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Book Review: The Martian, by Andy Weir

Once upon a time, there was a webcomic called Casey and Andy. Mad science, zany characters and lots of geekery, it was one of my favorites. I was sad, but satisfied, when it ended.

Then about a month ago Howard Taylor mentioned a hard sci-fi novel called The Martian, and that it was written by the same Andy Weir who once gave us Casey and Andy. I bought the book before I finished reading Howard’s post about it.

And it’s good.

Read the rest of this entry

Because pointing to cool stuff doesn’t take long.

Running out of time here, so instead of the big post I had in mind here’s a link to Girl Genius, one of the best comics ever made. It’s so good it got through my usual distaste of comic books. You can read it for free on the web, or you can buy books to curl up with or as gifts for your friends, loved ones, and me.

They call it a “gaslamp fantasy” series, but most people would call it “steampunk”. Set in a demented version of Europe in a world ruled(poorly) by mad science, Girl Genius follows the adventures of a large cast of larger-than-life characters as they try to survive the escalating chaos. The plot is thick and tangled and darts around like a crazed beast.

The art is so good that it’s a little shocking to look back at the beginning. It wasn’t bad then, it just looks that way compared to now. There are lots of neat little extras all over the website too, so be sure to explore. And apparently they made a novel while I wasn’t looking.

Out of time now, have a great day everyone.

Take good care of your tools

This is for Daily Post topic #277, which was to write a story ending with the relevent sentence.

Cold water washed quietly over the floor, shocking the dazed man lying in the wreckage back into motion. The air smelled of wet stone, oil and grease, and smoke with just a hint of ozone. The soft humming of the high voltage transformers was occasionally drowned out by the crackle of a Jacob’s Ladder, or the mewing of a cat. As the man groaned and sat up, his vision gradually cleared enough for him to peer through the haze at his surroundings.

The lab was a shambles. Nearly a third of the various machines and instruments had suffered some sort of significant damage. The Van de Graaff generator was a total loss, the glass tubes & beakers of mysterious colored liquids would need to be swept up and disposed with a dustpan and mop, the big water tank was leaking badly enough to put the piranhas in serious jeopardy, and the machine that goes “ping!” had pinged its last. No sensible person would dare use the elevating thunderstorm platform until all the rails had been thoroughly inspected, and there were probably books knocked off the cunningly built swinging bookshelf that disguised the outer door.

Worse than the damage and mess, though, was that the experiment had been set back months at least, and all for nothing. The only change in the cat at all was that its fur had turned bright pink. Having learned his lesson, it was the last time Dr. Jiggybones would let the crossbeams get out of skew on the treadle.

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