November 11, 2022

I am working to reorganize Book 2 and following books in the Musique Fantastique series. It’s been a very busy several years but I hope to have the next few volumes completed and ready for publication early next year. Follow this site for more details!


July 8, 2019

Target to complete Musique Fantastique II, Book 2 and turn in to Midnight Marquee for publication – Dec 31, 2019

November 27, 2018

I appreciate receiving inquiries from readers asking for the whereabouts of the second book in the Musique Fantastique series, and I apologize for the delay of getting it completed, but I am pleased to report that there is a visible light showing at the end of the tunnel. Here’s what’s up.

I am completing on another contracted book which I have to do first –  after which then I’ll dive into MF Book 2 for Midnight Marquee Press and the following books in the series after that. The problem is that I’ve been insanely busy with a constant stream of album notes & other writing projects in various areas that are by necessity taking priority on my schedule and so it’s been difficult to find time to finalize the Super Hero book. With about 2-dozen interviews still to transcribe and then finalize text into the chapters, fact-check everything, make it all fit into the agreed-upon book length… it’s a daunting process that both keeps me off the streets and keeps me happily tied to the keyboard most nights (I keep late night hours). I am committed to getting it done on or around the year’s end, then wrapping MF V2#2 very quickly next year, since it only requires updating, editing, and reconfiguration of the chapters to fit the assigned length. After that there’s an updated bibliography on Robert Bloch, a book of Lovecraftian haiku, and several other book projects currently being seasoned in the cannibal cauldron waiting for their turn in the serving dish. I’ll try to keep interested parties and tax collectors better informed of my progress!

                              – Randall D. Larson

Pictured below: the original mock-ups of the four-volume series planned for publication by Creature Features, whose interest prompted the new edition in the first place. Only Book One was published. The remaining books are being revised and reorganized and are planned to be published by Midnight Marquee Press beginning around mid-2019. The great Bill Nelson designed and painted the covers for Creature Features – thanks to Taylor White for permission to post them here. (click here for larger image).
 Bill Nelson 4 covers banner
[these covers will not be used by Midnight Marquee]

_MF2 MidMar temp logo for PRa

Midnight Marquee Press to Publish Continuation of “Musique Fantastique, Second Edition” series

(Eureka, CA) June 13, 2015: Musique Fantastique announces that Midnight Marquee Press, a specialty publisher noted for its quality paperbound and hardbound books focusing primarily on classic horror and science fiction films, has contracted with writer Randall D. Larson to publish the continuation of his Musique Fantastique, 2nd Edition, book series, beginning with Book 2.

The book series is a wholly re-written and expanded update of Larson’s 1985 book, Musique Fantastique: A Survey of Film Music in the Fantastic Cinema. Because of the comprehensive, in-depth coverage Larson has taken in his historical analysis of music in these films, the new edition has been divided into several books, each covering distinctive aspects of the film genre’s music.

Interestingly, Midnight Marquee Press’s publisher Gary J. Svehla had published many articles by Larson in his Midnight Marquee magazine back in the late 1980s. “That’s one of the reasons I approached Midnight Marquee Press,” said Larson. “Having written for their magazine and having many of their books on my shelves, I knew the love Gary and Susan have for these movies, their dedication to covering the genre in detail and depth, and their recognition of the part that music plays in the effectiveness of these films. I felt they would be the ideal publisher to take on the rest of this series.”

“Having another opportunity to work with Randall and continue his loving and detailed tribute to film music, both classic and current, was an opportunity that we jumped at,” Midnight Marquee Press president Gary J. Svehla added.

Midnight Marquee Press will publish the second book in the series, which will focus on genre music in the 1960s, Bernard Herrmann’s substantial contributions to these genres, and music in animated fantasy & science fiction, in Spring/Summer 2016. Additional books in the series will follow.

For more information, see:

rondologo1I am so very pleased that Musique Fantastique II Book 1 was nominated for a Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Award for best book of 2012! Since 2002 the Rondos have been fandom’s only classic horror award. They are decided by fans, for fans. Click the link above for more info on the Rondos – and my congratulations to all the winners!

_SCIFIWire-April2013_2 copyThanks to Jeff Berkwitz at SCI FI magazine for this cool story in their April issue (above).

Martin Arlt of Mad Scientist magazine reviewed Musique Fantastique Book One in his 26th issue – here’s a couple excerpts:_Mad Scientist 26 Reviews_1

 “Detailed biographies provide ample background on composers from well-known masters… to lesser-known journeymen who earned a living on B- and C-list pictures.  In addition, considerable information is provided on the creative choices these artists made while scoring various films and TV shows, covering everything from instrument choices to the mood they were trying to convey.

 “Musique Fantastique does for genre film music what Bill Warren’s Keep Watching the Skies did for the films themselves.  It’s truly a work that belongs on every film fan’s bookshelf.”

The e-book edition of Musique Fantastique II Book One is now available for kindle and nook. Click here for the amazon link, and here for the nook link at Barnes & Noble.

Book One has been included as one of the “Best Film Music Books of 2012” in American Music Preservation’s annual film music recap:

Thanks to Jon Burlingame for his good words about MF2 in his roundup of film music books at the Film Music Society web site!

_RueMorgue Dec2012 FeatureStorySpecial thanks to writer Dejan Ognjanovic for a terrific full-page write up on Musique Fantastique in the December issue of Rue Morgue magazine [left]! And to the editors for including it in the bottom banner on the issue’s cover!

The French film music web site Underscores has published Florent Groult’s detailed review of MF2 Book 1. It’s posted in French AND English at:

Read Scorekeeper’s enthusiastic review of Book 1 at Ain’t It Cool News, Posted Nov 27:

Thanks to Quint at Ain’t It Cool News for including Musique Fantastique II in AICN’s annual Holiday Gift Guide. You’ll find it among a ton of other cool stuff (MF2 is about half way down the page) at 

David Garland has interviewed Randall Larson for his Movies on the Radio program, broadcast at WQXR FM 105.9 in New York on October 27th, discussing music for fantasy, sf & horror films, and talking about Musique Fantastique II.  The entire program will be archived for a few weeks at this link:

Musique Fantastique II Book I is now listed on Goodreads:

News Story About Book 1 from Examiner.Com:
The Movie Morlocks website has posted Kimberly Lindbergs’ interview with Randall about Musique Fantastique 2nd Edition – posted at:</a

Original Press Release announcing Musique Fantastique II:

Creature Features Publishes Second Edition of “Musique Fantastique”

Randall D. Larson’s expansive new edition wholly rewritten and expanded in Four-Volume Collection

Creature Features announces the publication of a wholly rewritten, revised, and expanded 2nd Edition of Musique Fantastique: 100 Years of Fantasy, Science Fiction & Horror Film Music by noted film music writer, Randall D. Larson. The first (of four) separate books that make up the book series will be released in September as a limited edition trade paperback and an e-book, with the succeeding three books to appear shortly.

When it was published in 1985 by Scarecrow Press, Randall D. Larson’s Musique Fantastique: A Survey of Film Music in the Fantastic Cinema was the first book-length analytical commentary of these genres of film music. Out of print, elusive, and sought after for many years, Musique Fantastique has been regarded as a unique and important reference work for students and enthusiasts of both film music and fantastic films. The first extensive analysis of music in science fiction, fantasy, and horror films, Larson’s exhaustive commentary covered the use and techniques of music in these genre films from the silent era and the groundbreaking Golden Age of the ’30s and ’40s through the rise of electronics and the resurgence of symphonic film music in the late ‘70s and early ’80s. Taking the approach that film music has an especially unique responsibility in these genre films and has achieved significant advances in musical style and form in these genres, Larson examined in detail how music has been used to intensify the filmgoing experience in these types of movies.

“Creature Features is pleased to announce the publication of Musique Fantastique, 2nd Edition, said publisher Taylor White. “Intricately detailed and wide-ranging in its scope, Randall has significantly expanded his in-depth coverage of the subject, from the silent era through the summer blockbusters of 2012.” Featuring a new introduction by film composer Christopher Young, Musique Fantastique, 2nd Edition, is a massive, four-book comprehensive examination of music for fantasy, sci-fi, and horror films and television worldwide.

“Music for science fiction, fantasy, and horror films has always been a particularly unique area of film scoring,” said Larson. “Just as fantasy has allowed the minds of writers and filmmakers to flow into new and unexplored regions, so has it allowed the imaginations of film composers to create much of the finest music composed for motion pictures.”

The original 1985 edition has been thoroughly rewritten to include new research, interviews, and access to films, scores, and reference data not available when the first book was written. “The explosion in genre product in cinema and television over the last two decades has demanded an extension of my original discussion to see where film music in these genres has gone since 1985,” Larson said. “I’ve also got a much better opportunity to write about these films, having written about film music for more than a quarter century. I’m not a musicologist and you won’t find a lot of discussion about musical theory and technique in Musique Fantastique II. What you will find is analysis about music’s dramatic function and purpose and what has been and remains unique about music for sci-fi, fantasy, and horror films. The 2nd Edition gives me an opportunity to revisit the old movies and analyze new ones, from the biggest Hollywood blockbusters to the cheesiest low-budget independent films from the farthest corners of the world, exploring what film music does to enhance these imaginative genres, and to get inside the heads of these music makers and discern their thoughts and perceptions.”

Musique Fantastique, Second Edition
100 Years of Fantasy, Science Fiction & Horror Film Music
A Historical Appreciation & Overview
By Randall D. Larson

One Book – Four Volumes – Encyclopedic Commentary – Essential Reading

“I would like to thank Randall on behalf of the entire music community for his years of commitment to promoting film music and the film composers that write it. Most importantly, he has always done it entirely out of true love of music and what it can do in these kinds of films.  It’s been this passion for genre music that prompted [this] analysis and commentary.”
from the Introduction by Christopher Young.

Randall D. Larson was the editor and publisher of CinemaScore: The Film Music Journal from 1981 to 1987, and for many years thereafter senior editor and reviewer for Soundtrack Magazine, until its demise in 2002, “The Score” columnist for Cinefantastique magazine, and a prolific writer in fields of music, fantasy literature, cinema, and other fields of interest. The original Musique Fantastique was his first book, published in 1985, and was followed by Music from the House of Hammer, Film Music Around the World, several books about author Robert Bloch, and Films Into Books, the first book-length study of film novelizations and movie tie-in books. Larson currently writes the Soundtrax film music column for and is the author of more than 100 liner note commentaries for specialty soundtrack albums. He currently resides in Eureka, California.

Musique Fantastique 2nd Edition, Book One, sells for $29.95 (trade paperback – limited edition of 500 copies) or $ 14.97 (e-book – forthcoming).

To order Musique Fantastique 2nd Edition, Book One, see:

The Musique Fantastique Web Site offers additional background information about the book, including an author’s commentary, behind-the-scenes report, and additional data on music in science fiction, fantasy, and horror movies around the globe. See:

A Facebook page has been created for updates, news, networking, and other details about the publication of the 2nd Edition at

For more information and ordering details, see the publisher’s web site at:


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