August 27, 2002

I've done some reading recently, and I've enjoyed it. Allow me to make some recommendations:

First, Robert Reed's Marrow -- this book was an absolute head-trip, with the most convincing slower-than-light society I've yet seen created by an author, coupled with the biggest spacecraft, and the most convincing (and SCARIEST) nigh-immortal humans. And that's just the backdrop. The story itself is compelling, cohesive, and convoluted. I read it, and at first I thought "Hey, I'm not a bad writer. I can do this kind of stuff." Then I read further and realized this was one of those "professional driver on closed road" sorts of situations, where the thrill ride LOOKS easy, but don't you dare try this at home.

Second, John Ringo's Gust Front, which I'm not done with yet. I've had to force myself TWICE to put it down. Once in order to go to work, and a second time in order to work on Schlock Mercenary (which John has been kind enough to claim to enjoy, so go buy his book already). It's the continuation of the story begun in A Hymn Before Battle, and while reading it I feel like I'm actually in the military. Except for the parts about bleeding, and being muddy and dying and all that. Still, it's got a grip on a big chunk of my brain, and I really need to finish it.

Third, I visited Crossgen's website, and read one of their free online comic books. And now I want to buy a subscription. The resolution on the graphics was a little weak, and you'll need lots of bandwidth and a compatibly plugged-in browser, but it's still pretty cool. I expect I'll drop $75 on the lifetime subscription sometime before Christmas (after which they've threatened to raise their prices). My only regrets: I don't work as a writer for Crossgen, with a team of pencillers, inkers, and colorists rendering my universe for me. Oh well. It wouldn't be Schlock Mercenary if it wasn't schlock.

In unrelated news, watch this space. There's a Schlock Mercenary charitable-cause bonus strip coming up TOMORROW in conjunction with a special webcomic event hosted by AltBrand. For the first time EVER I'll be auctioning off original strip artwork, rather than the concept art or the marker goodies I've sold for personal gain in the past. And this time, the proceeds go to charity.

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