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Seven Seasons of Buffy: Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors Discuss Their Favorite Television Show (Smart Pop series) Paperback


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Seven Seasons of Buffy: Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors Discuss Their Favorite Television Show (Smart Pop series) + Why Buffy Matters: The Art of Buffy the Vampire Slayer + Fighting the Forces: What's at Stake in Buffy the Vampire Slayer
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Product Details

  • Series: Smart Pop series
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Smart Pop; First Trade Paper Edition edition (September 10, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932100083
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932100082
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #884,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School--In the foreword to this collection of 22 essays, scriptwriter Drew Goddard asks, "Why do we care so muchabout Buffy?" After some false but mercifully brief starts, the book hits its stride with a succession of passionate, articulate, entertaining, informative, and sometimes-humorous pieces by professional writers who have no inhibitions about explaining what they love about the show--and what they hate. Varying widely in attitude and style, chapters analyze the show's literary qualities from a number of perspectives; delve into its "meaning" through its themes of love and growth; look closely at the dark side of the "Buffyverse" and the complexity of its moral structure; and argue the relative merits of its characters and episodes. Kevin Andrew Murphy's fittingly titled "Unseen Horrors and Shadowy Manipulations" documents instances of censorship and the attempts of network and advertisers to reshape Buffy to suit their purposes. In "Where's the Religion in Willow's Wicca?" Christie Golden provides a much-needed corrective to the mistake the writers made when they called Willow's fantasy sorcery "Wicca" (a real religion). In the final essay, "Slayers of the Last Arc," Nancy Holder shows why some are so affected by the story when she argues that, seen in retrospect, Buffy clearly fits the template of Joseph Campbell's "hero's journey." This outstanding and diverse collection will entertain, challenge, and enlighten anyone familiar with the Buffyverse.--Christine C. Menefee, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

It's over. When the final episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer aired in May, fans celebrated the groundbreaking show and mourned its end. But don't mourn, eulogize. Editor Yeffeth presents a batch of essays from sf and fantasy writers that examine the show's scope, the evolution of its characters, and the affect it had on its many fans. Nancy Kilpatrick sympathizes with Buffy's search for love (and a little lovin'), while Sherrilyn Kenyon sees Buffy as a demasculinizer of the men in her life. Peg Aloi toasts Tara, Willow's quiet, reserved lover. Roxanne Longstreet Conrad insists that it was Xander, Buffy's wisecracking, superpowerless pal, who was actually the most powerful force for good in Sunnydale. Justine Labalestier describes defending the show to critical fans, even as she admits her own dislike of the seventh season. Laura Resnick examines the mixtures of good and evil in even the most heroic Buffy characters. Bright and witty, just like the show they're commenting on, these pieces are must reading for the Buffy -devoted. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

The thing that really surprised me was how many small errors there were in this book.
Eric Laugel
If I had a complaint--though I really don't--it would be that too many of the essays are fixated on the romance aspects of Buffy.
Robert Moore
In fact, many essays spend so much time re-telling plot points that arguments of any kind are barely made.
Rebecca Thompson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

145 of 147 people found the following review helpful By Robert Moore HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 14, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read a lot of serious essays on Buffy: all of the essays on [...] and the entirety of the contents of the collections edited by Kaveney, by South, and by Wilcox and Lavery. But this new collection is far and away the best of the lot. I believe there are two reasons for this. First, the writers of the essays in this volume have the tremendous advantage of being able to look back on all seven seasons of Buffy and speak with some authority on what actually happened. If you read the other collections, there was always constant speculation about what might happen in the future. Now we know what happened. But the second and more important reason this collection is so superb is the fact that it was written almost exclusively by creative writers rather than academics. Although I am an academic myself, too many of the academic essays written on Buffy seem to me transparent attempts to graft unconnected academic interests onto the writers' favorite TV show. The writers here, however, are truly trying to tease out the meaning of the show on its own terms, and not trying to force the themes of the show fit the needs of philosophical, cultural, or feminist theory.
Another advantage of this collection is that just about every selection in the volume is excellent. I might want to differ with a couple, like the one that defends Riley as the best boyfriend for Buffy or the one that lavishes extensive praise on Tara (I don't dislike Tara, and loved her singing in "Once More, With Feeling," but I can't really get excited about her, either; I do, however, really dislike Riley, like a majority of Buffy fans), but even those take up positions that are fun to argue with.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Eric Laugel on January 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
I really wanted to give this book like 3.5 stars, but I figured I'd round down instead of up since everyone else is praising it. First off, I did find many of the articles interesting, particularly the article about "Insiders vs. Outsiders." And the comical, albeit cheesy, faux-college-essay describing why Xander is the M.P.I.F.F.G. (Most Powerful Individual Force for Good) was also enjoyable and thought-provoking.

Those points aside, this book seemed to endlessly repeat itself. The first time someone explained why Angel, Riley, and Spike were bad partners for Buffy, it was quasi-interesting. By the third or fourth times, it was a broken record. Each author might add a slightly different take, but it was all basically the same. The book is littered with many other repeated themes that make the book not as fun to read as it could have been. Also, with the exception of the introduction and the Xander Essay, this book can be very dry at times. This is a shame, because the humorous intro and Essay are over within the first 20 pages, and the rest can be dense at times.

The thing that really surprised me was how many small errors there were in this book. It really seemed like no one ever proof-read this book before sending it to the printers. One of my major beefs is an author who claimed to be a huge fan referring to Machida (the snake demon from Season 2's "Reptile Boy") as "Mikusa." This is just sloppy work, and a real fan would have taken the two seconds to look up the demon's name online if they weren't sure about it.

The bulk of the errors are in the numbering of the episodes, and the fact that episodes may be credited as happening at multiple times.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Peter Sthlberg on October 17, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When it comes to buying books about tv shows I think a lot before I buy. Not many titles get my trust.

I took a chance with this book but in the end it was all worth it.

Not only do you get many interesting views in and around the show in question but also some rather insightful thoughts on the subject. All from clever writers and the rest is up to the reader to agree or not agree with. But I found it good reading. I actually was served a few views I had not thought of my self. So all in all it was good money spent.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By saskatoonguy on June 11, 2004
Format: Paperback
This collection of 23 essays about BtVS has the advantage of being written after the series finale, allowing a wider scope than similar, earlier books. Although these are (mostly) serious, thoughtful essays, they are written in a more readable, accessible style than "BtVS and Philosphy" by James South, which required a PhD in philosophy to understand.
In a book like "Seven Seasons of Buffy," everyone will have their favorites. One of the best was Zettel's piece, where she argues that the real reason the series went downhill after Season Three was - not because the characters were no longer in high school - but because their role had changed from "outsiders" to "insiders." In high school part of the appeal was that they had only a hazy notion of the forces against them (e.g., the mayor's plot); it was more difficult to empathize with the characters when they lost that "outsider" role. I also loved Larbalestier's article because, although not cohesive as an essay, she articulates what an utter disaster Season Seven was. This series went downhill fast. (The episode "Empty Places" gets my personal vote for ultimate low point of the series.)
Another great essay was Carter's article about alternate realities in BtVS. Ever notice that "The Wish" (in which we are led to believe that the alternate reality was extinguished when Anyanka lost her powers) is inconsistent with "Doppelgangland" (the alternate reality continues to exist parallel to the "real" reality)?
One of the weaker essays was Golden's, in which she complains that the presentation of wicca was unauthentic on BtVS. (Hey, anyone want to write an article about how badly Christianity is portrayed on this series?
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