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.

patches on turntables - Small Copy

 

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

tesla napping 8x10crop - Small Copy

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.

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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ark-cover

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.

anything sounds like a symphony

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A continent gorges itself on new arrivals.
Vagabonds and lost animals collide at midnight

in alleys, sheets, and casinos for distraction,
denial, shouting “never” into darkness.

Anything sounds like a symphony
when you turn the volume all the way up.

—from Piano

Anything Sounds Like a Symphony: Poetry at Maximum Volume.

Matthew Howard, author of the punk-rock space-pirate series Meteor Mags, turns up the verse in this new collection of poems about music, stars, gravity, love, calico cats, and everything else. More than 70 poems!

Available for Kindle, iBooks, and Nook Books.

symphony - poetry cover - kindle smashwords.jpg

Free Kindle Preview.

memo from mars

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“I don’t get blogging.” Someone said that to me recently. What’s there to get? If you ever kept a diary, you get it. Or a dream journal. Or notes while you travel. Or maybe you just pretended to be Captain Kirk and kept an imaginary Captain’s Log.

Stardate: 29 June, 2016.

Halfway through the sixth year on Mars Will Send No More, this blog has outlasted the original five-year voyage of the bloody starship. Thank you, dear reader, for indulging my unhinged rantings about comic books, rough drafts of poems before they get a tune-up, and the never-ending struggle to create an illustration that’s worth a damn.

Strange things happen when you keep a journal. Whether it’s a private diary for your eyes only, or an exploration of something that interests you, you learn. You grow. You change. And you gain a greater perspective on events when you can step back and see where you’ve been.

This blog is a record of things that inspired me—mostly comic books, but also art and music and pop culture artifacts. A few thousand people drop by every day to plunder the archives. They’ve racked up 3.1 million page views since 2011, but they’re a pretty quiet bunch and always leave the archives in order when they leave.

If you’re new to this site and you love comic books even half as much as I do, start with my Top Ten Favorite Single Issues and its follow up Ten More Top Ten Favorites. These lists are also instructive for people who don’t “get” why anyone would be into what many people perceive to be children’s cartoons. You might also be interested in Indie Comics, which includes spotlights on small press comics the creators were kind enough to send for review.

And if you think I’m ending this post without a link to my glorious archive of dinosaur comics, you’re crazy!

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