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My interest in science fiction and fantasy goes back further than I can remember and is most likely due to a vivid imagination which developed at an early age.  However, I can actually pinpoint two events that had a momentous impact on my life.  The first was when I was 11 years old. Some time in mid 1977 I saw Star Wars for the first time.  The second was when I was 13 and my English teacher - Mr. Somerville - introduced me to The Lord of the Rings.



My brother took me to the local cinema in Dover.  It was the second try as the first time it was so crowded we were turned away even though we queued for ages.  I remember vividly the sense of awe and wonder as I watched, wide eyed and jaw open, the Star Destroyer passing endlessly overhead in the opening scene, the sound of it's engines pounding in my ears. The memory still brings a lump to my throat even now.

Episode 1 is a fantastic addition to the Star Wars story.  I just love those Battle Droids, or Comedy Droids as I call them, due their high amusement value.  Episode 2 was very enjoyable too but I found myself slightly disappointed.  I look forward to the 6th and final installment in this great saga.  My overall No.1 film remains The Empire Strikes Back.  The AT-AT assault is my all time favourite scene and the overall grim feel of the film appeals to my own Dark Side!

Without a doubt the best TV series EVER was Babylon5.  Yes of course I like Star Trek in all its guises, especially Voyager, but B5 was just awesome.  The throw away episodes were enjoyable fillers between the superbly crafted 'Something wicked this way comes' main plot.  J. Michael Straczynski had a perfectly paced five year story arc planned which was building slowly but steadily - then the show was dropped.  Everything was crammed into season 4 (which was an incredible tour de force) but then the saved-at-the-last-minute season 5 struggled due to the resulting squeeze-stretch effect.  The last 5 episodes however were amazing and words just can't do justice to 'Sleeping in Light'.

B5 series boxsets are now being released on DVD - hurrah!  I have made room for them on my shelves by junking all my TV recorded vhs tapes.  




Channel 4 TV carried out a poll to find out what us Brits consider the Greatest 100 films of all time.  Although I haven't seen all of them and don't agree with some placings I certainly can't argue about joint 1st place - Star Wars / The Empire Strikes Back.  Check out the top 100 from the AT-AT piclink below.

Click for Top 100 films

I love going to the cinema.  The sort of films I enjoy really are at their best with the big screen / big sound treatment and lose a lot of impact on TV, even with home cinema DVD, digital widescreen & surround sound (not that I actually have all these).

The Lord of the Rings film trilogy has rightly taken the world by storm.  What truly AWESOME films they all are. Although much has necessarily been ommited to prevent running times of 6 hours each and some things altered or added I feel Peter Jackson has more than done justice to Tolkien's literary masterpiece.  All 3 films are superb screen interpretations.  I have enjoyed FOTR and 2T several times both at the cinema and on extended edition DVD and have just seen ROTK - truly stunning!  The highlights for me have been Gandalf's battle with the Balrog, the Uruk Hai army taunting the defenders of Helm's Deep and of course the huge Battle of the Pelennor Field.  I look forward to more cinema viewings of ROTK over the Christmas holidays and the extended DVD in 2004. 

I have difficulty listing my favourite films in a definitive order of merit.  The only sure thing is that all the top places are taken up by Star Wars & Lord of the Rings.  There are many other worthy contenders however and they deserve a Top 10 of their own.  Some enter, leave or change places depending on my mood at the time - but here goes.

My non Star Wars & LOTR Top Ten

  1. Aliens Special Edition
  2. Jurassic Park
  3. The Terminator
  4. The Lost World
  5. The Abyss Special Edition
  6. The Matrix
  7. Bladerunner original version (I LIKE the voiceover!)
  8. T2
  9. Predator
  10. Back to the Future II

I don't have satellite or cable so I have to rely on 'normal' stations for small screen sci-fi & fantasy.  I recently wrote to the BBC website complaining about the tedious yearly ditching of regular sf & fantasy shows from the BBC2 schedule whenever there is a live sporting tournament - golf, snooker, darts, tennis etc..  Their reply was less than satisfactory and basically said they had no intention of changing their policy - 'Like it or lump it'.

Please complain to them yourselves.  You never know, they may change their tune if enough disgruntled sf fans complain.  Use the link below to get in touch with the BBC and voice your disapproval.


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I couldn't decide if this section belonged in sci-fi or fantasy as it spreads right across both.  I have read & collected comics for ages, right from a small kid many moons ago with the Beano!  I really started properly when I discovered 2000AD at Polytechnic in 1985.  I got it every week since then and only finally stopped last October.  How I managed to miss it for all the years since it came out in 1977 I don't know but once on the case I spent a great deal of time, effort & money gathering all the back 'progs' together.  I was as gutted as my local comic shop when my long awaited prog 2 went up in flames when the shop burned down!  I finally managed it and now I have a complete collection from Prog 1 - 1213, all neatly bagged & boxed.

To those non-comic readers among you, I agree that there is a great deal of rubbish out there in comic form but if you are prepared to dig a little deeper I think you will be pleasantly surprised at what you can find.  There is some really good, intelligent & imaginative work around by genuinely talented artists & writers.  I avoid all the Marvel & DC superhero titles like the plague, no disrespect to those of you out there who love them but I personally think they're pants.  I have picked and chosen titles that really appeal to me and have often gone to Dark Horse, mainly for their film licence stuff and DC Vertigo for highly imaginative & well written original titles.  Quality art work is important to me but more so is a strong, involving storyline that draws you into the writers imagined world.  If you get both together then you're on to a winner.

Both my local comic shops offer an international online catalogue service.  Check them out on my Links page.


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