The Laser Life, founded and curated by Alex Smith, is held every other month at the A-Space in West Philadelphia. It’s more special than you know, unless of course, you have been before. It offers a platform for queer speculative fiction writers, poets, performers, and shamans, drawing a packed house every time without fail. Often, Facebook event-goers have shown up fashionably late only to discover they have made folly—the Laser Life starts on time and ends early. The Laser Life leaves you with the feeling of having watched a deeply compelling film in the theater. The Laser Life makes you feel aimless, celebratory, wild, and you empty out on to Baltimore Avenue amidst strangers and friends with no real plans but to enjoy the evening. You feel elevated.
To date, we have only filmed, sparingly, what goes on with with our cell phones . . .
A reading series dedicated to giving voice to the swirl of diversity that exists in the known and unknown universe, LASER LIFE is a queer empowered reading series that serves as a gateway to the dreaming. At its core, it’s a reading of science and speculative fiction and fantasy, with the intensity of a sweaty, West Philly poetry slam on mind-altering, homemade drugs. Through a hum of chaos, this series takes the othering (read: exoticizing) aspects of our experiences and renders them in lush tapestry, placing at center stage the marginalized and forgotten. Transgendered youth battling storm troopers in dystopian futures. Pan-sexual trolls stealing into the boudoir of African princes. Ghosts of orphans hand-in-hand traversing the multi-verse. What happens when the downtrodden, exploited and ignored are suddenly given the keys to the Millennium Falcon? When those who litter the background of a crowded bazaar become more than just peppering for the scenery of the journey of the so-called every-man?
THE LASER LIFE answers those questions, but also challenges audiences to ask more. Channeling Octavia Butler, Sam Delaney and the dollar bin at the comic book shop, the assembled are some of the most talented writers, both published and unpublished, in the Philadelphia area. As empires fall and our old planet crumbles, these writers are opening portals to theirs—braver, newer and out of this world.
M. CRAIG is a freak, a queer, and a punk who writes for freaks, queers, and punks. she likes to take real things and real issues and change them, make them the same but different so it’s easier to get at the truth in them. she makes ordinary things magical and shows the magic in ordinary things. The Narrows is her first novel and she’s currently working diligently in the slums of Brooklyn, NY to scribble out its sequel. http://http://narrowsthenovel.com/
althea baird is a video, performance, & collage artist using their work for shapeshifting and geometry:: prisms of + portals to memory, identity, violence, healing, speculation and prophesy. http://spiritweaponteeth.tumblr.com/
Ras Mashramani hovers in a digital cloud over Philadelphia, waiting. Her work can be viewed at New Wave Vomit, >kill author, and on her blog, motherWAP.blogspot.com. She is a staff member for APIARY magazine and has completed an erotica project with Carolyn DeCarlo which can be found at notupbut.tumblr.com
ALEX SMITH (writer, poet, dj, anarchist, host and curator of LASER LIFE)
SHANE JENKINS (writer and musician responsible for the Razed By Wolves project, forging new cosmology)
MAGGIE EIGHTEEN (Not everyone is good at their body. Not everyone has the skills, the specs, or the access. This is all that’s left. Post-binary dystopian smut stories. For cyborgs by cyborgs. http://cyborgmemoirs.com/left)