The Pentagon also wants to harvest technologies that could ‘upgrade’ human physical, psychological, and cognitive makeup. The NDU paper catalogues a range of relevant fields, including “personalized (genetic) medicine, tissue and organ regeneration via stem cells, implants such as computer chips and communication devices, robotic prosthetics, direct brain-machine interfaces, and potentially direct brain-brain communications.”

♠ those who came before me ♠

Did you know? I’m turning my All That’s Left zine into a book with full audio book accompaniment. The original #zine stories will be expanded and joined by six new tales of post-binary #dystopian #cyborg drama. If you’re a fan, or just curious, check out the URL in my profile & tell a friend. =}

This is an uncanny experience for me, too – most of what I work on (and consequently teach) was written by people who have been dead for a very long time. It has, bizarrely, never occurred to me that I could have a conversation with someone whose fiction I am teaching. (Though I did have a dream after teaching Toni Morrison this summer that she showed up to upbraid me for having taught her work poorly, which I do sort of wish would happen in real life.)

-that time my work was on a UPenn syllabus and I wrote the graduate student professor inviting myself to come speak about it. an excerpt from a long email and eventual dropped correspondence on their part. i’m truly ambivalent about the whole thing at this point. we’re all caught up in the matrix, so… =/

Today on the blog: we #review the #queer sci-fi #zine All That’s Left by Maggie Eighteen.

All That’s Left: Zero Packet.
Queer and Sci-fi Zine, Maggie Eighteen, Issue 1,, $4.00

When my roommate recommended I pick up All That’s Left, they told me that it combines everything they love: queer and dystopian sci-fi. I was instantly drawn to it. The sci-fi zine genre has a long tradition but a sci-fi zine that was explicitly queer was something that was new to me. In fact, a sci-fi zine alone is usually not something I would pick up, but that was before I knew there was a queer subgenre.

The zine is beautiful and hand bound with an interesting cover and a line on the back that reads, “Not everyone is good at their body.” I didn’t know what I was in for but I was excited with anticipation.

The zine starts with a personal greeting from the author Maggie Eighteen explaining the use of both gendered pronouns and the non-binary “they” pronoun, as well as a list of characters found in the first issue. There are four chapters in here. The first is a brief description of the dystopian world the characters inhabit; the second — entitled “Ghost Town” — introduces two characters “Suli” and “Braga” on a patrol of an outlying district of the last remaining city known as “the dome.” I like this chapter a lot; it is just two men on patrol making small talk about sex. They are not explicitly gay or straight, and it doesn’t matter. Clearly in this world gender is not a central aspect of their core identity.

The juxtaposition of dystopian setting and such mundane conversation about desire and sex is something this zine does incredibly well — a blending of queerness, human conversation and the dystopian world they occupy. In the end, nothing is really resolved as there is no inherent conflict. It is just a snippet of a day in the life of these characters. If all sci-fi zines were this entertaining I would be a diehard collector by now. (Eric Levitt.)


So my work was assigned reading in a UPenn english department class on cyborgs. The 1st screencap is the email from my neighbor informing me of this, the 2nd is of the class description. I’m like, holy shit yo my work alongside Butler and LeGuin and Russ (who I’ve never read)?? But also, so specifically engendered as “women writers” and no mention of trans/queer anything (but mentions of “gender, sexuality, embodiment, and reproduction” so I guess I’ll take it). Still I’m flattered and this is academia after all……….


One of the pieces, Gentry, which I wrote for the Metropolarity zine about “space invaders” and space keeping/gentrification, was also read in the class. This piece specifically mentions erasure of neighborhoods by clueless people who think they know what’s what, and clowns on UPenn and PEW Charitable Trusts (who always produces reports academics and policy makers can cite, but fails to ever do any analysis on the Haves and overeducated out-of-touch upper income folks which in fact run the place__AND if you’ve seen that documentary Art of the Steal, probably orchestrated the whole move of the Barnes foundation).

Anyway, in the email my buddy says that the irony was not lost on the Penn students reading my piece about Penn. But I’m still like damn why y’all not invite me to the class to speak in person or some shit? I know it doesn’t make sense all the way, but it feels strange to have my work consumed not from the zines and not from my in person performance of it, and just in this classroom full of who knows what kind of kids… Decontextualized. Recontextualized. Safe. 

So anyway, I just wrote the professor this jawn. We’ll see how it goes. Neighbor says they’re cool. This could get interesting. 


I received word from my neighbor yesterday that my writing had been assigned in your class on Cyborg/Selves. I wanted to write and express my gratitude to have been included in this class alongside Butler and LeGuin. I’m flattered! 

If you have time, I have a few questions. Mostly, how did you find out about my work? I was told that your students were assigned readings from my website, which is a bit tricky for me, since my All That’s Left series has a bit more context in print zine format, (particularly regarding gender pronouns), and also when I perform my work at readings around town. Do you have the zines? Have you been to a reading of mine? This is the first time I’ve known of my work being consumed in a classroom setting, so it’s interesting to me how it was approached and contextualized. If it’s not too forward to suggest, I live in West Philly and would be available to come speak with your class––I’m quite well versed in cyborg literature/art/media as it is. =}

At any rate, would it be possible to receive a copy of the class syllabus? 



new digital philly scifi pick-up spot :::::