Retro Pop Culture A-Z

Just found out that Brett Weiss, author of The Classic Home Arcade Game series has released a new ebook that will certainly interest us Retroist readers. It is called Retro Pop Culture A-Z: From The Atari 2600 to Zombie Films.

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Hey Brett, you had me at Atari 2600! Seriously, I haven’t read this book yet, but I loved Weiss’ previous series and I’m sure I’ll love this one as well. Here’s the Amazon.com description:

Retro Pop Culture A-Z: From the Atari 2600 to Zombie Films is a window to the past—a time of 8-bit video games, Silver Age super-heroes, Saturday morning cartoons, rock ’n’ roll music, and scary movies at the drive-in.

The book includes 60 fun-filled, feature-length chapters on such icons of popular culture as Alien, the Batman TV show, the Beatles, Dynamite Magazine, Famous Monsters of Filmland, The Flash, Forbidden Planet, Golden Age arcade games, He-Man, the Intellivision, Jaws, MAD magazine, the Nintendo NES, Ray Bradbury, The Wizard of Oz, and the X-Men.

If you’ve ever stayed up all night trying to beat Super Mario Bros., dressed up as a member of KISS on Halloween, watched Thundarr the Barbarian while eating a bowl of sugary cereal, set a VCR to record your favorite show, or listened to Elvis or the Rolling Stones on a turntable or 8-track tape player, Retro Pop Culture A-Z is for you.

If you haven’t done any of these things, no problem—feel free to dive right in and discover why your parents (or grandparents) are always talking about “the good old days.”

Includes:

*60 essays/articles on nostalgic pop culture favorites
*More than 250 full-color photos
*More than 110,000 words
*Quotes from the experts
*Production histories
*Collectibles pricing
*Author anecdotes
*And much more!

If you want to check out Retro Pop Culture A to Z, you can get it for $4.99 here.

Hammer Horror Remembered

I’ve been searching Amazon.com for books on Hammer Studios for quite some time. The books that have popped up in the past have always been tragically too pricey for me to pull the trigger on. And then, just last Saturday, this one showed up.
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Hammer Horror Remembered is a self-published ebook (much like, oh, Anesthetized or The House of Thirteen Doors). The author, Alan Toner, lives in England and so is a little closer to the source of all the Hammer goodness than we colonials are. From that authoritative vantage point, Toner gives us a quick read that consists of mostly short chapters on various Hammer horror topics. Some chapters focus on actors, others on series, and other on individual films. My favorite was the chapter on Brides of Dracula, which I’ve always seen as special among the Hammer Dracula series because A) Dracula isn’t in it and B) I had a hard time finding it. Overall, the book does what books like this should do: it not only gives you some information and discussion on movies you love, but enables you to mentally experience those movies again. I highly recommend it to all Hammer horror fans (which I imagined is most of us). You can get it at Amazon.com and other online ebook vendors for a reasonable 99 cents.

Misfits of Science: An Oral History

I was searching “80s” in Amazon’s ebook store today (what else would I be searching) and I came across this: Misfits of Science: An Oral History.

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I was a big lover of MOS, and the book was only $1, so I picked it up. It is basically a topical arrangement of interviews with the MOS producers, writers, cast members, and guest stars, and it gives brief coverage of the show from inception to cancellation. I know many of you love or loved MOS as much as I did (as we see here), so you may want to drop a dollar on it, which you can do here.

V: The Second Generation

A couple weeks ago I posted about the V ebooks, and I mentioned that the sequel, V: The Second Generation, goes into new territory. After finally finished the book, I saw just how new it was.


The Second Generation is written by series creator Kenneth Johnson, takes place twenty years after the events of the first miniseries, and ignores the second miniseries and TV series. And there is a lot of it that is familiar . Julie is there, as are Donovan, Willie (who still gets his words wrong even after twenty years) & Harmony, Robert Maxwell, Martin, and Diana. Seeing Diana, Julie, and, most of all, Donovan again after all these years was certainly a thrill. There were a lot of newcomers, though, as well, that didn’t have any nostalgic value, including a new race of aliens that have evolved from insects and still maintain some insect-like qualities.

The new elements didn’t thrill me that much, nor did the new storyline. It isn’t that it is bad (it’s not), but I am in love with The Final Battle, having been impressed upon it in duckling-like fashion, and even though I can admit that The Second Generation has deeper sensibilities to it, I just can’t get over what I grew up with. What did thrill me, though, and what had a deep connection to what I grew up with, was the appearance of The Leader. The Leader was referenced many times in the show and is nothing like I expected. I won’t tell you how. You’ll just have to find out for yourself.

Overall, even though I still love and prefer The Final Battle, The Second Generation was an interesting experience and did give me some new, nostalgia-esque experiences with characters that I loved then and still love now. And I suppose it doesn’t get much better than that today!