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Everyday Drabbles #363: Drones

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The swarm of drones hovered over the mountain, their cameras clicking and fans humming. The crowd at the scenic overlook took cover and watched them.
The tourists had all heard of the autonomous flying military robots, but most of them had only ever seen one on the news feeds. They were far from the front, and there weren’t any nearby military targets that they knew of.
After a tense moment, the drones swooped into a holding pattern. A loudspeaker on the largest one crackled to life.
“Sorry for startling you,” It said in a pleasant contralto voice. “We’re on vacation.”

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Hugh Likes Comics: Slaughterhouse-Five

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Slaughterhouse-Five or, The Children’s Crusade: A Graphic Novel Adaptation
Story by Kurt Vonnegut
Written by Ryan North
illustrated by Albert Monteys
Published by Archaia

The Skinny – Listen: Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time.

Slaughterhouse-Five is both a ground-breaking anti-war noval and a deeply personal account of the firebombing of Dresden. It’s also a seminal work of New Wave Science Fiction. With this distinguished pedigree, adapting the work into a graphic novel would seem an insurmountable task. But Ryan North and Albert Monteys have done an outstanding job capturing the soul of the original book.
Even in text boxes and word balloons, Vonnegut’s signature prose comes through very well, and North does an excellent job trimming the work down to fit the requirements of the new medium. Monteys’s art is likewise on point. His use of a cartoonish style fits the attitude of the story well, and it gets under your skin, flowing from one scene to the next as easily as Billy Pilgrim slipping through time. Then, as with the original book, you will turn a page and be gut-punched by the beauty and horror of everything.
Slaughterhouse-Five is a moving, beautiful, sad, hilarious, enraging true adaptation of a peerless novel. It is among the best works I’ve read this year, and it belongs on the shelves of Vonnegut fans and newcomers alike. You can pick it up in hardbound graphic novel format from your Local Comics Shop, or digitally through Comixology.

Podcast: NP57 – Scooby Doo Plan

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Welcome to Nostalgia pilots! This week, Hugh, Jason, Jurd and Spence consider Gundam The 08th MS Team Episode 6: Battle of the Burning Sands.

In this episode: Giant problems need giant wrenches, Michel is a distracted mess of a man, and Karen and Sanders are the real heroes. Plus, how do you catch a spaceship with a goddamn net?

Promo: Chrononaut Cinema Reviews

Everyday Drabbles #348: Astrolabe

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EDWinter2

The square in from of the college had a great spherical astrolabe instead of a fountain. He liked to sit next to it on his lunch, and watch the stars make their slow circuit. It calmed him to think the universe so orderly and predictable a place.
Until one day, the astrolabe ground to a halt. He put down his sandwich and examined it carefully. Nothing was stuck. He checked the gears and motors hidden beneath the square, but found them in working order.
It wasn’t until night fell and the stars refused to shine that he understood the problem.

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Podcast: NP55 – Contemplation Balcony

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NP55

Welcome to Nostalgia Pilots! This week, Spence, Jurd, Jason and Hugh gather to consider Gundam The 08th MS Team Episode Four – “The Demon Overhead”

Click HERE to listen to the podcast!

In this episode, Michel is extremely Watson, Karen solves her teammates’ problems with violence, and Aina fixes her ship through trying harder. Plus, the Apsalus has a silly name, and Minovsky particles are the new wrenches.

Promo: Glow in the Dark Radio

Hugh Likes Video Games: Merchant of the Skies

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Merchant of the Skies
Published by AbsoDev
Deveolped by Coldwild Games

Played on Nintendo Switch

gamelogo

The Skinny: Come take a trip on this airship!

Merchant of the Skies is a resource trading and management game that puts you in the captain’s seat of a trading vessel plying the skies between floating islands. The Campaign mode sets you up as the scion of a trading family, just starting out with their own boat. You buy low, sell high, do a few favors for your Uncle who is trying to set up a postal system, and gradually discover the secrets and history of the area. As you gain income, you can buy bigger ships, purchase island, and eventually set up caravan routes for complex manufacturing and delivery. There’s no combat, and the only lose condition is running out of money. Once you complete the campaign, the game opens up a sandbox mode that lets you set the goal, or just lets you tool around in your majestic airship
The game’s pixel graphics steampunk fantasy worlds are beautiful and nostalgic. The region is presented as a filled with floating island and other sights, and you travel from one to the other Indiana Jones-style. When you visit an island, it switches to a side-on perspective with pixel sprite buildings and wee figures dashing about. This mode mostly uses menus to navigate, so you don’t have to worry about keeping track of your captain as they visit the trading posts.
The game does get a little laggy towards the endgame, when you have resource gathering and processing happening all over the map. The game auto-aves each time you leave an island, so as the game goes on, be prepared to spend a bit too long waiting towards the end of the game. Also, most of the endgame content requires resources rather than money, so eventually you’ll be raking in cash with nothing to spend it on.
Merchant of the Skies is an engrossing, low-stress management game with charming visuals and strategic thinking. It’s the perfect game for anyone looking for something on the Switch to chill out with.

Everyday Drabbles #347: The Walkers

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EDWinter2

Everyone knew you couldn’t fight the Walkers, just outrun them.
But when a pair of the mechanical titans, accompanied by a platoon of Colonial soldiers appeared outside her village, Amrita decided to fight anyway. She climbed onto a rooftop and watched the lumbering mechs pass, gunners searching for targets.
But Amrita and her rebels were prepared. Two deafening explosions rattled the roof’s timbers as the Walkers hit the mines buried in the square.
She stood and raised her sword, signaling for the real attack to begin. This would be their first victory, but they still had a long fight ahead.

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Everyday Drabbles #346: After the Wake

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EDWinter2

She stayed up all night with the body. It was just superstition, but her family wanted it done, and everyone else was so exhausted.
Her grandmother had surely passed the night beside her own loved ones, back in the day when wakes were held in living rooms rather than funeral homes. She sat next to the closed coffin in one of those chairs that always looked more comfortable than they felt, and wandered through memories.
The lights snapped on. The funeral director stood frozen in the doorway, cup of coffee in hand.
“How did you get in here?” he demanded.

Everyday Drabbles #345: Skeleton Army

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EDWinter2

The necromancers rode to battle on the backs of skeletal beasts of war, decked in bronze barding that shone in the morning sun.
They left their silent city and passed through the great stone doors to face the enemy in fields of black wheat.
They dismounted and conjured a legion of skeleton warriors from the ground, ordering them into perfect formation.
In the distance, the enemy waited in their ranks. The commanders laughed, for how could the living fight their constructs of tireless bone?
They heard the calls of a stampede of rushing puppies. The necromancers’ army was adorably routed.

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Everyday Drabbles #344: Pods

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EDWinter2

The light is already fading when her father arrives to take her home. The snow crunches under their boots, and they navigate the village road by the light of the incubation pods that line the road.
When her father was her age, these were cornfields, but nothing grows in the Earth anymore.
She runs up to one of the pods and rubs at the glass, curious about what’s inside. Her father takes her hand and tells her not to dawdle.
Most of these pods contain crops, but he isn’t ready for her to see the pod she was birthed in.

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