When we last left our heroes, Edzl the Nebboid and cyberdog Norbert the Wiener, they had just been abducted by aliens! Edzl and Norbert were seized by a tractor beam and pulled up into the sky towards a sinister-looking spacecraft!
E-books sometimes have their advantages. The chief one is that you can instantly gratify your craving for a particular book. I’ve often given in to that craving myself. Even a cheapskate like myself can borrow an e-blook from the Library in an instant if the book happens to be available.
I was recently desperate for some entertaining fiction and borrowed David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks from using my Free Library account and the “Libby” app on my old iPad. The novel was long-listed for 2014 Man Booker prize and won the 2015 World Fantasy Award.
There’s a page in it where a facsimile of one side of a postcard is printed at the top of the page. The image includes a message intended to be the writing of one of the characters, but the script is 90 degrees to the text of the book. You can read it, with a little effort, of course, but if it were a hardcopy it would be much easier. Just turn the book and read! But if you try to turn an e-book, the page just re-orients itself to the same configuration.
This can be frustrating with interesting images that you might want to examine from a variety of angles. As an art student, our teachers often had us turn our painting upside-down to see the design structure in a fresh way.
I don’t know why I decided to give Captain Krool an upside-down head. I was aware of an old comic strip by Gustav Verbeek called “The Upside-Downs.” I thought I first saw samples in the wonderful book, The Smithsonian Collection of Newspaper Comics, but Verbeek’s work isn’t to be found in my old worn copy of the book. Verbeek’s strip was designed to be read conventionally, left-to-right, then to continue the strip, you turned it upside-down and the characters, “Little Lady Lovekins and Old Man Muffaroo,” switched identities and their environment transformed and the story was completed.
It’s a wonderful example of how perception is informed by our conceptions. We rely so much on our experience and conditioning to see the world that it can be a challenge to see it afresh, with unbiased eyes. This is something the Buddha taught 2600 years ago and it’s as true as ever.
I also incorporated “micro-minaturized ‘microbots” as a sci-fi element in reference to nanotechnology. Check out this 2015 article in Time called “Here’s Why Nobody’s Talking About Nanotech Anymore.” The buzz around nanotech has evaporated, but the engineering science around the technology continues to advance and progress. One science-fiction writer has suggested that “quantum uncertainty” may have derailed it, but both quantum tech and nanotech are still developing.
And quantum computing, still in its infancy, made a breakthrough recently, when Google’s quantum computer allegedly solved a problem that would have taken a supercomputer 10,000 years to finish! See this Vox article>>
Surprises are in store for Captain Krool regarding his captives even before Norbert’s own version of nanotech kicks in. Join us next week and see for yourself!
Asteroid Stu and the Mind-Duel, 54 pages, black and white interior, is also available in Kindle and hardcopy formats from Amazon. Both comics include Edzl, the Nebboid from the Vague Nebula, who will be the lead character in a running feature story, “Edzl’s Awakening: Or, Yes We Have Some Nibbanas.” This will be part of Pause & Reflect Comics, currently in progress.
Multiverse Comics and Stories, 106 pages, full color, is available from Amazon in Kindle and hardcopy formats.