From King's speech to Rubel's castle - Off-Ramp for August 24, 2013

Claire Evans of YACHT on her new book, OMNI Reboot and the NSA

Credit: Alin Dragulin

Claire L. Evans and Jona Bechtolt of YACHT

Claire L. Evans is LA's own renaissance woman. She has a new book out called "High Frontiers," she's the singer in a band called YACHT and she's the editor of OMNI Reboot, a new online science / sci-fi magazine. 

But for Evans, it's not just about being interdisciplinary. "It's important for me to find a place between science and science fiction and culture," she says, "a place where those intersecting disciplines can feed each other..."

Evans' fascination with science -- and one out-of-print science magazine in particular -- make her perfect for her newest role as editor of OMNI Reboot.

As a lover of the original OMNI magazine, the out-of-print "gonzo science" magazine published by Penthouse founder Bob Guccione, Evans was thrilled when she got the chance to go to New Jersey to view the "long lost OMNI archives." One thing led to another and Jeremy Frommer, the owner of the archives, asked Evans to head up the OMNI comeback. 

"It's the most terrifying thing I've ever done," Evans says. And her fear is understandable, as the original OMNI had a range of now legendary contributors, from William S. Burroughs and William Gibson to George R. R. Martin. But, Evans believes re-envisioning OMNI for the the web is a worthy cause. "I absolutely believe that there's a gaping void where OMNI was and hopefully we'll help to fill that void," she says. Evans plans to showcase the fiction and non-fiction work of writers and artists -- both beginners and the well- established. 

According to Evans though, the new OMNI will be a little different.

"I think that the way that we talk about the future has changed since the days of OMNI," Evans says.

"OMNI was very much published in the days of the computer age, there was a lot of utopian idealism and hopefulness about the future. And I think that the discourse has really changed and we don't really have that starry eyed, slick, dreamy point of view anymore."

Evans says there's "a self-reflexive paranoid undertone to conversation about technology now." But that doesn't mean she's given up on the future. With her band YACHT, Evans just released "Party at the NSA," a song she calls a "party protest anthem."  A sharp (but catchy) commentary on NSA surveillance, "Party at the NSA," comes complete with a  guitar solo by comedian Marc Maron


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