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/

Screaming Queens (Vancouver)

ex. by v.

Alex Smith
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 short story collection, “Gang Stalk Oprah“, with its lines hashed like an SAT-word injected SEPTA bus graffiti, will kidnap you, convert you, shoot you in the leg and then set you free.

Voyager
http://sssybtch.wordpress.com/

Heather Holepuncher

flyer design: negatecity.tumblr.com

all ages
5$ (no one turned away for lack of funds)
see you soon!!

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. . .

The following was performed at the 3rd annual ROCKERS BBQ weekend. Consider it a part of our episode, the SPACE INVADERS :: Gentrification x Community issue of our Journal of Speculative Vision & Critical Liberation Technologies. Video by Kaos Blac. Feature image by House of Hayes.

So, I opened a customer’s check book, and inside, there was a pamphlet about god. My boyfriend had visited me at work, kissed me on the cheek and dashed off to an adventure on his own. It made my day. I think the three-top sitting at D4 saw this. After I dropped the food at their table, they asked me to pray with them. I declined. Fortunately, as the note they’d written on their check said, “God cares. Even for sinners such as you” . In a saner, more just universe (one with leprechauns in the Senate, one with were-dragon ballerinas as Septa train operators, one with talking lucky squirrels that spin acid jazz and jungle dub plates at barmitzphas), I would bring them back their change mixed in with shredded pieces of the Jesus pamphlet. I’d leave them a note as well. This is what it would say:

“The grid shapes us, molds us, makes us uniformly square. The binary assault on our senses has dulled us. We are trapped, thinking that our sexuality stems from some kind of intrinsic pre-determined genetic code, or that it can even be unlearned. We are all existing on levels of love, on a cosmic string that stretches across and over galaxies like electrical wires. When I lay down and kiss my boyfriend at night, I’m crossing the streams of countless eons of information, of pre-cybernetic memory, the ancient kind of memory that tells me that “I exist”. So, no matter what you write *now* on this little receipt, I’m giving you, in return, a sort of inter-dimensional banjee girl effect. I am kissing your son and husband passionately, deeply on the mouth, even now, just by writing this. I do appreciate your prayers, because I recognize that it is essential to humanity to create stories and dreams that explain the science of the world, that reassures us of our place, even as granular as it is, within the multiverse, but I also recognize that just as essential is our notion to be connected in grander ways to each other, that our holes are there for traversal and transmission and communication, and that we are portals, always and forever. So, yes, I am eternally in need of God, but only so much that god is creation and sex and fervor and life.“

(And yes, I could write all of this in-between serving customers and waiting on my other tables; sure, i’m *that* good. Plus, I keep a cache of “verbal beat down” tucked into my brain for just such occasions so it was all a matter of channeling, really)

Even in this reality, where ever “this reality” currently is, where we danced on top of DHL trucks at bonfires. Where we filled our baskets with the cosmic dawn, with the tools of the culling, marched over the horizon and struck a blow at the sun. Even here we are flying things, vast and unicorn, radiating in free effervescent thought chroma, bursts of the burgeoning universe lilting over radiant nebula, cloud and ash. We are baristas and shamans at the desks of the apparitions, the waitstaff in white gloves on the yachts of freedom ghosts with our time cards stamped until eternity.

My hands are gold and steel, wrapped up time machines. I push the button and black goo pours out in delicious crema. I stare at it as it coalesces into a filthy golden ring, a soul sapping halo of procured anti-vitamins, a sun-sucking ember extracted from a plant three thousand miles, one hundred leather straps on the back, an ocean of dead black bodies buried at sea, away. And then I pour it into the cup.

“Hello?” The pregnant white woman is holding her purse, her lips curled up in a half crescent of desire and thirst. She sees my black skin first, ignores the beading droplets of sweat coagulating on my brow. I think of the nights where we set fire to a rib shack, where we etched “death to gentrifiers” on the windows of the newest Wendy’s on Lancaster avenue, where we pricked our ankles on barbed wire and left bloody DNA tattoos on the walls of art museums. I think of the night sky opening up, afterglow sparking, ebullient rush of the wind, the party doors swinging wide and androgynous avatars announcing to the world, this is the land of the freaks and warriors and we’re taking things back, we’re busting out, we’re clearing this world, swollen on the fruit, still starved for the meat.

I wrote so many things down in those days, on the back of Spider-Man comic books, on napkins and napkin holders, on pieces of trash stuck and corroding on the side of the curb. I wrote of taking the artifacts out of the glass cases and putting them back into the ground- the sacred ground. I wrote of the ground.

“I’ll be with you in a moment,” I say, as I stir the pure brown down into the creamy liquid mass of the white white milk. Ah, an easy metaphor, I think, a clear and beautiful piece of hyperbole, consisting of the life blood of yuppiedom. I can set this thing on the counter, watch its pale beige swirl inundate the glass, cascade over the clear, nameless, not-there ice cubes, as it turns into the perfect mix of the people of the planet, of the people of Philadelphia, this great city of love, of understanding.

But this isn’t an 11th grade essay or a melting pot narrative. I’m standing behind a counter with a uniform on, the blackest beacon in a white universe, easily Google-able, so simple it is to Yelp my non- name: the star artist in this cappuccino and iced americano crazed continuum is ______. You can type my form into the entry for the café, it’s simple, and they will know who you are talking about. It’s not like we’re standing in a bodega in South Philadelphia or a five and dime in Kensington or a donut shop under the L at Girard. We’re here where the encroaching horizon of academia clashes with the shrinking border of hunger and death pangs. It’s real simple: I’m the black guy that works there.

“Are you ready for me?” she asks, as I stand staring her into her crisp blue eyes. She held her smart phone, tethered to her hand like a cyborg arm connected with nano machines. I could not tell where she ended and the iPhone began.

She is not ready to order. She is just there.

And so they all list into being, like a star-studded wikipage unraveling, falling into life and birthed in a line. They all want something from me, every inch of my black body, all that I can muster for them. They want everything except my story. A cop. A minister. A priest. A man in a Duke Lacrosse t shirt. An elderly woman with a tripod cane. A seeing eye dog. A boy in ripped jeans with a handlebar mustache. Another cop. A man with a souvenir paint brush from Milan. A woman wearing a dress made of kente cloth. A punk rocker.

I sat on the stoop outside of the café, watching children play in a puddle, the water rising and falling with their every excited splash. A police car came tearing through the intersection, slowed down when it passed the kids, rolled it’s window down. A white man in the back seat peered out plaintively, shook his head at the children then mouthed something to the cop driving and the squad car sped on.

When I’m emptying the trash, I am still a super-hero flying through the air, talking to dwarf stars and dreaming in quasars. When I’m picking up used napkins off of tables, I’m still a griot mystic, weaving light constructs from tiny threads of reality. When I’m making your coffee…

I saw the pregnant white woman on the 34 trolley. She got on at 36th street. I could feel the air sucked out of of the car from the vacuum created by the many men and women rising to give up their seat. I felt the searing heat of x-ray eyes, as the air got thinner, hotter, at 40th street station, where a black woman with three kids, weighed down with grocery bags got on. The look of disdain from the same passengers was hot enough to bake vampire flesh. I kept reading my comic book, stitched into my aisle seat.

When we reached 48th street, the sea of color had dispersed. The swirling yellow and porcelain white, the garish garments and cargo pants and Birkenstocks had disappeared. The announcer stopped announcing the street numbers. There was just us: monolithic, vast, black, and unicorn.

episode-two-metropolarity-gentrification-issue-1

Metropolarity’s Journal of Speculative Vision + Critical Liberation Technologies

presents

(((((Season One Episode Two :: The Gentrification x Community Issue :: July 2013)))))

featuring cover art & design by
KELLYANNE MIFFLIN OF STITCH PRISM
and
PRECOLUMBIANA OF CUTN PASTEAZUCARHEY QUEEN

and work from

SUZY SUBWAYS
PATROKOLOS
MELISSA MOORE
SHAWN ALLEYNE
JOHN THE LIBERATOR
DANIEL RICHTER
AND THE METROPOLARITY CORE CREW

AVAILABLE AT OUR HUMBLE SHOP, WOODEN SHOE BOOKS IN PHILADELPHIA, AND ALL OF OUR UPCOMING EVENTS.

episode-two-metropolarity-gentrification-issue-2

episode-two-metropolarity-gentrification-issue-3

episode-two-metropolarity-gentrification-issue-4

episode-two-metropolarity-gentrification-issue-6

episode-two-metropolarity-gentrification-issue-7

episode-two-metropolarity-gentrification-issue-8

episode-two-metropolarity-gentrification-issue-9

episode-two-metropolarity-gentrification-issue-10

METROPOLARITY ZINES

For past issues and other work from our members, please visit our humble online shops here and here. Or email us to work out other arrangements.

WANT TO APPEAR IN THE NEXT EPISODE? WE’RE CURRENTLY CASTING!

::in blaring sports announcer voice::

WELCOME TO MEDIA BLACKOUT, WHERE WE REVIEW THE ZINES & OTHER MEDIA CLUTTERING UP OUR BAGS AND BEDSIDES. GAME ONE FEATURES THREE REVIEWS. LET’S GET IT ON!

A R K D U S T by our own Alex Smith
arkdust-by-alex-smith-1

Alex writes fiction that reads like an absurd reality show super hero comic with the emotional weight of the last really good movie you saw, combined with total “crazier things have happened” subway riding plausibility. Ever since starting the queer sci-fi/fantasy reading series, Laser Life, we’ve all begged and begged Alex for some take-home print form of the arresting stories he would diplomatically drop on us lowly commoners. So when he announced he would be making a zine to debut at the April 2013 Laser Life, we all counted our pocket change and patiently held our breath till the appointed day.

A R K D U S T is a fangirl dream. It contains five short stories by Alex, plus an excellent bonus story and interview from his partner, Shane Jenkins of Razed By Wolves, another mainstay of Laser Life, whose stories touch on the surreal fantasy vapors that always start to creep up from behind our spines when watching Princess Mononoke alone in the dark. All this in an old-school Kinkos xerox 8.5″ x 11″ format!

arkdust-by-alex-smith-2

“Wow. Wow, really? Look, Wondra could snap your wanna be Ricky Martin ass in half and mail your spleen to Hook if she wanted to, so why not keep all the “bitch” comments tucked away into that turd brain of yours. I mean seriously, you’re the shittiest stool pigeon ever, how do you even find out any of this underworld shit you’re always reporting to Hook with as high a profile as you keep? I feel like Hook’s just too lazy to use Google on any one of his many goddamn smartphones because your information can’t be too insider. Like, every fucking wanna-be carjacker and armed insurrectionist knows who you are!” – A Little Light

arkdust-by-alex-smith-3

The air outside was crisper, a refreshing spray of April breeze tickling at his flesh. He pulled his Harrington jacket a little tighter. The street was alive with drag queens and leather daddies and kids voguing in knock-off Yves St. Laurent, punks with spikey pink hair and Camaros with their trunks rattling under the weight of anthemic bass. Henry kept his eyes trained on the misshapen sidewalk, at the crack vials and used condom wrappers crackling under his Doc Martens. He was busy thinking about nothing, letting the wild night’s conversations slip over and through him, so much so that he’d walked a bit past his bus stop and had turned to go back when he saw the boy of velvet standing in front of TRINITY, under an awning, patting his pockets, shaking nervously, his muscles rippling out of his thin green shirt. He looked like a shadow. When the boy found his pack of cigarettes, the boy cursed to himself that he’d lost his lighter. A kind of ghostly sadness crept over Henry when he saw the boy standing there without a light, and this sadness grew as he watched wave after wave of clubgoers pass the boy, and though the boy’d ask, none of them had a light for him. Henry quickly patter himself, but remembered he’d stopped smoking a year ago. – Clones

arkdust-by-alex-smith-5

Get a copy of A R K D U S T by contacting Alex at theyarebirds @ gmail. com or follow Alex’s new queer superhero tumblr, the A\terv3/rz3.


BETA DECAY by Andrew Jackson King
beta-decay-four-by-andrew-jackson-king-2

Maybe it’s because I started to read Beta Decay #4 while luxuriating on my roof in the hot Philly sun, but the short fiction pieces inside Andrew’s zine remind me of all the random pulp novels I used to bring with me on the week-long family vacation down the shore. Except stranger and more ominous, and neatly within the treatment one could imagine given to summer Hollywood movie releases, but the kind you leave the theater feeling strangely bereft and wondering if a milkshake at the diner after is really going to bring you back to earth. Beta Decay #4’s assortment of unrelated(?) short stories gives the reader glimpses of the incomprehensible world as it reveals itself to mundane human perception. Shit is creepy yo (but I’m not trying to spoil it here!).

beta-decay-four-by-andrew-jackson-king-3

Frances closed her eyes. Her mind pulled out from the building, out from the town, out from the metropolitan agglomeration, out from the continents and sea and hemisphere, out of the earth completely. Against the deep black, she saw the planet as a red, pulsing dot, emitting a see of radio waves, microwaves, gamma rays, a nearly infinite spectrum.

beta-decay-four-by-andrew-jackson-king-4

Spread out before Jeremiah was a monolith of coral, splashes of orange and red and yellow. Jeremiah always thought someday he would be able to make out patterns, that after a while, he’d be able to understand the exact way that the organisms grew and deviated from geometrical perfection, but this information had eluded him ever since he was a boy pouring over the dusty picturebooks on his mother’s shelf

beta-decay-four-by-andrew-jackson-king-5

Get MOAR BETA DECAY here (for free!).


UP AGAINST THE WALL: A History of Resistance to Policing in Philadelphia by Arturo Castillion
up-against-the-wall-by-arturo-castillion-1

I picked up this zine while at a punk/noise/thrash? show at LAVA Space in West Philly, an autonomous organizing space on Lancaster Ave. (Ever since this new show organizer, Zu, rolled up to town there’s been a #brosfallback no racist/colonialist/misogynist/phobic bullshit atmosphere at their shows that’s been a breath of fresh air, especially for someone that stopped going to shows because they were full of violent man babies. Another novel aspect of the shows they organize is the provision for zines & hang-out discussion space, which is embarrassing to find novel because it should be normal if we’re having radical bands play radical spaces. ¬__¬;) Anyway, Arturo was there, and intrigued that someone had made a zine summarizing local black resistance to police, I bought a copy.

up-against-the-wall-by-arturo-castillion-3

This zine is essentially an academic-feeling summary of racism and power relations surrounding the Philadelphia police, its formation, and how the black communities being terrorized by them resisted in the forms of mass uprisings. Appropriately, it feels like reading from a history text book from middle school, and is easy to digest. And similar to most every classroom history textbook, its author provides no personal bio or reasoning for compiling this particular history of resistance. So while it’s very intriguing and useful to read about black Philly resistance to cops, I couldn’t help but feel displaced by the bodiless and unsituated voice of the narrator (despite having shook their hand!).

In Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America Kristian Williams describes how policing has historically functioned to enforce a white dominated racial order. In the city once the nation’s capital, the predecessor of the modern day Philadelphia police was the civilian-run “night watch,” which monitored the populace from the time of the early eighteenth century. The watch, which developed in Boston as well, was the Northern equivalent of the Southern slave patrols. In 1837 the mayor of Philadelphia declared, “Every colored person found in the street after (the posting of) watch should be closely supervised by the officers of the night.” Whether it was the night watch or the slave patrol, the white population as whole was expected to police black people.

up-against-the-wall-by-arturo-castillion-4

The introduction of the first black officers reflected the growing size of the black population. In the Philadelphia Negro W.E.B. Dubois described how in 1884 Mayor Samuel G. King appointed the first sixty black officers to the police department, a move that was opposed by whites. These police were put on duty exclusively in black neighborhoods and only permitted to arrest black people. Dubois also noted that none of the original black policemen would ever receive any promotions. Thus, the incorporation of black police was not a sign of racial progress, but instead a means to control the rising black populous.

up-against-the-wall-by-arturo-castillion-5

Despite the voice behind the curtain vibe, the zine served as a solid reminder that many other histories and conflicts have occurred in this city. It compiles historical facts to demonstrate just how real and tangible white supremacy and racist power dynamics are and how they contributed to the current status quo. What I found most useful and intriguing were the recounts of several street incidents throughout the 50s and 60s where police beatings & other open abuses of power were confronted and stopped by suddenly forming crowds of black Philadelphians. It closes by summarizing the actual tactics and methods used to confront police violence, namely that there is power in quickly gathering groups of people. Useful to read if only to remember, since those in power would love to have us forget. . .

You can probably get your own copy of this and Arturo’s other police resistance zines at LAVA Space shows and Wooden Shoe books, or you can definitely read an updated text-only version of it here.

THANKS 4 READING! ^_~v

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

laser life is a queer sci-fi reading series. this april 26th, 2013.

THE ACTUATOR, THE NEXUS. ALEX SMITH’S LASER LIFE QUEER SCI-FI READING SERIES MAKES ITS SPRING RETURN.

featuring:

special guest: POLYMER MONOCHROME, aka Paul Walker of SGNLS in his sci-fi reading debut!! We are ecstatic to hear this new/old voice.

Alex Smith/ARKDUST:
“Close your eyes little starry Captain, little man of cosmos, you’re almost there, becoming. A lotus flower will appear at the crest of your every step, through cracks in the dust and piss strewn sidewalks and in the mire of the still damp tarmac leading to the place you call home. Light this stick, it’s a candle, and yes, though it’s just a figment or a symbol of your dreams, it’s something you can hold on to, it’s something you can use to see in the dark. Can you see it? Behind the flame? On another plane, a figure, spiraling coming closer to and standing grand in space and lacking light? Is it sentient? Is it you?”

Maggie Eighteen/ALL THAT’S LEFT
“Not soon after they became immersed in the virtual place between both their connections, the in-between place where they released tension, the wi-fuck, they called it. Where his female-bodied Captain had parts from a male one, and he, so used to being the aggressive masculine archetype in person, was on his hands and knees, willingly at the mercy of whatever humiliation or obedient bark she could dish out. She would work him mercilessly. The world was scary, and tonight he wanted to cry. ”

Shane Jenkins/RAZED BY WOLVES
“And then the moon was blotted out. Hundreds of crows, maybe thousands, swirled up over the forest, cawing and shrieking. The noise was deafening, the sky a whirr of angry feathers. All at once, they descended upon Kevin. He struggled, but the griffin’s wings kept him from moving. The crows picked away at Kevin bit by bit, and flew away with small parts of him. A bit of skin here, an eyeball there, a piece of tongue. In three minutes, there was no trace of Kevin, as they even flew away with his bones.”

Ras Mashramani/THE NIGHT SPACE
“”Honey, it would be good for you,” her mother squeezes her shoulder–the first time in months, “It would help us all out. Then you can get back to being you, a good girl.”
While Melinda throws all of her hoodies and sweats into a duffel bag, she wonders what that makes her now, after she was taken. She checks her Facebook one last time, and browses YouTube. Absentmindedly, she googles her name. She googles Kensington 6. She googles abductions and inseminations. In one youtube video, there is a girl from the Midwest bragging about her insemination, spitting at the webcam. Melinda thinks, then, that it’s time to go to bed.”

R. Phillips/AFRO-FUTURIST AFFAIR
By day, R. Phillips is a public interest attorney at a nonprofit legal organization, assisting low-income members of the community. Against the backdrop of night, Phillips explores the fine line between fiction and reality, xperiments with time order, reverses cause & effect, turns black holes inside out to create worlds, and rearranges the cosmos to foster favorable astrological conditions for her alternate selves. She is the mother to her teen, Iyonna, and the creator of The AfroFuturist Affair, a community for Philadelphia Afrofuturists. She plans to release an experimental novel called Recurrence Plot in late 2012/early 2013, should we survive the turning of the Mayan calendar. You may also catch her ruminating from time to time and space to space on her blog AstroMythoLosophy

LOCATION: A-Space Anarchist Community Center // 4722 Baltimore Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19143
TIME: 6:45PM, Friday April 26th, 2013
FACEBOOK RSVP

See videos from past Laser Life gatherings here.

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.