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Running out the clock

One of the reasons I like baseball is that since it's event-driven and not time-driven, you can't run out the clock as you can in football, basketball, and (IIRC) hockey. This is by way of saying that I've finally finished setting up all 92 of the accursed mortgage companies, and now have little to do for the next 90 minutes except some desultory filing and maybe some surreptitious background work on Blood Red Skies. Got some of that done last night, mapping out a subsector on the fringes of the action, and after I was done mangling the planetary stats from their original values to what they "should be" 3400 years earlier, I found that ten years' tax revenue from one thinly settled subsector wasn't even enough to pay for a low-tech system defense fighter. Heh.

Back in the real world, two of the comics/graphic novels I won at auction on eBay (before I realized just how screwed up my finances were) arrived in the mail yesterday: issue #4 of Mamoru Oshii's Hellhounds: Panzer Cops, which is a sequel to the anime Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade , and David Brin's The Life Eaters, which is an expanded and illustrated version of his Hugo-nominated short story "Thor Meets Captain America".

People familiar with Brin's non-fiction work, and especially his criticisms of the Star Wars movies, know that one of the things that gets up his nose is the kind of blind hero-worship and obedience to hierarchies for obedience sake that permeates Lucas' last three SW movies. That annoyance gets a nice airing here; the Nazis get themselves into very serious trouble for the kind of occult folderol that drives the plot of the original Indiana Jones movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and with that I may have already spoiled the story for you. Anyhow, the book includes the original story and goes on to tell the rest of the story, which is a pretty good one. The art by Scott Hampton is very evocative, suitably terrifying and awe-inspiring as the story demands. It doesn't live up to the hype by some dork at DC who called it the biggest thing since The Watchmen but it's a tolerably good tale with some good illustrations. It is a bit of a polemic for Brin's anti-hero attitude, but unlike the regrettable Watch On The Rhine Brin doesn't ram his opinion up your snout quite so hard. (He saves that for his essays. This one on The Matrix contains some brutal thrashing of Joseph Campbell.) Would I have paid full price for this? Hell, no. But at a third of the list price, it was very much worth it. Maybe if we're lucky it'll be re-released in pocket paperback format.