Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Canon: 50 Books That Created Modern Pop Culture

... with Music Player!


THE CANON


* (of Genre Fiction)

Fantastic journeys! Talking animals! Weird science! Karmic horror! Spirit guides! Space travel! Dream lands! Meddling kids! Pirates! Archers!


Mystery realms! Power queens! Changelings! Detectives! Immortals! Wild childs! Time travel! Mutations! Invisibles! Vampires!

Alien invaders! Superheroes! Supervillains! Space opera! Dinosaurs! Robots! Gender-enders! Vigilantes! Adventurers! Super spies!




In chronological order, here are key books where many of our modern legends come from...
1-9
10-19
20-29
30-39
40-52

Music Player!



*Caveat Dept.:
1) This is an entry primer for Genre Fictions.
2) This is an Alternate Lit List for alternate minds.
3) This is about Fun, so have some!





1)

THE ODYSSEY,
by Homer
(800 B.C.)

The lost traveler.


The world as new worlds.
The journey of self: exile, temptation, identity, hospitality, redemption, fruition.



Leads to:
The epic journey, without and within.

>>> Sinbad in "One Thousand and One Nights, a.k.a., Arabian Nights"; Dante's "Divine Comedy"; Joyce's "Ulysses"; Pound's "The Cantos"; Conrad's "Heart of Darkness"; Godard's 'LE MEPRIS'; '2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY'; Kirby's "The New Gods"; Adams' "Watership Down"; Haldeman's "The Forever War"; 'APOCALYPSE NOW'; 'ULYSSES 31' anime; 'O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?'; 'BIG FISH'; 'PANDORUM'; Fraction and Ward's "ODY-C".



Additional Classics:

-EPIC OF GILGAMESH

-BEOWULF

-PARADISE LOST, by John Milton (1667)

-SONGS OF INNOCENCE, by William Blake (1789)





2) ROBINSON CRUSOE,
by Daniel Dafoe
(1719)

The lost traveler redux.

Art by N.C. Wyeth, 1920

Survival in the wilderness, of place and self.
The modern journey parable that sets off all to follow.
(Including the underlying question: Where is the line between exploration and exploitation?)

Read a version illustrated by N.C. Wyeth.



Leads to:
-The genre 'Robinsonade'

>>> i.e., Swift's "Gulliver's Travels"; "Swiss Family Robinson"; Poe's "The Narrative Of Arthur Gordon Pym"; Verne's "The Mysterious Island"; Kipling's "The Jungle Book"; Well's "The Island of Dr. Moreau";

Golding's "Lord of the Flies"; 'ROBINSON CRUSOE ON MARS'; The Space Family Robinson comic; 'Lost In Space'; 'Fantastic Journey'; Auel's "The Clan of the Cave Bear"; 'ENEMY MINE';

'Earth-2'; 'Star Trek: Voyager'; 'Lost'; 'Survivor'; Martel's "Life of Pi", etc.



3) GULLIVER'S TRAVELS,
by Jonathan Swift
(1726)

The lost traveler with subtext.

Art by Stephen Baghot de la Bere, 1904

The wide traveling gets deeper.
Swift responds to "Robinson Crusoe" with satire and sacrilege.


Leads to:

-The First and Second Travels =
The size variations, love of nonsense words, and social subtext foreshadow "Alice In Wonderland" and "The Wizard of Oz"

-The Third Travel =
Miyazaki's 'LAPUTA, CASTLE IN THE SKY'

-The Fourth Travel =
"The Island of Dr. Moreau"; "Animal Farm"; Kelley's "Pogo" strip; 'PLANET OF THE APES'



Also, the search engine YAHOO took their name from the book's invention of the term.


Also Watch:
--'GULLIVER'S TRAVELS' (1939)
--'LAPUTA, CASTLE IN THE SKY' (1986)



4) FRANKENSTEIN,
by Mary Shelley
(1818)

The Creature.

Art by Berni Wrightson, 1983

By the Mother of Science Fiction.
The angels and demons of the human heart.

A deeply soul-searching and poetic work of great moral and emotional complexity. The book and the movies are different universes.


Leads to:
>>> Matheson's "I Am Legend"; Bobby Pickett's "Monster Mash"; Herman on 'The Munsters'; Lurch on 'The Addams Family'; Swamp Thing, The Patchwork Man, and Anton Arcane; Edgar Winter Group's "Frankenstein"; 'THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW'; Aldiss' "Prometheus Unbound"; The Cramps; 'WEIRD SCIENCE'; 'EDWARD SCISSORHANDS'; 'Argento Soma' anime; 'SPECIES'; Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E.; 'SPLICE'; 'FRANKENWEENIE'


Also Watch:
--'FRANKENSTEIN' (1931)
--'THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN' (1935)
Perfect double bill; director James Whale's wonky warm-up and his excellent masterly sequel.

--'GODS AND MONSTERS' (1998)
--'YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN' (1974)
Perfect double bill: the secret life of James Whale (Ian McKellan);
and the letter-perfect Mel Brooks homage that picks up on Whale's dark humor.

--'GOTHIC' (1986)
--'MARY SHELLEY'S FRANKENSTEIN' (1994)
Perfect double bill; Ken Russell's frenzied take on that night at the Byron and Shelley party;
and Kenneth Branaugh's breathless operatic take that actually, for once, adapts the real book.




Additional Period Classics:

FANNY HILL, by John Cleland (1748)

THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, by Victor Hugo (1831)

THE THREE MUSKETEERS, by Alexandre Dumas (1844)

THE COUNT OF MONTE CHRISTO, by Alexandre Dumas (1844)

THE ADVENTURES OF SUSAN HOPLEY, by Catherine Crewe (1841)
Months before Poe, the first Detective story was written by a woman, featuring three female investigators! Read it free here.





5) EDGAR ALLAN POE
(1830's-40's)

Horror and Mystery.

Art for 'Ligea' by Harry Clark, 1919

The father of horror, thrillers, suspense, and detectives.

Poe was a literary prism that lit a spectrum of new paths for future creators.
Be sure to read all the Mystery and Horror stories, some of the supernatural Comedies, and the novella "Arthur Gordon Pym".


Leads to:
The dark prism.

-"The Murders Of The Rue Morgue"/ "The Mystery Of Marie Roget"/ "The Purloined Letter" >>> Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, and all slueths; all Mystery and Detective stories
-"The Black Cat" >>> foreshadows "Pet Sematary", "Cat's Eye", etc.
-"The Gold-Bug" >>> "Treasure Island";
★ the code-breaking of Japan during WWII>!
-"Ligea" >>> 'VERTIGO'
-"William Wilson" >>> foreshadows 'LOST HIGHWAY', 'MULHOLLAND DRIVE'
-"A Tale Of The Rugged Mountains" >>> foreshadows 'LA JETEE' and '12 MONKEYS'

-"The Narrative Of Arthur Gordon Pym" (1838) >>> leads to Jules Verne's sequel "An Antarctic Mystery" (1897); Burrough's "The Land That Time Forgot"; Doyle's "The Lost World"; Lovecraft's "At The Mountains Of Madness"; Campbell's "Who Goes There?", etc.




6) A CHRISTMAS CAROL,
by Charles Dickens
(1843)

Spiritual redemption.

Art by Jessie Willcox Smith, 1910

The spirit and redemption.


Leads to:
->>> 'IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE'; 'HERE COMES MR. JORDAN'; 'HEAVEN CAN WAIT'; "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"; 'IT HAPPENED ONE CHRISTMAS'; 'SCROOGED'; 'DEFENDING YOUR LIFE'; 'GROUNDHOG DAY'; 'MEET JOE BLACK'; 'THE OTHERS'; 'THE SIXTH SENSE'; 'DONNIE DARKO'; 'ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND'; 'Lost'; "Batman: Noel".


Also Read:
"The Perfect Gift" by Philip Van Doren Stern (1939)
The inspiration for 'IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE'. Read it free here.

Also Watch:
--'SCROOGE' (1951)
Alastair Sim.
--'IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE' (1946)
Love is life.



7) JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH,
by Jules Verne
(1864)

The fantastic journey.

Art by Edouard Riou, engraved by Pannemaker, 1867


The Father of Science Fiction.
A prime text in the Hollow Earth/Subterranean Fiction genre.


Leads to:
->>> Alice's adventures underground; Burrough's "At the Earth's Core" books; 'Valley of the Dinosaurs' cartoon; 'Land of the Lost'; The Mole Man; Warlord; Curtis Mayfield's "Underground";

Science Fiction; Explorer adventures; Steampunk.



8) FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON and AROUND THE MOON,
by Jules Verne
(1865)

Space travel.

Early first edition.


There are worlds beyond the world.
The moon is the stepping stone into the next stage of humanity.




Leads to:
- ★ Humans actually landing on the Moon!

>>> Wells' "First Men In the Moon", Melies' 'A TRIP TO THE MOON'; interstellar Science Fiction; Heinlein's "The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress"; 'Star Trek'; '2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY'; 'UFO'; 'Space: 1999'; The Inhumans; 'APOLLO 13'; 'MOON'.




9) ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND,
by Lewis Carroll
(1865)

The dreamchild.

Art by John Tenniel, 1865

Literary nonsense, lateral nuisance, luminant now since.

Read "The Annotated ALICE: the Definitive Edition" (2000), with both of the ALICE books, all previous editions' annotations, and the original art of John Tenniel.


Leads to:
->>> Baum's "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz"; McCay's "Little Nemo In Slumberland"; Barrie's "Peter Pan and Wendy"; The Beatles' "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" and "I Am the Walrus"; Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit"; Batman's foe, The Mad Hatter; Monty Python's Flying Circus; Adam's "Hitchhiker's Guide To the Galaxy"; 'TIME BANDITS'; 'LABYRINTH'; 'THE MATRIX' trilogy; Batwoman and her opposite, Alice; Miyazaki's 'MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO' and 'SPIRITED AWAY'.

Also Watch:
--'DREAMCHILD' (1985)
Fictional take on the real Alice's relationship with Charles Dodgson.
--'ALICE' (1988)
Experimental Polish animation film.
--'ALICE' (2009)
SyFy mini-series, in the vein of 'Tin Man'.
--'PHOEBE IN WONDERLAND' (2009)
Elle Fanning is astounding.
--'ALICE IN WONDERLAND' (2010)
Smart adult sequel.




10)

20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA,
by Jules Verne
(1870)

The anti-hero.

Art by Alphonse Marie de Neuville, 1870


Exploring strange new worlds.
With the Anti-Hero as your host.

Read the re-translated text (post-1976), with the 25% of excised or censored text restored.

(Verne's French texts were first translated in America by a Christian zealot who mistranslated them badly, and chopped out scientific, political, and religious content. Those translations were standard here for 100 years until recent re-translations and restorations.)


Leads to:
- ★ Actual submarines!

>>> 'Voyage To the Bottom of the Sea'; 'Sea Hunt'; 'THE SPY WHO LOVED ME'; 'THE BLACK HOLE'; 'STAR TREK II: The Wrath of Khan'; 'seaQuestDSV'; Nemo and Pirate Jenny in "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen"; 'FINDING NEMO'; Nero in 'STAR TREK' (2009).

Also Watch:
--'20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA' (1954)
Disney remade it in space as 'THE BLACK HOLE' (1979).
--'THE SPY WHO LOVED ME' (1977)
"20,000 Leagues" meets 'YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE'.




11) THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS,
by Lewis Carroll
(1871)

The other side, inside-out.

Art by John Tenniel, 1871

The parallel world, through a glass darkly.

Read "The Annotated ALICE: the Definitive Edition" (2000), with both of the ALICE books, all previous editions' annotations, and the original art of John Tenniel.



Leads to:
>>> Seuss' "The Cat In the Hat"; 'KINGDOM OF CROOKED MIRRORS'; The "Mirror, Mirror" universe and "Shore Leave" on 'Star Trek'; the chess games and mind games on 'The Prisoner'; the Red Room and Windom Earle on 'Twin Peaks'; 'STARGATE'; 'Sliders'; "Alice In Quantumland" by physicist Robert Gilmore; 'MIRRORMASK'; 'Fringe'; Batwoman vs. Alice; Gaiman's "Coraline"; 'ALICE IN WONDERLAND' (2010); 'ANOTHER EARTH'.



12) THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND,
by Jules Verne
(1875)

The mysterious island.

Cover art for the French first edition, 1875

Surviving on the lost island where mystery prevails.

Read a recent re-translation, such as the one by Jordan Stump (2001).


Leads to:
>>> 'THE STOLEN AIRSHIP'; 'The Fantastic Journey'; 'Fantasy Island'; Benchley's "The Island"; 'Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water'; "Myst"; 'Survivor'; 'Lost'.

Also Watch:
--'THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND' (1961)
Just to see Ray Harryhausen's effects.

No one can film "The Mysterious Island" without turning it into "The Lost World" (i.e., dinosaurs). But then again, the film 'THE LOST WORLD' (1925) kind of swiped the ending of "The Mysterious Island"!



13) TOM SAWYER,
by Mark Twain
(1876)

The adventure kids.

Art by Norman Rockwell, 1936

Kids go on an adventure, calamity ensues...


Leads to:
Meddling kids!

>>> 'OUR GANG' (a.k.a., 'The Little Rascals'); Huey, Dewey, and Louie; Salinger's "Catcher in the Rye"; Bradbury's "Dandelion Wine" and "Something Wicked This Way Comes"; the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew; 'Tom Sawyer' cartoon; Rush's "Tom Sawyer"; 'THE GOONIES'; 'EXPLORERS'; Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ronald Weasley; 'SPY KIDS'; Sawyer on 'Lost'; 'SUPER 8'.



14) TREASURE ISLAND,
by Robert Louis Stevenson
(1883)

The Pirate.

Art by N.C. Wyeth, 1920

Reprobates, scoundrels, plunderers, and cheats.
The language, characters, and imagery in this book are so rich it still astounds.


Read the exact facsimile of the 1920 edition, lushly illustrated by N.C. Wyeth. The ragged-edge pages feel like butter.


Leads to:
-All pirates!

>>> Capt. Hook in "Peter Pan"; "Dr. Syn, Alias The Scarecrow"; Brecht and Weill's "Pirate Jenny"; the Stainless Steel Rat; Disney's 'PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN'; Long John & The Silver Beatles; Klingons; Han Solo; 'Firefly' and 'Serenity'; 'TREASURE PLANET'.

Also Watch:
--'TREASURE ISLAND' (1951)
Disney's first live-action film. Rich and glorious, very edgy. The ending with Silver actually improves on the book version.



15) THE MERRY ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD,
by Howard Pyle
(1883)

The people's defender.

Art by Howard Pyle, 1883


Written and illustrated by Howard Pyle, the dean of American Illustration. He and his student, N.C. Wyeth, ushered the Golden Age of Illustration, from which all comic strip and comic book artists learned.

Pyle compiled all the free-floating ballads into the first cohesive Robin Hood narrative, redefining him from a sly thief to an ethical vigilante, and making him so popular for the modern age.


Leads to:
-the Superhero template:

unique costume, hood, perfect skill, secret base, league of allies, moral code, protects the good from the bad

-"Robinson Crusoe" + "The Merry Adventures Of Robin Hood" = Green Arrow's origin

->>> The Scarlet Pimpernel; Zorro; Batman; Robin, the Boy Wonder; Green Arrow and Speedy; Hawkeye; The Huntress; "V For Vendetta"; Katniss Everdeen from "The Hunger Games"; Merida in 'BRAVE'; Charlie on 'Revolution'; 'Arrow'; the Anonymous activists

Also Watch:
--'THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD' (1938)
Errol Flynn vs. Basil Rathbone, a whopping $2 Million budget, and grand color. The STAR WARS of its time!
--'ROBIN HOOD' (2010)
Gritty and nuanced, a template for GAME OF THRONES.
--'BRAVE' (2012)
Merida.



16) HUCKLEBERRY FINN,
by Mark Twain
(1884)

The holy fool.

Mural detail from Missouri capitol building
by Thomas Hart Benton, 1936

The end of formality, the true voice of the self.
Changed everything.


Leads to:
Modern Literature.

Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird"; Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse 5"; Morrison's "Beloved", and more.



Also Read:
-MY JIM, by Nancy Rawles (2005)
Twain should have skipped the two stupid boys and written about Jim the escaped slave with more directness and dignity.
Thankfully, Nancy makes up for it with this beautiful, moving alternative.


Also Watch:
--'BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD' (2012)
Subtly, an interpolation of the elements of "Huckleberry Finn", with a dash of Marquez or Castenada.



17) KING SOLOMON'S MINES,
by H. Rider Haggard
(1885)

The adventure hero.

Paul Robeson from "King Solomon's Mines", 1937



Inspired by "Treasure Island".
The proto 'Lost World' genre book. First book about Allan Quatermain.


Leads to:
The Action Adventurer.

-The ancient witch Gagool is the inspiration for Gollum from "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings".

->>> Lovecraft's "At the Mountains of Madness"; The Phantom comic strip; 'LOST HORIZON'; Indiana Jones; Lara Croft; Crichton's "Congo"; Alan Quatermain in "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen"; 'WAREHOUSE 13'.

Also Watch:
--'KING SOLOMON'S MINES' (1937)
Paul Robeson, with top billing in 1937! Very faithful, very good.
--'INDIANA JONES and the Temple of Doom' (1984)




18) SHE: A History Of Adventure,
by H. Rider Haggard
(1887)

The supranatural Queen.

Art by Lou Marchetti, 1949


Defined the Lost World genre.
Introduced the otherworldy and ambivalent Queen with Ayesha, "She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed".


Leads to:
All Lost World queens, princesses, and sorceresses.

>>> La of Opar, in the Tarzan books; Dejah Thoris, the Princess of Mars; Princess Aura in "Flash Gordon"; Tolkien's Shelob and Galadrial from "The Lord of the Rings"; Jadis the White Witch from the "Narnia" books; Fantomah; Solitaire from "Live and Let Die"; Storm from the X-Men; Daenerys Targaryen from 'Game of Thrones'.

-Archeological adventures crossed with the supernatural, such as 'INDIANA JONES and the Temple of Doom'.

Also Watch:
--'SHE' (1925)
Silent film, totally faithful, with text cards written by Haggard himself.
--'SHE' (1935)
From the makers of 'KING KONG', great art deco design and special effects, with Max Steiner score. Inspired Evil Queen in Disney's 'Snow White'.
--'SHE' (1965)
Hammer film, with Ursula Andress, Christopher Lee, and Peter Cushing. Well-made.




19) DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE,
by Robert Louis Stevenson
(1886)

The tortured transformer.

Fredric March in "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", 1931

Broken psyche made flesh.

A Poe story in all but author. Even the opening chapter recalls "The Murders in the Rue Morgue".


Leads to:
The fractured identity.

>>> Two-Face; The Hulk; 'PSYCHO'; Rose and The Thorn; Congo Bill and Congorilla; The Demon; The Outsider; Man-Bat; 'ALTERED STATES'; Jekyll and Hyde in "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen"; 'BATES MOTEL'; bi-polar drugs.

-"Frankenstein" + "Jekyll and Hyde" = The Hulk

Also Watch:
--'DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE' (1931)
The 'definitive version' with Fredric March; great film, very daring and creepily erotic.
(The poster for the 1941 version inspired Two-Face.)




20)

SHERLOCK HOLMES
by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Detective.

Art by Sidney Paget, 1904

The consulting detective.
Schools you like it's elementary.


All books and stories by Arthur Conan Doyle, unless noted.


1) A STUDY IN SCARLET (1887)
Definite influence from Poe's "The Murders of the Rue Morgue" across the first two Holmes books. Very funny when Holmes reflexively dismisses the Dupin and Lecoq stories, the characters that inspired him.

Also read:
-"A STUDY IN EMERALD", by Neil Gaiman (2003)
A short story crossing Holmes with Lovecraft. Read it free here.

Also Watch:
--'SHERLOCK: A Study In Pink' (season one, 2011)


2) THE SIGN OF THE FOUR (1890)
Leads to:
Plot facets in Sally Lockhart/"The Ruby In the Smoke", and "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"; cocaine in "The Seven Per-Cent Solution"


3) THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES (1902)
If the other stories are Poe mysteries, this one is more of a Poe horror. Like going from "Murder in the Rue Morgue" to "Fall of the House of Usher".

Also Watch:
--'THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES' (1939)
The first Holmes film starring Rathbone and Bruce. Basil is still the quintessential film Holmes, even with all the other greats. A fine film, very faithful.
--'SHERLOCK: The Hound of Baskerville' (season two, 2012)


4) Key short stories:

-"A Scandal in Bohemia" (1891) The Woman.
>>>Also Watch: 'SHERLOCK: A Scandal in Belgravia' (season two, 2012) Brilliantly inspired, absolute perfection.
-"The Adventure of the Red-Headed League" (1891) Smart fun.
-"The Adventure of the Speckled Band" (1892) Impossible case.
-"The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter" (1893) Mycroft.
-"The Final Problem" (1893) Showdown with Moriarty.
>>>Also Watch: 'SHERLOCK: The Reichenbach Fall' (season two, 2012) The ultimate cliffhanger.
-"The Adventure of the Empty House" (1903) Return of Holmes.



Leads to:
All detectives, real and imagined.

>>> Miss Marple; Hercule Poirot; Nero Wolf; Phillip Marlowe; Sam Spade; Charlie Chan; Ellory Queen; Jules Maigret; Batman, the Darknight Detective; Detective Chimp; Lois Lane; 'Peter Gunn'; Honey West; Virgil Tibbs; 'Columbo'; 'Murder She Wrote'; 'THE GREAT MOUSE DETECTIVE'; Will Graham in "Red Dragon" and the 'Hannibal' series; Agent Cooper in 'Twin Peaks'; Ezekial "Easy" Rollins; Sally Lockhart; Alex Cross; 'Angel'; 'Monk'; 'Veronica Mars'; 'House'; 'Numbers'; 'Cold Case'; 'C.S.I.', 'Lost Girl'; 'The Killing', etc.


Also Read:
-"THE SEVEN PER-CENT SOLUTION", by Nicholas Meyer (1974)
Meyer brought historical context and smart revisionism, which was a crucial revolution.


Also Watch:
--'THE SEVEN PER-CENT SOLUTION' (1976)
Excellent adaption of Meyer's pivotal book.
--'MURDER BY DECREE' (1979)
Underrated classic, starring Christopher Plummer as Holmes. Its set-up foreshadows Moore and Campbell's "From Hell".
--'SHERLOCK' (BBC series, 2010)
Stunning reimagining of Sherlock and John in modern times.
--'ELEMENTARY' (CBS series, 2012)
Amazingly, another great rethinking of Sherlock and Joan in modern times.





21) THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY,
by Oscar Wilde
(1890)

Youth and consequences.

Photo of Oscar Wilde by Napoleon Sarony, 1882

The fountain of youth.
Brought literary cred to 'genre' fiction.

In the tradition of Poe and Stevenson.


Leads to:
>>> Fitzgerald's "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button'; 'ZARDOZ'; Verloona in "Starstruck"; Capt. Jack Harkness of 'Doctor Who' and 'Torchwood'; 'THE FOUNTAIN'; 'YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH'.



22) THE JUNGLE BOOK,
by Rudyard Kiplng
(1894)

The jungle boy.

Art by Maurice & Edward Detmold, 1903

The wild child.
The animal-talker.


Leads to:
Nature's children.

>>> Rima the Jungle Girl; Tarzan of the Apes and Korak; Bomba the Jungle Boy; Wambi the Jungle Boy; Sabu the Jungle Boy; Dr. Dolittle; Dahl's "The Boy Who Talked With Animals"; 'Kimba the White Lion'; Kamandi; Animal Man; 'THE LION KING'; Martel's "Life of Pi".

Also Watch:
--'THE JUNGLE BOOK' (1942)
Starring Sabu, who later had a few films playing Sabu The Jungle Boy.
--'RIKI-TIKKI-TAVI' (1975)
The classic animation by Chuck Jones.




23) THE TIME MACHINE,
by H.G. Wells
(1895)

The time-traveler.

Trailer still from "The Time Machine", 1960


The other Father of Science Fiction arrives.

Change your place in history. (Look, but don't touch anything!)


Leads to:
All time travel!

>>> Bradbury's "A Sound of Thunder", and 'the Butterfly Effect'; The Legion of Super-Heroes; L'Engle's "A Wrinkle In Time"; Star Trek's "The City on the Edge of Forever"; Doctor Who; Aztek Ace; Time Spirits; 'BACK TO THE FUTURE' trilogy; 'Quantum Leap'; 'ARMY OF DARKNESS'; 'THE TERMINATOR' films; '12 MONKEYS'; "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban"; 'Samurai Jack'; 'PRIMER'; 'Terra Nova'; 'LOOPER'; 'SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED'

Also Watch:
--'THE TIME MACHINE' (1960)
Great! A fine HD print. Smart additions to the book's basic structure. The entire template for DOCTOR WHO.
--'TIME AFTER TIME' (1979)
Wells vs. The Ripper. Nicholas Meyer's dirctorial debut, with McDowell, Warner, and Steenburgen.
--'THE TIME MACHINE' (2002)
Underrated. Savvy updates and winks to the book and 1960 film. Directed by Wells' great-grandson.
--'THE TIME TRAVELLER'S WIFE' (2008)
Time is multilinear, love is unilateral.

--The 'DOCTOR WHO' TV series
Of course!




24) THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU,
by H. G. Wells
(1896)

Frankenstein's menagerie.

Cover art for Lancer edition, 1968

Wells ponders the moral ramifications of genetic engineering through vivisection. This opens the door for all clone, virus, mutant, cyborg, and eugenics fiction to follow.


Leads to:
Mutation.

>>> The shunned society in 'FREAKS'; 'THE FLY'; Beast from the X-Men; Star Trek's "Space Seed" and Khan Noonien Singh; 'PLANET OF THE APES'; Kamandi; Parliament's "The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein"; Devo ("Are we not men?"); genetic dinosaurs in "Jurassic Park"; 'GATTACA'; vivisection in 'HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES'; 'DISTRICT 9'; 'Orphan Black'.

Also Watch:
--'THE ISLAND OF LOST SOULS' (1931)
Legosi, Laughton, and great lighting!




25) THE INVISIBLE MAN,
by H.G. Wells
(1897)

Scenes of the unseen.

Cover art for Pocket edition, 1956

Wells continues his golden run.

A response to Plato's question,'would you be moral if no one could see your actions?'.


Leads to:
>>> The Shadow, in the shadows; Gollum's ring; Invisible Scarlet O'Neil; Ralph Ellison's metaphoric "Invisible Man"; the ID in 'FORBIDDEN PLANET'; Sue Richards, the Invisible Woman; the Romulan cloaking device; 'NOW YOU SEE HIM, NOW YOU DON'T'; "The Invisible Man" series; "Gemini Man" series; Griffin in "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen"; 'HOLLOW MAN'; Harry Potter's cloak of invisibility.

- ★ Actual invisibility!>

Also Watch:
--'THE INVISIBLE MAN' (1933)
Starring Claude Rains, directed by James Whale between 'Frankensteins'.




26) DRACULA,
by Bram Stoker
(1897)

The Vampire.

Cover art for Penguin Classics, 1993

The modern vampire.

A progressive turning point with its multi-textual narratives from various views.


Leads to:
Fangoria.

>>> Matheson's "I Am Legend"; Vampirella; 'Dark Shadows' and Barnabas Collins; 'VAMPYROS LESBOS'; 'BLACULA'; Rice's "Interview With a Vampire" series; King's "Salem's Lot"; Blade the vampire killer; Buffy the vampire slayer; Vampire Hunter D; Elaine Lee's "Vamps"; Mina Murray, the crucial character in "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen"; Sooky Stackhouse and 'True Blood'; the "Twilight" series; "Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter"; 'LET THE RIGHT ONE IN'.

Also Read:
-"THE VAMPYRE" by John William Polidori (1819)
Inspired in the night of ghost stories with Byron and the Shelley's; only Mary and John wrote theirs down. Inspired Bram Stoker.

Also Watch:
--'NOSFERATU' (1922)
Stoker's story in all but name.
--'SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE' (2000)
But what if the film NOSFERATU was actually true...?
--'DRACULA' (1931)
Lugosi.
--'VAMPYR' (1933)
(Not based on Polidori's story.) Between "Un Chien Andalou" and "Eraserhead" ... gothic surrealism.
--'BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA (1992)
Coppola.
Companion piece to Branaugh's "Frankenstein".




27) WAR OF THE WORLDS,
by H.G. Wells
(1898)

Aliens and alien invasion.

Art by Edward Gorey, 1960


Distills all the previous into modern Science Fiction and Horror in one astonishing leap.


Leads to:
Everything!

>>> John Carter of Mars, "The Martian Chronicles", Superman, "Mars Attacks", Cthulhu, 'ALIEN', 'E.T.', 'INDEPENDENCE DAY',
...and that's in the first twenty pages alone.

Also Watch:
--'WAR OF THE WORLDS' (1953)




28) THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ,
by L. Frank Baum
(1900)

The fellowship journey.

Art by W.W. Denslow, 1900

Working together to save everything.
Keep your head, your heart, your goal, and your courage.

Read "The Annotated Wizard of Oz: Centennial Edition" (2000), with the original art of W.W. Denslow.


Leads to:
>>> The Narnia books; "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings"; Dahl's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"; Elton John's "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road"; 'STAR WARS' (IV); 'THE WIZ'; 'UNDER THE RAINBOW'; "Wicked" book and musical; 'Sailor Moon'; Lynch's 'WILD AT HEART'; 'Tin Man' miniseries; 'PAN'S LABYRINTH'; Henry Gale on 'Lost'; 'BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA'; 'OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL'.

Also Watch:
--'THE WIZARD OF OZ' (1939)
This movie gets more wonderful every time you see it!
--'THE WIZ' (1978)
Everybody should get included in dreams of a better world.




29) THE FIRST MEN IN THE MOON,
by H.G. Wells
(1901)

Interstellar explorers.

Film still from "A Trip To the Moon", 1902

So is this island deserted, or...?
What lies beneath.



Leads to:
>>> Clarke's "Prelude To Space"; 'DESTINATION MOON'; The Spirit on the moon; Tintin on the moon; Heinlein's many Moon stories; Buzz Aldrin and Buzz Lightyear; the Justice League Watchtower; 'APOLLO 18'; 'HUGO'.

Also Watch:
--'A TRIP TO THE MOON' (1902)
George Melies' fusing of Verne's "From the Earth to the Moon" and Well's "First Men in the Moon", much to the two rivals' chagrin.
--'HUGO' (2011)

--'FIRST MEN IN THE MOON' (1964)
--'FIRST MEN IN THE MOON' (2010)
Written by and starring Mark Gatiss (co-creator of SHERLOCK; plays Mycroft), a fine and faithful telling of the book that tips hats to the 1902 and 1964 films.


--'2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY' (1968)
After a millennia, I was finally able see it on the big screen.
More majestic, breathtaking, and wondrous than ever.




30)

GREEN MANSIONS,
by William Henry Hudson
(1904)

Rima the Jungle Girl.

Art by Nestor Redondo
for RIMA The Jungle Girl #1, 1974

Sister Nature.
The earth guardian.


Leads to:
Tarzan and Jane; Fantomah; Sheena the Jungle Girl; Nyoka; Shanna the She-Devil; Pantha; Vixen; Abby and Tefe Holland; Shuri, the Black Panther.


There was a film version of 'GREEN MANSIONS' (1959) starring Audrey Hepburn as Rima. Sadly, it is currently unavailable.




31) THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL,
by Baroness Emmuska Orczy
(1905)

The costumed crimefighter.

Merle Oberon and Leslie Howard
in "The Scarlet Pimpernel", 1934

The first superhero was invented by a woman. Royalty, no less!

So far, women have barely existed in the books listed, usually only as ciphers, cameos, or muses.
This breath of fresh air stars a complex and strong woman -Marguerite St. Just- in the lead. In solving the mystery of 'the Scarlet Pimpernel', she proves smarter than the villains and equal to the heroes.


Leads to:
The superhero template refined:

The man of means, the dual identity, the disguises, the crusade on injustice, a league of allies, an arch villain, a love 'triangle'.


>>> Zorro; The Shadow; The Batman; The Crimson Avenger; The Green Hornet; The Phantom Detective; James Bond; The Scarlet Pumpernickel!, etc.

-Lois Lane; Margo Lane; Lana Lang; Golden Age superheroes like Hawkgirl, Bulletgirl, Miss Fury, Miss Masque, Phantom Lady, The Woman In Red, and The Blonde Phantom.

-★ Thousands of lives were actually saved by this book, when it inspired many real-life heroes: such as Raoul Wallenberg, who smuggled out 15,000 Hungarian Jews during World War II.


Also Watch:
--'THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL' (1934)




32) PETER PAN,
by J. M. Barrie
* (1911)

The magic child.

Cover Art for "Peter Pan and Wendy", 1915


*(originally titled 'Peter and Wendy')


When Barrie threw "Alice In Wonderland", "Last of the Mohicans", "Treasure Island", and "Robin Hood" into a gumbo!


Leads to:
>>> The Narnia books; Milne's "Winnie the Pooh"; 'MARY POPPINS'; 'THE NEVERENDING STORY'; 'THE LOST BOYS'; 'HOOK'; 'JUMANJI'; 'Lost'; Wendy in Moore and Gebbie's "Lost Girls".

Also Read:
-(in relation to ALICE and OZ:)
"Lost Girls", by Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie

Also Watch:
--'FINDING NEVERLAND' (2004)




33) THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA,
by Gaston Leroux
(1911)

The disfigured anti-hero.

Cover art for first French edition, 1911

What soul lies beneath the mask?

A sloppy book with eternal ideas.



Leads to:
-Villains:
The Joker; The Red Skull; Doctor Phibes; Doctor Doom; Blofeld in 'YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE'; Darth Vader; Baron Karza; Michael Myers in 'HALLOWEEN'; Jason in 'FRIDAY THE 13th'; Richard Harrow on 'Boardwalk Empire'.

-Heroes:
Negative Man from the Doom Patrol; Christiane in 'EYES WITHOUT A FACE'; Orion of the New Gods; The Unknown Soldier; "V For Vendetta"; 'ABRE LOS OJOS', remade as 'VANILLA SKY'.

Also Watch:
--'THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA' (1925)
Lon Chaney.
--'PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE' (1974)
A Rock Opera by Brian DePalma.




34) A PRINCESS OF MARS,
by Edgar Rice Burroughs
(1912)

The SF adventure hero.

Art for first hardcover edition by Frank Schoonover, 1917

John Carter of Mars.
All 20th Century Science Fiction comes from this book.

A displaced hero, a fierce princess, super abilities, a wilderness world, champion for the rebel underdogs, fighting an evil empire...


Leads to:
Everything!

>>> Tarzan; Buck Rogers; Flash Gordon; Superman; Conan the Barbarian; "The Martian Chronicles"; "Dune"; Adam Strange; 'STAR WARS'; Corben's "Den"; Heinlein's "The Number of the Beast"; the "Warp!" play and comics; 'Andromeda'; 'COWBOYS AND ALIENS'; 'AVATAR'.

Also Watch:
--'JOHN CARTER' (2012)
The film succeeds, the audience failed it.




35) THE LOST WORLD,
by Arthur Conan Doyle
(1912)

The Lost World genre.


Dinosaurs in a secret world!



Leads to:
All lost primeval realms.

>>> Burrough's "The Land That Time Forgot"; 'KING KONG'; Ka-Zar and the Savage Land; 'GODZILLA'; 'DINOSAURUS'; 'VALLEY OF GWANI'; 'Valley of the Dinosaurs' cartoon; Grodd and Gorilla City; DC's Dinosaur Island; 'Land of the Lost'; Devil Dinosaur; Gaskell's "Atlan" series; 'JURASSIC PARK'; "Dinotopia"; 'UP'; 'Terra Nova', etc.

Also Watch:
--'THE LOST WORLD' (1925)




36) TARZAN OF THE APES,
by Edgar Rice Burroughs
(1912)

Animal Man.

>
Art for first pulp publication by Clinton Pettee, 1912

Royal blood, primal heart.

Tarzan as a character and a mass success will chart out the next century of adventure heroes.



Leads to:
Rulers of the jungle.

->>> Doc Savage; Sheena; Tor; Ka-Zar; Thun'Da; George of the Jungle; Animal Man; B'wana Beast; Black Panther; Shanna; Wolverine; Indiana Jones; Vixen; Tom Strong.

-★ Actual jungle heroes like Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey!


Art by Mark Summers, 2012

Also Read:
-"JANE: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan", by Robin Maxwell (2012)
Everything retold from Jane's point of view.
An excellent book, highly recommended; the best Tarzan book anyone could ever want.


Also Watch:
--'TARZAN THE APE MAN' (1932)
The chemistry of Tarzan and Jane is fantastic.
--'TARZAN AND HIS MATE' (1934)
The couple's playfulness is so endearing and sexy, it puts most love films to shame. Their restored nude swimming scene is astounding.

--'GREYSTOKE: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes' (1984)
The only real Tarzan movie ever made. Exquisite.
--'TARZAN' (1999)
A Disney animated that could have been disaster is instead too smart, funny, and inspired to fail, even with corny songs.

--'WILD CHILD' (1971)
Truffaut. True story.




37) THE RETURN OF TARZAN,
by Edgar Rice Burroughs
(1913)

Pulp paragon.

Art by Joe Kubert, 1974

Basically invents the next fifty years of Pulp adventures in one book.



Leads to:
Modern Pulp Adventure.

-Acts as a European secret agent, in a white suit, foiling card cheats and Russian espionage, while every woman falls for him
= JAMES BOND

-Bounds through Arabic streets, fights Arab "raiders" in the desert, finds the lost city of Gold
= INDIANA JONES

-The tan man becomes a tribal leader while funding his world exploits with the jungle gold
= DOC SAVAGE




38) THE MYSTERY OF DR. FU MANCHU,
by Sax Rohmer
* (1913)

The supervillain.

Art by Vincent Sullivan, March 1937

*(in U.S.A., as "The Insidious Dr. Fu Manchu")


The supervillain.
The Demon Other.
The Phantom Menace.

A bad book with worse influence. Rohmer encodes "Yellow Peril"> bigotry into an uber-villain stereotype that has fueled fiction (and real wars) for a century.>



Leads to:

>>> Ming the Merciless; Fleming's "Dr. No"; The Mandarin in "Iron Man";
Dr. Zin on "Jonny Quest"; "The Gamesters of Triskelion" on 'Star Trek'; Egg Fu in "Wonder Woman"; Ra's Al Ghul in "Batman"; himself in "The Hands of Shang Chi, Master of Kung Fu";
The Bakelite in Moebius' "The Airtight Garage"; the young Baron Karza in "The Micronauts"; The Doctor in "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen 1"; Hark in "Planetary", etc.

-The Fu Manchu archetype dovetailed into the American propaganda narrative on Asian enemies like Emperor Tojo, Mao Zedong, Ho Chi Minh, and Kim Jong-il.

-Rohmer's eroticization of the stereotype with Fah lo Suee, the Daughter of Fu Manchu, leads to: The Dragon Lady in "Terry & The Pirates"; Talia Al Ghul.>


The old "Yellow Peril" hate has mutated now into the fear of an 'Allah Peril', substituting a new bearded face to demonize.>

Trading on the Bin Laden legacy, the recycled Rohmer Boogie Man narrative now guides '24', 'Homeland', 'ZERO DARK THIRTY', The New York Post, Fox News, ...




39) THE CURSE OF CAPISTRANO,
by Johnston McCulley
(1919)

Zorro.

Original cover art for All-Story Weekly, August 9, 1919

The fox.
"Robin Hood" + "Scarlet Pimpernel" = Zorro

This pulp novella caught Douglas Fairbanks' eye, who sharpened the character into the Zorro we know with his film, 'THE MARK OF ZORRO'.



Leads to:

>>> The Shadow; The Spider; The Black Bat; Batman; Green Arrow; Wildcat; The Lone Ranger; The Cisco Kid; The Two Gun Kid; El Gaucho; 'Wild Wild West'; 'THE PRINCESS BRIDE'; 'V For Vendetta'; "Batman: Year One"; the 'DESPERADO' trilogy; 'Queen of Swords'; 'AMELIE'!


Also Watch:
--'THE MARK OF ZORRO' (1920)
Douglas Fairbanks.




40)

R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots),
by Karel Capek
(1920)

Robots!

Poster for New York WPA stage production, 1939

Rise of the robots!

(Also, badly-written sexist crap! The concept outweighs the craft.)


Leads to:
Robots!

>>> All robots, bots, androids, gynoids, droids, roboids, reploids, synthetics, automatons, cyborgs, borgs, mechas, surrogates, avatars, and replicants.




41) METROPOLIS,
by Thea Von Harbou
(1926)

The Future.

'Maria' from the film "Metropolis", 1926

Maria, the ghost in the shell.
And the world of the future, seen by all eyes for the first time through cinema.

An early model for future histories, utopian and distopic parables, and transhumanism tales.


Thea Von Harbou turned her book into the screenplay for her husband Fritz Lang's classic film, 'METROPOLIS'.



Leads to:
>>> Superman's city, Metropolis; C-3PO; The Bionic Woman and Fembots; Ilia from 'STAR TREK: The Motion Picture'; 'BLADE RUNNER'; Motoko in 'GHOST IN THE SHELL'; the Borg Queen from 'Star Trek; 'TERMINATOR 3' and 'Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles'; Eve from 'WALL-E'; Janelle Monae's "Metropolis" album.

-Huxley's "Brave New World"; Well's "Shape of Things To Come"; Orwell's "1984"; ...


Also Watch:
--'METROPOLIS' (1926)
--'Osamu Tezuka's METROPOLIS' (2002)




42) ORLANDO,
by Virginia Woolf
(1928)

Regeneration.


Be yourself beyond boundaries.

Like Wilde's "Dorian Gray", another speculative fiction that brought academic credibility to ideas dismissed as 'genre' fiction.


Woolf's tale of an individual who transcends gender and social roles captures the true heart of what makes science/speculative fiction a serious, if not even better, literature: giving life to ideas, insights, and inventions that progress us forward, instead of conventional dramas of social constriction that formalize repression of the imagination or the self.



Leads to:
Regenerating identity.> > >

>>> Eowyn in "The Return of the King"; Sturgeon's "Venus Plus X"; Doctor Who; Heinlein's Andrew/Elizabeth Libby, and "I will Fear No Evil"; Russ' "The Female Man"; Tristan in "Camelot 3000"; Shade the Changing Man; Dax in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine'; Scott's "Shadow Man"; The Shining Knight; 'THE SKIN I LIVE IN'; 'CLOUD ATLAS'.


Also Watch:
--'ORLANDO' (1992)
Tilda Swinton.




43) H.P. LOVECRAFT

Science-Fiction Horror.

Poster art for Lovecraft-inspired gallery exhibit
by Jeremy Enecio, 2010

Lovecraft's genius was to meld Poe's horror with Well's science fiction, an unholy hybrid with many tentacles.

His stories are a cohesive mythos about stellar demons returning to destroy everything using Earth as their portal. (And, in ways, Rohmer's xenophobia writ cosmological.)


Here are key short stories, and a novella.

Read:
-"The Lurking Fear" (1922)
-"The Shunned House" (1924)
-"The Horror at Red Hook" (1925)
-"The Call of Cthulhu" (1926)
-"The Colour Out of Space" (1927)
-"The History of the Necronomicon" (1927)
-"The Dunwich Horror" (1928)
-AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS (1931)
-"The Haunter of the Dark" (1935)



Leads to:
Science Fiction Horror.

>>>
The Necronimicon;

Robert E. Howard; EC Comics: "Tales From the Crypt", "Vault of Horror", "Haunt of Fear", "Weird Science";

Dr. Strange; Star Trek's "What Are Little Girls Made Of?"; Vampirella; Ghost Rider;

'Kolchak, the Night Stalker'; 'Night Gallery'; Stephen King; Giger's art book "Necronomicon"; 'ALIEN';

'THE THING'; John Constantine; 'EVIL DEAD' and 'ARMY OF DARKNESS'; 'RE-ANIMATOR'; Clive Barker and 'HELLRAISER'; Neil Gaiman; Dylan Dog;

The Crow; 'The X-Files'; 'IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS'; Hellboy; 'CORALINE'; 'American Horror Story'; 'Grimm'; 'Supernatural'; 'Lost Girl'; Brubaker and Phillip's "Fatale"; 'PROMETHEUS'.

Also Watch:
--'PROMETHEUS' (2012)
At the mound of madness...



44) THE MALTESE FALCON,
by Dashiell Hammett
(1930)

The Hardboiled Detective.

Art by Henry C. Murphy, Jr.


Tough mug, wearied mind, wounded heart, quick wits.

The urbane Sherlock gives way to the urban shamus.



Leads to:
Hardboiled noir.

>>> 'THE MALTESE FALCON'; Slam Bradley; Film Noir; Alfred Hitchcock; Mr. Ripley; 'VERTIGO';

Burroughs' "Naked Lunch"; Parker and "The Hunter"; 'ALPHAVILLE';

'SHAFT'; 'SOYLENT GREEN'; 'CHINATOWN'; Moebius' "The Long Tomorrow";

'BLADE RUNNER'; 'BODY HEAT'; Jabba the Hut and Salacious Crumb; 'THE ELEMENT OF CRIME'; "Harry Palmer: Starstruck">; Judge Dredd; 'BLUE VELVET'; 'Twin Peaks'; Public Enemy;

Miller's "Sin City" and "Hard Boiled"; Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins; V.I. Warshawski; 'GHOST IN THE SHELL'; '7EVEN'; 'PULP FICTION'; 'DARK CITY'; 'Cowboy Bebop'; 'FIGHT CLUB';

'ROAD TO PERDITION'; "100 Bullets"; "Fatale"; 'Boardwalk Empire'; "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" trilogy.



Also Watch:

--'THE MALTESE FALCON' (1941)
Bogart.




Additional Period Classics:

THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE, by James M. Cain (1934)

THE BIG SLEEP, by Raymond Chandler (1939)

THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY, by Patricia Highsmith (1955)





45) GLADIATOR,
by William Wylie
(1930)

The Superman.


The inspiration for Superman and superheroes.

New god or fallen angel? A meditation on unlimited power and the use and abuse of it.



Leads to:
The Super Human.

>>> Superman; Spider-Man; Dr. Manhattan in "WATCHMEN"; Miracleman (nee Marvelman); 'UNBREAKABLE'; 'CHRONICLE'.



46) THE LIVING SHADOW,
by Maxwell Grant
(1931)

Hell's Angel.

Art by George Rozen.

Hell's methods for Heaven's ends.
Creates both the moral avenger and the bloodthirsty vigilante at once.



Leads to:
>>>
-Heaven's Demon: the avenger

Fantomah; Batman; The Spectre; The Avenger; Ghost Rider; The Phantom Stranger; The Demon; Daimon Helstrom, the Son of Satan; Man-Thing; Wolverine; 'DARKMAN'; Ghost; Lady Death; The Crow; Witchblade; The Spider in "Planetary"; "The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril".

-Hell's Angel: the killer

The Punisher; Elektra; Judge Dredd; The Vigilante; Deathstroke; Lobo; The Comedian; Cable; Deadpool; Spawn; Magog.





47) THE MAN OF BRONZE,
by Kenneth Robeson
(1933)

The Man of Tomorrow.

Art by James Bama, 1964.

The supreme man.
Scientist, adventurer, crimefighter, athlete.



Leads to:
>>> Superman, Clark Kent, and the Fortress of Solitude; Reed Richards and the Baxter Building; Doc Sampson in "The Hulk"; Doc Caliban in Farmer's Caliban/Grandrith trilogy; Doc Phoenix in "The Oz Encounter"; Zarkon and the Omega Team in Carter's pentalogy; Indiana Jones; 'BUCKAROO BANZAI'; The Rocketeer; 'BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA'; Lara Croft; Doc Sidhe in Allston's two books; Tom Strong; Doc Brass in "Planetary".

Also Read:

-"THE CHINATOWN DEATH CLOUD PERIL", by Paul Malmont (2006)
Pulp writers Walter Gibson and Lester Dent -along with L. Ron Hubbard, H.P. Lovecraft, and mystery guests- fight to save Chinatown from a shadowy menace.

-"THE ASTOUNDING, THE AMAZING, AND THE UNKNOWN", by Paul Malmont (2011)
The sequel, where Heinlein, Asimov, de Camp, Hubbard, and special guests conduit Tesla's inventions to stop Hitler.




48) "Who Goes There?",
by John W. Campbell, Jr.
(1938)

The Thing.

Film poster for "The Thing", 1982


The short story that inspired the THING films.
Read it free here.


Poe's "Arthur Gordon Pym" implied something unusual lay in the South Pole. Verne's sequel "An Antarctic Mystery" brought an expedition to find out. Lovecraft's "At the Mountains of Madness" said something might be waiting in the ice. And his editor, Campbell, shows why it should stay there.



Leads to:
>>> Heinlein's "The Puppet Masters"; 'INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS'; 'THE BLOB'; 'ALIEN'; 'V'; 'THE HIDDEN'; 'PREDATOR'; 'THEY LIVE'; 'MIMIC'; Stephen King's "Dreamcatcher"; 'PROMETHEUS'; "Helix"; abstractly, 'Fortitude'.

Also Read:
-"The Things", by Peter Watts (2010)
Short story that parallels the 1982 movie, told from the alien/s point-of-view.

Also Watch:
--'THE THING From Another World' (1951)
--'THE THING' (1982)
--'THE THING' (prequel to the '82; 2011)



49) I AM LEGEND,
by Richard Matheson
(1953)

The contagion and zombies.


Genetic vampires.
The crucial shift from monsters created by the supernatural to monsters created by science.


Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" + "The Last Man" = "I Am Legend"


Leads to:


-Three films were made from the novel: 'THE LAST MAN ON EARTH' (1964); 'THE OMEGA MAN' (1971); and 'I AM LEGEND' (2007).

-An unofficial film adaption was Romero's 'NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD'. From this comes 'THE EVIL DEAD'; '28 DAYS LATER'; 'RESIDENT EVIL'; the Reavers in 'Firefly'/'SERENITY'; 'SHAUN OF THE DEAD'; 'ZOMBIELAND'; 'THE CABIN IN THE WOODS'.

>>> Also, King's "The Stand"; Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video; "Y: The Last Man"; "The Walking Dead"; "Marvel Zombies"; the Black Lanterns; "Silent Hill"; Rob Zombie; "World War Z"; "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies".



50) CASINO ROYALE,
by Ian Fleming
(1953)

The Spy.

CASINO ROYALE,
by Ian Fleming
(1953)
Art by Pat Marriott, 1957

Bond. James Bond.



Leads to:
The Action Adventure Spy.

>>> Modesty Blaise; 'Danger Man'; 'The Prisoner'; 'The Saint'; 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.'; 'The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.'; Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.E.I.L.D.; 'The Wild, Wild West'; 'Get Smart'; 'I Spy'; 'Mission: Impossible'; 'Jonny Quest'; 'Lancelot Link'; Matt Helm; Flint;

The Human Target; Shang Chi and Leiko Wu; 'The Six Million Dollar Man'; 'The Bionic Woman';

Sabre; Jon Sable; 'Remington Steele'; 'LA FEMME NIKITA'; The Invisibles; 'MacGuyver'; 'Aeon Flux'; 'AUSTIN POWERS';

'Alias'; '24'; 'xXx'; Johnny English; Kim Possible; 'SPY KIDS'; Cody Banks; Jason Bourne; 'Fringe'; 'Archer'; 'Chuck'; 'Nikita'; 'HAYWIRE'; 'IRON MAN 3'.


Also Watch:
-all the James Bond films in order from DR. NO to SPECTRE




FULL CIRCLE
Everything Is Connected

These two books sum up most of this list,
while opening the past to new futures.



51) TARZAN ALIVE,
by Philip Jose Farmer
(1972)

Wold Newton.

Art by Richard Amsel, 1973

In the early 70's, 'genre' fiction and films were reevaluated as valid art forms when fans became scholars. Films were restored, comic strips and books archived, art houses packed, college courses taught.

Nicholas Meyer brought historical context and retroactive depths into his bestselling Sherlock Holmes revival, "The Seven Per Cent Solution". Phillip Jose Farmer went far wider: he pretended all the great heroes of literature were real and related, which he detailed in exhaustive family trees.

In essence, he took cues from comic book continuity, with its revisions and crossovers, and applied it to the literary and cinematic sources that had spawned those hero concepts, bringing it all full-circle. This 'Wold Newton' universe inspired continued waves of responsive revisionism in films, series, comics, and books for decades.

This is the first book.



Leads to:
The interconnected mythos of cultural history.

>>> The Wold Newton mythos; Roy Thomas' "All Star Squadron"; George R.R. Martin's "Wild Cards" books; Chaykin's "The Shadow";

DC's Elseworlds graphic novels; Moore and O'Neill's "The League of Extraordinary Gentleman"; Ellis and Cassaday's "Planetary"; Marvel's "Earth X" books;

Cooke's "The New Frontier" maxi-series; DC's "First Wave" comics, with Doc Savage, Rima, The Spirit, and The Avenger together; Dynamite's "Masks", teaming a pulp pantheon of The Shadow, The Spider, The Green Hornet, Miss Fury, and Zorro.



52) DOC SAVAGE: His Apocalyptic Life,
by Philip Jose Farmer
(1974)

Wold Newton.

1975 paperback with art by James Bama (foreground) and Walter M. Baumhofer (background)

Farmer expanded and refined his Wold Newton cosmology with this second book.

He then extended his idea of interconnectedness to real historical figures in his "Riverworld" books.



Leads to:

-Meyer put literature into real history.
Farmer treated literature as a real history.
Paul Malmont posited real writers living the pulp fiction they wrote, with "The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril" and "The Astounding, The Amazing, and The Unknown".

-Farmer brainstormed the path to retroactive Steampunk rethinks:

H.W. Jeter's "Morlock Night"; 'TIME AFTER TIME'; Hellboy; 'The Adventures of Jules Verne' and 'Da Vinci's Demons'; Otomo's 'STEAMBOY'; the Robert Downey SHERLOCK films; the "BioShock Infinite" game.




By the twentieth century, with wider literacy, schools, and libraries, these varied books from across two centuries became a loose canon of literature inspiring young people.

From these fundamental works they created the first comic strips, comic books, and classic films. Taken together, their ideas forged most of our pop culture today.


KEY EARLY FILMS:


--'THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI' (1920)

--'THE THIEF OF BAGDAD' (1924)

--'THE MAN WHO LAUGHS' (1928)

--'THE MUMMY' (1932)

--'KING KONG' (1933)

--'THE WOLFMAN' (1941)

--'CAT PEOPLE' (1942)





KEY EARLY COMICS:



"Little Nemo In Slumberland" by Winsor McCay

"Krazy Kat" by George Herriman

"Prince Valiant" by Hal Foster

"Flash Gordon" by Alex Raymond

"Tarzan" by Burne Hogarth

"Wonder Woman" by Marston and Peter

"The Spirit" by Will Eisner

"Pogo" by Walt Kelly

"Tintin" by Herge


EC Comics, by various artists







Music Player!



200 songs inspired by the books above!
(in order according to the list)


Rockabilly! Swing! Psyche! Soul!
Garage Rock! Jazz! Reggae! Soundtracks!
Folk! Punk! Funk! Surf!




See you in the future for...

THE CANON 2!






See also:

The Canon 2: 50 More Books That Created Modern Pop Culture!

How STAR WARS Is Changing Everything!

The Big Bang of STARSTRUCK: The Roots and Branches of Lee and Kaluta's Space Opera