The X-Files: The Official Archives–Brilliantly designed tie-in is the ultimate throwback for fans

Review by C.J. Bunce

Get out your I Want to Believe posters and get ready to cue up “Materia Primoris,” that haunting theme to The X-Files.  This month, 24 years after we first met Special Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, you can stand in the shoes of these FBI agents as Director Walter Skinner hands you a dossier of the 50 most revealing, memorable, scary, creepy, and thoroughly awesome X-Files.  In March 2020, a man named Paul Terry (aka author Paul Terry) signed out full-color copies of notes, interviews, photographs, and other highly confidential documents from the Bureau, and you can find them all reprinted in The X-Files: The Official Archives, available for pre-order here at Amazon, arriving in bookstores tomorrow.  The in-universe perspective and thoroughly detailed design will reel in and satisfy everyone from the passing fan to the most diehard X-Phile.

If you’re like me, a book like this is going to make you immediately search out your favorite monsters of the week, key episodes, and notable guest stars.  Eugene Tooms? Check.  Robert Patrick Modell aka The Pusher?  Check.  The Arctic Ice Core Project?  Check.  And a lot more–50 cases in all covering the series’ “cryptids, biological anomalies, and parapsychic phenomena.”

One of the drawbacks to many in-universe books mimicking the real world that I’ve seen in recent years is use of a cursive font in place of reproductions of someone’s actual handwriting (which takes readers right out of the intended submersion effect).  This book does not have that problem–it looks like someone pulled paper ephemera and props from the set of the series and bundled it together, or if you let your imagination take over, it looks just like someone snapped photos of the real mug shots, agents’ notes, lab results, coroner reports, handwritten notes, investigation summaries, newspaper clippings, and pages and files ripped from Fox Mulder’s office cabinet.

You’ll even get some pointers on becoming a better FBI agent along the way.  Fair warning: A lot of it’s gruesome and gory, especially images of the show’s special effects, so prepare yourself for all the dark content consistent with the series itself.

It’s hard to believe this is the first book like this from the popular sci-fi/paranormal series.  Author Paul Terry is the co-author of Fringe: September’s NotebookLost Encyclopedia, and The Official Making of Big Trouble in Little China.

Take a look inside, courtesy of the publisher, Abrams Books:

Fans of The X-Files will get their money’s worth here, with more than 300 pages, 100 color and 50 black and white illustrations and photographs, all in a hardcover edition.  The X-Files: The Official Archives is available one more day for pre-order, so get it now here at Amazon, to be released tomorrow from Abrams Books.

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