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Review: 'Lagrange' by Phil Guesz

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (7 votes)

The book cover, showing the fragmentary remains of something floating in space.They called Marvin a chicken. And he was. (But only 5%.) He also plays the piano.

In the far-flung, space-traveling future, genetic manipulation has created a small subculture of modified humans that aren't exactly well-respected, but people will at least have sex with them and pay for the privilege. Marvin is pilot of the Pussy Pod, a small ship that safely transports people to and from the Henhouse, a brothel that sits just outside the limits of a space station's jurisdiction.

Legion Printing, May 2012, 78 pages. Available in eBook from Amazon.

Marvin's not a sex worker, but he respects them and cares about them. If he's a trifle ambivalent about his cattle car full of Johns, who can blame him? He's an excellent pilot and deserves more in his life. He shouldn't need to be covered in feathers, but his boss insisted because of the Henhouse's name. For Marvin, every day is a struggle to do his job well and not be bitter. He simply doesn't have the connections to find better work. But a man's got to make a living, even if it's just chicken feed.

Review: 'JumpJet Rex' (PC)

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (3 votes)

JumpJet RexThis is one small step for dino, and one giant leap for sauruskind. JumpJet Rex is a retro action platformer where you play as the first dinosaur astronaut. Rex's casual space exploration becomes a call from his species to save them from an asteroid bearing down upon the planet. Will Rex be able to save the dinosaurs? Or will they go extinct? The answer depends on whether you can guide him and his jet boots skillfully enough to survive.

Monkeys… In… Space!

Life is a scary adventure on board Space Base 8. At least from the point of view of Cargo, the base’s resident Rocketship Crash Test Monkey. Cargo, along with a menagerie of aliens and robots, are the “stars” (that’s a joke) of Space Base 8, an on-line comic strip created and illustrated by David Scott Smith. Check out the Space Base 8 web site to see the latest comic and find out about picking up the first compilation book, Blast Off! It’s available as an e-book, in print, and as a special “artist’s edition” which includes a free personalized sketch.

image c. 2015 by David Scott Smith

image c. 2015 by David Scott Smith

 

Dogs… in… SPACE!

In 2010 Russia’s Centre of National Film gave the world Space Dogs, a CGI animated feature that celebrated the memory of Strelka and Belka (the first animals ever to survive a trip rocketing into orbit) by re-imagining them in a science fiction adventure. Now one of the same directors (Inna Evlannikova) has returned to bring us their further adventures in Space Dogs 2, also known as Space Dog: Adventure to the Moon. Epic Pictures has picked up international distribution rights for the film. According to their web site, the plot goes like this: “When the world’s most precious monuments disappear before everyone’s eyes, an unlikely team of two legendary Russian canine astronauts named Belka and Strelka, a heroic American monkey named Bonnie, and Belka’s brave teenage son Pushok jet off to the dark side of the moon to investigate the mystery.” The site also has a link to the trailer. Here’s another Russian film that is slowly making its way around North America in specialty screenings, so look for it. (It’s also available on DVD at least some places, apparently.)

image c. 2014 Epic Pictures

image c. 2014 Epic Pictures

Raccoon in Space!

Welcome to 2014! Today, Disney/Marvel released the first official publicity photo from the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy film, and it features the clearest view yet of Rocket Raccoon that you don’t have to still-frame to get. They also put out the following synopsis for the movie: “An action-packed epic space adventure, Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits — Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora, and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Peter discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand — with the galaxy’s fate in the balance.” Those of you who have followed the Guardians comic book may recall that Rocket Raccoon develops a close bond with Groot the tree-guy through the series. We’ll see what happens here. Guardians is blasting off in theaters this August.

Animation: The 'Clangers' are returning

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

From 1969 to 1972, BBC-TV presented a series of 26 10-minute stop-motion animated children’s episodes about the Clangers, tiny pink mouse-like denizens of another planet, and their cook, the Soup Dragon. The series was popular with British children and parents alike.

The Cartoon Brew has announced, in an article by Neil Emmett, that Clangers (or The Clangers) will make a comeback in 2015, with 52 new episodes for CBeebies in Britain and the preschool channel Sprout in the U.S. The new series will be produced in stop-motion animation of knitted puppets by Peter Firmin, the original puppet maker and puppeteer (now 84), with writing supervision by Daniel Postgate, the son of the creator and original writer, Oliver Postgate. The article contains one of the original 10-minute episodes.

Coming from the 24th-and-a-Half CEN-tury…!

The Duck Dodgers TV series — based, as if you didn’t know, on the Chuck Jones-directed cartoon Duck Dodgers in the 24th 1/2 Century — ran on Cartoon Network from 2003 to 2005. [My, was it really that long ago?  Sheesh... Ye ed-otter] Besides the obvious cast of Daffy Duck as Duck Dodgers, Porky Pig as The Eager Young Space Cadet, and Marvin the Martian as the terrible Commander X-2, the show featured a host of Warner Brothers characters in bit roles — not to mention new characters like the dreaded Martian Queen. The regular voice cast included well-known voice actors like Joe Alaskey, Bob Bergen, Richard McGonagle, and John O’Hurley, as well as Michael Dorn (from Star Trek: The Next Generation) and Tia Carrere (as the Martian Queen). Now Warner Brothers Home Video have (finally!) released the first 13 episodes on DVD in a collection entitled Duck Dodgers – Season 1: Dark Side of the Duck. It’s available now in stores and on-line everywhere.


image c. 2013 Warner Brothers Animation

Review: 'Lagrange', by Phil Geusz

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

LagrangeLagrange is one of Phil Geusz’s slighter pieces. The novella appeared in the Sofawolf Press magazine Anthrolations #8, November 2006, and was reprinted in the online Furry magazine Anthro #25, September-October 2009. Now here it is as a separate booklet from Legion Publishing in hardcover, trade paperback, or Kindle editions, your choice.

It may also be the only high-tech astronautical erotic comedy-drama that you ever encounter. Don’t miss it.

Legion Printing, January 2012, hardcover $5.99+$5 s&h (91 pages), trade paperback $3.99+$5 s&h, Kindle $2.99.

Monkeys… in… Space!

And speaking of animal “companions”, try this far-out adventure for size: “From the outer reaches of space, the Space Hustlers kidnap, blow-up, extort, or just give well-deserved noogies to those who stand in their way! Joined by a Confucius alien kung-fu monkey and a semi-conscious robot, street knowledge clashes with ancient philosophy as the Space Hustlers accomplish any mision, just so long as they don’t kill each other first!” Steve Owen, writer and illustrator, presents the Space Hustlers graphic novel in trade paperback. It’s coming this November in black & white from Hey Drude Productions. Check it out at Westfield Comics too.


image c. 2012 Hey Drude

Interview: 'DSV Nautica' creator Rei Vegan

Your rating: None Average: 4 (3 votes)

I had the pleasure of interviewing Rei Vegan earlier this year, starting back in March. Due to a busy schedule, the interview wasn't completed until April. Final exams got in the way of editing, so some topics brought up will be out of date. Thank you for your understanding.

My questions and comments are not to be taken seriously. Also, this interview is pretty long. Might want to grab something to eat.
Rei Vegan

Isiah Jacobs: Good evening, Rei Vegan, thank you so much for joining me tonight!

Rei Vegan: Good evening Don, the pleasure's all mine.

Isiah Jacobs: So let's see here, you're obviously very well known for your web comic, DSV Nautica [NSFW], one of my personal favorites, I hate to admit, but you've actually been doing this whole furry thing for quite a while now. According to what the younger generation would call you, you're a "gray muzzle." You'll be turning 32 next week, is that correct?

Rei Vegan: This is indeed correct. I'm kind of fond of the term "gray muzzle" myself; it makes me imagine myself on the porch yelling obscenities at kids on my lawn or some such.

Isiah Jacobs: What, like yelling at them to stop their furpile?

Rei Vegan: -and listening to that dot matrix printer noise they call Dub Step. *chuckles*

Animorphs in Space

So, your humble ed-otter returns from the 2012 edition of Further Confusion in Northern California, with lots of stuff to report. Including such items as…

Czech mole to 'stow away' on Endeavour's final mission

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Space Shuttle Endeavour may be getting a stowaway – a hand puppet of Krtek, a mole created by Czech cartoonist Zden?k Miler in 1956. [Spottacus]

Krtek is to travel with Andrew Feustel on the ship's final mission, planned for 19 29 April.

That's no Moon...

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http://www.spaceflightnow.com/cassini/040726mimas.html

Ok... maybe it is.

I wonder if Lucasfilm arranged this picture to coincide with their announcement last saturday of the next movie's title "Revenge of the Sith". Or maybe it's actually a really, really expensive, but super-secret location shoot? [grins]

Close pass offers best Mars view since prehistory

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Sure, occasionally we have an eclipse that only happens once every decade, or comets we won't see for 70 years, but how about the best ever view of Mars in 60,000 years? For the true, once in a thousand lifetimes, event, just look up on Aug. 28, 2003, for the brightest show. Or any night for the next month, as the red planet is currently brighter than Jupiter.

Oldest planet *ever* found

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Scientists have just found the oldest planet in the known universe, and likely anywhere else for that matter -- 12.7 BILLION years old, quite literally almost as old as the universe itself. It's a Jupiter-size monster, and the folks who found it are both excited and very startled by their find. This may change a lot of thinking as to just how long life has been around, as the discoverers claim this proves it may well have had an Earth-like companion originally. You can read more here.