For Your Bradbury Award Consideration

The production script for  my first play, “The Other Two Men,” is on the Bradbury Award Suggested Reading List for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation:

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America members may read the script here:

The script is set 800 years in the future in a colonized Milky Way galaxy. In this play, historians on an established colony world decide to clone two of their four planetary founders in order to solve the problem of what went wrong in their lives. These clones are raised in strict historical recreations of their 300-years-gone-by North America hometowns and are given the same military training as their originals.

This play is about the day the two young men meet.

They find themselves locked in one room until they solve an unspecified problem about the past. Some things go wrong:  historians on this colony planet have only cloned two of the four founding figures; the clones have figured out they are duplicates of famous long-dead men and everyone around them is an actor in a living history museum; and they’re two unique new people – not their original, heroic progenitors.

It is is a story about free will and predestination – what can and cannot be planned. It is about a relationship that do not fit conventional categories and a story that does not follow conventional patterns.

-Lisa Shapter


Deep background (Or:  (Nearly) Everything I Write is in the Same Universe) —

This script is based on an unpublished short story.   The play stands on its own, but it  is linked to an ongoing series of short stories now appearing in Black Denim Lit.  The prequel stories are:

This is Not a Love Story in Black Denim Lit (October 2015)  (How the originals of the two clones met.)

Inducement” in Black Denim Lit (2016)

Searching” in Black Denim Lit #8 (December 2014) (The Rain and the Resada mentioned in passing in the script)

Planet 50” in Black Denim Lit (July 2015) (A better view of Resada.)


These related stories are set in the same universe:

The World in His Throat in Things We Are Not: An M-Brane SF Magazine Queer Science Fiction Anthology (2009)

Life on Earth” in Expanded Horizons (January 2015)

Nightskyman Hope” in Expanded Horizons (January 2016)

No Woman, No Plaything” in Kaleidotrope (October 2012)  (Resada on her own.)

Planet 38” in Four Star Stories (Summer 2013)  (Another story about Resada on her own.)


I also have an unrelated alternate history novella published by Aqueduct Press:

A Day in Deep Freeze


Nearly all of my work is interconnected:  each work stands on its own but each piece adds depth and nuance to the others.  Those who read this script will know things about these characters that no one else knows.  (Readers of the short stories will appreciate the two original characters’ world and why their descendants might have wanted to clone them.  There was a draft of the script where the two originals and Rain and Resada had an entire conversation about the world they’d founded (and their worries for the place) but it didn’t end up in the production.)


The script also benefited immensely from the feedback and questions from the workshop reading by Generic Theater, and the specific and detailed revision suggestions of Susan Turner, Alan Huisman, Alex Pease, Collin Snider; and the careful rehearsal process at The Players’ Ring — with the sound advice of Tomer Oz, Emery Lawrence, Bailey Weakley, and the encouragement and wisdom of Todd Hunter, Barbara Lakin Newton, and master playwrights David J. Mauriello and Jim Kelly.  I was tremendously moved by the play’s reception and have made friends of fellow artists that I hold dear.

-Lisa Shapter

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