Universal WILL Produce The Dark Tower


Illustration: Michael Whelan

Now that it’s official that Universal will produce three films, interspersed with two seasons of a television series on NBC, and that this will be helmed by Ron Howard and scripted by Akiva Goldsman, I must first of all breath a sigh of relief. And that is, of course, followed by a shriek of WTF. Hopefully, this is the project that will return the Grazer/Howard/Goldsman team to its true potential, but they will have to travel the Wastelands and more to prove it.

I’m glad this recipe of film/tv/film/tv/film was concocted, as it seems the best way to do it. Even Lord of the Rings was supposedly impossible to bring to cinema, but Peter Jackson managed it with three long films (and a lot of commitment from production). Mr. Howard and Mr. Grazer are not without huge obstacles in their quest, either.

For one thing, the part of Jake needs to be especially tended to in the planning, writing, and shooting stages. If this project is to go on for many years, Jake needs to be someone who doesn’t age/change much physically during that time. Even if he does during the last phase, Jake is key to the entire Gunslinger theme, and needs to be a solid child actor. Eddie and Susannah are also key roles, and while many will speculate on casting of those two, I wish those two to be unknowns.

As for the Gunslinger, there may be hoots and hollers for Josh Brolin or some other marquee star, but for my money, the one actor I see fitting the bill as a badass with a heart of stone, but a scrap of compassion, and who has proved himself in a successful TV series with a Stephen King fanbase… is Josh Holloway.

Bad Robot


He has the potential to pull off all of Roland’s traits, from stoicism to sarcasm to dancing the rice dance. And looking like a hardcase the whole time.

“Even Space Cowboys Need Travel Agents”


From Chuck Klosterman’s Killing Yourself to Live:

I insist on taking rock lyrics literally. For example, it occurs to me that whoever organized tour itineraries for the Steve Miller Band must have been a dolt: Miller says he went from Phoenix, Arizona, all the way to Tacoma, then to Philadelphia, down to Atlanta, and then crossed back to L.A. (before finally concluding with some one-off dates in Northern California, where the girls were said to be “warm”). This is terribly inefficient.

Yep, That’s How I Imagine Nessus


Having the world of art at your fingertips is awesome, and it’s such a bonus to be enjoyed when it’s useful. I’ve recently, finally gotten around to reading Larry Niven’s Ringworld. I was wondering if my visions of the characters described were close to what others had depicted, so I searched.

Nessus looks nice here in this illustration by John C. Atkeson & Mark Woolrich, and it’s pretty much what I got from Niven’s descriptions. The kzin, Speaker to Animals was close, but I pictured him looking more like Hoverball Cat.

Father’s Day


My Dad wrote a great piece, part poem, part statement, about his Father. I was supposed to post it today, but it is actually stored on another computer. I’ll update this post tomorrow, since I promised him I would. [Update 6/21: see below.]

He’s the best Dad. Like Atticus Finch.


My Father—A Life Unique!!

It’s as if he were woven — as fabric from the community in which he was reared.

Only the choicest threads were used, each one carefully selected and inserted with extreme skill.

Through the lean — hard years — the material was tested and proved —Strong —– Resilient—–Honest.

His fortune grew with time and great effort but it was exceeded by his humanity.

His education was limited, but his knowledge was great —and soon recognized.

For all he had received — He gave!

To his Wife — Love   Honor    Respect

To his Children — Lessons  Opportunities  Discipline To his Relativ,es — Generosity Tolerance History

He did  not wait for life to give him shape

Rather — the strength and quality of the fabric shaped his life.

  • It allowed him to see the needs of his community — Honest Service
  • It caused him to perform  With — Integrity
    • It guided him among us in dealings — that when finished there was  never cause for him to lower his gaze or apology make.

We may not know the Weaver —

Nor truly comprehend the process that placed him with us — Exposed us to him.

Though we know we are richer from the acquaintance
In our deepest thoughts we still ask —
Who was this man — really?

The answers are as numerous as the fibers —

Interwoven in our experiences — With him. But one -comforting — fulfilling— sustaining awareness remains

This Man Was My Father——I Hope He Was Yours!

Darth Vader Gargoyle at Washington National Cathedral


Sometimes reading a Dan Brown novel yields some pretty interesting facts. Case in point: a key part of the engaging – albiet poorly written- story involves “Luke’s Dark Father.”

At first I was like No Way. And then I was like Way. There actually is a sculpture of Darth Vader included in the construction of this neo-cathedral.

In the 1980s, while the west towers were under construction, Washington National Cathedral held a decorative sculpture competition for children. Word of the competition was spread nationwide through National Geographic World Magazine. The third-place winner was Christopher Rader, with his drawing of that fearful villain, Darth Vader. The fierce head was sculpted by Jay Hall Carpenter, carved by Patrick J. Plunkett, and placed high upon the northwest tower of the Cathedral.

He’s kind of difficult to spot, but there are hints at the link. Also claimed to be in the structure are stones from Mount Sinai and a moon rock.


Happy Bloomsday



Copyright Page


Copyright © Stephen King 1979
All rights reserved
First published in 1979 by Viking Press
40 West 23 Street New York, N.Y. 10010
Published simultaneously in Canada by
Penguin Books Canada Limited

Stephen King, 1947 –
The dead zone.
1. Title.
PZ4.K5227De {PS3561.1483} 813′.5’4 79-12785
ISBN 0-670-26077-0

Printed in the United States of America
Set in CRT Garamond

The lyrics on page 69 are from “Back in the U.S.S.R.,” words and music by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Copyright © 1968 Northern Songs Ltd. All rights in the United States of America, Mexico and the Phillipines (!) are controlled by Maclen Music, Inc., c/o ATV Music Corp. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The lyrics on page 29 and 50 are from “Whole Lot-ta Shakin’ Goin’ On” by Dave Williams and Sonny David.