* The Marquette Interchange is an engineering marvel, a steel and concrete symphony of girders and flyovers at the edge of downtown Milwaukee, harmonizing traffic from three intersecting interstates with 29 bridges and 200,000 tons of asphalt. It looks like a wheat-and-blue roller coaster sculpted by a surrealist, one of those loop-de-loop highway hells where tourists are always getting lost in New Yorker cartoons. It’s basically a 21st-century vehicle distribution system the size of a city neighborhood, financed by $800 million from state and federal taxpayers.
* And speaking of Marquette: Marquette English will be hiring three tenure-track professors next year, two in rhet-comp and the third in Anglophone transnational literatures.
* Rather than claiming academic freedom, tenure and fair governance as a special perk of our unique standing, we should hold them out as the general economic and social justice virtues that they are. Faculty have models of collaborative self-governance that we now rarely bother to develop, that we have allowed to serve an ever-smaller share of our colleagues, that are not taken seriously by many administrations, but that are designed to allow both intellectual originality and decent, honorable workplaces. Faculty must now model how shared governance, if spread to other workplaces, would improve society as a whole. And we are going to have to do it soon.
* The University of Toledo is starting the nation’s first full undergraduate major in disability studies, an interdisciplinary field that already has considerable scholarly interest and graduate options.
* Radiation. Government conspiracy. Mass hysteria. There are plenty of theories as to why the residents of a tiny Kazakh mining region keep falling asleep for days at a time, but no answers. BuzzFeed News spends a week there and tries to stay awake.
* The poem of forever: “Pluto Shits on the Universe.”
* Hackers remotely kill a Jeep on the highway. Enjoy your self-driving cars, folks!
* Libertarian-leaning Republican Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), a supporter of the Free-Range Kids movement, has proposed groundbreaking federal legislation to protect the rights of kids who want to walk to school on their own.
* What might have been: Michael Jackson wanted to play Jar Jar in The Phantom Menace.
* Hogan goes down. Free advice: maybe don’t sue Gawker for a bazillion dollars if you’ve got something like this in the back of your closet.
* Life on the tenure track: When to say yes, when to say no.
* Whoever was after the Sub-Mariners and All Star Comics at the Heritage Auction wasn’t a collector. Their bids were too erratic, they didn’t know the market, and chances were, they weren’t terribly smart. It was also clear that they had a lot of money on their hands — too much money, maybe — and they were eager to spend it. Through months of interviews and hundreds of pages of public documents, The Verge reconstructed what they were seeing: a multi-million-dollar embezzlement scheme that would ensnare a crooked lawyer, a multinational corporation, and some of the most sought-out comics in the world.
* Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal explains politics. That’s about all there is to it, yeah.
* I WANT TO BELIEVE: Milwaukee mountain lion sighting could be true.
* And paging William Gibson: Senators Want to “Blow ISIS Out of the Water” with “Fancy Memes.”
CALL FOR PAPERS: Stephen King’s Science Fiction
A Special Issue of the journal Science Fiction Film and Television, edited by Simon Brown and Regina Hansen.
From the publication of his first novel, Carrie (1974), Stephen King has been inextricably linked to the horror genre. The same is true for the film and television projects that have been adapted from his work, beginning with Carrie (1976), and the mini-series of Salem’s Lot (1979). Yet King is not, and never has been, purely a horror writer. One genre to which he has returned throughout his career is that of science fiction (SF). Alien invasion narratives such as The Tommyknockers (1987), Dreamcatcher (2001) and Under the Dome (2009) stand alongside time-bending stories like 11.22.63 (2011) and The Langoliers (1990), the dystopian future of Richard Bachman’s The Running Man (1981), and tales of science and technology run amok, for example Trucks (1977), The Mangler (1977), Firestarter (1980) and the horror/SF hybrid novel Cell (2006).
Each of these has been adapted for the big or small screen, meaning despite his reputation for being solely a ‘master of the macabre’, King’s work has, over the past twenty years, made an undeniable contribution to the SF genre on film and television. With the success of the SF television series Haven (2010-) and Under the Dome (2013-) prompting a revival of interest in adapting King’s work for the screen, the time is right to explore the relationship between adaptations of Stephen King and the SF genre. To this end the journal Science Fiction Film and Television will be publishing a special issue devoted to the SF adaptations of King’s work, guest edited by Simon Brown and Regina Hansen. The aim of this issue is to examine King’s relation to SF, to consider the adaptations within the context of the film and/or TV SF genres, and to examine the relationship between the two. What kind of SF does King write, how is it adapted, and how do those adaptations relate to, draw on, or differ from, ongoing themes and representations in SF on Film and TV?
The guest editors are seeking proposals for articles of up to 6000 words. The deadline for submission of articles is 31 May 2016. The issue will be published mid-2017. We welcome proposals on any area to do with Stephen King and the film and TV adaptations of his SF work (or indeed non-SF works that have been adapted into SF, such as The Lawnmower Man and Haven), but particularly around the following:
• individual adaptations or series, or groups of adaptations, or original series. These include but are not limited to The Tommyknockers, Dreamcatcher, The Langoliers, Stephen King’s Golden Years, Firestarter, The Running Man, The Mist, Hearts in Atlantis, Maximum Overdrive/Trucks, Haven, Under the Dome, The Dead Zone (Film or series), The Lawnmower Man, 11.22.63
• The way in which King adopts or adapts the tropes of the SF genre
• King, SF and genre hybridity
• The relationship between King’s stories as literary SF and the adaptations as cinematic or television SF
• Adapting King as SF for the big and small screens
• The format of King adaptations (film, TV movie, mini-series, series)
• The impact of these adaptations on the SF genre in film and/or TV
• The significance (or otherwise) of the King “brand’ to film and/or TV SF
• King as source for/contributor to other SF shows such as The X-Files, The Outer Limits and The Twilight Zone.
Proposals of 300-500 words, and a short biography of 50-100 words should be submitted via email no later than 30 September 2015 to the guest editors Simon Brown (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Regina Hansen (email@example.com).
Simon Brown is Associate Professor of Film and TV at Kingston University. He has published numerous pieces on early British cinema, colour cinematography and contemporary American television. He was co-editor with Stacey Abbott of the special issue of the Journal of Science Fiction Film and TV on The X-Files (6:1, 2013), for which he also contributed the article Memento Mori: The Slow Death of The X-Files. He is currently working on a book on adaptations of Stephen King’s work on Film and TV.
Regina Hansen is Master Lecturer of Rhetoric at Boston University’s College of General Studies. She is the co-editor with Susan George of Supernatural, Humanity and the Soul: The Highway to Hell and Back (Palgrave-MacMillan 2014) and editor of Roman Catholicism in Fantastic Film (McFarland 2011). She has written and presented on science fiction and horror film and television, religion and the fantastic, and Neo Victorianism in TV and film.
* I have a review out today of Aurora and Seveneves (both great!) in The Los Angeles Review of Books. My review actually has a lot in common with two other reviews they’ve run recently, one from Tom Streithorst on Mad Max: Fury Road and the other from Sherryl Vint on Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Water Knife.
* Sweet Briar lives. Joy Over Sweet Briar’s Reopening Is Tempered by Questions About the Road Ahead. Lessons from Sweet Briar. Sweet Briar Savors the Promise of Revival, but Fund-Raising Challenge Is Vast. Sweet Briar’s ‘No Nonsense’ New President Faces a Tall Task. Reinventing Sweet Briar. I just want someone to look into all their weird investment losses and figure out what was happening there.
According to the RealClearPolitics average of polls, she leads Sanders by 47 percentage points.
* But set Obama’s impressive electoral victories aside and the Democrats look less like an emerging majority and more like a party in free fall: Since Obama was sworn in six years ago, Democrats have suffered net losses of 11 governorships, 30 statehouse chambers, more than 900 statehouse seats, and have lost control of both houses of the U.S. Congress. They’re certainly finding every possible way to blow it.
* Scenes from the charter school scam: Milwaukee Public Schools edition.
* It’s just impossible to elect anyone who is actually on the left. Look what happens.
* Clash of Clans is made by the Finnish game studio Supercell. It launched in August 2012 and rapidly became one of the top five highest-grossing titles in Apple’s App Store. In 2013, when Yao and his invitation-only clan, North44, were at their peak, Clash of Clans helped create $555 million of revenue for the company. The next year, Supercell’s revenue tripled to $1.7 billion — a seemingly inexplicable sum produced by a roster of games that, like Clash, are free to download and can be played without spending a dime. So how is Supercell generating all that money? By relying on players who don’t simply want to enjoy the game but who want to win. Players who, like Yao, are willing to spend a great deal of cash.
* ‘Star Trek’ Fan Invited to Pitch ‘Star Trek Uncharted’ TV Series to Paramount. The best part: it actually sounds like a good idea.
* And the arc of history is long, but Walter White From ‘Breaking Bad’ Will Appear in a Future Episode of ‘Better Call Saul.’