Contents 2. Editorial. 4. CREATURE FEATURE: A Space Girl, Two Cats and A Missionary. 8. STORY: The Battle For X. 14. Paradox: Creature explores time travel and parallel universes. 15. Is It Alive?: We take a look at organic computers. 18. We Come In Peace: A humourous look at Science Fictionâ€™s Favourite Cliches. 22. CREATURE COMICS: A sip of local talent. 26. REVIEWS: Elysium, The Shining Girls and more. 30.TAKE MY GOLD: Slake your consumerist hunger.
by Katya W agner Creature Magazine is a platform for nurturing South African creative talent, especially in the neglected Speculative Fiction genre (Science Fiction and Fantasy in particular.) Creature publishes original short stories and artwork, and comics, as well as hosting writing competitions. We also provide reviews and in-depth articles with a special focus on South African and African content, in an area flooded with non-African perspectives. Our target market is formed by writers and other creatives, as well as local science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts who provide a ready-made fanbase starved for local content. The Creature logo takes influence from old-school pulp magazines with typography that could have been scratched out by claws or talons. To emphasise Creature’s South African origins, the logo also draws influence from classic South African printmakers; such as Cecil Skotnes, Dan Rakgoathe and Sandile Goje. The result is a simple typographic logo that transfers smoothly between mediums. A form
of organised chaos to act as a focal point to the magazine’s otherwise clean and clutter-free layout. Our tagline; “Tales From The Deep South “ is a nod back to classic science fiction publications as well as to our South African roots and it is this ambience that carries through to our visual identity. Conceptually, this route was chosen to stand out to to our audience (by using visual tropes), who enjoy the speculative fiction genre but have not yet heard of Creature Magazine.
Creature Magazine is a platform for nurturing South African creative talent, especially in the neglected Speculative Fiction genre
A Space Girl, Two Cats and a Missionary By Alex Krause The 4 October 1957 was the date the Soviets launched the Sputnik 1, an artificial satellite, into space. This seemingly impracticable achievement sparked what was later known as the Space Race, a competitive joust between the United States of America and the Soviet Union (USSR) for supremacy beyond the clouds. The turn of the decade saw the 1960’s being somewhat technologically influential as government funding into research, development and education within the field of science was exponentially increased. The U.S.A and the Soviet Union were under the world’s microscope, both spending vast amounts of money and launching probes and missions into the big black galaxy until someone could do something the other couldn’t.
own plans to dominate the worlds beyond our own and bring the title back to his country. In 1964 Nkoloso left his life as a teacher and began to pursue his dreams of space supremacy by founding the Zambia National Academy of Science, Space Research and Philosophy. One of Edwards’s first bold moves, of many, was sending a letter to the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (or UNESCO) asking for seven million Pounds to help fund his endeavors, to which they politely declined, obviously lacking faith in Zambia National Academy of Science. This may have possibly been because one of his later admitted rigorous training techniques, which involved dressing up his willing candidates in overalls and old British army helmets and rolling them down a hill tucked safely in 44-gallon
In the early 1960’s, while the back and fourth of the Space Race was occupying the world, Edward Makuka Nkoloso, a grade school teacher in Zambia, had his
A 10 x 6 foot aluminum and copper space vessel was going to be launched from the Independence Stadium on Zambia’s Independence Day of 1964.
oil drums. Apparently this, according to Nkoloso, was to get his eleven men and one 17 year old girl used to the feeling of weightlessness experienced in space travel, all of this happening at his Space Academy, in an old farmhouse on the outskirts of Zambia’s capital, Lusaka. Despite the outside cynicism, Nkoloso was audaciously confident in his belief in imminent success. “Specially trained spacegirl Matha Mwambwa, two cats (also specially trained) and a missionary will be launched in our first rocket”, he stated during the time of his space programs training. He also went right ahead and announced that his 10 x 6 foot aluminum and copper space vessel was going to be launched from the Independence Stadium on Zambia’s Independence Day of 1964. Sadly Edward Makuka Nkoloso’s impudent attempt to venture beyond the blue sky came to an abrupt end
when his young spacegirl, Mwambwa fell pregnant and was pulled from the program. Although this was only one of many events that brought on Zambia’s Space Academy’s downfall, another being an abundant lack of funding. Edward later wrote an editorial for a newspaper explaining his exploits, where he mentioned that he specifically instructed the missionary board to not force Christianity onto the native Martian inhabitants. Even though Nkoloso never tasted the sweetness of success and received constant criticism, to some extent he represented an ambitious, new country. His attempts may have been outlandish (by some seen as slightly cultish), but his belief in himself and his country was testament to an optimistic Zambia. Since then, Africa has made its own mark on space technology. Kenya will be home to part of the world’s largest radio telescope and many other African countries have launched their own satellites.
A crucial aspect of the early political context from which the term ‘citizenship’ evolved was the particular configuration point of both the state and civil society, and their mutual relationship years after the end of Apartheid. The emergence of ‘Citizenship’ postapartheid emphasized on political rights, especially the right to vote. This quickly expanded into demands for social and economic rights, including land rights. Just at the edge of the South African border is a ramshackle town located on a desolate landscape. Here exists a culture of de humanized individuals who’ve lost a concern for life, living like neglected animals, scavaging scraps in the human jungles of the town to survive. Camouflaged by the ignorance of the government who thinks the nation is in unity. These people have been
neglected from urban life because they are poverished, and uneducated, unable to adapt to the expense of city life. The security is tight in this town, with watch men at every gate, preventing outsiders from entering as if they had some kind of a conscience to hide the shameful place. Entering into the urban cities at night solely to vandalize property and kill, and then creeping back into their caves. The only way these wild dogs could express their discomfort was damning the system that degraded them. The mucky atmosphere, the buzz of agitated insects amidst a smoky skyline, half immersed in intoxicants and half out of their minds half the time, their humanity is rotting inside of them. A virus called K7 was spreading vastly through the town, killing a handful of those too weak to adapt to it. Survivors
The Battle for X By Awande Dlamini
of the virus had started mutating into predator forms, feeding off the rotten bodies of their dead brothers and sisters to suppress their unsatisfied hunger. The town leader, Mphisakhe, after consulting with the town’s witch doctor decided that they were going to use the DNA of K7 to create ‘umuthi’ that they could poison the city’s water supply with. Meaning that they would be in control, and those who took a taste of the water would be cursed with this ‘muthi’ and contract the same sickness they did which they had become immune to. The power in this ‘muthi’ was like that of a truth serum. The only way people could reverse its effects on them is by becoming activists of Mphisakhe’s and his people’s
Survivors of the virus had started mutating into predator forms, feeding off the rotten bodies of their dead brothers and sisters to suppress their unsatisfied hunger.
Cause, spreading the word to free them of their misery, which was the cure to breaking the ‘muthi’s’ hold on them. The government would listen to the anarchists and agitators affected by the antics of the ‘muthi’ who were going to recite the requests laid by Mphiyakhe who had threaten them. Government couldn’t afford to lose their investors, and would have to oblige to all/any of their requests. A massive riot travelled across the city streets leading to the Parliamentary House where international dignitaries of the United Nations were gathered with local leaders to discuss the new South Africa. ‘Umzabalazo’, the hummed hopeful spirit of thousands had stood outside the main
gates of Parliament. The wild dogs had come out their caves to join the citizens of the city waiting on a verdict. Together they marched, singing, and clapping with their fists in the air beckoning for the mercy of the government that had abandoned them. Voicing their demands through song, the sound escalated, travelling across the army of people who started changing back into their human forms. Their united effort to stand up against the inequality of a system gave them back their human traits and compassion. Meanwhile inside Parliament the UN had been watching the march through camera screens that had been purposefully turned on by the security guards who were on the side of the protesters. Outraged by the government’s neglect after having funded their development programmes, the UN members had decided that they would each sign a treaty that gave access to citizens’ participation in state decisions, which was also to be signed by the presidential cabinet and the president himself.
Together they marched, singing, and clapping with their fists in the air beckoning for the mercy of the government that had abandoned them.
Structural poverty and marginalisation continue to be a barrier to citizen participation in post Apartheid South Africa. These people have been forced into blind obedience. Cheated of their votes from a government who makes promises only to take away from them their basic rights of existence; discarding them from this democracy of a rainbow nation. People need ‘equality’. The X they mark on a voting ballot sheet is the hope and dream they have to live in a country that does not treat them like animals but respects them as human beings, giving them the rights to opportunity, peace and happiness.