02/07/22 – Push Jam

Spacetrawler, audio version For the blind or visually impaired, February 7, 2022.




A right time for all things.


  1. tlhonmey

    Bonus points if the arriving Strib fleet blasts our heroes to bits as soon as they learn this ship has been tampered with, thus making future scenes of dramatic tension actually tense. 😉 You can’t make your audience really worry if you don’t prove your willingness to let the protagonists lose when they screw up.

    1. Christopher John Baldwin

      @Tlhonmey, I certainly haven’t shied from killing characters in the past. But I think if I whimsically decided to kill ALL FOUR MAJOR PROTAGONISTS in order to build tension, I’d just give up comics, crawl into bed, and sleep for a year. 😉

      1. Pete Rogan

        Hear, hear! You get readers invested in the characters, their strengths, quirks, irritations, grudges, their pride in accomplishment and their losses in defeat or calamity. You beat them up good, but they persevere and come out on top at the end. Or, if you’re skillful enough, you lead them to a doom they have chosen, for reasons the reader can agree make sense to the character, even as they grieve and curse the loss.

        I’ve not done that enough to be good at it, though I recognize it’s a powerful narrative tool. What I have observed, though, is that you better make sure the character’s reasons agree with your gut, or the whole thing comes off as a dumbshow. You can’t make readers believe in what you don’t already believe, and about as strongly. It’s a fake nose on Cyrano, a car off a cliff where you can see the stop-motion. But much worse. People are invested in the character you bump off, and if you cheat them of belief in their nobility, you better get ready for angry fists on the door and the charges of fraud. Because they won’t be wrong. But YOU will have been.

        That said… tlhonmey is correct about verisimilitude in character actions and consequences. But I think we’ve been shown enough to know there’s a whole lot we don’t know about the Stribs, their command structure, and other factors impinging on their ability to make reasonable, clear decisions. Like what their actual plans are for settling Planet Lovingkindness. And I will repeat what I said about readers investing in the characters doing the same thing with the villains. They EXPECT some hurtful harm from them, unexpected abilities or aims that make hash of the plans of the heroes, who then must adapt, probably imperfectly. But that’s what they EXPECT. Your audience will be gripping their chair arms to find not one, but SEVERAL obstacles the Stribs have put in front of them, some obvious, others not, but all potentially lethal.

        Or, worse, leaving the characters intact but their plans and their rescue in shambles. Lots of ways of playing this in narrative. More than you can comfortably imagine. C’mon.

  2. Night-Gaunt

    How does that snake person manipulate things with no fingers. I like to point out when aliens just don’t fit anything that could become space faring missing things from their design and snake person is the one.

    1. Efogoto

      Ah, but the snake person is Diller, the luckiest being in the entire run of Spacetrawler. Every time she needs to manipulate something, fortune smiles upon her and the something doesn’t need fingers to be manipulated.

      1. Timothy Eisele

        That’s actually a good question. Is Diller herself lucky, or are the people *around* Diller lucky? In the case of the mice here, it looks like the mice are the lucky ones. Unless, of course, it later turns out that Diller needs a huge swarm of robotic mice available.

        1. Shen Hibiki

          Diller has a luck aura, with herself in the smack middle of it.
          So everyone around her has luck, but she has more, so even if an enemy is close and by default lucky, luck will still favor -her- XD

    2. Jude

      Diller manipulates things the same way Krep was able to, or the way Nogg can manage tasks with his spherical body and impossibly short arms. The story fombines space fantasy with humour and requires our imagination. When sci-fi pretends to be science based (within reasonable limits), then I expect devices, aliens and actions to fit within known science. Christopher, on the other hand, weaves for our enjoyment an EXCELLENT long-running tale and helps us forget the actual insanity happening in the rest of the world.
      Thank you, Christopher!

    3. Coyoty

      There are humans with no fingers, or even limbs, who have learned to manipulate everyday objects. It just takes practice. Aside from that, her “hands” may work with Van der Waals force like geckos do, or they could mold around objects to hold them.

  3. Night-Gaunt

    Yes Christopher, I love your work so much I have been coming back for years to be entertained by your wit and great clean drawing style.

    So, keep on spacing!

    Tell me, does Diller sound anything like Phyllis Diller?

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