Ancient Rockets: Treasures and Trainwrecks of the Silent Screen
by Kage Baker, edited by Kathleen Bartholomew
trade paperback / $14.95 / 978-1-61696-074-2
e-book formats: EPUB, MOBI, PDF / $9.95
This book was created in a limited print edition of two hundred copies to celebrate Tachyon Publications' sixteenth anniversary.
From Metropolis to the pre-technicolor Oz, take a fantastical journey through the wildest frontiers of the silent films of the silver screen.
Ancient Rockets brings you the earliest (and cheesiest) special effects, the best and worst directors, the tour de forces and the utter trainwrecks. Forty-nine cinematic odysseys will take you on A Trip to the Moon and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, swinging upon jungle vines with Tarzan and into the terrifying laboratory of Dr. Frankenstein, from, The Adventures of Prince Achmed all the way to Modern Times.
These are the pinnacles and the pitfalls of science fiction’s silent movies as affectionately viewed by Kage Baker (the Company series) with acerbic wit and historical acumen. Ancient Rockets presents you to the mad scientists, terrifying fiends, flimsy plots, and glorious landscapes that have inspired generations of fans and filmmakers alike.
Foreword by Kathleen Baker
Movie Reviews by Kage Baker:
Le Voyage dans la Lune (A Trip to the Moon), directed by Georges Méliès
Voyage à Travers L’Impossible (Impossible Voyage), directed by Georges Méliès
Frankenstein, directed by J. Searle Dawley
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, directed by Lucius Henderson and John S. Robertson
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, directed by Stuart Paton
The Golem: How He Came Into the World, directed by Paul Wegener and Carl Boese
The Master Mystery, directed by Burton King and Harry Grossman
The Man From Beyond, directed by Burton King
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, directed by Robert Wiene
The Mechanical Man (L’Uomo Meccanico), directed by André Deed
Aelita: Queen of Mars, directed by Yakov Protazanov
Metropolis, directed by Fritz Lang
The Lost World, directed by Harry O. Hoyt
The ? Motorist, directed by Walter R. Booth
Frau im Mond (Woman on the Moon), directed by Fritz Lang
Modern Times, directed by Charlie Chaplin
L’Atlantide (The Queen of Atlantis), directed by Jacques Feyder
Orlacs Hände (The Hands of Orlac), directed by Robert Wiene
Siegfried and Kriemhild’s Revenge, directed by Fritz Lang
Haxan (Witchcraft Through the Ages), directed by Benjamin Christensen
Schatten (Warning Shadows), directed by Arthur Robison
The Adventures of Prince Achmed, directed by Lotte Reiniger
Nosferatu, directed by F. W. Murnau
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, directed by Otis Turner
The Patchwork Girl of Oz; The Magic Cloak of Oz; His Majesty, the Scarecrow of Oz, directed by J. Farrell MacDonald
The Wizard of Oz, directed by Larry Semon
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Charles Kent
The Tempest, directed by Percy Stow
Gertie the Dinosaurus, directed by Winsor McCay
The Thief of Bagdad, directed by Raoul Walsh
Faust, directed by F. W. Murnau
Der müde Tod (Destiny), directed by Fritz Lang
The Bells, directed by James Young
Paris Qui Dort (The Crazy Ray), directed by René Clair
Tarzan of the Apes, directed by Scott Sidney
The Son of Tarzan, directed by Arthur J. Flaven and Harry Revier
The Adventures of Tarzan, directed by Robert F. Hill and Scott Sidney
Tarzan the Tiger, directed by Henry MacRae
The Fall of the House of Usher, directed by James Sibley Watson and Melville Webber
La Chute de la Maison Usher, directed by Jean Epstein
Waxworks, directed by Paul Leni
The Phantom of the Opera, directed by Rupert Julian
The Haunted Castle (Schloss Vogeloed), directed by F. W. Murnau
Wolf Blood, directed by George Chesebro
The Pet, directed by Winsor McCay
The Flying House, directed by Winsor McCay
Scrooge; or Marley’s Ghost, directed by Walter R. Booth
A Christmas Carol, directed by J. Searle Dawley
A Christmas Past (collection), directed by Various
From Ancient Rockets:
"We will boldly go / go boldly to distant planets, we will see amazing things, and if we get into trouble we'll kick some alien butt. No apologies, no regrets. Those were the days!"
"Hitchcock's favorite film. Bunuel's inspiration. Sure you don't want to stick around and find out why?"
"Go ahead! Stick your puny rapiers into my wife! But cower before my MUCH BIGGER CUTLASS!"
"Here's what appears to be the Olympic event for Men in Hats Shoving Each Other! Here's a dead bulldog! Here's the robot throwing someone's armoire off of a castle!"
"Aelita wants Los, even though Los is one of those sad-faced Russians who really does resemble Dobby the House Elf."