|The Official John Kenneth Muir Page: Biography|
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Terror Television - awarded a Booklist Editor's Choice for 2001! BIG REEL calls it "superlative television history."
The introductory page from John's Farscape short story "Make a Wish," published in The Official Farscape Magazine in August 2002, issue # 8.
John's first published book, from 1997: Exploring Space:1999. Now in a third printing! TELEVISUALS & THEME SONGS calls it "a perfect companion" and "insightful."
above: artist John Semprit's original rendition of Commander Koenig and Dr. Helena Russell, the heroes of Space:1999 . From the frontispiece of John's Exploring Space:1999 .
Still the only academic, non-vanity guide to Battlestar Galactica in print! John's 1998 book An Analytical Guide to TV's Battlestar Galactica. POP CULTURE DEBRIS calls it "exceptionally well-argued..."
Above: Mindy Easler's original artwork for John's Analytical Guide to TV's Battlestar Galactica (1998).
The Earthbound TimeLords called John's A Critical History of Doctor Who on Television "perhaps the definitive work on the Doctor Who phenomenon" and rated it a "10 out of 10."
Above: John in his home office, photo by Todd Sumlin, July 2000.
John Kenneth Muir became a full-time, professional writer/journalist in the year 1996 at the age of 27, just before his first book, Exploring Space: 1999 (McFarland, 1997) was published. Since 1997, John has - on average - seen at least two books a year released from various publishers including Applause Theatre and Cinema Books and Powys Media. John now has fifteen successful books in print, with a sixteenth scheduled for July 15, 2005.
His 2005 releases are: Singing a New Tune: The Re-Birth of the Modern Film Musical, From Evita to De-Lovely and Beyond, and softback reprints of two his McFarland classics, Exploring Space:1999 (now in a third printing!) and The Films of John Carpenter.
John's 2004 releases were: The Unseen Force: The Films of Sam Raimi and Best in Show: The Films of Christopher Guest and Company (Applause), a re-print of Wes Craven: The Art of Horror (McFarland) in softback, and The Encyclopedia of Superheroes on Film and Television (McFarland). By the end of 2004, John's superhero book had already gone into a second printing.
Among John's other many successful titles is the 2002 hit An Askew View: The Films of Kevin Smith (Applause), a study of Generation X auteur Kevin Smith. The book features interviews with producer Scott Mosier, Jay himself - Jason Mewes, Jeff Anderson, Dwight Ewell, Ethan Suplee, and many other players in the New Jersey Chronicles, the popular Jay and Silent Bob films.
John's first original novel, Space: 1999 - The Forsaken (A Powys Book and licensed continuation of the mid-1970s TV series through Carlton Intl.) was published in January, 2003 and revealed the story of what happened to Moonbase Alpha between seasons of the cult TV classic. It features a foreword by series star Prentis Hancock.
In addition to these recent works, John has penned a slew of scholarly TV reference books for McFarland, including An Analytical Guide to TV's One Step Beyond (2001), which features the last published interview with TV legend John Newland and in some detail reveals "the stories behind the stories" on this paranormal program that stressed accuracy.
John has also surveyed several British sci-fi TV programs in volumes such as A Critical History of Dr. Who on Television (1998) and A History and Critical Analysis of Blake's 7 (1999).
In the field of horror films, John has penned three celebrated overviews of director careers including Wes Craven: The Art of Horror (1998), re-printed in softback in 2004, The Films of John Carpenter (2000) and Eaten Alive at a Chainsaw Massacre: The Films of Tobe Hooper (2002).
In 2001, John's massive encyclopedia of horror TV from 1970 - 1999, entitled Terror Television was selected as a Booklist Editor's Choice for the year. The book covers horror TV shows from Rod Serling's Night Gallery to Angel, with all the shows in between (The Sixth Sense, Ghost Story/Circle of Fear, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, Werewolf, The Hitchhiker, Millennium, The X-Files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and many, many more.
John followed up that extraordinary honor in 2002 with Horror Films of the 1970s, a giant survey of more than 220 horror films from the disco decade. Horror Films of the 1970s was not only selected as a Booklist Editor's Choice for 2002, but as an American Library Association "Best of the Best" reference book in May 2003 - just one of two performing arts books out of thousands published in the calendar year to receive that honor. RUSA (Reference and Users Service Association) also pegged Horror Films of the 1970s as one of the "Outstanding Reference Sources" for the year 2003.
In early 2004, another large tome, The Encyclopedia of Superheroes on Film and Television was published from John at McFarland This book looks at superhero TV series and movies from 1951 - 2003. Among the TV shows covered: Black Scorpion, Nightman, Smallville, Manimal, Automan, Lois & Clark, Birds of Prey, Electra Woman and Dyna-Girl, and many more. It was honored with a "starred" review in Library Journal, May 15, 2004.
Outside of his continuing book work, John has a blog, "Reflections on Film and Television," and is the regular media columnist at the genre web magazine, Far Sector (formerly Deep Outside SFFH). And for more of John's web-output, visit his Retro TV Files, a group of retrospectives (complete with interviews) on TV shows including Land of the Lost, The Fantastic Journey, Space: 1999, Star Trek: The Animated Series, Tales of the Gold Monkey and Logan's Run: The Series.
John has also contributed to many magazines in print including Cinescape, Filmfax, Rerun and Collectors News. The web magazine Media Whack also features a number of John's articles and editorials.
His quotes/opinions about film, TV and the sci-fi/horror genres have appeared in periodicals such as Cinescape Insider (3/15/99), Cinescape Presents (Volume 6/Number 3; 2000), The Union Observer (July 7, 2000), The Village Voice ("Sound of the City," October 25-31, 2000), Toronto's National Post (June 4, 2001), Wicked Magazine (Spring, 2001), The Gannett News Service (November 29, 2002), The Enquirer Journal (June 5, 2003), the French film journal Simulacres (Number 8, May 2003), Amazing Stories >(Jan/February, 2005), Richmond.com (February 2005), and Charlotte Magazine (February 2005).
On March 19, 2004, John was a guest on the nationally-syndicated radio program, " The Mitch Albom Show" to discuss trends in zombie movies and horror films.
On August 2, 2004, John appeared on Mike Sargent's lively and informative radio talk show, NiteShift (on WBAI) to discuss The Unseen Force and the films of Sam Raimi.
On March 8, 2005, John was a guest on "Good Morning Charlotte" to discuss his writing career.
Six times since the year 2000, Muir has been a guest on Dr. Howard Margolin's celebrated radio talk show, Destinies: the Voice of Science Fiction, to discuss the genre and every topic from Space 1999 to horror television, to superhero flicks.
On the web, John's articles, columns, commentaries and news scoops have appeared at fan sites including< BattlestarGalactica.com, and web-zines like Visual Effects, and Sci-Fi.com's News of the Week (February 2001).
John has also authored original fiction - short stories, for magazines including Reality's Escape and The Official Farscape Magazine. His Farscape stories are "That Old Voodoo" (issue # 6) and "Make a Wish" (issue # 8), both published in 2002.
In 2005, John's Space:1999 short stories, "A Touch of Venus" and "Futility" are slated to appear in an official Space: 1999 anthology, Shepherd Moon, from Powys Media.
John has made guest appearances at fan conventions in Manhattan (Main Mission 2000), Los Angeles (Breakaway). on Long Island (I-Con 23, I-Con 24) and in Chesapeake, Virginia (Monsterfest, FantaSci) to discuss his work.
He has appeared on television for the short-lived Sci-Fi Channel TV series entitled Sciography as an expert on the original Battlestar Galactica.
He was also interviewed (via telephone) by NBC's Dateline (in the year 2000) for background on their story about Wes Craven and the Scream movie trilogy.
Recently, John made an appearance on the E! True Hollywood Story, "Curse of the Exorcist" documentary that aired on August 15, 18, 22, and 26, 2004. More than two dozen clips of John were featured on the show.
From 1988 - 1999, John also wrote, directed and edited a series of amateur and independent films for the now-defunct Z-Grade Studios, a venture he created. Among John's movie titles: Rock and Roll Vampires From Hell (1989), Slaves of the Succubus (1992), Holy Matrimony (1994), Salvation's Eclipse (1998) and Vicious Circle (1999). John's busy writing schedule has prevented him from creating further no-budget, no-frills horror films in the new millennium, but he has hopes to get back to his filmmaking roots before too long.
In 1997, John played a prisonyard convict in a cameo in the film Body Count starring David Caruso, Ving Rhames, Forest Whitaker and Linda Fiorentino.
Currently, John continues to work on his seventeenth and eighteenth book contracts while also devoting time to his other passions, including the restoration of his historic home in Monroe, North Carolina, built in 1912. He lives there with his wife, Kathryn and his two cats. An avid collector of science fiction movie and TV memorabilia, John works amidst a home office filled (some might say cluttered...) with toys, models and posters.
John's books may be found at public libraries and Universities across the globe, including Yale, Harvard, Princeton, The University of Richmond, Appalachian State, McGill, Rice, Carnegie Mellon, Galludet, Howard, Monash, LeHigh, Rutgers, Vanderbilt, Rogers State, Occidental, University of Pittsburgh, University of Iowa, Washintgon University in St. Louis, University of Cincinnati, University of Notre Dame, Oregon State, University of New Mexico, University of NC at Chapel Hill, Rutgers, Ohio Wesleyan, NYU, Stony Brook, Kent State, Oxford, Cambridge, University of Toronto, FSU, Brigham Young, Boston University, Northwestern, San Diego State, Stanford and many others.
MUIR BOOKS NOW AVAILABLE:
Above: The cover of John's release from McFarland: the giant, award winning survey/filmography, HORROR FILMS OF THE 1970s.
Applause Theatre and Cinema Book's 2002 publication of John Kenneth Muir's AN ASKEW VIEW: THE OF KEVIN SMITH, a fun, in-depth, interview-packed review of the New Jersey Chronicles.
Coming in July '05, John's survey of the Musical Re-Birth, circa 1994 - 2004, Singing a New Tune!
Above John's newest release from McFarland, The Encyclopedia of Superheroes on Film and Television! A Library Journal "starred" review.
Best in Show: The Films of Christopher Guest and Company. Order it today from Applause or Amazon! Publisher's Weekly calls it "a superb job."
John's 2002 study of horror auteur Tobe Hooper - of Texas Chainsaw Massacre fame! The Shy Librarian calls it "zany and entertaining!"
Above: - John's THE UNSEEN FORCE: THE FILMS OF SAM RAIMI, from Applause Theatre and Cinema Books. ORDER it now! A Library Journal "starred" review!
In 2000, McFarland published John's study of auteur John Carpenter. CULTUREDOSE calls it a "real blast to read."
John's first novel was published in 2003, The Forsaken. BURIED.COM calls it "a damn good read."
John's interview with Space: 1999 story editor Johnny Byrne. Published by Filmfax in 2002:"All the World's a Stage."