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(Jon sez:)

Your Writer: Jon Kilgannon Here I sit in my hotel near the entrance to Grand Canyon National Park. I have used the Internet to look up the locations of fossil beds and hiking trails, and I'm hoping that the skies aren't cloudy tomorrow night so I can go stargazing in a sky that's not light-polluted. (I live, and always have lived, on the east coast of the United States, smack dab in the middle of the biggest conurbation in history. I'm usually lucky if I can see the Big Dipper.) This is not how I imagined life at the beginning of the third millennium would be, back when I was thinking about it as a child in the early 1970s. There were rather more robots and spaceflights in my preschool imagination.

However, all things considered, I'll take the current moment. Tomorrow I'll take my notes gleaned from the Internet and go walk along the edge of the Grand Canyon to look for those fossils. What does it matter that I had imagined, as a small child, that I would now be walking the rim of the Valles Marineris on Mars? I have hundreds of miles of canyon to explore, and a beautiful wife who accepts that I'm going to walk around poking at rock strata and peering over mile-deep cliffs. This is enough, and even more than enough.

And the page, above? Some day soon, it'll be important that Dryden was apologetic.

(Mark sez:)

Your Artist: Mark Sachs Here's a fun MoS fact: Although Jon of course writes the comic, it's my department to actually divide it up into pages and pace out what happens on each one.

Ain't I a stinker?

That said, today's page very nearly didn't get done because I literally could not move -- was trapped, rooted in place, paralyzed -- until I had finished reading John Birmingham's new Axis of Time novel, Designated Targets and holy cats gosh wow omg. I recommend it to everybody in the world, or at least anybody in the world who'd like to see what happens when a carrier battle group from 2021 AD gets thrown back to the middle of World War II.

I also wanted to drop some science on you tonight. Head over here and scroll down the page to "Approach to the Black Hole at the Galactic Core." I think you'll like it.