10 Fake Books from TV and Film

by Andrew Koval

10 Fake Books from TV and Film

  1. “From Outer Space” by Jose Chung
    (The X-Files Television Series; Season 3 Episode 20)
    1 kovalThe author in this episode (Jose Chung) speaks to special agent Dana Scully on writing a book on alien abduction whereby he will create a brand new literary genre the non-fiction science fiction. So this features the book as a means by which to evolve genres. Mr. Chung then goes on to say he is not interested in the topic and that he is doing it for the money. We do receive excerpts from this fictional book on non-fiction science fiction:
    ”Evidence of extraterrestrial existence remains as allusive as ever, but the skies will continue to be searched by the likes of Blaine Faulkner hoping to someday find not only proof of alien life but also contentment on a new world until then he must be content with his new job.”
    “Others search from answers from within. Rocky relocated to Alcum, California preaching to the lost and desperate.”
    “Seeking the truth about aliens means a perfunctory 9 to 5 job to some, for although Agent Diane Lutsky is noble of spirit and pure at heart she remains nonetheless a federal employee. As for her partner Rainier Muldrak, a ticking time bomb of insanity, his quest into the unknown has so warped his psyche one shudders to think how he receives any pleasures from life.”  
    “Chrissy Georgio has come to believe her alien visitation was a message to improve the condition of her own world and she has devoted herself to this goal wholeheartedly.”
    “For although we may not be alone in the universe, in our own separate ways on this planet we are all alone.”
  1. Under the Hood” by Hollis Mason
    (Watchmen, 2009)
    2 kovalFrom Dr. Manhattan’s soliloquy “Hollis Mason, a retired costume hero writes a book. In it he calls my arrival the dawn of the super hero. I am not sure what that means.”
    “Under the Hood” is a fictional non-fiction autobiography. This book details the crime fighting of a costumed hero. What we know is that the book coins at least one concept to include in the vernacular of the day “the dawn of the super hero.”
    The colorful enigmatic book jacket grabs the attention of potential readers for those interested in history and the social sciences.


  1. “The Corpse Danced at Midnight” by J. B. Fletcher
    (Murder, She Wrote Television Series, 1984)
    3 kovalFeatured throughout the series and made into a movie within the series, so double-duty as fake tv book and fake movie adaptation.
    The main character Jessica Fletcher’s 1st novel is “The Corpse Danced at Midnight” and is part of a series of novels. Ms. Fletcher is a retired English teacher who became a bestselling mystery writer/novelist with a good eye for detail who lives in a small town with a very high murder rate and when vacationing also seems to find murder.


  1. “Micro Chip Logic” by John Valentine
    (The Twilight Zone Movie, 1983)
    4 kovalJohn Lithgow takes on the role of John Valentine in this remake of a Twilight Zone classic segment Nightmare at 20,000 feet.
    A scene:
    Stewardess: “Micro Chip: Logic: The Liberation of the Left Brain, science fiction fan huh?”
    John Valentine: “Textbook, computers.”
    Stewardess: “Do you really read this stuff?
    John Valentine: “I wrote it.”
    Stewardess: “My goodness. So you did. I tell you what, we will put this away and you try and get some sleep.”
    Herein the stewardess believes that if Mr. Valentine puts his book away he will be more at ease (though John’s source of agitation is flying and the turbulence the plane is experiencing). This exchange speaks to the perceived power of the book.


  1. The Book of Evil” by Unknown
    (Saturday the 14th, 1981)

    5 koval
    Before the “Scary Movie” films were the “Saturday the 14th” series spoofing horror movies like Friday the 13th.
    John and Mary inherit a house that houses “The Book of Evil.” Their son accidentally unleashes the evil depicted in the pages of the book of evil. A theme advocated with this fictional book is book as magic. The calligraphy on the first page reads:
    Whoever shall open this book releases into the world all the evil therein.” Further pages in the book read “It gets bad on Friday the 13th. But it gets worse on Saturday the 14th.”
    The vampire in the story has been searching for the text for 300 years. In the film this “large old book” has the power to unleash and destroy evil. John and Mary discuss the book and Mary says:
    Maybe it’s a cookbook. You know how I am about my apple turnover recipe.”

  2. “The End of the World” by Milton Angland
    (Ghostbusters II, 1989)6 kovalThe author predicts on Dr. Peter Venkmen’s show, World of the Psychic, that the world will end at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve. This book must be credible as the author is publishing the book and the sales profits will not be in until the world had already ended. If anything one has to respect the honesty of this author.
    No particular book was exhibited to represent “The End of the World” by Milton Angland.


  1. “A Match Made in Space” by George McFly
    (Back to the Future, 1985)
    7 kovalThis piece is a science fiction love story. Reasonable speculation leads one determine themes within the text are the myth of romantic love and the myth of technology as protector and savior.
    This book is inspired by George McFly’s experience with an alien (his future son Marty in a radiation suit) one night while in his bedroom awoken in his sleep. Later, McFly’s work went on to become a movie and video-book.



  1. “Handbook for the Recently Deceased” from Handbook for the Recently Deceased Publishing
    (Beetlejuice, 1988)
    8 koval  
    The movie Beetlejuice provides an interesting text.This handbook was found in the Netherworld waiting room by the recently deceased Adam and Barbara Maitland. According to one character in this film:
    It’s all in the Handbook.”
    And the Maitland’s netherworld caseworker cites that there is a section in the handbook titled “The Intermediate Interface Chapter on Haunting.”


  1. “Old Custer” by Eli Cash
    (The Royal Tenenbaums, 2001)
    9 koval  
    Eli Cash played by Owen Wilson wrote a historical fiction novel on the premise that George Custer survived through the Battle of Little Big Horn and recounts his life after that battle.
    This is Cash’s second novel. We are given an excerpt from the book:
    The crickets and the rust-beetles scuttled among the nettles of the sage thicket. “Vámonos, amigos,” he whispered, and threw the busted leather flintcraw over the loose weave of the saddlecock. And they rode on in the friscalating dusklight.


  1. “The Hobb’s End Horror” by Sutter Cane
    (In the Mouth Madness, 1994)
    10 koval  
    Author Sutter Kane disappears and his newly published book brings forth the apocalypse, as everything that Mr. Kane writes comes to life.
    In the film this book was a bestseller and had people clamoring to get a copy and is also made it to a movie.Thankfully, it was just a fake book in a film!


Andrew KovalAndrew Koval earned his Masters of Science in Library Science from Clarion University of Pennsylvania in 2011. His interest in library work began when he volunteered as a Page at his high school library in 2002. In 2007 he interned with his college library and learned book repair.  He has previously worked in public libraries as a youth services intern, library assistant, young adult librarian and library director. Further, he has served as a librarian at a private catholic university where he taught information literacy. Andrew currently works in publishing.

His special interests include government documents, the archiving of ephemera, information and communication technologies, genealogy, reference services and library marketing.


Sources for screenshots include:






Naomi House

Naomi House, MLIS, is the founder and publisher of the popular webzine and jobs list INALJ.com (formerly I Need a Library Job) and former CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) of T160K.org, a crowdfunding platform focused on African patrimony, heritage and cultural projects. INALJ was founded in October 2010 with the assistance of her fellow Rutgers classmate, Elizabeth Leonard. Its social media presence has grown to include Facebook (retired in 2016), Twitter and a LinkedIn group, in addition to the interviews, articles and jobs found on INALJ. INALJ has had over 21 Million page hits and helped many, many thousands of librarians find employment! Through grassroots marketing, word of mouth and a real focus on exploring unconventional resources for job leads, INALJ grew from a subscription base of 20 friends to a website with over 500,000 visits in one month. Naomi believes that well-sourced quantity is quality in this narrow job market and INALJ reflects this with many new jobs published daily. She has also written for the 2011, 2012 and 2013 LexisNexis Government Info Pro and many other publications in the past decade. She presents whenever she can, including serving on three panels at the American Library Association's Annual Conference in Las Vegas; as breakout presenter at OCLC EMEA in Cape Town, South Africa; as a keynote speaker at the Virginia Library Association annual meeting; at the National Press Club in Washington DC; McGill University in Montreal, Canada; the University of the Emirates, Dubai, MLIS program and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Naomi was a Reference, Marketing and Acquisitions Librarian for a contractor at a federal library outside Washington, DC, and has been living and working in Budapest, Hungary and Western New York State. She spent years running her husband’s moving labor website, fixed and sold old houses and assisted her husband cooking delicious Pakistani food. She is preparing to re-enter the workforce and is job hunting. Her husband is now the co-editor of INALJ, a true support!  She has heard of spare time but hasn’t encountered it lately. She pronounces INALJ as eye-na-elle-jay. 


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