AfroFutures_UK is a weekend event celebrating the intersection of futurism and the black experience. Featuring artists, academics, and activists, they aim to promote Afrofuturistic endeavours in the arts and technology. Metropolarity’s own Rasheedah Phillips, founder of the AfroFuturist Affair and Black Quantum Futurism collective, will be there as a guest speaker.

AfroFutures_UK is a weekend event celebrating the intersection of futurism and the black experience. Featuring artists, academics, and activists, they aim to promote Afrofuturistic endeavours in the arts and technology. Metropolarity’s own Rasheedah Phillips, founder of the AfroFuturist Affair and Black Quantum Futurism collective, will be there as one of several excellent guest speakers.


AfroFutures_UK is a new collective made up of artists, writers, activists and academics interested in exploring the future black experience through multi-media and disruptive technologies.

Our seminal event is a Conference//Exhibition where we will be using themes and inspiration from Afrofuturism to probe and dissect our visions of the future, from the sociological to the scientific. We aim to bring together a range of theoretical discourse that touch on this aspect, from womanism/black feminism, queer theory to liberation theology and afrocentric philosophy.

There will be a series of talks during the day as well as film screenings, performances and practical workshops. The current list of confirmed speakers and workshop leaders can be found here. You can follow us on Twitter @AfroFutures_UK

Philadelphia has been a nexus for science fiction and fantasy writers and fans for longer than many of us can remember. Numerous authors have made their homes in Philadelphia and produced some of the best works speculative fiction has to offer. The first Hugo Award was given out here. Isaac Asimov lived here. SF grandmaster Samuel R. Delany taught at Temple. But where is Philadelphia Sci-Fi and Fantasy heading? On September 9 at 7:00pm, in the beautiful Skyline Room of the Central Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia,  you’ll have the chance to learn about the past, present, and future of sci-fi and fantasy in Philadelphia.

Led by notable science thriller author Jon McGoran, five of our best local authors will delve into topics like the founding of the Hugo Awards, the recent resurgence of fantasy on TV, how the fast-paced tech industry influences fiction, and so much more! After the main discussion, there will be time for the you, the lovely audience, to ask any questions you would like.

After the panel and Q&A are finished, the night is still not over! Big Blue Marble Bookstore will be on site selling each of the author’s newest books. You’ll have plenty of time to chat with your favorite authors and get your copies signed.

Below you’ll find a bit more about our excellent panelists and moderator for the night:

Fran Wilde is an author and technology consultant. Her first novel, Updraft, is out now. Her short stories have appeared in publications including Asimov’s, Nature, Tor.com, and Beneath Ceaseless Skies. Her interview series Cooking the Books–about the intersection between food and fiction–has appeared at Strange Horizons, and Tor.com.

Gregory Frost is the author of novels including the Shadowbridge series (Del Rey) and Fitcher’s Brides (Tor). His short stories have appeared most recently in Asimov’s, Supernatural Noir (Ellen Datlow, ed.) and Apex Magazine. He’s director of the fiction writing workshop at Swarthmore College.

Michael Swanwick has won five Hugo Awards and one Nebula Award in his long career of science fiction. He is the author of Dancing with Bears and the short story collection The Dog Said Bow-Wow. He has also made contributions science fiction field with critical essays as well as a biography of Hope Mirrlees.

Rasheedah Phillips is a public interest attorney, author, mother, Afrofuturist, and Aries living and working out of Philadelphia. She is also the creator of The AfroFuturist Affair, and a founding member of Metropolarity Spec Fic Collective. She recently independently published her first speculative fiction collection, Recurrence Plot (and Other Time Travel Tales), and an anthology of experimental essays from Black visionary writers called Black Quantum Futurism: Theory & Practice Vol I. Phillips was recently a 2015 artist-in-residence with West Philadelphia Neighborhood Time Exchange. This fall she will be presenting at the Afrofutures UK Unconference, and performing, presenting, and guest curating at the AFROFUTURISM NOW! Festival in Amsterdam. Stay up to date and subscribe to the Future Light Cone newsletter.

Siobhan Carroll is an Assistant Professor at University of Deleware who specializes in British literature from 1750-1850 – the turbulent historical period called the “Romantic Century” – and in modern science fiction and fantasy. She is interested in the ways that literature has shaped our understanding of empire, community, and the natural world. Her book, An Empire of Air and Water, is out now.

Stephanie Feldman grew up in Philadelphia and studied writing at the University of Pennsylvania and then Barnard College. Her debut novel, The Angel of Losses, is winner of the Crawford Fantasy Award, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection, and a finalist for the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award. It was included in best-of-the-year lists from the Washington Post, Book Riot, and Locus Magazine.

Jon McGoran is the author of the biotech thrillers Drift and Deadout, from Forge Books. Writing as D. H. Dublin, he is the author of the forensic crime thrillers Freezer Burn, Blood Poison, and Body Trace, from Penguin Books. His short fiction, nonfiction and satire have appeared in a variety of publications and anthologies. He is a founding member of the Philadelphia Liars Club, a group of published authors dedicated to promotion, networking, and service work.

Come out and support your local authors, library, and this little ol’ geeky blog!

Geekadelphia Presents: The Future of Philly Sci-Fi and Fantasy
Wednesday September 9 at 7:00pm
@ The Free Library of Philadelphia Central Branch 4th Floor, 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Admission is totally FREE and you should RSVP to the Facebook Event!

 

Enjoy the literary side of science with writers Tamara Oakman, Grant Clauser, Chris McCreary, Bryan Dickey, Rasheedah Phillips, Kathryn Ionata, Kyrwin Sutherland, Matt Charles, and Maggie Eighteen selected by The Apiary Corp., Bedfellows, Philadelphia Stories, Gigantic Sequins, Cleaver Magazine, Thread Makes Blanket, Painted Bride Quarterly, The AfroFuturist Affair, Metropolarity and Fact-Simile Editions.

Writers respond to the prompt “What’s the Science?” to describe how they imagine (or prefer to imagine) various phenomena occur, collaboratively creating a new cosmology. From sweaty suns to train rainbows, you’re sure to delight in this new world.

Suggested donation $7-10

Read bios of the participants at length here: https://www.facebook.com/events/472004649618093

Enjoy the literary side of science with writers Tamara Oakman, Grant Clauser, Chris McCreary, Bryan Dickey, Rasheedah Phillips, Kathryn Ionata, Kyrwin Sutherland, Matt Charles, and Maggie Eighteen selected by The Apiary Corp., Bedfellows, Philadelphia Stories, Gigantic Sequins, Cleaver Magazine, Thread Makes Blanket, Painted Bride Quarterly, The AfroFuturist Affair, Metropolarity and Fact-Simile Editions.

Writers respond to the prompt “What’s the Science?” to describe how they imagine (or prefer to imagine) various phenomena occur, collaboratively creating a new cosmology. From sweaty suns to train rainbows, you’re sure to delight in this new world.

Suggested donation $7-10

Read bios of the participants at length here: https://www.facebook.com/events/472004649618093

Well the squad went in and now we’ve got new pins, cute stickers, info cards, and our favorite, SCIENCE FICTION LITERATURE IN PRINT & AUDIO FORMAT ❤️. Order stuff from our distro and get some of the aforementioned goods, or pick them up at our events (check out calendar in the nav above). There’s more coming, too. >=} Click the images in the post for direct links to anything you see therein.

This month also sees the opening of Rasheedah’s HOUSE OF FUTURE SCIENCES press online, a centralized place to get her Nonlocality Zines, Recurrence Plot novel and matching soundtrack (!), AfroFuturist Affair pins, posters, and the newest hottest book BLACK QUANTUM FUTURISM. Details below. We’re stoked.

House of Future Sciences disto

blackquantumfuturismbook2

Black Quantum Futurism (or BQF) is a new approach to living and experiencing reality by way of the manipulation of space-time in order to see into possible futures, and/or collapse space-time into a desired future in order to bring about that future’s reality. This vision and practice derives its facets, tenets, and qualities from quantum physics, futurist traditions, and Black/African cultural traditions of consciousness, time, and space. Inside of the space where these three traditions intersect exists a creative plane that allows for the ability of African-descended people to see “into,” choose, or create the impending future.

Featuring visions by Rasheedah Phillips, Moor Mother Goddess, Warren C. Longmire, Almah Lavon, Joy Kmt, Thomas Stanley, PhD, and Nikitah Okembe-RA Imani, PhD.

84 pages. Matte cover.
Cover art and design by Dezz Archie
Compiled and edited by Rasheedah Phillips

Buy Now

recurrenceplot-in-brickbat

Recurrence Plot at Philadelphia’s Brickbat Books. Have you gotten your copy yet?

The interweaving stories in Recurrence Plot and Other Time Travel Tales present characters whose stories challenge the notion that time flows in only one direction. If you want to understand what is happening at any given point in time, you cannot only look to the past for clues. You must consider the future.

A journalist races against time itself to expose the entity preying on young male teens in Philadelphia. A crystal, memory-storing bracelet transports a young mother back to the day of her own mother’s traumatic death. An unknown force of nature causes time to start flowing backwards. . .

Using quantum physics as an imaginative landscape, Phillips’ debut speculative collection Recurrence Plot attempts to walk the fine line between fiction and reality, fate and free will, and past, present, and future.

pins4cyborgs2015

Maggie Eighteen’s PINS 4 CYBORGS reference Ghost in the Shell, Donna Haraway, and their own post-binary dystopian universe, All That’s Left. Get them in pairs, or buy one of their zines and get one on the house.

bizcardCM15

MPpins2015

New new new Metropolarity pins come with every Metropolarity order in our lil shop or at our events.

bizzzcardMP15

The compilation of our first two zines spanning 2013 was called the 2013 Archive. We printed 100 official copies with NEON covers and sold it all over east coast zine fests, readings, and from our shop section. You can read bits and pieces from it here on the site under tag zine #3. Now you can download it. We offer two formats: one for printing and folding yourself, and one for reading on a screen.

click for link to download single page screen format of our 2013 archive zine      click for link to download double sided print format of our 2013 archive zine

CONTAINS:

1) Our pilot episode from March 2013.
CONTENTS
+ Hello Hello by Shane Jenkins
+ SCIFI || POLITICS essays from the Metropolarity crew [also here]
+ The PTSD by R.Phillips
+ Redundancies by Warren Longmire
+ Culling the Herd by C. Renee Stephens
+ Cyborg Apocalypse by Maggie Eighteen [also here]
+ Networks
+ Resource Spotlight
+ Crew Love
Designed & laid out by Ras Mashramani

2) The weapons of perception (media literacy jawn from our free brochure) [also here]

3) Our season premier episode from July 2013.
CONTENTS
+ Yolanda by Suzy Subways [also here]
+ The Adhesion of the Eyelids by Patrokolos
+ Gentry by Maggie Eighteen [also here]
+ A 21st Century Mind Revolution by Melissa Moore
+ Creating New Space-Times by R. Phillips
+ two-page comic spread by Pyroglyphics/Shawn Alleyne
+ Networks
+ Resource Spotlight
+ Excerpt from the Great Collapse and Our New Community by John Morrison [here in full]
+ DIY Wormhole by Daniel Richter
+ Crew Love
+ Contributors
Cover design collab by KellyAnne Mifflin & Chaska Sofia. The rest designed & laid out by Ras Mashramani

4) Our 2013 media dump/selections/reading list [also here with links]

5)
Bonus story from Alex Smith [also here]

Enjoy.

If you want to distro the 2013 archive, send us a message first at metroplarity @ gmail.

This post’s photo is of Eighteen and Rasheedah having a great time during their hour long sci-fi spot on Really Rad Radio, which ran for the duration of the 2014 Allied Media Conference in Detroit. Thanks MMGZ and everyone else.

Creative director of The AfroFuturist Affair and our own founding member put out a book this year. Have you heard about it?

“The major linchpin of the book is Phillips’ slippage between reality and fiction. It pervades throughout the entire book as well as in a metafictional sense. Walls between the reader and book seems to break down at several points with the inclusion of chapters of Experimental Time Order interspersed, and especially in one of the later chapters, it seems as if the reader is the one to whom the book addresses.”
Reese Francis of Futuristically Ancient

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“Recurrence Plot achieves the delightful symmetry of being a novel about experiencing time out of sequence, with a main character who has faulty memory and incomplete information, and about the discovery and reading of a self-published, postmodern, pseudoscientific, multimedia and multi-genre, portmanteau book, which is told out of sequence, leaving the reader confused and with incomplete information, and in a portmanteau, postmodern and pseudoscientific style…”
Djibril al-Ayad of The Future Fire

Certainly more quantum physics than I have ever read willingly, Phillips is an extremely creative story teller. From time travel to trauma, she tackles it all, in this slim but packed volume. Intriguing.
Sarah Katz

Time travel, zines, neurobiology, racism, choose your own adventure books, quantum physics, memory, Robert Anton Wilson, the prison-industrial complex, astrology… the number of disparate ideas and influences Philips incorporates into the complex structure of this books would be admirable simply for her ambition alone. That she pulls it off in a novel/book of short stories which manages to be intricately experimentally structured without ever feeling completely opaque is a major accomplishment. This book is a masterpiece by a major new talent, and is not to be missed.
Rachel K. Zall

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Available now at AfroFuturistAffair.com

Over the past several months, the four of us at Metropolarity HQ have seen our likenesses, labor, and wordsmithing appear on myriad outlets across cyberspace and IRL, but visitors to this site probably wouldn’t know about any of that since our primary propagandist is a slovenly beast with failing prosthetics and not enough time discipline, limbs, or plausible fake names to keep up appearances. They now wish to apologize for this lowly recap post, the contents of which you might already know about if you follow us on tumblr, where we are slightly more active, or if you peep the #metropolarity tag on twitter and instagram

But without further ado, we present a small collection of our articles and celebratory bits of news, in screencap format.
Click the pictures to read the articles in full. =}

 

MARCH 2014 ~ We appear in a very favorable arts & culture feature in our local City Paper. Contrary to the headline, we are not all based in West Philly…
crew-city-paper-feature1

 

JUNE 2014 ~ The squad and network organize the Liberation Technologies: Science Fiction for World Building and Survival programming track for the 2014 Allied Media Conference in Detroit. One of several, the LibTech track contains eight sessions of speculative workshops and panels for radical educators, artists, and activists involved in media-based organizing.
amc-libtech

 

AUGUST 2014 ~ Ras and Eighteen write about our current operating parameters for Broken Pencil magazine’s Zine Philosophy section. Eighteen is especially fond of the cover tagline “Queer Cyborgs Liberate High Tech,” a delicious conflation of Metropolarity’s work with Eighteen’s own.
us-in-broken-pencil

 

AUGUST 2014 ~ Rasheedah begins a stint as contributing columnist to the Atlanta Blackstar’s BLERDS series, with a solid array of interviews and topical features covering the arts, technology, and the in-between.
rasheedah phillips for atlanta blackstar's blerds series

 

OCTOBER 2014 ~ Eighteen is named a recipient of the Leeway Foundation’s Art & Change grant, money which will help them on their Quest to self-publish a print book and audiobook of their dystopian cyborg series, All That’s Left.
leeway-grant-Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 1.07.05

A few days later, they find out their work was included on the syllabus of a gender and sexuality class for the University of Penn’s English department. One of the required reading pieces is Gentry, a piece written for the 2nd Metropolarity zine, which namedrops Penn in a speculative tirade about a gentrified and flooded out future Philly…………..
our-cyborgs-our-selves-penn-class

 

OCTOBER 2014 ~ Alex writes a Highly Appropriate article for the Philly Weekly about one of the grand masters of sci-fi, Samuel R. Delany. People are rightfully stoked.
alex talks delany

We also did a few zine fests, put out the Future Now collab zine, and Rasheedah incredibly (bow down) put on her yearly AfroFuturist Affair‘s annual costume and charity ball, this year themed Black Holographic Memory, which expanded from the original ball into several days worth of film screenings, workshop days, and rock and roll shows (AND is a community fundraiser that you can still donate to!!). So that’s what we’ve been up to, besides our full time jobs of course. ¬__¬

Make sure to check out our Events Calendar for what we’ve got coming up for these final weeks of 2014.

The quoted part of this post’s title comes from Ursula K. LeGuin’s acceptance speech at this year’s National Book Awards. We consider it a call to arms.

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

Time Travel Convention | Pt. 2 – Activation is an opening reception for the exhibition and book release for AfroFuturist Affair Creator Rasheedah Phillips’ experimental fiction novel, Recurrence Plot (and Other Time Travel Tales).

The Time Travel Convention is an exhibition that explores time travel as a practical activity – something that does not necessarily require a machine, an advanced degree, or any other privileges. Using afrofuturism and the speculative as lenses, the exhibition will feature time travel devices and objects from creators who use tools such as memory, dreams, imagination, manipulation of language and perception, light, and music to craft their temporal devices.

Time Travel Convention | Pt. 2 – Activation is an opening reception for the exhibition and book release for AfroFuturist Affair Creator Rasheedah Phillips’ experimental fiction novel, Recurrence Plot (and Other Time Travel Tales).

Featuring Time Machines and Devices from:
MMGz — PsychoAcoustics & Memory
Black Shesus — The Pyramid of Shesus
R.Phillips — Recurrence Plot (RP)
Kameelah Janan Rasheed — No Instructions of Assembly, Activation II
Alisha Wormsley — black people in the future
Mourl Ferryman — The Shadow and the Substance 2014
Melissa Moore — An Infinitygram: Diasporan Object Design For A New Future

Readings from:
Metropolarity
Warren The poet longmire
Michael Michael Joseph O’Hara
Rasheedah Phillips
+ Special Guests

FREE

Time Travel Convention | Pt. 1 – Preparation will take place at Yell Gallery on Sunday March 23, 2014 from 3 to 6:30pm. Pt. 1 will prepare travelers for the time machine activation event with workshops, music and memory stations, and other workshops and interactive activities with contributing artists. See invite to Pt. 1 here: https://www.facebook.com/events/201554873388538/?notif_t=plan_user_joined

afrofuturistaffair@gmail.com for questions

The Time Travel Convention is an exhibition that explores time travel as a practical activity – something that does not necessarily require a machine, an advanced degree, or any other privileges. Using afrofuturism and the speculative as lenses, the exhibition will feature time travel devices and objects from creators who use tools such as memory, dreams, imagination, manipulation of language and perception, light, and music to craft their temporal devices.

The Time Travel Convention is an exhibition that explores time travel as a practical activity – something that does not necessarily require a machine, an advanced degree, or any other privileges. Using afrofuturism and the speculative as lenses, the exhibition will feature time travel devices and objects from creators who use tools such as memory, dreams, imagination, manipulation of language and perception, light, and music to craft their temporal devices.

Pt. 1 will prepare travelers for the time machine activation event with
– Quantum Time Capsule Workshop
– Music & Memory Stations
– Time Machine Installation Building
– Dream Journal Project
– Other workshops and interactive activities with contributing artists

FREE w/ one small object or artifact to place into the time capsule
(Donations accepted for workshop materials)

Time Machines and Devices from:
MMGz — PsychoAcoustics & Memory
Black Shesus — The Pyramid of Shesus
R.Phillips — Recurrence Plot (RP)
Kameelah Janan Rasheed — No Instructions of Assembly, Activation II
Alisha Wormsley — black people in the future
Mourl Ferryman — The Shadow and the Substance 2014
Melissa Moore — An Infinitygram: Diasporan Object Design For A New Future

Time Travel Convention | Pt. 2 – Activation will take place at Yell Gallery on April 5, 2014 from 6 to 9pm. This opening reception for the exhibition will also be the book release for AfroFuturist Affair Creator Rasheedah Phillips’ experimental fiction novel, Recurrence Plot (and Other Time Travel Tales). See invite to Pt. 2 here https://www.facebook.com/events/1431545053750221/?previousaction=join&source=1

afrofuturistaffair@gmail.com for questions