now in print: The Lost Crew of the Volya IX

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Meteor Mags continues her space pirate adventures in The Lost Crew of the Volya IX. This 20,000-word story picks up where the collection Red Metal at Dawn left off.

Available in PaperbackKindle. iBookNook Book.Meteor_Mags_The_Los_Cover_for_Kindle

Join Meteor Mags, her cat Patches, and her pirate radio friend, the shotgun-toting Dr. Plutonian, as they face horror in a not-so-abandoned asteroid mine! Thrill to the savage combat of the alien mating ritual practiced by the invading dragons! Rock out as Patches takes over the digital turntables at an asteroid dive bar! Find out what Mags’ informant Kaufman takes with him on his last day as Chief Administrator of the Martian Warehousing Zone!

And cover your ears, because Mags and her crew are back—bigger, badder, and louder than ever!

About This Story:

The Lost Crew of the Volya IX begins on the night which ended the story Daughter of Lightning in the final pages of the Red Metal at Dawn collection.

A new amendment to the Musical Freedoms Act has placed Meteor Mags at the top of the list of the Solar System’s criminals. Inside the Port Authority, her informant Kaufman, Chief Administrator over all the Martian Warehousing Zone, has received orders to assist Mags’ enemies in planning a full-scale invasion of her club on Vesta 4. But Mags has yet to hear this news.

As told in Daughter of Lightning, Mags’ friend Dr. Plutonian left Vesta 4 to find a place to hide a mysterious object he discovered in space. Mags believes the object came from the machinery that transformed her cat in Patches the Immortal. The object has displayed powers of incredible destructive force, and it broadcasts an unearthly music not just as sound but on electromagnetic spectra only Plutonian’s specialized equipment can record.

Meteor Mags and her friend Slim, who runs a strip club where Mags likes to dance and sell stolen cargo, have been working on a revolutionary technology. Its details remain a mystery, but Mags and Slim have applied their combined mathematical genius to the problem.

For the complete history of Meteor Mags and her crew leading up to this story, please see the collection Red Metal at Dawn and Other Tales of Interplanetary Piracy, available on Kindle and as a 400-page illustrated paperback. Also available for iBook and Nook Book.

Bonus Art: Patches Takes Over.

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Bonus Art: Tesla Takes a Catnap. Available as a print!

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Bonus Art: Kick It! Available as a Print!

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Asteroid Underground Guest Column:Meteor Mags, 2027

Patches of Protest

Music is treason
Out here on the frontier
Where the laws of men and gravity lie broken

Music is treason
Freedom, fluid beats and rhymes
Your thoughts no longer slaves to culture

Music is treason
Super-conducted by wild memory
Patches of protest bloom here and there like islands

In the saxophone bell
In the subsonic pulse and cymbals
They never left. They never do.

indie comics spotlight: Lords of the Cosmos

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Jason Lenox of Ugli Studios has run seven successful Kickstarter campaigns since we featured him in 2012 (and again in 2015). This time he’s back with more awesome than ever before: custom-made toys!

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Lenox brings his original concept Lords of the Cosmos to life in their first stand-alone, double-sized issue. And he’s got action figures in the mix, too!

Dig these pics and then head on over to the Lords of the Cosmos Kickstarter to get your Overlord on!

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indie spotlight: line of thought

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Line of Thought by Peter Deligdisch is long overdue for a spotlight here at Mars Will Send No More. For maybe two years now, Line of Thought has inspired me. Filled with complex and often abstract drawings, this completely black and white book gives me an instant trip to an art museum. It’s the cup of ink-black coffee that wakes me up when my artistic spirit is lagging.

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Line of Thought by Peter Deligdisch

Peter’s newest work is called Almanac, which you can see at http://www.peterdraws.com/#almanac

Maybe you’ve already discovered Peter’s artwork on YouTube or, like me, on Reddit. Line of Thought collects many of his more polished works alongside a few odds and ends that make the book feel like an intimate look at the artist’s sketchbook. I like that kind of thing, but some reviewers criticized the book for not being print-quality reproductions and for including what they felt were doodles.

I enjoy Line of Thought‘s resemblance to underground and indie comics, and to zines, and to publications like Seattle’s Intruder which is entirely comics and art. (Intruder will soon publish its final issue after a pretty amazing run.) This book fits right in with works such as Rick Griffin’s Man from Utopia. It’s an art book, and I think my fellow comic book fans might dig it, too.

Peter works in several distinct styles, but most of his work fits in with what have recently been called zentangles. They are ornately detailed renderings of the plane along shapes which can be either swirling and chaotic, or geometric and orderly. You can make a zentangle out of something representational, or it can be abstract. And when you see Peter’s ink drawings, you can’t help but imagine coloring in all the tiny shapes.

Although I love this book, it may be a mistake to have it categorized in the coloring books category. It got some negative reviews for not really being a coloring book, and that sounds fair. On the other hand, many of the pieces in Line of Thought could totally work as coloring book pages, with a few alterations to the current format. That might include enlarging many of the pieces currently filling half a page (and thus sharing it with another piece). And, pieces with grey-scale shading could be omitted in favor of only pieces created in high-contrast black and white.

That’s not to say it would make me love the book any more, but it would position Deligdisch more accurately in the coloring books category. I’m perfectly content to pick up Line of Thought and flip through the pages whenever I need a reminder that anything is possible in art, that both chaos and order are beautiful and intertwined, and that it’s possible to create pure magic with only a pen and a piece of paper.

Buy Line of Thought by Peter Deligdisch in Paperback.

indie spotlight: tomb of the triceratops

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tomb of the triceratops cover

Click the cover for a free Kindle preview of Tomb of the Triceratops.

Tomb of the Triceratops takes you on a dinosaur dig where researchers and a group of young students uncover a realm where dinosaurs are still alive. The boys selected to go on this archaeological expedition risk their lives to free a triceratops from the clutches of its brutal, otherworldly tormentors.

And that’s just the beginning.

Author Michael Ajax seasons the story with plenty of dino facts that will surely please any dino-maniac. Between the action scenes, the characters are just as likely to discuss the biology of a Stygimoloch as they are their interpersonal conflicts. The people in this story are passionate about dinosaurs, and that makes it especially fun for those of us who share that enthusiasm.

Though action-packed, Tomb of the Triceratops keeps its language and violence in the “family-friendly” range. Even as an adult reader, I was pulled into the nightmarish struggle of the captive triceratops, but the level of detail and word choice did not venture into overly graphic territory. If you thought Jurassic Park and Rex Riders were fun, this is a good addition to your bookshelf.

The boy heroes of the story casually banter with each other, keep secrets from the adults, and have an unforgettable adventure in this first novel by Michael Ajax. Discover the mysteries inside the Tomb of the Triceratops in paperback or for just 99 cents in Kindle.

Author website: http://www.michaelajax.com/

 

diaries

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Diaries

At the galaxy’s edge float stars no eyes will ever see.
You set them out thoughtfully like candles
in a bedroom, or lanterns on a river.

Some say you care for none of them,
that you scattered them on a whim,
forgot all but the brightest,
then one day even those.

What if they knew your delicate precision,
how your heart ached to let each one go,
how every orb was a part of you, shining?

You have named them all
to keep diaries of their travels,
their ancient orbits and clusters
who spin in glowing whirlpools for eons.

All your stellar children, the solar seeds you planted,
who carve their initials in gravity and burn
for your pleasure, someday they will all be grown.

indie comics spotlight: Ark

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The 140-page graphic novel Ark focuses on the relationships and ideological conflicts within a spaceship’s crew whose mission is not what it seems. The crew is split between humans and animalistic “meta-humans” created by genetic experiments. Across this species gap, some find love and friendship, and others find distrust and resentment.

As the Explorer spaceship approaches the edge of the solar system, communication from Earth has ceased, and no one knows why. Tensions flare between the metas and the humans. A mysterious message and a murder provide the sparks to ignite the flame.

Author Peter Dabbene tells the tale through dialogue for most of the book, and at first glance there is more talking about conflict than actual conflict. But Ark is not science fiction in the vein of Predator or Aliens, where high-tech shoot-outs and physical violence rule the day. Ark more resembles vintage Isaac Asimov stories where character responses to the central concept, and how it affects their relationships, are the true heart of the story.

Without spoiling it, we can say that Dabbene leaves the tale open-ended. Ark could easily be the set-up for a longer, ongoing series. After all, the Explorer logo on the cover bears the Latin phrase “sic itur ad astra,” which means “thus one journeys to the stars.” It could be that the ill-fated ark’s tragedy at the edge of the solar system has laid the foundation for even greater adventures in the uncharted vastness of the galaxy.

ARK (published by Arcana Comics). Available digitally at www.comixology.com ($4.99). Available in print ($19.95) at Arcana’s website and on Amazon.

See more books from this author at http://www.peterdabbene.com/books.htm

drifter

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Drifter

You should stick around sometime.
When you stay in one place long enough
you get to watch people change.

Do you remember the girl too scared to fly?
She grew wings. You missed it.
Everyone goes too fast and drifts apart.

No, it’s true. She grew wings.
If you don’t believe me, then
go to the river any afternoon.

Call her name. You can see her soaring
when the clouds break apart.
Sunset is the only thing to survive.

mermaids

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Mermaids

Dead men in the summer. The loss
comes seasonally, as periodic as tidal
motion, and the townspeople understand
the tide. But they cannot stop it.

Every year, their men hear mermaids
singing on waves that swallow whales and
anchors and things we have not discovered.

The song has not changed in millennia.
Its chorus tells a sensuous dream, a hook
baited with a brightly naked lure.

Fishermen and husbands in a trance
walk into the ocean. The moon offers
guidance, but they do not need it.
They know where promises are fulfilled

in melody, in scaly embraces and breasts
which float like gravity has no power.
Men do not know they drown.

They feed at nipples below the surface
without questioning their joy,
and then oblivion.

The next morning, wives and daughters cry
over empty spots at the breakfast table. Women
know nothing of what their men discover
when they venture into saltwater and never return.

Then shells and gold and gleaming
treasures line the beach as payment for
misappropriated goods.

Summer, with your storms and madness,
your lightning cracks along the shore,
and no one can deny its burning.

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