Watching every episode of Star Trek The Next Generation for the first time Part Three by C T Thorbens

Part Three of mocking a thirty-year-old scifi series for being hokey and rubbish. In this installment, we learn about Data’s backstory, Riker’s sexual fantasies (SPOILER ALERT: they involve trombones) and how to fix the ozone layer. 12. Datalore: Data, we learn, was found 26 years ago, the sole survivor of some catastrophic tragedy, like a waxen-skinned Harry Potter. The Enterprise returns to his planet and finds a SECOND Data – called Lore – who seems really nice and eager to be friends with everyone. OR IS HE? This episode is a tricky one — bits of it are good, and yet the whole is so irretrievably stupid. On the plus side, Data does a cracking performance as Evil Twin Lore, Read More

The Sparrows of the National Museum by Ethan Leong

God set you down on a tranquil lawn Your chestnut feathers mottled with specks of white and black I clasped her hand softly, sitting by concrete-paved steps I feared the sound of our thighs, pressed against the hewn stone Would somehow remind you of who you are ANXIETY! Whatarethosetwogiantssittingtherewatchingmefor PANIC! WillIbecagedwillIbeharmedwhatiftheycrushedmeintheirclumsyarms I’m glad you hopped, when you could have flown I’m glad you chirped, although you cannot groan Sparrow is my brother, the one I refuse to acknowledge at family gatherings Sparrow is my brother, the one I speak cursory sentences to Anxiety fathered us, Fear beget us I am sorry brother, I cannot acknowledge you I cannot recognise my instinct to fly I have to fight with gritted teeth, Read More

The Knife by Frances Holland

1922 In the topmost attic room of a run-down terraced house in Salford is a small packing trunk. Inside the trunk is a canvas bag containing an identification card, an empty brandy bottle, and, wrapped in a grubby handkerchief, a small switchblade knife with a mother-of-pearl handle. I take out the knife and turn it over in my gloved hand. I slide it inside an envelope concealed in my coat pocket, and leave without a word. *********************************************** FIVE HOURS EARLIER I adore the sound of the telephone ringing in the hall. It makes me feel connected to the world, to life and activity everywhere. We have several in the newspaper offices in which I work, writing articles on local leek Read More

Sonnet by Jay Lythgoe

My gestation brings not effulgence forth. A spotty, ruddy splotch is my rough cast. This blessed plot recalls not fertile earth, But scorched terrain where purple scars will last. I have known buns in ovens smelling grand. Less scrumptious scents do waft or leak from me. I big bellied do not sail on land – Nay, waddle wretched wrecked with SPD. If babes do shift and flutter in repose A brood of teeming ferrets dwell within. And if in expecting you’d joy suppose To painful labour’s peril my thoughts spin. And yet, dear burden of my womb unmet, In clichéd love all this I shall forget.  

Your Week Ahead with Myers-Briggs by Lauren Ipse

Just like horoscopes, Myers-Briggs types are both utterly unscientific and strangely popular. If you have added yours to your dating profile, FaceBook page or Twitter profile, then noted mystic and village wisewoman Lauren Ipse peers into the mists of time and reveals what fate has in store for you. ESFP – Performer Netflix has been profiling you for three years, and correctly suggests that you might enjoy watching Son of The Mask, Horne and Corden’s sketch show and Good Luck Chuck. INFP- Healer Next week, a hurricane will coincidentally receive your first name. It will then be responsible for a number of extravagantly horrific accidents, including blowing a shipment of kittens into the spinning blades of a wind farm and Read More

Theatre Review: New Atlantis – Both Waving and Drowning by Lydia Nicholas

Sieman’s Crystal, the fractured, urgent glass polygon where Last Theatre’s New Atlantis sets its immersive stage, is an ill-fated location to explore the public’s place in humanity’s struggle to face the oncoming climate catastrophe. Above us oil-monarchy sponsored empty glass baubles run from the gargantuan ExCel centre to the O2 along the Emerites Airline. Massive 19th century cranes are dwarfed by even more massive business hotels, monuments to one withered stream of capital become sculpture to entertain the acolytes of the next. To the south the evening sky is alive with the light of a thousand Canary Wharf executive’s windows. Turning East along Victoria Dock, we stare right up the business end of London City Airport’s runway where for £10,000 Read More

The Punch Bag by S S Haque

“Thunder, thunder, lightening.” “Aish!” Nabiha landed a cross to the head, a sharp left hook and a right roundhouse to the ribs that pushed me back a few paces. I held up the Thai pads and watched her eyes for a flinch, a giveaway. The dark brown discs were still, on my chest. Her shoulders were static and her punches landed without warning. Jab, cross, jab, cross! Fast and strong, her leather fists smashed the leather pads with satisfying whacks. She moved in and out on her toes. “Woah!” Her front teep kick took me by surprise and I fell back against the ropes and bounced forward. “Come forward, yes!” As I placed the Thai pads, keeping up with her Read More

A Dry Spell by Thomas Willshire

A Dry Spell By Thomas Willshire Characters Andy : Early thirties. Pam : Early thirties. Trudy : Late twenties. Kieran : Mid twenties. Action The play begins in Pam and Andy’s bedroom but doesn’t stay there long. Each setting is described or at least implied by the characters. ACT 1 (The play opens with Pam in bed and Andy standing away from her. It is clear the action begins some time after the conversation began. Pam holds a cup of tea.) Andy : I was just thinking about our problem. Well, my problem. I don’t know really. There isn’t a way in which I can express it without hurting your feelings. Pam : It’s a bit late for that. Andy Read More

Flora by Karina Cornell

You know when you wake up, and in the first few seconds of existence you don’t know who you are, why you are, and can’t seem to grasp any significant detail about your life? That void of endless possibility, is my favourite part of the day. My mind reels in circles, trying to grab onto any tangible thought or memory as slowly I open my eyelids, peeling them up like tiny drawbridges unlocking my world. The first thing I see is my enormous tree, just outside my window. The lush green leaves move each in their own individual way, but connected as a vast force, in sync. It gifts me the hope that there could be more than just that Read More

White Cliffs by Susie Campbell

No more than this left from once warm bodies. Sloughed off under pressure, trashed; left to fossilise, silicify. Soft bloom of phytoplankton pinched out, light-fed single cells compressed to a thick white wedge. Now arising clean and bitter from clay’s mucky slump, these cliffs a bone shield against Caesar’s legion. Grudges held hard against all marauders: Spain’s nutshell fleet, a sour return on wars and bad investment in dominion. Sun sets as the old bulldog quivers. Abdel’s a giant, tall as Salisbury steeple and he breakfasts on little English people. Outlined in chalk, blanket pulled up to chin. One last rictus of stolen teeth.