Pravic

A New Grammar for Science Fiction

Science Fiction is no longer a novelty.

We do not want to read Science Fiction because it is set in the future. Science Fiction must offer some deeper, truer view of ourselves and our place in the cosmos.

 

Free Story From David Gill

This story was on the net tubes for awhile, but unfortunately the published folded, or something, so here you go, a gift from me to you:

In Time’s Empire, They Were All Slaves
by David Gill

Kim wanted to see an old gladiator movie and John didn’t care so long as they were together. They drove in his dark green Duster and parked three rows from the screen which they agreed was the perfect distance for good viewing. One car over, three teenagers in a faded yellow Volkswagen passed a joint around. It was an early summer night, and on the far side of the movie screen, to the east, the mountains climbed snow-kissed into the sky and the air swarmed with insect life.


The movie came on. Kirk Douglas looked a little too clean shaven to be a Thetian slave, and when John told Kim this she laughed and touched his arm. As the scene changed, the pair in the car was lit up by Roman soldiers on horseback filling the screen. Her hand slid down his arm until it grazed the back of his. As Kirk Douglas fought for his life against a black man with a spear, John rolled his hand over hers and presented his own, soft, pink palm up, in her lap. She looked at it and then gently cradled it in both of hers, and they watched while Spartacus leaned against his prison bars.


They were exchanging wet, passionate kisses as Spartacus was mocked by the Roman aristocracy. John ran his hands over Kim’s svelte body, savoring her numinous geometry. With a sigh she lifted her head and made eye contact. He could see down her shirt, and as he peered into that sacred space his vision became blurry with a shimmery, phosphene layer over everything. He saw beneath her faded Rolling Stones t-shirt visions of Earth girded with hundreds of orbiting satellites, whizzing by one another at great speeds; he saw freeways advance and multiply like veins across the surface of the earth; but mostly what he saw in the half-light was white concrete disappearing beneath a silver hood, driving, early in the morning, and he knew from the feel, the concrete was cold, and lethal.


John looked into Kim’s eyes, free for a moment of the vision, as Spartacus dodged spears on-screen. And then beyond them, outside the car, John could see the movie’s Roman empire was now superimposed over everything at the drive-in. And John saw then, how time was like an empire, a shapeless conglomeration of wills, a mindless bureaucracy which grinds, into a fine powder, a grey ash, all but the rarest of aspirations.


When Kim took her pants off, John saw the end of the world, playing like a movie, across the alabaster surface of her legs. There were no great explosions, but a slow dimming out, a dying away of vitality until the Earth as seen on her skin was lifeless, barren, a sterile wasteland.


She reached for him and they made love, there, on the bench seat of the Duster as Spartacus and his fellow slaves took up arms against their masters.

Welcome Daily Science Fiction readers!

My story, "Hope is a Thing with Rockets," is on Daily Science Fiction today! This is exciting as hell because it's my first pro sale and I've been submitting to them for years. Anyway, in anticipation of some heavier traffic here at Pravic today, I wanted to give you a chance to read some of my other (non-paying) fiction, much of which I actually like better than today's pro sale. So, here are some links to my other work:

The Guitarist

In Time's Empire, They Were All Slaves

Touching

Escape Velocity

Bedroom Eyes

Upon a Sea of Searching

I recommend "Touching," "Escape Velocity," and "Bedroom Eyes." I also wrote extensively about Philip K Dick at my old blog totaldickhead.blogspot.com. I'd love to hear from you, if you like what you've read. You can shoot me an email at thetotaldickhead(at)gmail.com. I teacher writing and literature at San Francisco State University. Well, that's about all for now. I appreciate your visit. Pravic is a science fiction zine my partner Nathaniel and I have developed. So far we've produced five issues, featuring writers like Rudy Rucker, Robert Onopa, and Ian Kappos (you may not have heard of him, but you will). We have digital editions of the last couple issues available at the "Magazine" link on the left side of the screen.
Thanks again for reading, I'm also available for birthday parties and brises!

Support Me @ Clarion's Write-a-Thon

I'm participating in Clarion's Write-a-Thon this summer. Please consider making a donation which would help me join a writing team and increase Pravic's visibility, but will also help fund a fantastic writing program (that I hope one day to be able actually attend). So, here's the deal, make a donation on my behalf and we'll send you a brand spanking new digital copy of Pravic Issue 5. Donate $20 and I'll name a character after you. Donate $50 and I'll name my next born after you (kidding). If you're a writer, I encourage you to join. And I'm pretty sure my partner Nathaniel will be signing up too, so, help us, help them, and with all that help, at least a little bit should rub off on you. Check out my writer's profile here.

More Changes

As issue #5 nears its impending roll-out next week, we've made a few structural changes again. Our vision is a plastic one, and we think change is good - it may be a bit unorthodox in this "business," but that only means we're doing what we set out to do.

First of all: as of issue #6, we will cease offering full, 12-issue-cycle subscriptions. Since we started with zine-style mags - hand-folded and stapled and such -scrounging up (or making!) single issues of those early editions for new subscribers is getting increasingly tricky. So, as of issue #6's launch, subscriptions will be for the second half of the cycle only (issues 7-12). They will also, obviously, cost about half as much. If you need print copies of earlier issues, you can order them individually if they're available. If not (and even if so), we now have digital copies of all back-issues available, and as always, they're a mere buck.

We'll also be limiting our print runs starting with issue #5. There are a hundred-odd boring logistical reasons for doing this, but it amounts to this: only fifty print copies of each issue will be available for individual purchase (i.e., this doesn't include subscribers, bulk orders, etc). So if you really want a print copy, subscribe! Otherwise, get here when we launch and order fast! 

Lastly, we have been forced to discontinue international print subscriptions - costs have simply become prohibitive. But remember, digital subs are cheap, and they don't burn up in fires (though your e-reader and most of your other belongings probably will)!

Thank you all for your patience; being a small, DIY SF mag means rolling with the punches, and we are forever indebted to those of you who've stuck by us this far.

-Nathaniel K. Miller

ISSUE 5

Issue 5 layout/design and final details are in the works this very moment.

To keep you sated until we roll it out, here's a preview image by N.K. Miller for Ryu Ando's story Kumori-Cloud & the Memento Mori.


etails as they come.

Pravic's Science Fiction Extravaganza

Saturday night witnessed the second Pravic Science Fiction Extravaganza and it was awesome. We made some new friends, heard some people read some awesome SF, talked esoteric weirdness with Erik Davis and the future with David Pescovitz. The highlight of the evening was Rudy Rucker reading his rant (no alliteration intended). We've got video we'll be posting in the next couple days, along with photos and stuff. Stay tuned, we're super inspired and will be scheduling more events in the near future. 

Ben Weiner reads "Mars" while editor David Gill looks on (or outside or whatever)

Ben Weiner reads "Mars" while editor David Gill looks on (or outside or whatever)

The view from the stage. There's Rudy Rucker, And there's V Vale of RE: books fame! Pesco's checking his phone!

The view from the stage. There's Rudy Rucker, And there's V Vale of RE: books fame! Pesco's checking his phone!

Mr Erik Davis tells us about the strange history of the word "weird"

Mr Erik Davis tells us about the strange history of the word "weird"

David Pescovitz looks kind of small way up there. But he's larger than life, and optimistic about the future (someone needs to be!)

David Pescovitz looks kind of small way up there. But he's larger than life, and optimistic about the future (someone needs to be!)

Ian Kappos reading his story "White Pasque" which will run in Pravic issue 5.

Ian Kappos reading his story "White Pasque" which will run in Pravic issue 5.

Nikita Allgire tells of the interpretation of Roshokhovatsky's "Encounter in the Desert."

Nikita Allgire tells of the interpretation of Roshokhovatsky's "Encounter in the Desert."

Daniel Gonzalez came all the way from Chicago to read an excerpt from his novel about an encounter in a very cold bar involving mojitos and polar bear costumes.

Daniel Gonzalez came all the way from Chicago to read an excerpt from his novel about an encounter in a very cold bar involving mojitos and polar bear costumes.

Feral Luggage finished out the night transcribing and performing music decoded from the future.

Feral Luggage finished out the night transcribing and performing music decoded from the future.

Cover of the Day (or 3)

galaxy_science_fiction_1952.jpg

I love this cover from Galaxy Magazine, in fact I'm a fan of the whole look of the magazine which was less lurid, while still being a little lurid. I mean you had to grab readers somehow. What's great about this image is the way it works: you begin by challenging yourself, what shocking alien proclivity would shock the imagination? The most shocking thing an alien can be is familiar - that flips the script, as it were. This cover makes it very clear, the aliens in SF do not live in a distant galaxy, they are us. Now granted, there's probably a racial component here as well that I'm choosing to ignore. But isn't nice to see the idea made explicit: the aliens are us - in the sense that we often don't know ourselves, or that what we think we know of ourselves we learned from myth and stereotype rather than self-reflection.

I'll bet this cover is by the same artist. Same idea.

And I wanted to include this image, just because it's badass: