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The Not-So Silent Planet

a speculative open-mic
(presented in collaboration with Word Sprout)


"Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today -- but the core of science fiction, its essence, the concept around which it revolves, has become crucial to our salvation if we are to be saved at all."

- Isaac Asimov, My Own View

Praise for "The Not-So-Silent Planet"


"It shouldn’t be a surprise to you that ultra-hip MPLS + STPL has an open mic night dedicated to...sci-fi, fantasy, tales of the supernatural and such. It also shouldn’t be a surprise that the quality of the material is higher than an H.G. Wells zeppelin."
- Hitara, Secrets of the City

"...that was some delightfully trippy shit...mind-bendingly strange and fun...they burrow into your mind and keep you thinking about them long after they're done."
Matthew Everett, Single White Fringe Geek

"...definitely in the grand tradition of short-story writing in the genre...if you like story-telling events, don't miss this one. Seriously. Just...don't."
"I love audio books. I love science fiction and fantasy stories. I love really good storytellers. I loved this show."
"...helps you to see that there are many possibilities in this vast universe of ours."
- five-star audience reviews (from the Minnesota Fringe Festival)

About the Show


Have you ever imagined a world whose laws of physics differ from our own? Welcome to the country's only recurring open-mic dedicated to speculative fiction: fantasy, sci-fi, or supernatural horror! Sign up for 5-7 minutes, and tell us about a place of which we’ve never dreamt.



Taking place* at Kieran’s Irish Pub, 85 N 6th St, Minneapolis
Doors and sign-up at 8pm, show at 8:30pm
Tickets are on a $5-$10 sliding scale, $3 with a Fringe button

*unless otherwise indicated: please read carefully



Tuesday, September 20th, 2016: feature performer ARIEL LEAF
Tuesday, October 18th, 2016: feature performer CONRAD ZERO

Monday, October 31st, 2016 at 7pm: our regulars will present some of their favorite material at the Twin Cities Horror Festival.

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016: feature performer JAVIER MORILLO
Tuesday, December 20th, 2016: feature performer JOE BOZIC
Tuesday, January 17th, 2017: feature performer MATTHEW FOSTER
Tuesday, February 21st, 2017: feature performer DUCK WASHINGTON
Tuesday, March 21st, 2017: feature performer SHANAN CUSTER

Sunday, April 2nd, 2017 at 4pm: our regulars will present some of their favorite material at the Die Laughing 50-Hour Comedy Marathon.

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017: feature performer JOEY HAMBURGER

Friday, April 14th, 2017 at 7pm: our regulars will present some of their favorite material at Power Point Karaoke.

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017: feature performer ABRA STAFFIN-WIEBE
Tuesday, June 20th, 2017: feature performer TERRY FAUST

Other Shows


We have a bi-weekly podcast featuring original material by our regulars, as well as an ensemble reading series featuring Victorian speculative fiction at the Phoenix Theater!

IAQ (Infrequently Asked Questions)


What are the genre restrictions?

We're looking for speculative fiction, roughly definited for our purposes as:

- Fantasy.
- Science fiction.
- Supernatural horror.
(We love gritty, psychological horror! But this is a venue for stories that in some way defy the natural order.)
- Anachronistic interpretations of myth. This one's a bit trickier. Basically, we're looking for myths/legends pulled out of their expected context, and into something strange and unexpected (e.g. something in the neighborhood of urban fantasy). We have nothing against traditional folktales, but this probably isn't the venue for them.

The shorter answer may be: we're looking for material that is set in a world whose laws of physics function in some way different from the way that they are generally accepted to function in ours.

What about personal narrative?

Personal narrative is great! But there is no shortage of venues devoted to them: we're trying to build a space for something else.

What about form?

All forms -- storytelling, poetry, comedy, music, readings, interpretive mime -- are acceptable, as long as the content lands somewhere in the genres above!

What if I do something outside those boundaries?

We don't screen or censor anything! And we totally get that a lot of these genre definitions are blurry. That said, if you consistently perform straightforward stories about your childhood or something, you may no longer be given priority.

How long do I have?

5-7 minutes! We'd love to hear all of your work, but we also want to create space to hear others. Run over, and you'll be politely asked to conclude.

Content restrictions?

None. While we appreciate the importance of safe spaces, we also appreciate the importance of unsafe spaces, in which writers can experiment with edgier material. In this instance, our open-mic is truly open. What that means? If, hypothetically, a Klansman were to hit the stage and deliver a white power creed, they would still get their 5-7 minutes (as long as there was, like, a robot or an elf in it or something).

That said, "open" doesn't mean that nobody judges -- it means that the audience does. I imagine that said Klansman would probably be booed off the stage. I'm just saying that the host won't yank you off with a hook. We're free-speech absolutists, and we recognize that that occasionally comes with an uncomfortable price.

Can I use notes?

Absolutely! We're believers in both the oral and literary traditions.

That seems a like lot of restrictions. I'm nervous.

Don't overthink it. If you've got a goofy idea, feel free to show up, try it, see how it goes, and talk to us afterwards. We may judge. But we're Minnesotans. We know how to judge quietly.