If you follow R.A. Pedersen on Twitter (his handle is @EPCOTNRG) it will not be very long before you learn that he has a book out, and is very eager to distribute it as widely as possible. “Hey @TheBible,” he’ll tweet. “How about adding a 67th book to the canon?” Or if someone complains about high gas prices, he’ll suggest “Why not just walk to work and use your gas money to buy multiple copies of my book?” Of course, if you had worked as hard on The Epcot Explorer’s Encyclopedia as R.A. Pedersen appears to have done, you would promote it at every opportunity, too.
The book is packed with information. It’s 262 pages long, and there are no illustrations. Probably this is for legal reasons, but it means the book is absolutely devoid of padding. The history of every current and former EPCOT pavilion is delved into. The Epcot Explorer’s Encyclopedia isn’t a modern version of the old Richard Beard EPCOT Center book; that volume was really a piece of promotional literature. More than anything, it’s like a written version of Martin Smith’s Ultimate Tribute videos, and that’s a good thing. As much as I love Martin’s videos, I don’t always have an hour to sit down and watch one, but I can spend maybe fifteen minutes reading this book and get a lot of the same information.
The intended audience of The Epcot Explorer’s Encyclopedia is the Disney geek community. I don’t believe the author has ever come out and stated that, but it’s the most logical conclusion. After all, the book isn’t designed to help you plan a trip, and the casual reader will probably be turned off by the lack of pictures. Again, I understand why there aren’t pictures-many of them would have had to come from official Disney sources, and with that would come all the complexities of copyright law, but some pictures would have helped to illustrate those pieces of old attractions like Horizons, World of Motion, and Journey Into Imagination, that we WEDHeads remember clearly but the general public does not. Really, it highlights the fact that Disney would never lend their official support to book like this, which is a shame. The Epcot Explorer’s Encyclopedia doesn’t dwell on the negative aspects of the park’s history, but it doesn’t go the Disney corporate route and pretend they don’t exist, either.
If I have one criticism of this book, it’s that the editing and proofreading was done by the author himself, and therefore some spelling and grammatical errors were missed. I know how difficult it can be to proofread your own work; I once wrote a rather lengthy story for one of the Star Trek fanzines published by Orion Press, and the editor, Randy Landers, was able to point out errors I hadn’t noticed during my proofreading. I was enormously grateful for his assistance. It’s my hope that, if the author of The Epcot Explorer’s Encyclopedia produces future editions of the book, he’ll avail himself of a second set of eyes to look over the manuscript.
In conclusion, if you’re at all interested in EPCOT, I definitely recommend this book! Commander Willard Decker bought the book, and he ascended to a higher plane of existence after merging with a self-aware space probe!
Klingon Commander Kruge failed to buy the book, and he was kicked off a cliff by William Shatner!
Information on the various ways to purchase The EPCOT Explorer’s Encyclopedia can be found here: http://www.epcyclopedia.com/buy-the-book/