One of the best publishers in the space business, Apogee Books, has just come out with The Saucer Fleet, by Jack Hagerty and Jon Rogers. This book is a follow on to the authors’ well-regarded Spaceship Handbook, and focuses on the fictional armada of flying saucers that dominated comics, movies and television during the 50’s and 60’s.
With a foreword by DISCOVER’s very own Bad Astronomer Phil Plait, The Saucer Fleet dissects in great detail flying saucers from classic productions such as This Island Earth, Forbidden Planet and The Invaders, and looks at their impact on the audiences of the day. As well as a detailed synopses of the movie or show and extensive production notes giving the history and background of how each fictional saucer was brought to life, the authors also use frame-by-frame analyses to create engineering diagrams of saucer exteriors and interiors (often struggling with the fact that the interior set designers didn’t care overly much about matching up with the scale shown by the exterior models.) Dedicated model-builders can use these diagrams to build their own reproductions, but any science-fiction fan will get a kick out of seeing how much thought and effort went into designing these deceptively simple spacecraft that once thrilled or terrified audiences.