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(Jon sez:)

Your Writer: Jon Kilgannon I'm not going to say much about this page. I'll just let it speak for itself.

(I do have to mention, though, that I love those long vistas of Alnaschar.)

(Mark sez:)

Your Artist: Mark Sachs In case anyone was wondering: If at any point in the future I am partnered with somebody to complete an important task, and that somebody is chosen on the basis of how "compatible" they are with me, I want to emphasize that I am perfectly okay with that.

On a random whim I recently picked up the manga collection of Planetes by Makoto Yukimura, and was surprised to discover it was my new favorite thing. Planetes turns out to be a genre I've always been in love with despite the lack of any titles in it at all -- the futuristic slice-of-life story. Rather than elite soldiers or adventurers with a great destiny, the protagonists of Planetes are orbital garbage men, tasked with cleaning up the run-down satellites and abandoned rocket boosters that clutter near-Earth space in the year 2074. The characters are interesting and appealing, but just as much a part of the story's greatness is its background: in the late 21st century Earth is dependent on raw materials and fuel from space, so space travel and lunar cities are a regular, everyday thing. But the technology is also regular and everyday -- no stardrives or antigravity, people get where they're going with chemical rockets and spaceplanes. I'll just finish up saying, if you like MoS, check this out.

Between all the manga I'm reading, the Japanaradio streaming over WinAMP as I write this, and playing too much Final Fantasy X-2, I've really been getting in touch with my inner nerd lately. It's kind of nice, actually.