One of these days we’re going to have enough time out of our day jobs and personal projects and group organizing efforts to write some beefy articles up on this chumpie, but until then we’re going to keep updating you with media from our efforts in the meatspace.

Here’s a bit of backlog coverage from two events, The Apiary Corp & The Dream Oven‘s Come As Your Madness smut reading in September 2013, and the 11th annual Philly Zine Fest in October 2013

Ras Mashramani readily reads a bunch of filth at Little Berlin in the world’s best ambivalent dial-up monotone (this is one of the multitude of reasons she is loved).

Jump ahead a month and here she is reading a piece about cyberspace adolesence and chatroom survival called The Nightspace at Philly Zine Fest 2013 At the Rotunda, October 12th, 2013

R.Phillips (also of the Afrofuturist Affair) reads from Literary Social Vision & Building Benevolent Institutions Part 1 at the same fest. If you like hard SF, do yourself a favor and get turned on here.

“Like newborns to an umbilical cord we remain tethered to institutions all our lives.”

Then she follows up, reading the excerpt “Zero Point” from the tentatively titled Slice Convergence and Non-Local Spaces. She read this at the last Laser Life and everybody’s head exploded (then reassembled by reversing the thermodynamic flow of time)

Don’t miss us. We regularly post about our upcoming events here in our Events Calendar, and more readily at our Surveillance Facebook page.

And feel free to invite us out too 😉








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. . .


“Dissonant riff-heavy freakouts…sullen gloom…melodic marches…spacey, psychedelic angular avant-punk…cosmic effects tripouts…bizarre feverdream lyrics…zoned-out vocals.” -Crucial Blast

“… a haunting, dark long night…back and forth mixed emotions…powerful sex…pancakes…” -Spice Rack
* Night Vision Vinyl Release and Art Show + One year anniversary with drummer Dan + LAST SHOW before 8 month hiatus!

* LAST SHOW for awhile with Joshua and Corey + Kickoff show before 2 month tour!

“An unclassifiable melange of minimalism and metal-folk, unfolding as a deeply internal confession.”
*Short solo set with Widow all the way from NOLA! Don’t come late and miss it!


Reading tales of dystopian heartbreak & cyborg tenderness

Performance artist Mega-Fuck extraordinaire!

…all of this will be woven together by our fabulous host: + VOYAGER + (not to be confused with Ruby L.L.!)


*$5 suggested donations will be accepted to pay for a PA and to support LAVA SPACE and the hard work of all these independent artists!*

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.

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

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



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. ”

“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.”

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

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). ^_~

zine-a-thon with femme dreamboat & roots and river philly

Femme Dreamboat and Roots and River Philadelphia are having a Zine-A-Thon! Five whole hours of zine making as a fundraiser for Roots & River Philly Collective + for Femme Dreamboat Zine! They’ve invited local folx with zines to read from their zines, or teach a zine related skill every hour.

You want even more of a reason to come??

March 17t is the day that Mercury gets out of Retro. Thank the stars.

Event Details

Sunday March 17th, 4pm to 9pm
at Wooden Shoe Books & Records
704 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Facebook Event Page

Sliding scale donation $3-25 if you come WITH zine supplies to share, $5-30 without any supplies. No one turned away for lack of funds.


Roots and River Philadelphia is an artistic home for Queer Black artists in Philadelphia. R&RPC works to provide programming & other resources for LGBTQ & POC artists. You can find more information about them at the Roots and River main site, and or the Philly collective’s tumblr.

Femme Dreamboat is a radical zine and blog project designed to centralize feminine experience in queer culture. Follow their excellent blog here.


R. Phillips is the creator of the AfroFuturist Affair, a founding member of Metropolarity, and a public interest attorney by day. Against the backdrop of night, Phillips explores the fine line between fiction & reality, experiments with time order, and turns black holes inside out to create nu worlds.

Maggie Eighteen writes ALL THAT’S LEFT, an ongoing collection of non-linear pulp dystopian stories from the post-binary future. Eighteen works with Metropolarity, 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 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 right here on this site.