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(Jon sez:)

Your Writer: Jon Kilgannon Mark and I sent at least four emails back and forth about those binoculars Caprice is using. Mark wanted to know where they came from; I said they were nanotech, extruded from her smart clothing. Mark wanted me to know I was obviously insane. I said that he was accepting spacecraft held together by action-at-a-distance control of vectors, and so he really couldn't be raising doubts about the science of nanotech...

Seriously, though, the appearance of the binoculars out of seeming thin air is due to the Engines of Creation miracle of nanotechnology.

I think, to a large degree, we have been trained by shows such as Star Trek to accept the big, obviously-imaginary technology and to reject the more possible technologies. A Phase-Inversion Bolognium Ray (or whatever) is just silly; whereas one can look at something like self-assembling nanotech and quibble with it in a number of reasonable ways. How does it transfer the energy needed to do work? How does it deal with overheating? Such questions, contrarily enough, make the nanotech device seem much less "real" than the Giant Bolognium Cannon - even though the Bolognium Cannon is complete fantasy while there are colleges and military labs working on nanotechnology right now.

This week's icon is Benjamin's boss, Gustave Nyerere, with his distinctive moustache and his furrowed brow.

(Mark sez:)

Your Artist: Mark Sachs The Space Marines reappear, if only for a panel or so. I really like drawing those guys -- not only do they have really cool uniforms, but due to my frequently lackadaisical attitude towards contiuity they seem to be armed with completely different guns every time they appear. This time around they're carrying Planetside-style man-portable chainguns.