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Lasers, moonscapes, aliens and space babes a-go-go! Inspired by classic movie posters, lurid paperback novel covers, and ridiculous tropes of the genre, this multidisciplinary art show pays tribute to science fiction through original paintings and works of fiction narrated by performing artists. Take a moonwalk with 30 of the Front Range’s best and brightest creatives, including painters Elizabeth Selby, Brett Andrus and Claire Swinford, authors Steven Hayward, Alissa Smith, and playwright Jenny Maloney, and performing artists Jim Jackson, Birgitta De Pree and Aja Black and Big Samir.

WHO: 10 painters, 10 authors, 10 performing artists
WHAT: Exhibit of 10 original works of art inspired by 10 original sci-fi short stories, with sound recordings by 10 performing artists
WHERE: S.P.Q.R. Experiential Art Space and Gallery (17B E. Bijou St., Colorado Springs, CO 80903)
WHEN: Opening reception 5 p.m.-midnight First Friday, September 7. Show on view with live staged readings each Friday or by appointment Sept. 7-30, 2018.

STORY SYNOPSES & FULL LIST OF CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS

“The Sneezing” by Steven Hayward of Colorado College
Depicted by Cymon Padilla; Narrated by Jim Jackson & Birgitta de Pree of the Millibo Art Theatre

In "The Sneezing," Frances Inscrutable -- or "Double Inscrutable" as she's known to her friends -- tells the story of a pandemic that sweeps through the world -- and Colorado Springs. If you’re like most people, you were infected along with everybody else. And then you started to sneeze. Just because you don’t remember it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. This is the story.

“At the Edge of the North” by Jenny Maloney of Springs Ensemble Theatre
Depicted by Elizabeth Selby; Narrated by Scott Levy of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College and Joye Cook Levy of UCCS Presents

Mysterious military drones are sighted over the remote Alaskan town of Samson’s Butte -- and in some cases, they’re shot out of the sky by the hard-bitten residents, who take the drones’ incursion as a personal offense. But only newcomer Sebastian Downy knows where the drones are coming from, and he thinks he knows who to blame: his ex-girlfriend, brilliant tech developer Brina Haas. Sebastian’s wrong, though. Within the futuristic compound where Brina conducts her research, nanobots anticipate the inhabitants’ every need and desire… including the thirst for revenge. Now Brina and Sebastian must work together to save Samson’s Butte from a rain of fire wrought by tiny robots imbued with all the wrath of a woman scorned.

“Shape” by Alissa Smith of the Colorado Springs Independent
Depicted by Claire Swinford; Narrated by Aja Black & Big Samir

Deane Mason, a soldier in Earth’s army, crashes on an uninhabited planet and wakes up near-death in the cockpit of her inoperable ship. Her brother, Lee, appears to her and pulls her out of the wreckage – but Lee has been dead for six years, and he isn’t the man she remembers.

“Flight” by Griffin Swartzell of the Colorado Springs Independent
Depicted by Phil Lear; Narrated by playwright, critic and performer Warren Epstein

Upon closing the door of his room in a roadside motel, a young physicist suffers a memory lapse. He has no clue where he is, where he's going, or why he's there. Can he figure out what has happened to him before his past catches up? 

“Burners” by Rachel Ewing
Depicted by Brett Andrus; Narrated by Sarah S. Shaver and Pikes Peak Community College theatre students

In the future, the government has re-opened mind-control/ torture experiments and is using them on children in an attempt to create living weapons. While most children die during the tests, some have been found to be capable of becoming burners; a burner is someone who can tap into a certain amount of electricity and use it as a weapon. Adilace and her twin sister, Zoe, are two such children who've escaped government control. And now, as officials have started to hunt them down, Adilace must protect her sister from the government… and everyone else from her sister, whose power levels are so high, she has the ability to wipe out millions. 

“ADA 2059” by Kellie Palmblad of Spirettes
Depicted by April Dawes; Narrated by Heather Powell Browne of Fuel/Friends Music Blog

An unexpected experience occurs in the life of an engineer, Janelle Dubach, who is programing neural networking systems for artificial intelligence programs. The short story reveals a flaw in an otherwise perfect program, as Dubach’s AI structure (ADA) finds an alternative way to connect with its creator. Despite Janelle’s perfectionism in coding work to suit human needs, it becomes apparent ADA has a purpose of its own. This experience is narrated through overlapping segments of prose and dialogue that work together to construct the larger philosophical question about current coding technologies -- the larger theme being that artificial intelligence will be capable of meddling in human affairs and our grasping at perfect functionality and answers will be overridden with existential crisis. 

“Map of the Real” by Michael Sawyer of Colorado College
Depicted by Emily Pazera; Narrated by Max Ferguson of Springs Ensemble Theatre

In Tula’s world, everyone wears a personal chronometer that counts down their 120 years of enforced servitude. Only when the clock runs out can they break their chains and navigate the galaxy on their own terms. For the past four years, Tula’s clock has been stopped at age 13 -- but in the meantime, she has embarked on a secret project of her own.

“J.O.I.E. (A Story of a Robot’s Awakening)” by Kurt Bunch
Depicted by Hannah Moghbel; Narrated by Kate Perdoni of Spirettes & Rocky Mountain PBS

J.O.I.E. became self-aware during an act of sexual assault. She must run from a police manhunt and still find out if she has a purpose in the world -- just like the rest of humanity. 

“Everything Comes Back” by Kevin Cady
Depicted by Hunter Chambers; Narrated by Ishhod Collins

A man named Sloane accepts a stranger’s proposition on a fine December evening in the distant but familiar future. A company called LoTech Futures is involved, and Sloane knows LoTech for its forward thinking experiments combining artificial intelligence and biological material. 

A simple injection and life changes forever.

Years pass, and Sloane is at first empowered, but a terrifying transformation begins where he was injected: His chest is turning into a rotting black hole. The story culminates outside Egypt where our transforming main character enters the pyramids to learn of humanity’s genesis, now integrally reflected in his own problem, and he tries to find a solution before it’s too late. Somehow, he knows what to do.

“Chasers” by Nico Wilkinson
Depicted by Troy DeRose of Fixer Creative; Narrated by Kellie Palmblad of Spirettes

In this story, time operates a little differently, and an entire lifetime passes in the time it takes the sun to circle around the earth. This is based on one of the dreams in the book "Einstein's Dreams." So, those born in the day will spend the latter half of their lives in the night, often leading to a discontentment for many who are used to living their lives in the sun, and vice versa.

This has led to individuals called "Chasers" who are constantly traveling in pursuit of either the light or the night. This story will focus on some individuals -- two people, one of whom is selling their car to the other as he is about to board a ship to travel west in pursuit of the sun, and the other person is in pursuit of the night. One group of photographers who are trying to photograph the world as the "magic hour" passes over it.