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Seven Seasons of Buffy: Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors Discuss Their Favorite Television Show: Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Discuss Their Favorite Television Show Paperback – 10 Sep 2003

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Seven Seasons of Buffy: Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors Discuss Their Favorite Television Show: Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Discuss Their Favorite Television Show + Five Seasons of "Angel": Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Discuss Their Favorite Vampire (Smart Pop Series)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 226 pages
  • Publisher: Smart Pop; First Trade Paper ed edition (10 Sept. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932100083
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932100082
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 520,547 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Glenn Yeffeth is the editor of several anthologies in the Smart Pop series, including Anthology at the End of the Universe, Farscape Forever!, Five Seasons of Angel, Navigating the Golden Compass, Seven Seasons of Buffy, Taking the Red Pill, and What Would Sipowitz Do? Drew Goddard is a former Buffy the Vampire Slayer screenwriter.

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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By "maniacwithtiara" on 29 Oct. 2003
Format: Paperback
Although there are already a number of 'academic' books on the Buffy phenomenon available, this one is a little different. Rather than serious analysis of the show, this book contains short chapters from several science fiction authors and writers, who give their opinions on different aspects of the show. There's no difficult jargon, no referencing, just fans of the show discussing and celebrating seven seasons of Buffy.
The chapters vary in their length and quality, but cover topics such as the links between sex and death, fans of the show, individual characters and an impassionaed argument as to why Buffy should be going out with Wesley!
The chapters are not always postive toward the show, and there is some criticism of the last two seasons, but this is an interesting read for any fans of the show, or even just the casual viewer. It's a good starting point for any serious study of Buffy due to its readability, and, provided you can overlook the bias toward the character of Spike, worthy of a place on your bookshelf.
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By tophermoons on 13 Dec. 2011
Format: Paperback
If you liked the TV series, or in fact any Joss Whedon show, then this is the perfect companion, offering different insights into the show. Written with the humour and perception you would expect from Joss's fans!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 30 reviews
145 of 147 people found the following review helpful
Hands down, the best Buffy anthology that there is 15 Oct. 2003
By Robert Moore - Published on
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. Some of the pieces are flat out outstanding, such as an early one that is cast as a essay question on a test in which a demon is asked to explain which is the most powerful force for good in Sunnydale and why (answer: Xander, with an interesting defense). In the other anthologies, there were essays I had to suffer through in order to get to others more to my liking. There isn't a clunker in the bunch here.
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. I would estimate that well over half of the essays primarily are focused on one or more of the romances in the series. My own interests have always focused on the ethical aspects (e.g., did Spike's actions in Seasons 5 and 6 give him something like a soul before the shaman gave him one at the end of Season 6?, or on the extraordinary optimism that pervades the series that people can grow and become more than they are, that leopards can indeed change their spots), but clearly anyone who hates romance is not going to enjoy Buffy for very long. My lone complaint is that there isn't a bit more diversity of subject matter. There are just a few too many articles focusing on romance than I would have liked.
Still and all, this is a great, great book, and although I have frequently noted in other reviews that anthologies by their very nature are inconsistent and uneven, this one breaks that rule. It starts off great and stays that way all the way through. I can't imagine anyone with any interest in Buffy at all, not loving this collection.
27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Interesting, but full of little errors 12 Jan. 2005
By Eric Laugel - Published on
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. Depending on what you read in the book, the episode "School Hard" was either episode 2-3(which it was), 2-5, or 2-15. And the "Becoming" episodes, which were episodes 2-21 and 2-22, happened either in the second season, the third season, or the sixth season. And one of the times "Becoming, Part One" was in the third season (3-21, it was called), Jenny Calendar was still alive (even though she died in 2-17...or as that author would have said, 3-17). And occasionally, it just seems that the author of a particular piece, and the (possibly invisible) proofreader were just lazy:

"The second-season finale is titled 'Becoming' (3-21, 3-22)..."

If you can get this book at a library, I won't try and dissuade you from checking it out, because it does have some interesting ideas and doesn't talk down to you. However, its redundancy and errors keep this from being a book I would even give 4 stars to.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A nice and interesting book about the Buffy-verse 17 Oct. 2004
By Peter Sthlberg - Published on
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.
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
A readable and thought-provoking series of essays 11 Jun. 2004
By saskatoonguy - Published on
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?) I was also unimpressed with Harris's complaint about the good-looks bias in casting, and by Watt-Evans' speculation that Buffy and Wesley would be the ideal couple, and by Aloi's over-the-top rhapsodizing about how beautiful Tara was.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
An Intersting Read For Buffy Fans 4 Jan. 2005
By Andrew - Published on
Format: Paperback
While, in my opinion, this book wasn't as good as it's sister collection, Five Seasons of Angel, it was still very entertaining, insightful, and often humorous. Essays were very well done and most of them had very good points to make. Essay subjects ranged from the censorship of the show to individual character studies, to thinking about elements of Joss Whedon's complex universe. The thing that surprised me the most, though, was that some of my favorite essays had to do with characters who weren't part of the core four (Buffy, Xander, Willow, and Giles). Two of my favorite essays were the ones about Tara and Riley, and they really got me thinking of how good each of those characters are (although not many people will agree with me about Riley). Although I also enjoyed the essay about Xander, one reason being the creative format of the essay, and I think that my favorite overall was the final one, dealing with how season seven and the series finale not only tied up the last year the way it should have ended, but also ended the series the way it should have. With a few exceptions, this was a great read, and any Buffy fan should consider at least borrowing this book.
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