Prehistoric Monsters, Environmental Disasters, and Shark Weather:
Interdisciplinary Interrogations of the SyFy Original Films
Edited by Mitch Ploskonka and Justin Wigard (MSU)
This collection’s goal is to devote critical attention to an understudied avenue of popular culture: Sci-Fi/SyFy Channel’s original films. Since 2002, Sci-Fi/SyFy Channel’s production company, Sci-Fi Pictures, has created over 200 original films, spawning such franchises as the Sharknado andLavalantua series alongside cult/fan favorites like Ghost Shark, Ice Spiders, and Mongolian Death Worm. Sharknado’s release in 2013 saw unprecedented popularity for one of SyFy’s creature feature films, correlating to a meteoric rise in popularity of not just the recently-mintedSharknado franchise, but SyFy’s feature films as a whole.
This book, published by McFarland & Co., seeks interdisciplinary approaches to understanding, contextualizing, and interrogating these SyFy films, in order to make sense of their position within popular culture. We are also interested in submissions that highlight interesting, surprising, and overlooked connections to/from the SyFy original films.
The editors are seeking proposals for essays dealing with all aspects of Syfy original films. Potential topics can include but are not limited to the following:
- Monstrosity as it manifests within the SyFy creature films.
- SyFy’s “Sharknado week” and other cross-channel interactions
- Issues of race, gender, and sexuality in SyFy films
- SyFy films and transmedial properties (video games, board games, comics, “field guides,” etc.)
- Ecocriticism, particularly regarding environmental disaster films
- Audience reception, cult film status, and fandom
- Critical examination of SyFy film series (Sharknado, Mega Shark, Lavalantula, etc.)
- Historical contextualization of the SyFy films
- Humor, metatextuality, and/or seriousness within the SyFy films