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February 2018 Editorial and Table of Contents

By Sandra Clark

I appreciate that last month of winter starts with humor. Groundhog’s Day will always be funny to me. The pomp and circumstance for the giant rodent are just laughable. Even if he’s on the money about winter ending or extending another six weeks (as he indicated this year), I wonder, how did we come to …

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Interview with Lisa Valentine Clark

By Sandra Clark

Lisa Valentine Clark graduated with a B.S. in English from Brigham Young University. She was part of the sketch comedy/improv troupe “The Garrens” in Provo from 1995-2000, and co-founded the theater-as-improv troupe “The Thrillionaires,” which performs original, improvised plays and musicals in a variety of genres. She starred as “Gracie,” the lead actor of Pretty …

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Go Into Space! Explore New Worlds! Ride Spaceships! Meet Aliens! Shoot Them!

By Kellie Purcill

Science fiction does weird things to peoples’ faces. If you’re not on my side of the book shelf, chances are when you hear I love sci-fi your eyebrows try to hide in your hair line, your smile has cracked into a mosaic of pained surprise and you are trying to disengage from the conversation as quickly as humanly possible.

No, I don’t wear Star Trek uniforms. No Star Trek or Star Wars pyjamas either. No, I am not a teenage boy. No, I don’t want to meet your neighbour’s unemployed son who lives in their basement playing Halo “because he likes spaceships too.” I am a thirty-six year old, forklift driving, dessert loving, make-up wearing mother of two who adores science fiction – it’s my favourite genre.

I love science fiction because it takes big themes and ideas (like identity, race, friendship, family, responsibility and courage), strips all the familiar atmosphere away (like houses, and cute suburbs, the 21st century, gardens, denim jeans, shopping centres and Christmas parties – even oxygen) and says “Well, what would you do?” It then asks, “Why? And why do you think they are doing that over there/to us?” and demands a solution. Science fiction is all about change of thinking, living, circumstances, head-butting stereotypes and cultural expectations, and even shooting things that may or may not deserve it.

In John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War, the only way to get off Earth is to leave as a colonist (but only if you are from a poor third world nation) or – when you are 75 years old – by joining the Army. That’s right: the Army wants YOU… and your arthritis, your prostate cancer, your faded eyesight and other indignities of age. The only catch if you enlist: you won’t be coming back. Ever. We follow John up the beanstalk (literally), and through the upheavals, ethical pains and friends he makes along the way. It is one funny, brilliant and clever ride through the unknown universe, and will leave you wanting a BrainPal of your own.

Even in sci-fi, some things never change. Windows still get dirty, and still need to be cleaned. But what if you live in apartments 35 kilometres (21.7 miles ) above the earth?

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Funny Girl

By Melissa Young

My sister is funny. The sort of funny that takes no thought–just flashes of quick wit that leave me giggling and wishing I could even think to say something like that. Whenever I spend time with her, I laugh.

Funny is not my default setting, but oh I wish it were. I wish my knee-jerk reaction was to see the humor in situations because so many times it diffuses feelings rather than escalating them.

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