thought, and, […]

  • 1984 – John Hurt (1984)

    1984 – John Hurt (1984)

    My favourite John Hurt film has to be Michael Radford’s 1984, released in the same year, with Hurt as Winston Smith, Richard Burton as O’Brien and Suzanna Hamilton as Julia. Finally reaching the year inevitably prompted endless discussions about whether reality matched Orwell’s original vision. Not surprisingly the Labour party pointed out how Thatcher’s Britain […]

  • Abel Gance’s Napoleon – 1927

    Abel Gance’s Napoleon – 1927

    Looking at the practicalities of even showing Abel Gance’s Napoleon makes you wonder how on earth it ever got made. Not only is the full version five and a half hours long but at the very end the film goes tryptych – with three images projected simultaneously side by side to give a stunning split […]

  • Sally Oldfield

    Sally Oldfield

    The last thing you probably wanted to be in 1978 was a hippy folk singer with a single about love and light complete with Hawaiian chorus. To be fair, Sally Oldfield’s Mirrors stayed in the UK music charts for thirteen weeks, but along with her brother Mike she ended up trampled Bambi-like under the foot […]

  • Ring (1998) – Sadako the Angry Ghost

    Ring (1998) – Sadako the Angry Ghost

    When Hideo Nakata’s Ring came out in 1998, followed by Ring 2 in 1999 – they looked like groundbreaking Japanese horror movies. The Japanese film industry is, on the whole, very conservative and tight-fisted, relying on endless low-budget formula comedies and soaps. Yet once in a while a director will come along and produced interesting […]

  • Voyage of the Acolyte – Steve Hackett 1975

    Voyage of the Acolyte – Steve Hackett 1975

    I have a huge soft spot for Prog Rock, well – to qualify that, I have a soft spot for a handful of Prog Rock albums that I came across when I was first venturing into Science Fiction and Fantasy. Basically I was after anything that looked a bit spacey – or fantasy-esque, with soaring […]

  • Space Games

    Space Games

    I guess, like many, I fell in love with the visual style of No Man’s Sky. The screenshots posted in the build up to its release looked like the covers of 1960s science fiction magazines – Galaxy, If and Worlds of Tomorrow. That, plus the promise of a vast galaxy of procedurally-generated unique planets, many […]

  • An Interview with Edmund Cooper by James Goddard

    An Interview with Edmund Cooper by James Goddard

    James Goddard has very kindly agreed to let me reprint his interview with Edmund Cooper from Science Fiction Monthly Volume 2 Number 4. This first appeared in 1975 when Cooper’s career as an SF writer had more or less peaked. As individuals, the characters in many of your books lack the identity of singular people […]

  • Edmund Cooper

    Edmund Cooper

    There’s a poignant anecdote that Terry Pratchett once told about a book signing. A young woman in the queue told him that her father was once a famous science fiction writer, but no-one these days had heard of him. When he asked who it was she replied Edmund Cooper.  Certainly in the early 1970s the […]

  • The Final Programme (1973)

    The Final Programme (1973)

    Here’s another film that seems pretty apt for the current state of the UK post-Brexit – Robert Fuest’s end of the world-lite version of Michael Moorcock’s classic novel The Final Progamme (released in the US as The Last Days of Man on Earth). It starred Jon Finch as Jerry Cornelius and Jenny Runacre as Miss […]

  • High Rise and Brexit

    High Rise and Brexit

    I’ve been scrabbling around for an appropriate metaphor for the colossally surreal act of self-harm the UK inflicted on itself 48 hours ago, and early this morning, on the borders between waking and sleeping, the sentence the final collapse will unfold itself amid the cold algebra of a parking lot popped into my head. I […]

  • The Art of Jack Gaughan

    The Art of Jack Gaughan

    Hot on the heels of Peter A. Jones, here’s my tribute to another great SF artist who, sadly, is no longer with us. The vast majority of science fiction art through the ages has been illustrative, which is not particularly surprising as book and magazine artists have usually either depicted scenes from whatever story they’ve […]

  • Caligula – 1979

    Caligula – 1979

    One of the oddest worst movies ever made has to be the Penthouse ‘erotic epic’ Caligula, released in 1979. It’s an extreme example of a massive gap between proclaimed artistic worthiness at the start and a finished result that can only be described as two and a half hours of incoherent drivel. The trajectory of […]

  • The Art of Peter A. Jones

    The Art of Peter A. Jones

    As part of my ad hoc trundle through the greats of 70s and 80s Science Fiction book covers I thought I’d turn my attention this time to the work of Peter A. Jones, or PAJ as he signed himself. Jones came slightly later to the scene than his contemporaries Chris Foss and Bruce Pennington, doing […]

  • Dark Feathered Hearts Out Now…

    Dark Feathered Hearts Out Now…

    The Book of the Colossus is now complete with the final volume – Dark Feathered Hearts. “You shut us down in the darkness, you skin people oh so bright beneath your lovely skies. You buried us among the filth and the poison and the old machines and the chemicals.” Max and Abby race against time […]

  • Tormentum– Dark Sorrow and Darkest Dungeon

    Tormentum– Dark Sorrow and Darkest Dungeon

    Platforms like Steam have opened the game market to a horde of independent developers, some brilliant and some dire. One of the great advantages is that concepts that would never have been touched by the big studios are now being realised by one or two-man/woman bands. This is good news for gamers who either look […]

  • Eschatus – Bruce Pennington (1976)

    Eschatus – Bruce Pennington (1976)

    One of the strangest books to come out of the 1970s fantasy art imprint Paper Tiger had to be Bruce Pennington’s Eschatus (1976). I’ve already briefly spoken about Pennington as one of the iconic science fiction book artists of the era, working largely with New English Library. His work stood in stark contrast to the […]