The Incredible Internet Guide to Star Wars
by Peter J. Weber
Published by Facts on Demand Press
Scott's Rating: 2.75 out of 4
This unofficial book gathers up pretty much every Star Wars website on the web as of June 1999 and categorizes them according to the subjects they cover, such as the actors, humor, news, prequels, videos, multimedia, etc. The second half of the book then summarizes each website and briefly tells you what you can find there.
This book is definitely thorough. It lists parts of our own website that I had forgotten existed. :) If you're a newbie, then this book will be good for you. It will help you fairly quickly find the sites that cover what you want. Since they have at least one screenshot of a news item from TheForce.Net, I see it was printed around mid-June 1999. That means it is fairly up to date for when it was printed. The book also warns of sites with adult content which is very good. It also offers an address for additions or corrections to be sent to.
Webmasters will also get a kick out of seeing their websites mentioned in a publication. It is nice to have as a keepsake once your website is long gone. The publishers also sent me a free copy for reviewing which I really appreciated.
Unfortunately, the concept might be hard to sell. This book doesn't do much more than what you could do on a Yahoo search. Would you pay $14 for this book when you can get the exact same information at Miningco or Yahoo for free? That's the question you'll be asking yourself. They will apparently be doing updated editions, so maybe they can expand on the content here in the future.
Unfortunately, as soon as this book was printed, it was already out of date. That's just the nature of the web. It's always changing. I could go change a directory name here or a file name and that would instantly make some of the URL's useless. Other webmasters could move to a new server or decide they are sick of Star Wars and that would also make it out of date.
Some of the descriptions are lacking, too. For TheForce.Net, it says "Mega Star Wars Info Site - Mega!" That's a compliment to us, but it doesn't tell a newbie much. A newbie might also feel overwhelmed. Sure, there's a ton of prequel sites, but which are the best to start at? A little more direction would be useful. That's especially true since there are a few sites out there intentionally posting crap and fooling unsuspecting visitors. If a free Tripod page says it posting "exclusive interviews" with George Lucas, I recommend you run away screaming. This book might not give you such a warning.
I think this book can be improved upon in later editions, so keep watching for them. I had trouble rating it. 3 seemed a little high considering you can search Yahoo and get the same info, but 2.5 seemed a little low because it is definitely well made and put together. What it intends to do, it does fairly well. That's why I gave it the first 2.75 on this site.
Nothing really ugly other than the guide to Trekkie sites. ;)