Category: Backstage Pass


Regular borg readers know about novelist Elizabeth C. Bunce′s reviews here at borg.  Last year her novel Premeditated Myrtle won the Edgar Award at the 75th annual honors (awarded by the Mystery Writers of America and named for mystery writing pioneer Edgar Allan Poe).  She was also a finalist for both the Agatha Award (honoring mystery author Agatha Christie), and Anthony Award (honoring mystery author Anthony Boucher).  As I shared previously, Elizabeth was a 2022 finalist–her second consecutive year–for the Edgar Award and the Agatha Award this time for the latest novel in her Myrtle Hardcastle Mystery series, Cold-Blooded Myrtle.  This year’s finalist list has been released for the 2022 Anthony Awards, and Elizabeth has been nominated yet again, making her one of only three novelists in the history of the awards to be a finalist twice for all three honors, and the second novelist to be so honored in back-to-back years.

The Anthony Award is an annual recognition for mystery authors, named to honor mystery writer and Mystery Writers of America co-founder Anthony Boucher (shown above, with cat friend).  Past novelists recognized by the Anthony Awards include J.K. Rowling, Daphne Du Maurier, Agatha Christie, Dashiell Hammett, Stephen King, Lilian Jackson Braun, Robert B. Parker, Max Allan Collins, Jill Thompson, Louise Penny, Lawrence Block, Sue Grafton, Jonathan Kellerman, Patricia Cornwell, Donald E. Westlake, Rick Riordan, Lee Child–and Elizabeth (shown above with Sophie, the inspiration for Peony the Cat in her series).

Continue reading

A year ago here at borg we reviewed the intriguing Star Wars tie-in book The Art of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.  For fans who have been lucky enough to experience firsthand Disney’s Black Spire Outpost, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge: Treasures from Batuu will take readers back to Oga’s Cantina and Savi’s Workshop, and take home some souvenirs, too.  The new “vault” type book is coming in July from Titan Books in the UK and Insight Editions in the U.S. and available for pre-order now here at Amazon.

Continue reading

A little more than twenty-five years ago, Star Trek: First Contact arrived as an iffy proposition: A Star Trek movie directed by Number One aka Commander Will Riker aka Jonathan Frakes?  And then it proved what fans had been begging for for years.  If you put Star Trek’s reins in the hands of someone who knows the universe, who has lived it week after week for years–who really gets it–you might produce a movie that gets it all exactly right.  Star Trek: First Contact has long been recognized as the best of the Next Generation cast films, and for many, the best trek of them all.  All these years later fans can see how it was done in Joe Fordham’s long overdue examination of the film in Star Trek: First Contact–The Making of the Classic Film It’s available for pre-order now here at Amazon, arriving in July.

Take a look inside this long-awaited, behind-the scenes view of the making of the action-filled First Contact:

Continue reading

Just because Netflix canceled after only one season 2021’s best sci-fi TV series, best western TV series, best space fantasy series, best retro fix, with the best TV soundtrack, best costumes, best actors and guest stars, and best borg on TV, doesn’t mean we can’t keep reliving the fantastic live-action reboot/homage series Cowboy Bebop One more way we’re going to do that is with Cowboy Bebop: Making the Netflix Series, coming next month from Titan Books.  It’s the official companion book to the Netflix TV series featuring concept art, sketches, behind-the-scenes photography and interviews with the cast and production crew.  Check out a preview below, courtesy of the publisher.

Continue reading

Review by C.J. Bunce

Whether or not every element of the new Paramount+ series The Offer is based in reality just doesn’t matter.  Fifty years ago Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather premiered in theaters across America and it’s maintained its status as one of cinema’s best films.  Viewers want all the crazy legends behind its creation to be real, including Frank Sinatra getting into a public argument with author Mario Puzo, and the mob getting irked by its very existence.  When you have to choose between legend and history in storytelling, give audiences whatever makes the better story.  And the story from the view of The Godfather producer Albert S. Ruddy is like reading the exploits of gangster Jimmy Alo in Dylan Struzan’s book A Bloody Business (reviewed here).  When an old bird is telling fish tales from decades ago–and he’s good at it–you just let him go (the character of Johnny Ola in The Godfather, Part II is based on Alo, so the comparison has some credence).  Only this limited television series has the kind of result that makes you wish it were a movie.  As peeks into Hollywood go, the acting, writing, direction, and production values are exactly as the streaming provider has been promising in its months long advance marketing.

Continue reading

He’s one of Star Trek’s greatest contributors to the look of science fiction aliens in 21st century entertainment.  He’s creature designer Neville PageShowcasing his entire Star Trek career so far, a new visual retrospective is coming your way to celebrate the creativity of Neville Page’s designs.  Star Trek: The Art of Neville Page is now available for pre-order here at Amazon.  In this deluxe, full-color hardcover account, readers will examine the visionary creature designs from two decades for some of Star Trek’s most innovative aliens.  We discussed previously at borg some of Page’s greatest works in our review of The Art of Star Trek: The Kelvin Timeline here and more can be found in The Art of Star Trek here.  The new book comes from writer Joe Nazzaro, who interviewed Page extensively for his book Star Trek Beyond: The Makeup Artistry of Joel Harlow, reviewed here.

Continue reading

Review by C.J. Bunce

Which pair of characters exemplifies the best friendship in all of the Star Trek franchise?  Who do you think made the best BFFs?  How about Geordi and Data?  Or better yet, who represents friendship–its ups and downs–the best?  Like Tuvok and Neelix?  Kirk and Bones?  Or frenemies Bones and Spock?  Maybe for you its Worf and Riker, or Kes and the EMH.  Or Naomi Wildman and Seven of Nine, or Quark and Odo.  Of course there’s no right answer, but writers Robb Pearlmann and Jordan Hoffman explore the subject in a very fanboy conversation in the new gift book The Star Trek Book of Friendship The best part?  It’s filled with new artwork by the best Star Trek artist in the franchise’s 55 years, celebrated poster and comic book painter J.K. Woodward.  It’s available for pre-order now here at Amazon.

Continue reading

Review by C.J. Bunce

Thunderball–the word itself conjures James Bond–the meaning of the word as an atomic bomb mushroom cloud has taken a backseat to Ian Fleming’s ninth spy novel from 1961, and the fourth Bond movie that filled theaters for Christmas 1965.  The novel is primarily Fleming’s own detailed, descriptive Bond character study, but with a twist: The story ideas are a combination of scenes created and introduced in screenplay drafts by two other writers.  Thunderball was eyed initially among the first nine novels as the one worthy of becoming the first movie adaptation.  But conflicts among who created what in a writers room before Fleming wrote the novel would be the source of a lawsuit that sidelined the movie and ultimately resulted in five writers (including Richard Maibaum, John Hopkins, Jack Whittingham, and Kevin McClory) named in the movie credits.  It also resulted in the quirky, additional film adaptation, Never Say Never Again, in 1983.  The novel, with its external inputs, is still among Fleming’s best–it’s a combination of all the best elements of Fleming’s adventure and action man writing, a one-stop shop of sorts for anyone looking for a single Bond story that has it all.

Continue reading

Review by C.J. Bunce

TCM’s film reference library of books has looked at the best sci-fi and horror movies, dynamic actresses, Christmas movies, summer hits, noir and war movies, plus it’s highlighted more than 100 movies that are the best of the best–with another book that looks at the best of a century of movie directors.  Tomorrow movie fans finally get the first exploration of the greatest stunt work from a century of film and the people behind it all in Danger on the Silver Screen: 50 Films Celebrating Cinema’s Greatest Stunts (available for pre-order now here at Amazon).  From an icy peril in 1920’s Way Down East to a harrowing drive through Atlanta in 2017’s Baby Driver, readers will see how it’s done from contemporary accounts and new interviews.
Continue reading

Fifty years ago this week The Godfather premiered in theaters across America.  That fiftieth anniversary is netting more than one re-creation from Hollywood of the making of that movie.  Barry Levinson is directing Francis and The Godfather, a movie starring Oscar Isaac as The Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola facing off against Jake Gyllenhaal as producer Robert Evans (an actor who eventually produced Chinatown), with Elle Fanning as Ali MacGraw, and Elisabeth Moss as Eleanor Coppola.  It began filming last year, so expect it in theaters or streaming by year end.

Before that arrives, a limited series that is also about the making of The Godfather is heading to streaming service Paramount+ next month.  The Offer has an impressive cast, all seemingly well cast against their real-life counterparts.  Dan Fogler (Fantastic Beasts) plays Coppola, Matthew Goode (Watchmen) plays Evans, and Miles Teller (Fantastic Four, Top Gun: Maverick) plays producer Albert S. Ruddy.

Here is the trailer for The Offer:

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: