A comprehensive overview, from ""A-B Blood"" to ""Yoda,"" of the tricks used by special-effects crews to amaze, horrify, and astound us. The chapter headings themselves are a quick guide to the tastes of moviegoers: ""Death and Destruction,"" ""The Chase,"" ""Fire and Heat,"" ""Rain and Storm,"" ""Outer Space."" Whether used to show Supergirl flying, King Kong swatting airplanes, or scenes from The Return of the Jedi, techniques ranging from simple props through elaborate computer animation and control are clearly discussed and illustrated. Over 100 photographs and drawings are used to show goings-on behind the scenes and the finished product. Originally an Australian book, some British usage remains, but is not intrusive. The typography and design leave something to be desired--the cover is garish, and pages are cluttered. But the descriptions are apt, the author has been careful to caution young readers against home experimentation, and many of the photographs are striking. Likely to have fairly broad appeal.