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Greetings Strange fam! My dears, the skies are overcast, the air carries hints of regret and raw sewage, and I am going to listen to the fifth instalment of Buck Rogers and the Gyrating Cosmic Elevator, which is not what it’s called. As always, I don’t really remember what happened in the past few episodes. I think we can safely say there was space and there was dudes. And some uppity kid showing off because he had a popsicle. You know what though, the other day I had a popsicle after SUCH a long time and it was some “healthy” popsicle with “real” “fruit” and whatever and my peeps were like, “oh my god it’s sooooo good! You HAVE to!” And fam it was salty. I mean what the actual fuck. Anyway.

This is a poster for Buck Rogers (serial). The poster art copyright is believed to belong to the distributor of the film, the publisher of the film or the graphic artist.


“Take along a nickle and have a swell popsicle.” This sounds so shatteringly American I can’t even you guys.

An uncle is doing a recap which I should probably listen to but I probably won’t also.

The ancient ruins of Philadelphia! I dig that you guys. I really do.

Anyway, Buck and Wilma are waiting for Black Barney because they have to catch the bad guys. And for that they need a spaceship. And for that they need the Gyrating Cosmic Elevator. And for that they need Black Barney to come back. It’s the circle of life. It’s the wheel of fortune.

They have decided to leave now itself because they have a Gas Analyser which will help them find Black Barney because how long to wait for this fellow.

Gas Analyser is not the best name we have heard on this show.

Wilma is apparently so used to scientific developments that it never occurs to her to use them.

Actually that’s probably because she’s a lady and things generally don’t occur to ladies because they are ladies.

Buck on the other hand, coming from more backward times, can’t help but think of all these things.

Buck also thinks of these things because he’s a dude. I’m not afraid to say that fam.

Now they are calling Barney and Barney does not answer.

And because we are listening to this just go on and on, it is difficult for everyone.

Basically something seems to be wrong with Black Barney and these two bananas are just going back and forth saying, “hey, something seems to be wrong with Black Barney.”

Why is this dude called Black Barney again?

Anyway, we are now in Black Barney’s ship where Black Barney and that kid who I forgot about are like, “oh let us answer Buck who is repeatedly calling us,” and the bad guy, surprisingly, is saying no.

The bad guy, aka Candy Cane, has apparently framed Barney for stealing the ship.

He has also offered Barney a job, which is nice and also confusing.

Maybe Candy Cane is a complex guy, rather than a bad guy.

They are now going to land in the ruins of Philadelphia WHY IS PHILADELPHIA IN RUINS THO JUST ASKING

So the bad guy was like, “you better land gently” and this incensed Black Barney so he has now cut the power and said they are just going to coast down.

We all express anger in different ways I guess.

They have now landed nicely and Barney and the kid are like, “see? Told you!” And Candy Cane is like, “ya that only happened because of the cosmic gyrating spectacles.”

Black Barney is now further incensed.

Black Barney is ruled by his feelings.

Now they have opened the doors and there is a lady outside who sounds a lot like Wilma but I think is Art Daily.

Who I frankly thought was a guy y’all.

I feel bad for assuming that the bad guys would exclusively be dudes. THANKS A LOT FEMINISM.

Black Barney and the boy have said they don’t like this, no sir they don’t.

Idk that seemed worth mentioning for some reason.

In a shocking turn of events, Art Daily has admitted to breaking into the lab and stealing some scientific instrument which shall not be named.

Barney has now been sent to bring some package onboard and the kid has been dispatched to bring some scraps of paper.

Fam, sometimes one forgets that this show is supposed to be set in space.

Anyway, Black Barney has been requested to put the package on the floor, Art Daily is watching him, Candy Cane is writing something on the scrap of paper, and the kid is letting him write this on his back.

Why did we have to know he was writing the note on the kid’s back why is this show like this.

Anyway, the kid has been dispatched in a ship with a note for Buck. And now these other fellows are also leaving.

In a rather disconcerting display of common sense, Barney and Art Daily are like, “hey you shouldn't have let a kid fly a ship all by himself.”

I don’t really know what’s happening right now but I also feel like it’s ok because I live in a third world country and there’s a pandemic.

Barney has unwrapped the mysterious package and it is the Psychic Restriction Ray.


Is the ray a bad thing tho?

This ray will make Black Barney do whatever Candy Cane wants.

Ergo, the ray is a bad thing for Black Barney but a good thing for Candy Cane. Perspective is so important.

“Fudgesicles are good for your bones and teeth”. A thousand times yes.

This entire show is twelve episodes long. And we have just finished episode five. I do want to know what happens with the gyrating cosmic spectacles. But I am also old and filled with bitterness because Popsicle Pete is triggering my feelings of being oppressed and wholly without gifts and I had to eat that fucking salty popsicle. But I shall persevere and listen to this show till the very end! You know why fam? Because it’s an old sci-fi radio show, it’s not like I’m blogging while someone eats my liver or something wtf. Anyways bai.

Kuzhali Manickavel's collections Things We Found During the Autopsy, Insects Are Just like You and Me except Some of Them Have Wings, and chapbooks The Lucy Temerlin Institute for Broken Shapeshifters Guide to Starving Boys and Eating Sugar, Telling Lies are available from Blaft Publications, Chennai. Her work has also appeared in Granta, Strange Horizons, Agni, Subtropics, Michigan Quarterly Review, and DIAGRAM. She used to blog at She's now at
Current Issue
29 May 2023

We are touched and encouraged to see an overwhelming response from writers from the Sino diaspora as well as BIPOC creators in various parts of the world. And such diverse and daring takes of wuxia and xianxia, from contemporary to the far reaches of space!
By: L Chan
The air was redolent with machine oil; rich and unctuous, and synthesised alcohol, sharper than a knife on the tongue.
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Many eons ago, when the first dawn broke over the newborn mortal world, the children of the Heavenly Realm assembled at the Golden Sky Palace.
Winter storm: lightning flashes old ghosts on my blade.
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immigrant daughters dodge sharp barbs thrown in ambush 十面埋伏 from all directions
Many trans and marginalised people in our world can do the exact same things that everyone else has done to overcome challenges and find happiness, only for others to come in and do what they want as Ren Woxing did, and probably, when asked why, they would simply say Xiang Wentian: to ask the heavens. And perhaps we the readers, who are told this story from Linghu Chong’s point of view, should do more to question the actions of people before blindly following along to cause harm.
Before the Occupation, righteousness might have meant taking overt stands against the distant invaders of their ancestral homelands through donating money, labour, or expertise to Chinese wartime efforts. Yet during the Occupation, such behaviour would get one killed or suspected of treason; one might find it better to remain discreet and fade into the background, or leave for safer shores. Could one uphold justice and righteousness quietly, subtly, and effectively within such a world of harshness and deprivation?
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