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Quantum Vibe
Strip 26 of Quantum Vibe
Today on Quantum Vibe: Wayne and Alissa
Strip 26 - Click strip above to goto the next strip.
First Seen: Mon 2011-01-24
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 26

Panel 1
Aerial view of 26th-Century Brussels. The city should be vaguely recognizable from today but also have various newer structures, traffic-ways, etc. A thin haze permeates the lower levels.
Caption: Brussels, European District.
Caption: Commercial capital of Western Terra.
Voice (from somewhere in city): How long will you be gone this time?
Panel 2
The luxurious bedroom of Wayne Bobinardi. Wayne is overseeing the packing of his luggage, which is being done by an android servant. Also in the room is Alissa, Wayne's wife. Wayne is tall, tan, broad-shouldered, greying at the temples. Alissa is of Armenian descent and still retains much of her youthful glamour.
Wayne: Depends on how things go, Alissa. Anywhere from two weeks to several months.
Panel 3
Two-shot of Wayne and Alissa.
Alissa: Wayne, Jack will be graduating in May.
Wayne: Excellent. Boston University is a great admin school.
Panel 4
Alissa looks at Wayne scornfully. Wayne is slightly embarrassed by his gaffe.
Alissa: Jack couldn't get in to Boston, remember? He's been at Van Rompuy Politek for three years now.
Wayne: Oh! Uh, that's right, how silly of me.
Panel 5
The android servant has completed packing the large bag. Wayne opens the smaller case.
Wayne: Thank you, Cleo, I will pack my own toiletries kit.
Servant: Yes, Sir.
Alissa: It would mean a lot to Jack if you could attend the ceremony.
Panel 6
Wayne has moved into the adjacent bathroom, is gathering up shaving gear etc for his kit.
Wayne: If time permits, I would be delighted.
Alissa: Can't you make the time? Jack really looks up to you.

Panel 7
Wayne turns to face Alissa, gently placing a finger under her chin and looking at her levelly.
Wayne: My wife, we have often had this conversation.
Wayne: The needs of the Mercorp outweigh the needs of its officers.
Alissa: Or their families, yes, I know.

Panel 8
Toiletries kit assembled, Wayne walks out of the bathroom with his wife following in his wake. He glances back at her with some annoyance.
Alissa: My parents were also officers.
Alissa: But what is the great Mercorrp GENSAXWAL to a boy who needs his father?

Web-comics Scott Reads

SPACETRAWLER
Grrl Power
Schlock Mercenary
Unsounded
Diesel Sweeties
Girl Genius
XKCD
Drive
Day By Day
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal
Questionable Content
Gunnerkrigg Court
Something * Positive
Oglaf (NSFW)
Trekker
HELM
POWERNAP

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Quantum Vibe Story Contents © 2021 Scott Bieser
Framing Graphics © 2021 Big Head Press