Oh, I think we're mostly on the same page here. I guess it depends on what you meant by "skiffy movie geekdom."
Speaking of novelizations, what you said about the Star Wars
paperback is all true, but I can't resist pointing out that movie novelizations date back to the silent days. There were novelizations of The Thief of Baghdad
(1924), The Jazz Singer, King Kong,
etcetera, and, prior to Star Wars,
all sorts of B-movie stuff like Phase IV
and The Golden Voyage of Sinbad.
I'm not sure any of them ever hit the bestseller list, but they must have been making money since publishers have been printing them since forever. (As I recall, the novelization of The Omen
was also something of a publishing phenomenon, about a year before Star Wars
And then, of course, there was Asimov's novelization of Fantastic Voyage.
(Hmm. I probably should have mentioned Fantastic Voyage
when I was reeling off all those A-list scifi flicks before.)
I liked your line about the lunch table, btw. Sounds about right. I met my oldest friend because she spotted me reading a Doc Savage
paperback in junior high. "Ohmigod, you know about Doc Savage?"