Saturday, September 26, 2015

Review - The Science Fiction & Fantasy Quiz Book

Author: Joseph A. McCullough
Illustrator: Miguel Coimbra
Publication Date: 20 Sep 2015
Number of Pages: 192
What character did Peter Cushing portray in Star Wars: A New Hope? Who was Arwen Evenstar's mother? According to Isaac Asimov, what is third law of robotics? Which barbarian hero carried a sword called 'Graywand'?

Do you dare face the ultimate test of science fiction and fantasy knowledge? This fun-filled book offers the chance to prove your expertise, with questions ranging from easy to nearly impossible, drawn from the greatest novels, movies, comic books, video games and television shows in the history of the genre.

Trivial and Not So Trivial Pursuit
I am always up for testing my knowledge and having some fun with anything to do with science fiction and fantasy. Over the years there have been quite a few books of this nature but The Science Fiction & Fantasy Quiz Book is definitely a child of its time. It reflects a much greater emphasis on media science fiction and comic and graphic novels which is a good thing as both of these areas in the genre have grown exponentially in the past few decades and garnered significant popular culture attention.

Sample General Knowledge
quiz in Easy category
The book uses familiar quiz formats such as multiple choice, true or false, short answer and match up and is divided into three sections according to difficulty - easy, medium or hard. Each quiz is made up of 10 questions. Most quizzes are a general knowledge catch-all, but every few pages there is a themed category such as Superheroes, Homeworlds or Star Trek. Correct answers are provided at the back of the book.

While I didn't exactly breeze through the Easy section, I found I was averaging 8 out of 10 scores for most categories except comics and games where I dropped to 50%. Things started to get a lot tougher in the Medium section where I dropped to 4 or 5 out of 10 per quiz on average. Surprisingly my average scores went up on the Hard section I think because the percentage of questions relating to science fiction and fantasy books increased which I am much better at. The books as you would expect is primarily text driven with a scattering of nicely done illustrations.

The Science Fiction & Fantasy Quiz Book is fun to test your own knowledge and easily used for some competitive fun with like-minded friends. Even if you are only a casual science fiction and fantasy fan there is plenty of popular culture questions that won't make your head explode. Die-hard Golden Age science fiction fans expecting a book oriented challenge should be satisfied with the Hard category but not so much in the earlier categories. Recommended for trivia buffs or as a gift for genre fans.

And a final thought for the author. This would be great as an interactive online quiz. Make your choices and get your scores and the answers. Access for purchasers of the book as an alternative way to explore the quizzes.
Illustration from The Science Fiction & Fantasy Quiz Book


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