METROPOLARITY has been described as an unprecedentedly rich source of contemporary science fiction…

This book is a solid 120 pages of but a sampling of our work to date. Speculative fiction short stories, worksheets, and meditations on our science fiction reality as rendered by we who are

A DOING IT OURSELVES collective of science fiction writers, born and raised and living and working in Philadelphia

METROPOLARITY: The manifestation of contrasting principles, tendencies, or lifestyles in an urban system and any reactions resulting from encounters between these forces.

Postcolonial DIY SCIFI crew

hashtag Black hashtag POC hashtag queer hashtag trans/nonbinary hashtag working class low income


If you would like to stock our book in your shop or classroom, email for inquiries on bulk order discounts.

I wonder if dan and phil’s casual subscribers sit around two days after they upload and go ‘oh look at that a new video’ while we’re here like ‘but dan’s reflection in the window over phil’s right shoulder at 02:46 tho’


A manuscript is a book, document, or piece of music that is written out by hand. They come in many types, shapes, and sizes and they can be made of anything from paper to vellum to palm-leaves. Here are some of our favorite manuscripts from our collection.

Double Page from a Dispersed Manuscript of the Bhagavata Purana,” 18th century, made in India

Manuscript of the Devimahatmya (Story of the Great Goddess),” 1603, made in Nepal

New Testament with Bookplate,” book printed 1796, bookplate made 1796–1800; book by Carl Cist, bookplate by Christian Strenge

Illumination of Amitayus, Bodhisattva of Limitless Life,” c. 18th century, made in Nepal

Book of Hours for Sarum Use (Mostyn Hours),” c. 1470, made in England

  • Only true 90's kids remember when Phil Lester last posted on Instagram.

Born in Africa around 1753, named for the slave ship that carried her across the Atlantic to Boston, Massachusetts, Phillis Wheatley was America’s first published black poet. She was around seven years old when she arrived in the colonies. A family by the named of Wheatley purchased her for domestic work, and quickly discovered her exceptional literary gifts. The Wheatleys’ eighteen-year-old twins Nathaniel and Mary tutored Phillis in English, Latin, and Greek. She wrote her first poem in 1765 at the age of about twelve, and more soon followed. Her first published poem (1770) was “An elegiac poem, on the death of that celebrated divine, and eminent servant of Jesus Christ, the late reverend, and pious George Whitefield.” Phillis and the Wheatley family attempted to get a volume of her poetry published in 1772, but no American publisher came forward, so the Wheatleys sent Phillis and Nathaniel to London to look for a publisher. They found one in bookseller Archibald Bell, who in 1773 published Wheatley’s Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, seen here.

Many of the poems in this book are elegies, with both Christian and classical themes. For the second image, we’ve opened the book to Wheatley’s poem “To S.M. a young African Painter, on seeing his Works,” written for the black artist Scipio Moorhead who engraved the frontispiece portrait of Wheatley seen in the first image. These poems and others attracted acclaim from Voltaire, Benjamin Franklin, and George Washington, the latter of whom Wheatley may have met in person. Interestingly, our copy of Poems on Various Subjects is bound with a 1771 edition of Alexander Pope’s An Essay on Man. Pope was one of Wheatley’s main literary influences. SL

Wheatley, Phillis. Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral. (London : Printed for A. Bell, bookseller, Aldgate, and sold by Messrs. Cox and Berry, King-Street, Boston, 1773)

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There is the Philadelphia you know and the Philadelphia you will never see. The first summons a cornucopia of familiar images: Benjamin Franklin, Rocky Balboa, cheesesteaks whiz wit.

The second is safely out of view from the cobblestone streets of Society Hill or the brewpubs of Northern Liberties. But if you wander north on Broad Street, well past the alabaster phallus of City Hall, you may glimpse the first hints of that obscure Philadelphia in the emptied husk of the Divine Lorraine Hotel, a sullied spinster with more than a century of stories but nobody to hear them anymore.

Shortly thereafter start the Badlands, North Philadelphia neighborhoods like Kensington, whose row-house lanes were once home to working-class whites whose modestly prosperous lives were circumscribed by the factory, the church, the union hall, the front stoop and the bar.

On a summer Sunday, a trip to Connie Mack Stadium or an outing to the Jersey Shore. Then cue the familiar midcentury forces: minority influx, white flight, factories moving to China, crack, crack babies, the end of welfare as we know it, here at the end of the land, the Philadelphia you will never know.

I drove through the Badlands with Barbara Laker and Wendy Ruderman, two journalists for the Philadelphia Daily News who shared a 2010 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting and are the authors of Busted: A Tale of Corruption and Betrayal in the City of Brotherly Love.

The book is based on a newspaper series, “Tainted Justice,” that revealed such an astounding degree of corruption among Philadelphia’s drug cops that you would not quite believe it in a Martin Scorsese movie. But your belief, or lack thereof, is irrelevant, because this story is true.

The Streets of Killadelphia