04/04/22 – Book 9 Chapter 13 — Gentlekindness

Spacetrawler, audio version For the blind or visually impaired, April 4, 2022.




Cowardice is often simply a better plan for survival.


  1. Rikard

    Self-interest, which we are taught creates the best out-comes, shines again.

    If only we could do it in real life when some warmonger or other calls for doing violence to others: “Sure thing, only me and the lads have voted and you’re first through the breach this time, that’ssquare with you mr CEO/congressman, isn’t it?”

    Wouldn’t be much war then if the leaders had to go in the first wave.

    1. Zeebob Froomchik III, Esq.

      I’d vote for that, as a basic requirement for any bellicose legislator! “So, Congressman Chickenhawk, it sounds like you’re volunteering to enlist in our forces that you just dispatched to Elbonia. Congratulations! You’ll get to experience the VA first-hand — provided you survive the war you just started…”

    1. someone
    2. someone

      Why should it?

      The chapters so far have been
      1. Earth
      2. Durnheim-3
      3. Lapatrak
      4. G.O.B.
      5. Earth Revisited
      6. The Calama Void
      7. Planet 2672-Wezwez
      8. The Strib Ship
      9. Alkyine Quort
      10. Neutron Stardust
      11. Boukinar
      12. The Baltivakk
      and now:
      13. Gentlekindness

      Or is that a superstition thing about skipping the number 13?

  2. Something familiar about the two crazy puppy aliens in the first panel but I can’t put my finger on it… maybe I just seen to many crazy people in the last decade screaming for murder vs responsibility that I can automatically see this a a familiar response.

  3. Pete Rogan

    “To die is to be a counterfeit, for he is but the counterfeit of
    a man who hath not the life of a man; but to counterfeit dying,
    when a man thereby liveth, is to be no counterfeit, but the true
    and perfect image of life indeed. The better part of valor is
    discretion, in the which better part I have sav’d my life.”

    –Sir John Falstaff, “Henry IV,” Part 1, Act 5, Scene 4

    Or, to translate to modern English, better to be a real surviving pretend corpse than a fake hero who becomes a dead fake non-hero corpse. Nice twist of logic there, which I note at least one Strib is not ashamed to adopt.

    The Stribs in the small scale prefer overwhelming force against an unsuspecting opponent. They have assiduously avoided encountering any hostiles in any number, itself a rare skill, and it is entirely likely that they will, in this instant, scarper.

      1. Pete Rogan

        Minstrel: [singing] Brave Sir Robin ran away…

        Sir Robin: No!

        Minstrel: [singing] bravely ran away away…

        Sir Robin: I didn’t!

        Minstrel: [singing] When danger reared its ugly head, he bravely turned his tail and fled.

        Sir Robin: I never did!

        Minstrel: [singing] Yes, brave Sir Robin turned about, and valiantly, he chickened out.

        Sir Robin: Oh, you liars!

        Minstrel: [singing] Bravely taking to his feet, he beat a very brave retreat. A brave retreat by brave Sir Robin.

        One of my favorite short pieces by Neil Innes, better known at the time as a fellow member of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah band under Vivian Stanshall. The Minstrel, for his pains, was later eaten. Tough life, showbiz.

  4. tlhonmey

    I’m sorry, the whole alien intervention thing seems rather contrived. Maybe if you’d tied it in more explicitly with the rumors about this section of space being haunted or something.

      1. tlhonmey

        Something we didn’t know is fine, and Diller’s luck could explain it showing up at the last possible second. Just more tie in with the purple folks being why this region of space is thought of as haunted would make it seem less like Purpura ex Machina.

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