“Incidentally, it was found that when such things as door handles were designed to be better functionally—that is, so that they would not catch the coat sleeves—they became more attractive in appearance.” GM Styling Section, Modes and Motors. Department of Public Relations, General Motors Corporation, 1938. URI.
This project is dedicated to the memory of Michelle Kendrick, dear friend and mentor. We miss you, Michelle.
We want to express our gratitude to Micah Vandegrift, Emily Cox, Kelsey Dufresne, and Carrie Hill at NC State University Libraries Open Knowledge Center for the revitalization and reimagining of Futurama, Autogeddon.
This project was first published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in 2015, under the title Highways of the Mind. Our thanks to Eric Halpern and the staff at University of Pennsylvania Press, and the Mariner10 series editors—Robert Markley, Ronald Schleifer, and Harrison Higgs—for their continual encouragement during the development of the project.
Sincere thanks, for their support, to the University of Maryland Baltimore County and Centenary College of Louisiana, and to Charlton H. Lyons and the family of Willie Cavett and Paul Marvin Brown, Jr. for their ongoing commitment to support research in the Humanities.
Our appreciation to the wonderful staff of the Performing Arts Collection at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin for helping us navigate the Norman Bel Geddes Theater and Industrial Design Papers.
Helen and Jeanne would like to acknowledge, with deep affection, Tim Menzies and Shannon Palmer, beloved partners and road trip companions.
The authors and publisher also wish to thank the following for their permission to reproduce images and archival materials:
The Edith Lutyens and Norman Bel Geddes Foundation for design sketches and images of the Futurama exhibit, model cars, and the Polyrhetor.
The General Motors Heritage Center for the “Ghost of Harley Earl” advertisements and images of the Polyrhetor.
The Washingtoniana Division and the D.C. Community Archives at the D.C. Public Library, for Sammie Abbott’s poster “White man’s road thru black man’s home.”
The cover image of the issue of the June 1940 issue of Astounding Science Fiction is copyright © 2012 by Penny Publications. Reprinted with permission of the publisher.
The epigraph from “Howl” by Allen Ginsberg is used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
The epigraph from In Ruins by Christopher Woodward, copyright © 2001 by Christopher Woodward. Used by permission of Pantheon Books, an imprint of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved.
The epigraph from the CTheory interview with Paul Virilio “The Kosovo War Took Place in Orbital Space” was originally published in CTheory. It is reprinted with the permission of the editors, Arthur and Marilouise Kroker.
The epigraph from The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays by M.M. Bakhtin, edited by Michael Holquist, translated by Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist, Copyright (c) 1981, is used by permission of the University of Texas Press.
The epigraph from Open Road by Phil Patton is reproduced by permission from the author.
An earlier version of portions of Chapter One appeared as “Futurama, Autogeddon: Imagining the Superhighway from Bel Geddes to Ballard” in Rhizomes: Cultural Studies in Emerging Knowledge in Issue #8, Spring 2004.
An earlier version of portions of Chapter Three first appeared as “‘Road of Giants’: Nostalgia and the Ruins of the Superhighway in Kim Stanley Robinson’s Three Californias” in Science Fiction Studies in July 2006.
This project was built, wherever possible, using copyright-free images and films. We strongly advocate supporting the invaluable work of Rick Prelinger at the Prelinger Archive. Without his dedication to the preservation of historical media and cultural ephemera, this project would not exist.