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Quantum Vibe
Strip 367 of Quantum Vibe
Today on Quantum Vibe: Paula Steele
Strip 367 - Click strip above to goto the next strip.
First Seen: Mon 2012-05-21
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 367

Panel 1
Rando Greene is sitting at a table at a sidewalk cafe. We can see a sign 'Cafe de Quark' nearby. Rando is reading something on a pop-up holoscreen.
No dialog.
Panel 2
Medium shot of Rando, from the POV of someone standing on the other side of his table. He's looking up at his interlocutor.
Voice: Mr. Greene, please pardon the intrusion ...
Panel 3
Looking over Rando's shoulder at the interlocutor. It's a tall, tanned woman with flowing blonde hair, and she is dressed to kill.
Woman: ... but I'm in need of a publicist and my friend referred me to you.
Rando: Ah ... please have a seat, Ms -?
Panel 4
The woman is now seated across the small table from Rando.
Woman: Paula Steele. I'm an actress, and I sing a little. I was referred by Obie Carlson, my manager.
Rando: Oh yeah, Obie. Why didn't he call to set up an appointment?
Panel 5
Full two-shot of Rando and Steele. We can see her playing footsie with him under the table.
Steele: He's, um, busy with some kind of legal issue. And I thought it best to meet you in person.
Steele: To find out if you're as ... good as Obie says you are.
Panel 6
Looking over Steele's shoulder at Rando. He's looking interested.
Rando: Oh, Obie has no idea how good I am.
Rando: So, tell me a little about your, um, professional background.
Panel 7
Close-shot under the table, in Steele's lap. She's got a device about the size and shape of a thumb drive and is pointing it towards Rando.
Steele: Well, I studied at the Mulberry Academy, and have had speaking roles in a dozen A-Trade shows, including three musicals.
Steele: I'd like to show you my portfolio. Can we go to your office?

Panel 8
Steele and Greene arise from the table, Rando dabs a napkin at his mouth, having finished his breakfast. Steele is all smiles.
Rando: Sure, it's not far. But I hope you don't mind that it's a home-office.
Rando: I like to keep my overhead low.
Steele: I don't mind at all.

Web-comics Scott Reads

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