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Book Review: The Art Of Harry Potter
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The Art Of Harry Potter hardcover book cover

The Art of Harry Potter
Hardcover
By Marc Sumerak
Publisher: Harper Design | HarperCollins
Release date: November 21, 2017

Some might call it coincidental. I call it cosmic. Not only do I have the opportunity of writing a review on The Art of Harry Potter by Marc Sumerak today, but I may or may not – by happenstance – be currently cozying up in my comfy chair by the fireplace wearing a Harry Potter-themed tee shirt. It’s getting *quite* magical over here, and I invite you to join me.

The Art of Harry Potter features original art from the Harry Potter films and it is magnificent. Its massive dimensions (10.1” width x 13.1” height x 1.7″ depth) are only outmatched by its heft, which I consider a positive. It evokes the feeling of having access to a large, valuable volume…perhaps something found in the restricted section of the Hogwarts library?

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Book Review: Star Wars Stormtroopers: Beyond The Armor (Journey To Star Wars: The Last Jedi)
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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Star Wars Stormtroopers: Beyond The Armor
Star Wars: Journey To Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Hardcover | Kindle
By Ryder Windham & Adam Bray
Foreword by John Boyega
Publisher: Harper Design | HarperCollins
Release date: October 24, 2017

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away, some of the greatest and most unique characters in the history of motion pictures were created by George Lucas for Star Wars. Their names are part of Americana, engrained in zeitgeist forever. Luke, Vader, Han, Leia, Yoda, Boba Fett… the list goes on and on. We met aliens from across the universe, droids of all shapes and sizes, and a giant lovable walking furball named Chewbacca. From May 1977 all the way till December 2015, there was one group of Star Wars characters that remained an interchangeable array of white body armor, bulky helmets, and blasters guaranteed to miss every time. They were the Stormtroopers. Now as you prepare for Star Wars: The Last Jedi this Winter, tide over the Star Wars superfan in your family with the ultimate behind the scenes guide to Star Wars forgotten masses with Star Wars Stormtroopers: Beyond the Armor, published by Harper Design.

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Book Review: The Book Of Alien: Augmented Reality Survival Manual
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Book of Alien: Augmented Reality Survival Manual review

The Book Of Alien: Augmented Reality Survival Manual
Hardcover
By Owen Williams
Publisher: Harper Design | HarperCollins
Release date: November 14, 2017

Remember those video game guide books that were sold in the magazine section at local book stores? Imagine if someone took one of those and turned it into a gorgeous hardcover coffee-table book with high quality images throughout. That’s what it felt like reading The Book of Alien: Augmented Reality Survival Manual by Owen Williams. The book, from Harper Design, doubles as a beautiful assortment of photos and artwork from the Alien franchise as well as an interactive game you play on your phone.

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Book Spotlight: Star Trek: The Book of Lists by Chip Carter
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Star Trek: The Book of Lists banner

Star Trek: The Book of Lists
Hardcover | Kindle
By Chip Carter
Publisher: Harper Design | HarperCollins
Release date: November 7, 2017

Author Chip Carter stuffs Star Trek: The Book of Lists with 100 lists that highlight memorable moments throughout the beloved scifi franchise’s 51-year history, along with plenty of little-known facts, too.

This new 224-page full-color book from Harper Design, which is an adorable and easy-to-handle 7×9 hardcover, is broken down into 8 chapters, grouping together aspects like Starfleet personal, ships and technology, the future, and more. The backmatter contains a table of contents of each individual list, which includes the must-haves like “Kirk’s Most Memorable Kisses,” “Red[Shirt] Alert,” and “Useful Klingon Phrases.”

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Book Review: Close Encounters Of The Third Kind: The Ultimate Visual History
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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Close Encounters of the Third Kind: The Ultimate Visual History

Close Encounters of the Third Kind: The Ultimate Visual History
Hardcover | Kindle
By Michael Klastorin
Foreword by Steven Spielberg
Publisher: Harper Design | HarperCollins
Release date: October 24, 2017

Forty years ago, coming off the monumental success of blockbuster hit Jaws, director Steven Spielberg took theatergoers on a stunning ride into the unknown with the sci-fi classic Close Encounters of the Third Kind. The film earned Spielberg the first of seven Academy Award nominations for Best Director (of which he won twice). Overall, the film it earned eight nominations, winning for Best Cinematography (Vilmos Zsigmond). Now four decades later, Michael Klastorin has compiled the ultimate fan-guide to one of Spielberg’s essential masterpieces with Close Encounters of the Third Kind: The Ultimate Visual History, releasing this week from Harper Design.

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Book Review: Star Wars Propaganda: A History Of Persuasive Art In The Galaxy
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Star Wars Propaganda review

Star Wars Propaganda
A History of Persuasive Art in the Galaxy
Hardcover | Kindle Edition
Written by Pablo Hidalgo
Publisher: Harper Design
Release Date: October 25, 2016
Cover Price: $40.00

At first glance, Star Wars Propaganda looks like exactly what you’d expect it to be — an oversized art book with full-color graphics based on the Star Wars universe. But if you look more carefully, you’ll notice that not only is the artwork unlike what you’d usually see in Star Wars canon, but there’s also a very detailed history behind it all.

This slipcased hardcover book from Harper Design, subtitled A History of Persuasive Art in the Galaxy, weaves a narrative of little-known Star Wars history that begins with the Republic and moves on to the Clone Wars as seen in the events of the Prequel films, until the Galactic Empire takes over, prompting the Rebellion and the creation of the Alliance we know so well from the original trilogy. The book ends with a section on the New Republic, the First Order, and the Resistance, which were all introduced in 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

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Book Review: The Star Trek Encyclopedia, Revised and Expanded Edition
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Star Trek Encyclopedia

The Star Trek Encyclopedia
A Reference Guide to the Future, Revised and Expanded Edition
2-Volume Hardcover Set
By Michael Okuda, Denise Okuda
Publisher: Harper Design
Release Date: October 18, 2016

A well-stocked English-language home library likely contains such reference books as The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Roget’s International Thesaurus, Strunk & White’s Elements of Style, Encyclopedia of World History, and Oxford’s Atlas of the World. Now, it’s time to make room on that shelf for the newly Revised and Expanded Edition of The Star Trek Encyclopedia, released by Harper Design in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of Star Trek.

Authors Michael Okuda and Denise Okuda originally created The Star Trek Encyclopedia back in 1994, packing it with references to all the Star Trek television series and films up until that point. (You might remember the authors from their contributions to the Bonus Features on several Trek television series DVDs, especially the 2006 remastered Original Series.) The book was eventually reprinted in 1997, and in 1999, an Updated and Expanded Edition added in a 128-page addendum to include information through the end of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and the fifth season of the Star Trek: Voyager television series, as well as the film Star Trek: Insurrection.

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Book Review: Doctor Who: Impossible Worlds
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Doctor Who Impossible Worlds title Harper Collins

Doctor Who: Impossible Worlds
Hardcover | Kindle
by Stephen Nicholas and Mike Tucker
Harper Design | Dey Street Books | HarperCollins Publishers
Release Date: October 27, 2015

Attics can be wonderful, beautiful things. Sometimes they are repositories of worthless junk, but more often they have such wonderful stories to tell. They are full of boxes. Some contain toys from childhood. Others hold certificates, pictures, and correspondence. Still others contain mementos and heirlooms of events both obscure and infamous. There are such stories to be learned, if one can only gain entry and do some research.

That is how it could be for Doctor Who. With 52 years now passed since the show began production, what stories can its artifacts and ephemera tell us? We know the exoteric truths of the show’s production from its primary artifacts — the episodes produced by and shown on the BBC. Surely, there must be more than that. What were the stories, the images, the ideas that never made it onto those tapes? What did time or budget make impossible? What was merely deemed to be poor creative choice?

These are the motivating themes of a new book, Doctor Who: Impossible Worlds by Stephen Nicholas and Mike Tucker. It proposes to take us into the Doctor Who production design department to show how the core ideas of the series transformed from imagination to television drama for over 50 years. In this, it succeeds more than it fails and provides the reader with some rich visual insight into the history of Doctor Who.

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