First of all I wanted to mention that the final episode of the first season of the awesome crowd-funded (via Vodo) science fiction series called “Pioneer One” just got released. For those that don’t remember it from my previous posts, the basic story is that an old Russian spacecraft crashes in Canada, although it’s at first assumed to be some sort of terrorist thing, so US Homeland Security takes charge of the situation. On board the ship is a sickly twenty year old boy and a note that says he’s from Mars. The evidence appears to suggest that at some point in the eighties before the Soviet Union collapsed, they launched a desperate mission to Mars which made it but was abandoned. Somehow the cosmonauts had a child, which they sent back. I don’t want to say more, but I really loved the concept and the (admittedly a bit amateur) show. Click the picture to visit their site and start watching episodes.
The sharp-eye’d may notice my name on the list of supporters on the final episode. I was very happy to help out and I wear my contributor t-shirt with pride. I totally hope they manage to find mainstream funding to continue the series. Unfortunately their ambitious plans for the growth of the series preclude doing the next season on a shoestring as well. Anyway, I just love reading about all the old dreams of space exploration — I mean, outside of amazing things like the flying nuclear bomb propelled cities of Project Orion, I could read the minutia on Astronautix endlessly (for example, seeing all the early plans for Lunar Bases like early US military bases and Mars Exploration like Von Braun’s from 1952, which I admit also breaks my heart thinking about all the space dreams we sacrificed to focus on war instead). Goddamn it really does break my heart to think how far from our potential we humans still are. We should be spreading the best parts of ourselves throughout the galaxy, rather than destroying our fragile world with the worst parts of ourselves. One day I hope we will mature.
While I’m mentioning things for fans of space travel, I want to recommend a graphic novel that’s appropriate for all ages. Kids will love it, as will adults. It’s called Laika, and I liked it so much that after reading it I bought a copy for my daughter (eight) as well. At first she resisted reading it because she thought a space history book would be boring, but once she started reading she couldn’t put it down. I assume it’s obvious but it’s a fictionalized account of the life of Laika, the first dog in space. A bit of a tearjerker two, because unfortunately it was a one-way mission. Unlike the American chimps, the Russians were much more concerned with getting their animal into space first rather than making sure they could also get back home alive. So the comic also explores the whether this tale is a milestone in space exploration (as most remember it), or simply a cruel and cynical piece of propaganda with dubious scientific value.
Of course depending on where your ethics lie, it’s pretty easy to find a copy of it to download with the abundance of file-search engines (torrents are so passé), but I really hope that if you do that, if you like it as much as me, you’ll buy it as well, either online or better yet, at your local indie comic book store.
Finally, I just uploaded a ton of keychains to a new section of my Etsy store called “Nugget Sculptures“. I call them that obviously because they have that organic lumpiness that kind of look like natural metal nuggets. Here are most of what I put up for sale. They’re all in the $10 – $25 range… But keep reading after the picture…
If you’re curious, I list how they’re made in the entries.
Now, if you want to guarantee yourself the one you want, by all means go ahead and order, but I wanted to say that I will be going away for most of the Christmas holidays and won’t be able to ship anything from the shop until probably January 4th (I’m “done” on the 2nd, and then I figure I’ll need a day to pack everything up for shipping). So like the last time I went away, I am going to run another hardcore sale with serious discounts so if you wait until tomorrow when I post that you will get a much better deal.