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Quantum Vibe
Strip 141 of Quantum Vibe
Today on Quantum Vibe: The Venus Agenda
Strip 141 - Click strip above to goto the next strip.
First Seen: Mon 2011-07-04
Story & Art: Scott Bieser - Sci-Fi Adventure Monday & Thursday.
Big Head Press

Quantum Vibe

A thousand years in the future, humanity has colonized worlds in nearly 100 galaxies, thanks to Quantum Vibremonic technologies developed five centuries earlier. Other new technologies have created various off-shoots of humanity and extended life expectancies five-fold. The story begins with how a mad scientist and his plucky assistant, along with their robot friend, brought humanity to the stars, and continues with the adventures of some unique people in fantastic places.

Quantum Vibe: This Means War (Part 1) - By Scott Bieser

Remembering L. Neil Smith [ Sep 6, 2021 ]

L. Neil Smith and Scott Bieser in 2009 after receiving the Prometheus Award for The Probability Broach: The Graphic Novel.

I've been having a hard time putting words down here. This is my third attempt at putting together a suitable, or at least coherent, collection of remarks about my friend who discorporated this last August 27th.

I use the term discorporated because that was a euphemism favored by Robert A. Heinlein, the grand master of classic sci-fi who was the author Neil most admired and sought to model his own work upon. It seems appropriate here. One of Neil's most-prized possessions was a letter he received, early in his career, from RAH himself, who told the younger Neil that he had found the correct balance of action, romance, and philosophy in his stories.

I've only known Neil since the late 1990s (which was HOW many years ago? Geebus) but he had a fairly large impact on my life. I found him via The Libertarian Enterprise web-magazine and presumptuously sent a graphic of The Bill of Rights bursting through the Eurostyle don't do this symbol which I'd rendered out in 3D Studio Max, and was an improvement on the low-rez drawing he had put together himself.

So we exchanged e-mails and I made some more art for him on occasion and next thing I knew we were making The Probability Broach: The Graphic Novel together and then I had moved from southern California to Cheyenne, Wyoming, partly to be closer to him as we collaborated on Roswell, Texas and Phoebus Krumm. However. after that Neil wanted to do a sequel to Roswell but I'd gotten tired of the 1950s and wanted to make stories set in the future – which I did when I embarked on my own QUANTUM VIBE series.

Were it not for Neil I don't think there would be a QUANTUM VIBE, or at least nothing closely resembling it. I learned much about storytelling by working with him, and by our association I acquired the core of an audience which sustains me to this day.

We remained friends and I continued to drive the 50 miles from Cheyenne to Fort Collins to hang out with him in the bleachers of the local ice-skating rink, where we chatted while also watching Neil's wife and daughter skating on the ice. On occasion I brought my sons down to join with them and I hope I wasn't too embarrassing as I stumbled around.

But then my wife, E.J., discorporated 40 years early and my family in Texas beckoned my sons and me home to heal, which we did. Neil continued writing stories, maintaining his optimism despite his declining health – he once told me he intended to be the world's first 400-year-old diabetic. I had hoped to return to Fort Collins once or twice to visit, but circumstances prevented me from making the trip, even for his Libertarian Futurist Society Lifetime Award acceptance in 2016.

Another friend of mine likes to speak of having an immortality project, something one does while in the world that makes an effect that continues after one has gone. Neil's immortality project, aside from his daughter Rylla, was his stories, which deserve to be remembered long after all of us have discorporated, ourselves.

-- Scott Bieser

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Transcript For Strip 141

Panel 1
External view of Spanish Wells approaching Venus, flying backwards against its deceleration. The planet is very large in the frame, about 40 thousand km distant.
Nicole (from ship): Unf! Couldn't Pinder spring for some electro-grav dampeners?
Seamus: I believe he said, 'dampeners are for sissies,' or something like that.
Panel 2
The ship is now about 12 thousand klicks from Venus – the planet is twice the size of the panel's height, but it is offset so we see the horizon arc and a bit of space to the right of it. In that section is Ishtar Station, a large space-station.
Captain Pinder (from ship): Attention all personnel: We are on final approach to Ishtar Station. Please remain strapped-in until we complete docking maneuvers.
Panel 3
Nicole and Seamus, and their luggage, make their way down a gangway. Seamus has his cane, and is struggling a bit.
Nicole: After 17 days of six gravs, the four gravs here make me feel light on my feet.
Seamus: {grunt} Not light enough for me, I'm afraid.
Panel 4
Nicole and Seamus emerge into a busy concourse.
Nicole: You should invent a personal electro-grav dampener for people, well, like yourself.
Seamus: First order of business after we're done with this project.
Panel 5
They walk by a large display informing us that 'this station is a joint project of:' and then the logos and names of Gensaxwal, Muc Ar Foulain, Omega-Tek, and HuoJiGong (Mars Robotics Corp). Nicole looks at it, Seamus ignores it.
Nicole: I was about to ask whose domain this is.



Panel 6
N & S are now on a moving walkway.
Nicole: So what's our agenda here?
Seamus: First, we check in to our hotel. Then, we take a shuttle to Staisiún Étaín.
Panel 7
They approach the entrance to Óstán O'Siodhachain .
Nicole: A hectic schedule, huh.
Seamus: I wanted to get business out of the way first ...

Panel 8
Cloase two-shot of Seamus and Nicole. Nicole is looking pleasantly surprised.
Seamus: I understand your Mother has been working at Pellucidar Station.
Seamus: There should be just enough time for a visit with her, if you like.

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Oglaf (NSFW)
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Quantum Vibe Story Contents © 2021 Scott Bieser
Framing Graphics © 2021 Big Head Press