SPIN Special Issue on the Future
(November '95)

My touristic adventure in paper publishing is now complete. But I was already spoiled by the web, where it is never too late to revise, and space allocation doesn't feel like such a straight jacket.

Here, then is what paper kept me from doing:

Topspin (The Editorial)

Check it out here. I decided to attempt an ambitious editorial in a very small space. Here's a further elaboration of the ideas expressed in the piece, as well as links for further exploration.

Saving Squirrels from the Vatican's attempt to convert Extraterrestrials

I was so amazed that this story was true! It's the sort of thing that a satiric novelist couldn't come up with.

I proposed an illustration based on this sketch of what an alien might make of the Vatican's efforts.

How on Earth (NOT) are aliens supposed to understand Jesus? I thought they might get confused and think a suirrelish version of themselves had been crucified. We didn't run this art because it turned out there already was ANOTHER crucifix image in the essays section.
Yes, it's true (as stated at the end of the squirrel essay) that I've developed an obsession with giant squid. Here are some squidlinks to follow.

About that digital tattoo image...

As if the tattoo image was not controversial enough as it is, I almost included another challenging image in SPIN. Here is the caption that might have been:

Computer-assisted surgical tools are being developed that will make it easier to plan imaginative body changes. It will also be safer and easier someday to perform surgery using computerized instruments. Is it possible that plastic surgery will become a folk art? First would come a period of severe extremity. A new generation might reject the male and female genders and the genitals that come with them. They would invent new genitals that fit together in startling ways, perhaps in threes.

After this shocking period, self-surgery might become subtle. The body's form will be a vision of the spirit of the soul. Some people will start looking more like animals or aliens. Some will shock or disturb, but many will seek an honest form of who they most truly are.

And here's my sketch:
And here are the instructions that I sent to the Photoshop artist who was alienating a model:

It is important that when the reader sees the image that it looks like a real person who started out normal and then had surgery. The eyeballs should stay the same size, for instance, because that cannot be changed surgically. Along the same lines, it would be great to do something subtle with the hands and feet, but the bone lengths shouldn't change. The hands and feet should still appear to be functional.

A tail might be nice with this pose. It turns out that people are sometimes, though very rarely, born with tails naturally, and there is a nerve bundle waiting to be activated to control a tail- so a real, working tail could be built surgically out of some of the spare muscles and tendons in the leg and connected to this nerve bundle.

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