#1 is out and just a trip to a comic store away (click here to find one near you). Radical Publishing is celebrating by offering free Shrapnel: Hubris #1 themed wallpaper, conveniently available in 1024 x 768, 1280 x 1024 or 1600 x 1200 format.
Shrapnel: Hubris is the follow up to Shrapnel: Aristeia Rising, the acclaimed science fiction comic series published by Radical, written by M. Zachary Sherman, and co-created by Mark Long and yours truly.
The Shrapnel series tells the story of a war across our solar system, colonists on terraformed worlds rising up against the expansionist Solar Alliance.
Wired described it as "a mash-up of some of my favorite things: take Gattaca, throw in
two parts Halo and a little bit of Greek mythology and Joan of
Arc, and you’re getting close. And paired with Bagus Hutomo’s
eye-popping paint-like illustrations, and you’ve got a recipe for a
compelling graphic novel."
Reviews for Aristeia Rising were excellent:
"An intense and intelligent story partnered with art that makes your eyes
drool." --Ain't It Cool News
"Hardcore science fiction fans should not miss this." --IGN
"It is, in a word, epic." --The Scoop
"What a great book! Radical hits another one out of the park with this
48-page premiere issue." --Comic Book Page
"Overall Grade: A. SHRAPNEL delivers a high octane future war story with
characters that you want to know. Run out to your local store and get
this book." --Comics And...
"Honestly, this is one the best books I've reviewed." --Comics Bulletin
"SHRAPNEL epitomizes everything that sci-fi comics should be." --Twelve
Now for Shrapnel: Hubris, Clinnette Minnis and I have taken over the writing duties from Zack, and though it's a tall order to live up to the excellent work he did, we've taken a crack at it, and advance reviews have been very positive:
"Lord, this is epic. If you thought
the first volume of the Shrapnel series was intense, brutal,
and dark, just wait until you get your hands on its follow up. If the
first issue is any indication of what's to come, then we all must
prepare for a firefight. This was such an amazing launching pad, setting
up the tremendous space opera that is about to land on comic shops over
the next few months." --Comics Bulletin
"Definitely worth the read." --Graphic Policy
"[Hubris] continues the high
quality storytelling and artwork that made Aristeia Rising such
a compelling and engrossing read... Writers Sagan and
Minnis manage to craft a continuation of the intelligently plotted and
character driven Aristeia Rising that looks to expand not only
on the setting and playing field of its protagonists to colonies beyond
Venus, but its intelligent commentary on relevant real world issues in a
new and fresh way as well." --Comic Book Bin
Congratulations to the wonderful Carolyn Porco, recipient of the 2010 Carl Sagan Medal for Excellence in the Communication of Science
to the Public.
Jonathan Lunine, newly elected member of the National Academy of
Sciences, chairman of the DPS prize committee, and Porco's long-time
colleague and fellow Cassini scientist said, "I cannot think of anyone
in our generation more deserving of this award than Carolyn."
The Sagan medal is the latest in a string of awards and honors
recognizing Porco's achievement in science communication. In 2008, she
received the Isaac Asimov Science Award from the American Humanist
Society, and Wired magazine selected her for its inaugural "Smart List:
15 People the Next President Should Listen To." In 2009, she received
the Lennart Nilsson Award, the most prestigious prize in scientific
photography, for her work in combining "the finest techniques of
planetary exploration and scientific research with aesthetic finesse and
educational talent." Also in 2009, she was awarded the Huntington
Science Writing Fellowship for both her written and oral presentation of
science to the public.
Carolyn's an extraordinary scientist and a long-time friend, and I couldn't be happier for her.
A BBC reporter recently interviewed me for a program they're doing about
the Pioneer Plaque, which provided me the happy opportunity to reflect on my mom and how her art might be remembered:
honestly. To know that your mother’s artwork is out there
perpetually voyaging, just waiting for a prospective extraterrestrial to
along and discover it is a surreal but strangely satisfying feeling.
after you and I are gone, that iconic man and woman will still be around
hand raised in greeting. It’s a fantastic kind of
immortality. For my mom, specifically, in the sense that her art
will live on long after her, but also for the human race as a whole.
Whatever foolishness we may do, there is a record of us. A
representation. Who we are, what we look like, where we come from.
It’s possible that the Pioneer Plaque will some disastrous day become
of the few relics of our now mighty civilization, but hopefully years
when we’re still going strong, our descendants will look fondly back at
space missions like Pioneer and Voyager and appreciate them for carrying
The Plaque says a lot about us, not only
to potential aliens, but to ourselves—it lives on as a commemoration of
what drives us to reach out to others, a commemoration of our hope
encountering life beyond the confines of our beautiful blue-green world
take our first fledgling steps into the vast cosmic dark.
I'm a fan of the bat. Have been ever since I first discovered my Gothic sensibilities learned addition and subtraction from the Sesame Street Count.
They're amazing little mammals and so often unfairly maligned as sinister when they actually comprise very little threat to humans. The chance of running into a rabid and/or vampire bat in North America is crazy low.
And I'm used to animal neighbors, having the good fortune of living in something of a natural wonderland. Just today, I've seen deer, rabbits, woodchucks, squirrels and--believe it or not--a wild turkey traipsing through the yard. So, really, a bat isn't all that remarkable and it's certainly no cause for alarm.
The other night we are walking up the steps. Something's inside the house and I've decided it's a sparrow. That's what it looks like in my inebriated state. Unlock the door, open it wide and gently shoo out the sparrow is my plan. But upon seeing this magnificent not-a-sparrow take wing, I found myself so enraptured by its dark chiropteran beauty that I immediately composed a poem in its honor.
By which I mean I yelled, "Holy shit, it's a fucking bat!"
The damn thing swooped at my head and I ducked and covered. I tried to shoo it out and again it swooped at my head and this primal fear hit me--my imagination saw it landing on my face, its sharp little teeth chewing at me. After the bite, of course, I'd have to give up the sunlit world, religious symbols, running water, consecrated ground and garlic. And, hey, I love garlic. So screw that noise--I abandoned the house to it.
Pat the exterminator came out the next day and we searched all through the house for the winged invader. Couldn't find it. "I swear I'm not making this up," I said. We looked and we looked and eventually it found us, ignoring Pat to swoop at my head once again.
"Nick, I am your totem animal!" it squeaked. "Follow me to a land of magical adventure!"
Sadly, I don't speak bat. And that's when Pat stunned it with my racquetball racket.
He didn't hurt it, just knocked it a little loopy, which gave him the chance to gather it into a container and me a chance to snap a picture to show you the monster critter in all its viciousness:
So congratulations to both of us for making it this far. Time to disengage the cryonic sleep setting on my blog as I've been busy during this time and have a few things I'd like to talk about. Let's see if I can be quasi-consistent with the online output this time around.
Just popping in to wish all of you a safe and happy New Year's Eve. I don't think I've properly expressed how deeply I appreciate all of you who have taken the time to write me. My best wishes to you all. Sorry to be quiet as of late; I'll try to be more communicative in 2010.
2010! What a faraway year that seemed once upon a time. Here's hoping it's a great one.
"The story is dark and gripping. Numerous subplots and twists are heightened by a surprise climactic revelation. Character developments are complex. The portrayals of the dark side of mankind in these characters are chilling."