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(out April 2011)

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How to Build a Spaceship
in Five Easy Steps

Douglas Silver


Photo by Tim Roelofs

bonus features:

    Full Table of Contents

Metroid: An Appreciation
by Mike Meginnis

How to Build a Spaceship in Five Easy Steps
by Douglas Silver

Sea to Shining Sea company newsletter
by Debbie Graber

Suggested edits for "Saucer"
by Karl Taro Greenfeld

The Beartender (a photo w/ caption)
by Melinda Moustakis
  1. Research and Development: (Re)View Star Trek (the original), Star Wars (episodes four, five, and six), Spaceballs (best case scenario), and Planet of the Apes (worst case scenario). Brush up your intergalactic shooting skills via marathons of Asteroid and Space Invaders (you don’t know what’s out there). It’s best if you have a mission. Watch Armageddon and relish the fact that if a meteor is plummeting toward Earth, you won’t be here. Play another few hours of Asteroid just in case you bum into the meteor on your way into deep space, all the while singing Aerosmith’s “Don’t want to Miss a Thing”.
  1. Christen your Vessel: Avoid lofty monikers like “Apollo” and “Excelsior”, as well as names that indicate your nation (or planet) of origin such as “USS Freedom” or “Shatner Fans Forever”. Certainly stay clear of naming your ship after a celebrity baby. When in doubt, call the vessel Tom. Talk to it. Sing. Shout, Damn it, Thomas! when you’re lost on the outliers of the Milk Way or staring down the gullet of a black hole. Tommy Boy when you’re in a sprightly mood, bouncing against its cushioned walls in zero gravity. Yes, Tom. That’s your spaceship.
  1. Assemble a Crew: Your first instinct will be to call on the smartest people you know—astrophysicists, rocket scientists, perhaps you know a retired astronaut. Fight that urge. You need friends. Interesting people with extensive, eclectic music libraries on their IPods, who bring travel snacks (good snacks, none of that caramel rice cracker or Hawaiian Punch shit) and understand that you’re going to split up any tolls and gas.
  1. Get in ‘Space’ Shape: Run five miles a day on the beach. Do three hundred sit-ups and one hundred pushups daily until your body feels like jelly. Introduce yourself to people as an astronaut. Say, “Houston, we have a problem.” Laugh even though no one else will. You need to be comfortable with your own thoughts. Up there, it may be all you have. Train your bladder. It’s possible to go to the bathroom in space, but it’s very complicated and potentially messy. You’re better off holding it in until you return to Earth. On second thought, tell your crew no travel snacks (maybe just rice crackers).
  1. Build a Spaceship: His name is Tom. Chicks will dig him. He’ll bring you home safely.
Brian Oliu reads "Super Mario Bros." & "Ninja Gaiden Trilogy"

A Couple Short Movies Written
by Etgar Keret

Two Notable Emotion Pianists
by Sean Adams

What Could Have Also Been (Alternate Endings)
by Robert Baumann
An Annotated Map of Littlefield, TX
by Aubrey Hirsch
Addendum: Notes on the North Country
by Roxane Gay

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