Science fiction and fantasy                                            

In This Decade

The author Christopher Paolini was born in 1983.

The author Philip K. Dick died in 1982.

Unreviewed books

Neuromancer cover    
Neuromancer by William Gibson (1984)
Case is a hacker who has been crippled and shut out of virtual reality in this cyberpunk novel.

The Handmaid    
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (1985)
In the repressive state of Gilead, Offred is a Handmaid. She has few rights and many restrictions, and society values her only for her ability to breed.

Born With The Dead/The Saliva Tree cover    
Born With The Dead/The Saliva Tree by Robert Silverberg and Brian W. Aldiss (1988)
Two novellas. After a meteor shower, a farm becomes unnaturally fertile. And the dead walk in the world, but one widower is unable to contact his late wife.

Firestarter cover    
Firestarter by Stephen King (1980)
A child is born with extraordinary psychic powers.

The Memory Of Whiteness cover    
The Memory Of Whiteness by Kim Stanley Robinson (1985)
A junkie musician tours the solar system, performing on a one-man instrument known as The Orchestra.

The Vampire Lestat cover    
The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice (1985)
The story of a French aristocrat who becomes undead. The second novel in The Vampire Chronicles.

Weaveworld cover    
Weaveworld by Clive Barker (1987)
When an odd old lady is taken ill, workmen enter her house and clear a carpet that seems to contain a world.

The Wandering Fire cover    
The Wandering Fire by Guy Gavriel Kay (1986)
Five companions must band together and summon a cursed warrior from his resting placein order to protect the land of Fionavar from evil. Book two of The Fionavar Tapestry.

The Weaker Vessel cover    
The Weaker Vessel by Antonia Fraser (1984)
An account of how women in the seventeenth century lived.

The Search For Fierra cover    
The Search For Fierra by Stephen R. Lawhead (1985)
A writer is abducted and offered a job observing a secret colony planet, but what he finds is very different from the fledgling colony he expected. The first novel in the Empyrion series.

A Malady Of Magicks cover    
A Malady Of Magicks by Craig Shaw Gardner (1986)
An apprentice wizard and his master journey on a quest to find a cure for the wizard's magical illness. Book one in the Ebenezum trilogy.

Time Of The Twins cover    
Time Of The Twins by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman (1986)
A group of adventurers travel through time to stop the archmage Raistlin bringing evil back into the world. This DragonLance novel is the first in the Legends series.

The Siege Of Dome cover    
The Siege Of Dome by Stephen R. Lawhead (1986)
A writer and his companions came to observe a paradise, but found a colony locked in bitter conflict. The second novel in the Empyrion series.

The Embarrassment of Riches cover    
The Embarrassment of Riches by Simon Schama (1987)
An examination of Dutch culture in the seventeenth century.

Taliesin cover    
Taliesin by Stephen R. Lawhead (1987)
A story of the lost land of Atlantis, Celtic myth, and the bard Taliesin. Book one of the Pendragon cycle.

Eternity cover    
Eternity by Greg Bear (1988)
Earth has recovered from an apocalypse. But whilst some can have immortality, it is not available for all in this story spanning the far future, spaceships, and advanced extra-dimensional civilisations. Book two of The Way.

The Queen Of The Damned cover    
The Queen Of The Damned by Anne Rice (1988)
The vampire Lestat searches for the origin of his kind. The third novel in The Vampire Chronicles.

Oath Of Gold cover    
Oath Of Gold by Elizabeth Moon (1989)
A young woman must heal from serious injuries and be heroic. Book three of The Deed Of Paksenarrion.

Unreviewed films

Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back cover    
Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back directed by Irvin Kershner (1980)
Darth Vader sends troops to attack rebels on the planet Hoth, whilst Luke Skywalker tries to complete his Jedi training before time runs out.

An American Werewolf In London cover    
An American Werewolf In London directed by John Landis (1981)
An American student on a tour of Britain is mauled in a werewolf attack that leaves his friend dead. But nobody wants to admit there is a werewolf.

Raiders of the Lost Ark cover    
Raiders of the Lost Ark directed by Steven Spielberg (1981)
An archaeologist travels around the world to prevent the fabled Ark of the Covenant from falling into the hands of Nazis in this adventure set in the 1930s.

Blade Runner cover    
Blade Runner directed by Ridley Scott (1982)
A replicant hunter must track down and terminate four rogue replicants before they kill again.

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial cover    
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial directed by Steven Spielberg (1982)
An alien is left stranded and alone on Earth. A child tries to help him to find his way home.

Poltergeist cover    
Poltergeist directed by Tobe Hooper (1982)
A family move into a house, only to find objects moving and other strange occurences that put them in danger.

Star Wars: Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi cover    
Star Wars: Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi directed by Richard Marquand (1983)
A group of rebels fight to rescue Han Solo and take on the evil galactic empire in this planet-spanning space opera.

Back To The Future cover    
Back To The Future directed by Robert Zemeckis (1985)
A young man travels back in time with the help of a crazy scientist. However, if his parents fail to get together he may accidentally erase his own existence.

Brazil cover    
Brazil directed by Terry Gilliam (1985)
A filing clerk imagines flying to the rescue of the woman of his dreams. However, he struggles to get by in a bureaucratic dystopia, when a computer error puts him in danger.

The Fly cover    
The Fly directed by David Cronenberg (1986)
A scientist experiments with a teleportation machine. But when he transports himself a fly gets into the machine and he begins to turn into a human/fly hybrid.

Aliens cover    
Aliens directed by James Cameron (1986)
Ripley and a team of marines take on an alien infestation.

Harry and the Hendersons cover    
Harry and the Hendersons directed by William Dear (1987)
A family come across a friendly bigfoot and decide to adopt him. But keeping Harry the sasquatch hidden and safe will be a challenge.

Innerspace cover    
Innerspace directed by Joe Dante (1987)
A pilot is miniaturised in a submarine and ends up inside a grocery store worker, and they both must evade scientists who want to steal the technology.

The Princess Bride cover    
The Princess Bride directed by Rob Reiner (1987)
A young man must rescue his true love from an unwanted marriage in this story of sword fights, pirates, and yucky kissing.

RoboCop cover    
RoboCop directed by Paul Verhoeven (1987)
A Detroit cop is fatally wounded in the line of duty, so he is revived as a cyborg

The Witches of Eastwick cover    
The Witches of Eastwick directed by George Miller (1987)
Three single friends wish for a bit more excitement in their small town, when a mysterious stranger turns up and tries to seduce them in this supernatural comedy.

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen cover    
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen directed by Terry Gilliam (1988)
An aristocrat has fantastic adventures whilst trying to save a town from attack by Turkish soldiers.

Honey, I Shrunk The Kids cover    
Honey, I Shrunk The Kids directed by Joe Johnston (1989)
A scientist accidentally shrinks his children and two others from the neighbourhood, with his new invention.

Back To The Future Part II cover    
Back To The Future Part II directed by Robert Zemeckis (1989)
Marty McFly travels to to his future and past to prevent things going wrong for his family in 1985.

Batman cover    
Batman directed by Tim Burton (1989)
The caped crusader takes on the Joker.

Flash Gordon cover    
Flash Gordon directed by Mike Hodges (1980)
A football player travels to the planet Mongo to battle the evil Ming The Merciless, and rescue Dale Arden.

Mad Max 2 cover    
Mad Max 2 directed by George Miller (1981)
In an apocalyptic future where oil is in short supply, a man agrees to protect a small community that is being targeted for its oil.

Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan cover    
Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan directed by Nicholas Meyer (1982)
Admiral Kirk faces a test when his old adversary gets hold of a super weapon and has taken over a spaceship.

Tron cover    
Tron directed by Steven Lisberger (1982)
A computer programmer gets sucked into a machine, where he must defeat a cyberspace control programme.

The Dark Crystal cover    
The Dark Crystal directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz (1982)
A young Gelfling seeks to restore a shard of crystal to its place within a dark crystal, and save his world from the tyranny of the evil Skeksis.

Ghostbusters cover    
Ghostbusters directed by Ivan Reitman (1984)
A team of occult scientists set up a service for detecting and banishing ghosts in New York.

The Last Starfighter cover    
The Last Starfighter directed by Nick Castle (1984)
A video gamer is recruited by aliens to fight in a space war.

Nineteen Eighty-Four cover    
Nineteen Eighty-Four directed by Michael Radford (1984)
In a dystopian future, one man defies the totalitarian state by falling in love.

Return To Oz cover    
Return To Oz directed by Walter Murch (1985)
Following her adventures in Oz, Dorothy has trouble sleeping and is sent for drastic treatment, but instead ends up back in Oz. All is not well there, as an evil Nome King has taken over and turned the inhabitants to stone.

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome cover    
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome directed by George Oglivie and George Miller (1985)
In post-apocalyptic Australia, Max fights to survive against barbarians, an evil ruler, and the harsh environment. He comes across a group of children who he tries to rescue. The third movie in the Mad Max series.

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home cover    
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home directed by Leonard Nimoy (1986)
When an alien probe threatens to destroy the Earth, the crew of the Enterprise go back in time to the 20th century to find some whales to communicate with it.

Little Shop Of Horrors cover    
Little Shop Of Horrors directed by Frank Oz (1986)
An alien carnivorous plant takes over a flower shop, aided by a young man who is hoping to impress his girlfriend, in this musical horror.

Predator cover    
Predator directed by John McTiernan (1987)
A group of special forces soldiers go on a mission in the Central American jungle. But they soon find that they are being hunted by an alien warrior.

Superman II cover    
Superman II directed by Richard Lester (1980)
The Man of Steel faces a challenge when three evil supervillains attempt to conquer Earth, just as he has decided to give up his powers.

The Evil Dead cover    
The Evil Dead directed by Sam Raimi (1981)
Five students head to a cabin in the woods where they find a Book of the Dead and accidentally unleash demons which seek to possess people.

The Howling cover    
The Howling directed by Joe Dante (1981)
A newswoman heads to a remote location to recover after a serial killer story traumatises her, but the locals there are not what she expected.

Clash of the Titans cover    
Clash of the Titans directed by Desmond Davis (1981)
Perseus battles the Kraken and Medusa in order to save Princess Andromeda in this story based on the myths of Greek gods and heroes.

The Beastmaster cover    
The Beastmaster directed by Don Coscarelli (1982)
A young man discovers he has powers over animals, and uses them in his quest for revenge against a wicked priest who is keen on child sacrifice.

Superman III cover    
Superman III directed by Richard Lester (1983)
A computer genius creates havoc in order to make money, so Superman tries to stop him. But kryptonite splits the Man of Steel into Clark Kent and an evil version of himself.

Gremlins cover    
Gremlins directed by Joe Dante (1984)
A cute new pet becomes a nightmare when a boy breaks all the rules about keeping it.

The Terminator cover    
The Terminator directed by James Cameron (1984)
A robot time travels from the future in order to assassinate a waitress and alter history. With the help of a future soldier she fights to protect humanity and her unborn son.

Re-Animator cover    
Re-Animator directed by Stuart Gordon (1985)
A young medical student carries out experiments aimed at reviving the dead in this comedy horror.

Laputa: Castle In The Sky cover    
Laputa: Castle In The Sky directed by Hayao Miyazaki (1986)
In this animated fantasy a boy rescues a girl who is being pursued for a crystal in her possession. They must escape pirates, soldiers, and others and find a lost floating castle.

Superman IV: The Quest For Peace cover    
Superman IV: The Quest For Peace directed by Sidney J. Furie (1987)
Superman battles Nuclear Man, a powerful lifeform who gets energy from the sun, and fights for global nuclear disarmament.

Hellraiser cover    
Hellraiser directed by Clive Barker (1987)
A murdered man needs the blood of sacrifices to regain his body and escape the clutches of demonic Cenobites.

Evil Dead II cover    
Evil Dead II directed by Sam Raimi (1987)
Ash travels to a secluded cabin in the woods with his girlfriend Linda, where they find a tape recording and a Book of the Dead. After unleashing evil spirits they must try to survive the night.

The Lost Boys cover    
The Lost Boys directed by Joel Schumacher (1987)
In this comedy horror a family move into an area plagued by unexplained deaths. The older brother gets involved in a biker gang, whilst the younger one falls in with young vampire hunters.

Hellbound: Hellraiser II cover    
Hellbound: Hellraiser II directed by Tony Randel (1988)
An orphan is sent to a psychiatric institution after the death of her father and stepmother. But a doctor there is intent on meddling with a puzzle cube from Hell.

The Thing cover    
The Thing directed by John Carpenter (1982)
A research team in Antarctica discover that a nearby team have all died, and whatever killed them has not finished its work. Hunted by an alien shapeshifter, none of them are sure who is still human.

Krull cover    
Krull directed by Peter Yates (1983)
A prince tries to protect his planet and his intended from an invading army of aliens.

Science Fiction and Fantasy from the 1980s

Film Reviews

Time Bandits cover    
Time Bandits (1981) directed by Terry Gilliam
5 star rating
A boy is entangled in the adventures of a group of robbers who have stolen a map that allows them to travel through time.

Escape From New York cover    
Escape From New York (1981) directed by John Carpenter
2 star rating
In the near future Manhattan Island has become a lawless prison. One man must rescue the President from the chaos within, before time runs out.

Excalibur cover    
Excalibur (1981) directed by John Boorman
2 star rating
The story of King Arthur and the knights of the round table gets an epic treatment in this movie adaptation.

Dune cover    
Dune (1984) directed by David Lynch
2 star rating
The film adaptation of the first novel in a classic science fiction series by Frank Herbert.

Enemy Mine cover    
Enemy Mine (1985) directed by Wolfgang Peterson
4 star rating
A man is stranded on a hostile planet with only an enemy alien for company.

The Toxic Avenger cover    
The Toxic Avenger (1985) directed by Michael Herz and Lloyd Kaufman
1 star rating
After Melvin falls into a vat of toxic waste he turns into a hideous superhero with one mission: to vanquish evil in Tromaville.

Labyrinth cover    
Labyrinth (1986) directed by Jim Henson
4 star rating
When Sarah has to babysit her baby brother she accidentally summons the goblins to take him away.

The Running Man cover    
The Running Man (1987) directed by Paul Michael Glaser
3 star rating
Ben Richards has to run for his life in a sinister game show.

Elvira, Mistress of the Dark cover    
Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (1988) directed by James Signorelli
2 star rating
Elvira shakes things up in the small, conservative town of Fallwell when she arrives to claim her inheritance.

Cyborg cover    
Cyborg (1989) directed by Albert Pyun
1 star rating
In a grim post-apocalyptic future a cyborg may carry the cure for a plague that has ravaged the world.

Book Reviews

The Clan of the Cave Bear cover    
The Clan of the Cave Bear (1980) by Jean M. Auel
4 star rating
Ayla faces a struggle to survive amongst Neanderthals in this story of prehistoric survival.

Pawn of Prophecy cover    
Pawn of Prophecy (1982) by David Eddings
3 star rating
In the first book in The Belgariad a young man, Garion, sets out on a journey that will help him uncover his true identity.

Queen of Sorcery cover    
Queen of Sorcery (1982) by David Eddings
3 star rating
The second book in the Belgariad follows Garion on his adventures in the kingdoms of the west.

The Compass Rose cover    
The Compass Rose (1982) by Ursula Le Guin
3 star rating
This collection features a range of short stories organised around the points of the compass.

Magician's Gambit (1983) by David Eddings
2 star rating
Garion and company must face a powerful and hostile magician. The third episode in The Belgariad.

Enchanters' End Game (1984) by David Eddings
3 star rating
Can Garion fulfil the prophecy and defeat a god? The fifth book of the Belgariad.

Ender's Game (1985) by Orson Scott Card
5 star rating
Childhood games are no laughing matter for Ender Wiggin.

Tailchaser's Song (1985) by Tad Williams
2 star rating
Fritti Tailchaser is a cat with a quest.

Watchmen cover    
Watchmen (1987) by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
5 star rating
Masked and costumed heroes investigate the murder of one of their own in this graphic novel.

Infernal Devices cover    
Infernal Devices (1987) by K. W. Jeter
4 star rating
George Dower gets to grip with the peculiar and terrible creations his late father left the world.