spring forward into your less than gradual death with local trans poets & writers:

Maggie Eighteen of Metropolarity
Hayden Elizabeth
Die Dragonetti
Amarah Selaphiel
Grey Nebraska

spring forward into your less than gradual death with local trans poets & writers:

Maggie Eighteen of Metropolarity
Hayden Elizabeth
Die Dragonetti
Amarah Selaphiel
Grey Nebraska

Your queer sci-fi reading, where members of the LGBT community express their visions, projections, wars, romances, speculations, fears, battles, and dreams in glorious, mystifying tales inspired by the griots of old, informing the future. It is called LASER LIFE.

LASER LIFE

they shredded their anti-manifestos and their futurist-hate manuals and their tracts and lit them on fire. the ash rained down for days and days; the edicts spewed against them were heavy and voluminous. but they soon celebrated on the salt-like dust of their detractors words, stomping a mad ritual with leaden, though tattered, boot, soon returning speckling confetti of the Grand Nayser back to the earth.

they hooked up wires to their souls and downloaded spirits, uploaded ancient lwa, and disc-burned orishas into their retinas. “scan this”, they told them in their jack-boot and hazmat suits. they watched the thing of it all become the dance, the word become the deed, and launched themselves, defiantly, into deepest, darkest void, into space itself, piloting a starship through time.

their life was lived in laser

Your queer sci-fi reading, where members of the LGBT community express their visions, projections, wars, romances, speculations, fears, battles, and dreams in glorious, mystifying tales inspired by the griots of old, informing the future. It is called LASER LIFE.

featuring Imogen Binnie , critically acclaimed writer of the powerful, darkly comedic novel of trans discovery, “NEVADA”.

Pauline Darkstar of nervy and kinetic prog-punk band SGNLS, providing his strange wordscape.

as well as readings from the Laser Life founders:
Maggie Eighteen
Ras Mashramani
Rasheedah Phillips
Shane Jenkins
Alex Smith

Our most precious recurring event, Laser Life, occurred this past Friday, JAN 31 204. We livestreamed the event from our local anarchist community meeting space via Google Hangouts (¬_¬) and the result is below for your viewing pleaaasure.

OPENING W/ALEX SMITH: 3:08

MAGGIE EIGHTEEN: 4:58
RAS MASHRAMANI: 22:45
SHANE JENKINS: 44:44
MARISSA JOHNSON-VALENZUELA 52:40

ALEX ASKS US TO CONTEMPLATE “WHY SCI-FI” & ITS OVERTHROW?: 1:05:00

SUZY SUBWAYS: 1:06:07
R.PHILLIPS: 1:18:56
ALEX SMITH: 1:34:15

THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO CAME THRU & COMES AFTER/BEFORE/NOW

IF YOU WANT TO READ YOUR QUEER INSURRECTIONIST SCI-FI AT THE UPCOMING APRIL LASER LIFE, CONTACT ALEX SMITH AT THEYAREBIRDS(@)GMAIL(.)COM

Queer Sci-Fi Reading Series
From the files Baron Harkonen Solo-Margiela, District 98234.
CLASSIFIED>

For 100 years, LASER LIFE has provided the denizens of the hollowed out, Siberian dystopic husk formerly known as West Philly, with the one and secret voice. Fashioning antennaes from bones of dead CEOs and the rotting the planks of the Comcast building onto abandoned warehouses and hipster enclaves, it’s ever revolving cast of miscreants and saboteurs have been broadcasting the last zombie drenched signal of hope out into the universe. They are all just the strange fags and three-eyed queers caught stealing fruit and guns at the intergalactic bazaar, stowing away on the Millennium Falcon, and photo-bombing the white washed sardonic landscapes of even the most triumphant Capt. Kirks in victory pose. We’ve found them. This is their Santeria, this is their church.

LASER LIFE
known, dangerous throughout the galaxy:

Marissa Johnson-Valenzuela
— the weaver
the curator for the still untitled literary salon, Johnson-Valenzuela has created stark, unflinching habitats where we all clatter and bang, brushing our empty tin cans against the rusting steel bars of life.
*powers and abilities: Dream weaving, mind control

Suzy Subways— the spark
west philly’s own urban cosmic enchantress, Subways weaves the cityscape– all burnt out husk and Orwellian encroachment– into shifting beautiful literary orbs
*powers and abilities: tactical firearms, laser cannon, silent weapons

and the Metropolarity crew…

Shane Jenkins
— the anthropomorph
powers and abilities: Shape Shifting, Startocasting, astral projection

R.Phillips— the time traveler
powers and abilities: teleportation, quantum digitization, spell casting

Ras Mashramani — alien goddess
powers and abilities: flight, anti-gravition manipulation, light speed

Maggie Eighteen— the cyborg
powers and abilities: empathy, cybernetic link, machine/A.I. manipulation

Alex Smith— the vigilante
powers and abilities: ghosting, shadowtalking, boyfriend stealing

ELWIN COTMAN‘s work evokes the strangeness simmering underneath the floorboards of New Orleans speakeasys; the sort of melancholy soaked into the floorboards of a Carolina porch in misty May. Weaving through the murkier, funnier parts of American dreams, stopping right at the horizon of nightmare and flat-out hilarious, Cotman delivers a well needed shock to both the orthodoxy of African-American letters and to staid genre fiction at large. To say that A-Space and Laser Life are stoked beyond all hell for the opportunity to read with the brother is quite an understatement. We are prepared for the psycho-subconscious journey of this budding master mythmaker; gear up and join us.

http://www.lookmanoagent.blogspot.com/

ALEX SMITH is shedding his Laser Life sci-fi cocoon for an evening of lucidity. Or is he? Sure, bring your wine and cheese for this auspicious gala, served on your finest crystal; they won’t be broken and discarded, rent to shards and used as weapons against the establishment. Trust us, it’s not that kind of party. Reading from his long-awaited poetry chapbook (snicker) “Gang Stalk Oprah”, Smith promises a serene, intellectually tantalizing experience. Riiiighht.

http://theafterv3rse.tumblr.com/

THE FRIDAY EVENING THE WOMB THE LASER LIFE ASSEMBLY AT THE ANARCHIST ORGANIZING SPACE IN WEST PHILADELPHIA
WE’RE SORRY YOU MISSED IT
HERE IS THE RECAP IN OUR SHORT BLIPS AND CLIPS
WE EVEN HAD CHURCH SPACE ORGAN THANKS TO SHANE JENKINS


RAS MASHRAMANI // NIGHT SPACE [coming soon]

[INSERT NON-EXISTENT FOOTAGE OF MAGGIE EIGHTEEN READING HERE]


R. PHILLIPS // THE AFROFUTURIST AFFAIR


KATIE ZALL // AND AREN’T YOU LUCKY HER WHOLE STORY IS ONLINE 4FREE RIGHT HERE


CAMAE DEFSTAR // MOOR MOTHER GODDESS


ALEX SMITH // HERALD ACTUATOR

When [R. Phillips] was done reading at LASER LIFE last night, I understood something so wholly, and completely, so finally, that can never not be true. That, beyond the colloquial euphemism of what Laser Life, sci-fi, and the speculative mean to me, that to say that one is “living sci-fi”, is for me inevitably and completely true. Her story and it’s heart rending, “gone to glory” climax made me realize that it is not only possible to live science fiction, but for me, it’s mandatory. It’s all there is, it’s all I know. Thanks, Rasheedah, for validating, confirming, making me believe.


If you are sad you missed this momentous and life-affirming gathering, it might behoove you to stay abreast of our events via our Facebook page.

We’re very busy this October and November. . .

We realized that we should attempt to broadcast this past Laser Life (26 APR 2013), queer empowered sci-fi reading series, via Google Hangout, which permits audio and video chat in the nostalgic format of a chatroom. But on top of that, we soon discovered the frightening option to turn that Hangout into a live YouTube stream. Eighteen tested out the possibilities and the following was produced and posted to their YouTube channel in a matter of moments the evening prior:

So that when it was time for Friday night’s delights to occur, we were successfully live…

The lineup is as follows:
Alex Smith (Laser Life founder) opens.
R. Phillips of the Afrofuturist Affair at 8:21
Shane Jenkins at 19:50
Maggie Eighteen at 32:18
Alex Smith’s A R K D U S T intro & closing piece at 50:00


See past LASER LIFE videos here.
Get your very own copy of Alex’s A R K D U S T, send an inquiry to theyarebirds@hotmail.com

April 3rd, 2013 saw the Philadelphia stop of Imogen Binnie‘s NEVADA book tour, where Metropolarity crew was honored to read some intimate and non-SF type ish for the people. This was the most packed I’ve ever seen the A-Space, my neighborhood’s conveniently crucial anarchist community space. It’s a big deal when Topside Press puts out your book and you happen to be a witty and excellent trans author writing Very Important Fiction for people who don’t get to have much of anything in media reflecting their experiences.

To say the least, the atmosphere and audience was on some electric vibrating atoms in space tip, and everyone read the best stuff. Once again, all we have to show for it is my shoddy cellphone camera (footage of my opening reading is conspicuously absent *ahem* anyone else obsessively taking videophone footage out there???). ANYWAY, if you wish to peep the past, move on to the videos below. And thank Smoot for throwing it all together. And Imogen for writing a badass novel. And everyone for coming and being attentive.

Ras Mashramani read achingly beautiful moments from the realities of girlhood and other normalized traumas.

Then Red Durkin brought the deliciously enunciated laughs for all and let us know why she is professionally a comedian.

Alex Smith stepped up next with a reality you need to know. Rating: VERY FUCKING GOOD.

Then the author herself, Imogen Binnie, stepped to the plate and read several excellent selections from NEVADA. We understand why she is published.

After, we all partied quietly, as one can sometimes easily do on a chilly spring evening in West Philadelphia — with spirits & jazz cigarettes and stew and candy around a backyard fire. Oh, and some people went to Dahlak Paradise (bar). ^_~

Metropolarity is honored to read alongside author IMOGEN BINNIE on tour supporting her debut novel NEVADA. An ALL STAR CREW from PHILLY & NY will read to you. Let’s get intimate~

Metropolarity x Nevada book tour with Imogen Binnie and Red Durkin

be there!

WHEN: APRIL 3
TIME: 7:30–9:30
WHERE: A-SPACE @ 47th & BALTIMORE AVENUES, PHILA PA
(FACEBOOK RSVP)

WHO & WHAT:

IMOGEN BINNIE
Imogen Binnie is the author of the zines The Fact That It’s Funny Doesn’t Make It A Joke and Stereotype Threat. Additionally, her work has been anthologized in The Collection: Short Fiction from the Transgender Vanguard, released in Fall 2012. She is currently a monthly contributor to Maximum Rocknroll and has previously written for Aorta Magazine, The Skinny and PrettyQueer.com. She writes about books at www.keepyourbridgesburning.com, and she’s 1/3 of the legendary doom metal band Correspondences.

NEVADA
Nevada is the darkly comedic story of Maria Griffiths, a young trans woman living in New York City and trying to stay true to her punk values while working retail. When she finds out her girlfriend has lied to her, the world she thought she’d carefully built for herself begins to unravel, and Maria sets out on a journey that will most certainly change her forever. Find out more about Imogen Binnie and Nevada at http://topsidepress.com/nevada/.

RED DURKIN
Red Durkin is the managing editor of PrettyQueer.com and one the most promising young queer comics in the country. She has toured extensively as part of the Tranny Roadshow, performed at Camp Trans and the Transgender Leadership Summit and was a member of the Fully Functional Cabaret. She has written 9 zines, was featured in the final issue of Punk Planet magazine and Topside Press‘s The Collection: Short Fiction from the Transgender Vanguard.

Her work on Youtube has reach over 100,000 views and has appeared in classrooms and boardrooms nationwide. Her upcoming novel, Ready, Amy, Fire is scheduled to be published by Topside Press summer 2013.

Born in Indian, Alaska and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina, Red currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.

MAGGIE EIGHTEEN
Maggie Eighteen writes ALL THAT’S LEFT (cyborgmemoirs.com), an ongoing collection of non-linear pulp dystopian stories from the post-binary future. Eighteen is a founding member of Metropolarity(.net), a collective of artists, activists, and futurists, in the Speculative Vision and Critical Liberation Technologies departments. They/he/she is a cyborg from Olney, raised in AOL chatrooms and the wilds of Northeast Philly.

RAS. MASHRAMANI
Ras Mashramani is NSF[anything] and lives in the intersection of cyberspace and memory. She is a founding member of the Philly-based speculative fiction collective Metropolarity, and her work appears in the latest issue of The Painted Bride Quarterly. You can find her work at Metropolarity.net.

ALEX SMITH
An anvil. A wild leaf wafting to the grass on the tendrils of ghosts and the dreams of our fathers. A naked vein and the enmity of ether. A myth of the lamp of the universe; a light to guide you to it. All of these things we know, all of these things we seek, all are encompassed in spiritual vortex of the works of Alex Smith. His is the power to weave on the most dangerous loom.

Smith is a queer black activist, poet, dj, actor, musician, afro punk/afro-futurist chronicler of the naughty universe. Smith’s work speaks to the edge, to the post-fringe dystopia slowly creeping upon us. Too cantankerous and flamboyant for the Saul Williams wanna-be/def poetry set, too tribal for academia, Smith paints viral inscriptions for an audience of armed pixie insurrectionists. He is the founder and curator of the queer-empowered Laser Life sci-fi reading series. Alex’s poetry collection, “Gang Stalk Oprah“, with its lines hashed like an SAT-word injected SEPTA bus graffiti, and his sci-fi literary zine “A R K D U S T” will kidnap you, convert you, shoot you in the leg and then set you free.

Read from Imogen’s tour diary here.

Check out our Calendar for more upcoming events like these.