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.


A Sneak Peak at Issue 1

The three stories we present to you here are different. They are all about heart. Not ‘heart’ in the sense of dogged commitment, heart, the pink thing beating inside your chest.” – David Gill 
We could have called this journal “Ansible,” but that wouldn’t tell you anything – of course we want to reach distant strangers with our words. The fact that you’re reading this is proof of that. But we also want the words themselves to be free from the old cliches and trappings that have kept SF so damned repressed – and repressive – for the past thirty years or more.” – Nathaniel K. Miller
“I’m only ever looking for those things that stand out and refuse to fall in line, those things that don’t fit into pre-established forms, and piss people off and blaze their own trails forward.” – Ben Loory
Where Bradbury posits that the house will fare better than we will, I sort of wonder whether we’ll both be in about the same position – screwed but not dead.” – Nathaniel K. Miller
Rigid, hierarchical, militant organizations do not have a good history of promoting tolerance, diversity, individual liberty, and self-determination.” – Cal Godot
Yes, there is more to Shakepeare than performing it as an enriching distraction while you explore deep space!” – David Gill

(Archived from

The Astronaut by Ben Loory

In a few short minutes, issue #1 of Pravic Magazine will be available to order. To highlight the great stories we’ve been lucky to have for this brand-new project, we’re posting Ben Loory’s fabulous short “The Astronaut: A Fable” here, in its entirety.

Ben Loory is a world-class writer whose first collection, Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day, is available from Penguin Books. Check out another story from the book, and order yourself a copy, here.
The Astronaut
a fable
by Ben Loory
The astronaut has been marooned on the planet for he doesn’t know how long. He lies in the shelter of the destroyed capsule, gazing out at the sand. He is running low on food and water; he can hardly move with his broken leg. The ship’s beacon broadcasts a constant S.O.S., but the astronaut knows he’ll never be saved.

One night the astronaut is awakened from his sleep by a dull pain in his arm. He looks over to see a strange bat-like creature gnawing fiercely into him. He strikes at the creature and it flies away– shrieking– into the night. But the pain in his arm grows worse and worse.
The skin is disintegrating by daylight.
The astronaut speaks to the ship’s computer. It tells him he has been poisoned.
We can synthesize an antidote, the computer says, if a live sample creature can be found.
The astronaut turns and stares into the distance. All around lie only desert and rock. Except for one spot in the very far west, where dark cliffs rise into the sky.
They must be up there, the astronaut thinks.
He finds the sample cage and sets out.
The astronaut’s leg is carefully bound, and he is a very strong man. But still, the going is extremely slow– and painful, even with the medication. The bat’s venom is coursing through his system. He knows it’s just a matter of time.
When he finally reaches the cliff, he stands and stares up.
I’ll never make it, he thinks.
He starts to climb.
The astronaut climbs all afternoon. He pauses to breathe, to rest. Sometimes the sky seems to swirl around. The astronaut closes his eyes and prays.
When he reaches the plateau, he sees a tree in the distance– an ancient tree, gnarled and tall. And hanging from the branches, like their cousins would on earth, are dozens of the bat-like creatures.
The astronaut slowly approaches the tree. The capture itself is simple. He zaps one of the bats with a burst from the stun, then shovels the fallen body into the cage.
The other bats rustle, but do not awake.
The astronaut turns and heads back toward the ship.
Night falls while the astronaut is halfway down the cliff face. He strains to see by the stars. Inside his chest, the poison has found his heart. He feels it jump, stop, and start.
By dawn, the bat has awakened from its slumber and is gnawing at the bars of the cage. It screams as the astronaut approaches the capsule, whimpers as he carries it inside.
The computer is ready. The astronaut prepares. He wrestles the bat from the cage. He pins it face-up, wings-out on the dissecting tray.
Then he raises the scalpel.
The computer tells the astronaut where to cut, the fluids and samples he must gather. The astronaut presses the blade to the creature’s chest.
Just then he hears the sound.
It is a strange sound– piercing. High and clear. A whistle, almost a song.
The astronaut turns and moves to the door. He looks up into the sky above.
There– wheeling– in the great empty blue, are hundreds– thousands– of bats. Revolving slowly in an unending stream. Calling down as if in a choir to him.
For a moment, the astronaut’s vision seems to change as he stands staring up at the bats. For a moment, the circle they make in the sky is not them, but the Earth, his home.
The astronaut turns and looks back inside. He stares at the creature on the tray.
He notices he still holds the scalpel in his hand.
After a moment, he tosses it aside.
Slowly, he drags the tray from the capsule. It is hard work; all his strength is gone.
He unpins the bat’s wings and feels the wind as it flies.
An empty spacesuit crumples to the ground.

Introducing Pravic

Pravic is a new magazine bringing you literary Science Fiction stories, along with discussions of esoteric pop culture, music and movie reviews, and anything else we feel like. Why? We’re unhappy with the current state of SF – especially what’s being published. Having read what’s out there, we’re left feeling most of that shit is awful.
We think we can do better. We want to build a new grammar for SF.
In short, we’re here to fuck with your program.
Send your fiction, non-fiction, art, and whatever mind-bending miscellany we haven’t conceived of yet to pravicmagazine(at)