The Science Creative Quarterly (SCQ) is not a quarterly, but instead publishes new material at a non-linear rate. It seeks science writing of any genre and if you’d like to contribute, please do check out our submissions guidelines.

THE QUEST

Once upon a time in the Land of Lab, there was a Princess and two Princes working hard on their Graduate Student projects. One day, the King of the Lab called Princess Jane and Princes John and Robert into his Regal Office. “Tell me,” he said. “How goes the quest in the Lab?” “It goes slowly, sir,” they sighed. “Ah, it is as I thought,” said the King. “Would not a Contest of Skills focus the mind and enhance your activities? I propose that a new Quest begin today! Each of you shall leave my office forthwith and lose yourself…

AND GOD SAID, “LET THERE BE DINOSAURS!”

Let there be light! Let there be Heaven and Earth! Let there be mortal souls created in Mine own image, gifted with reason and free will… in a bit. First, let there be a bunch of giant fucking monsters everywhere! In My infinite wisdom, I know that populating Earth with millions of Godzillas will be awesome. Humongous monsters with silly little arms! Tiny monsters that hunt in packs! Monsters covered in bulletproof plates with spikes for tails and ocean monsters and flying monsters that terrorize the skies and HOLY SHIT THIS WILL BE VERY FUCKING COOL. Using the divine power…

RISK ASSESSMENT SONNET

I can’t keep up with myself. I’ve tried vanes, sun dials, plotting wells. I put a thousand pebbles, feathers, crystals on the shelf – no more scrying with poker chips and shells. The best call at the table is, you lose. The best prediction in life is, you die. So? So what if I cruise for a bruise with this scattering of cards, sigh of upgathered wings, reshuffling of things? I’m not trying to throw the game, I just wanted to build houses instead of peacock tails, haunted not strutting, filled with wet clay and kick wheels – not Mings.…

THE FOUR PILLARS REVISITED (PART 1 OF 5)

Prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and enforcement—Vancouver’s four pillars. It’s the most progressive drug plan of any city in North America. But its authors fear that the pillars are crumbling. This is part one of the Four Pillars Revisited. Our 5-part season-opener, produced by our sister site (terry.ubc.ca) in partnership with The Tyee, and syndicated at the University of Victoria and Simon Fraser University in Burnaby. Subscribe on iTunes  | MP3 | RSS | Download our Smartphone App | Listen on CiTR 101.9FM: Every Thursday, 5PM To read more and hear extended interviews, please click here.

NEUROTECH LIGHT AND DARK

A brain-computer interface controls her robotic arm. As easily as not thinking, she uses it to drink another shot of tequila. I feel a tic escape, as my deep brain stimulation implant remodulates its signal. But I’m not dropping my coffee anymore. The veteran’s brain implant doesn’t control his PTSD symptoms well, plus he has paranoia about mind control experiments by the government. A technician sends the telerobotic neurosurgeon a brain scan on her phone. A crack in the screen leads to the patient becoming a savant. An fMRI scanner noisily starts up. An undetected tattoo heats up from metal…

MONSANTO DOES NOT CONDONE CANNIBALISM

Monsanto does not condone cannibalism. We do not endorse the systematic harvesting of mortal flesh for mass consumption. We do not drool at the thought of rendering a bountiful population of citizens into edible chunks of protein. None of us here fantasize about a future in which the farming of our fellow man is a viable practice. I just want to get that out in the open. Take it from me. I am one of thousands of Monsanto employees not brainstorming concepts for packaged foodstuffs made from human body parts. Like my colleagues, I did not sign an NDA which…

A CLIMATE CHANGE DENIER GETS HEATSTROKE

I’m fine, I just need a sip of water. Can I do that without sounding the climate-change alarms? There are four seasons, you guys. Summer’s the hot one. Always has been. I’m just a little thirsty. And, like, a teeny bit dizzy. You can split hairs all you want with statistics about temperatures steadily rising each year, or you can spare me the factual histrionics and start enjoying a little summer fun. I’m having such a good time that my head’s actually pounding with the pulse of summer. Really pounding. That’s strange, I actually feel kind of cold all of…