Monthly Archives: February 2015

Earths in Space: We Must Evolve excerpt #5

earths-in-space-v2-front-coverEarths in Space: We Must Evolve has arrived! The ebook is available, and so is the paperback edition. It’s not absolutely necessary to read the first book, but I certainly won’t stop you.

Let’s have another excerpt, shall we? We shall…

*****

“Good evening, Amena.”

Amena glanced at her before returning her gaze to the moon. “Hey, darling. Sleeping troubles?”

The way she said “darling” with the dropped g … No, it was probably nothing, Quin assured herself. Mere fanciful wishing.

“You could say. My apologies if I’m intruding.”

“You’re intruding on nothing. No worries.”

The “nothing” in this context implied a vacant mind, a person possessed of no deeper thought than her own social standing. But for all her enigmatic nature, Quin was sure of one thing: Amena was the least shallow person she had ever met. “When you look to the sky, what is it you see?”

The question earned Amena’s full attention, and she seemed delighted to respond. “The electromagnetic spectrum. Some of it, anyway. Have you heard of—”

“It sounds intriguing, but I must confess to ignorance on the subject.”

“It’s okay. Word just hasn’t gotten around yet. Anyway, basically, the electromagnetic spectrum is—it has to do with these wavelengths, a whole range of wavelengths.” Her hand swam through the air, bobbing up and down at regular intervals. “The widest could be as big as the universe, potentially, while at the other end, they get as small as the tiniest building blocks of the ittiest bittiest little thing.” Her arms continued to gesture, spreading far apart and swiftly pinching tight together, and then her hands just sort of rolled forward with her speech, as if necessary to siphon off her excess enthusiasm. “Within that, there’s this sliver of a sliver we call visible light. This whole huge spectrum—universe-level huge—and our eyes only pick up a sliver. We’re missing out on a lot.”

Quin looked at the bright moon, wondering what else bounced off it.

Amena’s arms drifted to her sides, and she sounded almost melancholy. “There’s so much more going on than we’ll ever see.”

*****

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Super Comics: The Amazing Spider-Man #121 & 122 (1973)

New post over at Smash Cut Culture!

Amazing-Spider-Man-121-CoverSpoilers for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 ahead!

Don’t read if you’re still planning on seeing it! Avert your eyes!

The Silver Age of comic books arguably ended with a two-part Spider-Man storyline from 1973 titled “The Night Gwen Stacy Died.”

Written by Gerry Conway and drawn by Gil Kane, the story delivers exactly what the title says—though, to Marvel’s credit, they didn’t reveal the title until the end of the first part. Unlike in today’s spoiler-filled world, Gwen Stacy’s death came as a shock to ‘70s readers.gilkane-amazingspider-man-122

In the comics, Gwen was Peter Parker’s first love, first appearing way back in The Amazing Spider-Man #31 in 1965. Mary Jane Watson, whom Peter would eventually marry, was introduced as a romantic rival in #42. But Mary Jane wound up being the livelier character—a vivacious young woman who initially came across as shallow and flighty but was simply masking her true heart. Gwen, on the other hand, was just a nice girl.

So, to prevent Peter Parker from marrying a one-dimensional woman, the folks at Marvel decided to kill off Gwen.

It was one of, if not the first time the hero failed to save the girl—and not just Spider-Man, but super-heroes in general. Sure, they’d screw up from time to time, especially the Marvel ones, but outside of their origin stories, they seldom or never experienced irrevocable failure.

The rest can be found here.

Earths in Space: We Must Evolve excerpt #4

Earths in Space: We Must Evolve has arrived! earths-in-space-v2-front-coverThe ebook is available, and so is the paperback edition. It’s not absolutely necessary to read the first book, but I certainly won’t stop you.

So…excerpt? Yes, time for another excerpt…

*****

Amena materialized in Renaissance Italy—which wasn’t actually Renaissance Italy, but it sure bore a striking resemblance. It pretty much matched how she pictured it. Smelled even worse, though, but maybe the architecture would stun her nose after it finished stunning her eyeballs. As she clung to the shadow of a tight alley, she wondered if any of these ornate buildings could boast interior artwork on par with that of the Sistine Chapel.

Well. That was a lovely half-second during which she could forget her present company and situation.

“What do you see?” Sharp asked.

“More than you, I’d wager, but I’m sure you’ll tell me the correct answer.”

“Look at the natives.”

Yeah, she got where he was going with this. The street was full of men. From her inconspicuous hideaway, Amena listened to snippets of conversation as they passed. They conducted business, discussed philosophy, debated a new mathematical theorem, and so on. All very interesting, but the tableau felt incomplete.

“Where do you suppose the women are?” Sharp asked. “Perhaps the kitchens? Nurseries? Imagine if you were born here.”

“That is a terrible waste. Yes. That’s a shame—that and so much else. There’s a lot more wrong here than you’d ever notice. These people—the ones alive right now—they’ll never explore outer space. They’ll never even reach the moon. Their descendants will create such wonderful art these folks’ll never get a chance to appreciate. They’ll achieve scientific discoveries that would astound any one of them, that would seem so magical—but these people will never know. Yeah, it stinks that it takes so long to grow a civilization, but the payoff’s amazing. These guys might be too stupid to treat their women as people, but each generation will get a little smarter until that’s corrected.”

“They won’t, because I’m about to kill them.” Sharp tapped his badge. “Location Beta.”

*****

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