‘When Gliese Met Glasgow – and Muira made a mint’

If you had to choose Earth’s representative for First Contact with aliens, it probably wouldn’t be a 3’6″ Black Glaswegian with no diplomatic experience, would it? When Gliese* Met Glasgow (and Muira made a mint)’  reached the Finals of Pen2Paper, a competition run by the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities; goodness knows how! They’re all here, free to read: http://www.txdisabilities.org/pen-2-paper

* Gliese exists. It was the first star system found to have at least one potentially habitable planet in its orbit.

‘Ye Gods!’

Trevor Baylis, the delightfully dotty inventor of the wind-up radio (by which I mean the radios you wind up to make work, not the ones that wind you up and stop you from working), lives on an island in the middle of the Thames where flooding is clearly a regular thing. Trevor’s got it taped though: his sockets, hand-painted dark green to match the walls but with white plugs and cables attached, are sited at waist height, and there are odd little wooden contraptions that clip across the bottom of the doors.  The piece de resistance is a raised concrete area outside the house upon which chairs and tables have been placed in the manner of a front garden.  It is painted grass green, and neatly demonstrates the distinction between capacity for invention and any sort of design sense.

Excerpt from Not Being First Fish, by P Spencer Beck, 2015