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Speculating: 11372.4
Angela Yuriko Smith

This issue is raw. It’s lightly edited, disorganized and unbalanced. It’s also probably the most significant publication I’ve ever done. 

I’m also raw right now. Our last issue went into the mail a few days before the United States went into pseudo-lockdown. Many people couldn’t imagine things getting worse… and yet here we are, deep in the worse.

There is no rosy picture ahead. Personally, I think this will be the most devastating winter most of us have ever experienced—will ever experience. I see widespread hunger, violence and sickness in our future. But we’re prepared.

Haven’t we already survived countless apocalyptic scenarios before? We understand how dangerous propaganda is and how deceptive the illusion of power can be. We understand how toxic prejudice is whether directed against a race, sex or a species. We’ve all read and written these scenarios a thousand times. We’re in the thick of our own dystopian fantasy now. 

Personally, I haven’t lived up to my own expectations. I have always imagined I’d face the apocalypse head-on,  squinting beyond the horizon with no fear and imagining what lands I will conquer.

Instead, I have spent most of the time between the last issue and this gardening… feverishly planting, sowing and hoeing like a Hobbit expecting an early winter. I’ve read the news, uttered my disbelief, and then buried my attention with the potatoes under a thick layer of mulch.

We have a long way to go before we see the end of this. There will be anguish and fear. We may feel like the world spins out-of-control around us as we helplessly descend into madness. This is a lie.

Not the anguish and fear part—there’s no doubt this is going to suck—but we aren’t helpless. We have insight most people don’t have. Because we know speculative fiction, we have a context for comprehension and an inkling of where this may go… and how far we may have to go.

Cooperation is going to be a key player. How many fictional devastations could have been averted if the societies had worked together? A kind deed has the power to change an entire plot. A little selflessness transforms a rogue into a hero. Open and intelligent minds resist oppression.

These things we understand, particularly. The worlds we imagine and the world we now inhabit have merged. As self-aware authors of our own story arc,  we have a crucial role in guiding the non-speculative world to recognize the truths we already know: together, we survive. Divided, we get picked of one by one. I vote we stick together. 

P.S. You might also consider tossing any red Starfleet uniforms and white T-shirts you might own