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When I plan out a story, I’ve got all the key points figured out including (generally) the ending. So I know where I’m going. But within that structure, or set of waypoints, are “open areas” that leave me freedom to “fill in” the story. This is definitely one of those kinds of strips that shows up in those spots, unplanned. Often they end up being really good strips. In fact, the last two strips would fall in that category.

We know John is boorish and wears his ego as protection. He’s kind of a jerk sometimes, a little self centered and maybe not the brightest bulb in the lot. But what else do we know about him? He did reveal that he was an orphan to Ril when they first met. But here Asimov hits all the typical reasons why he figures John wants to go home, but it looks like none of them fit. Other than Earth being home, it doesn’t sound like John has a whole lot waiting for him. Almost makes you feel sorry for the guy!

I’ve mentioned before that I read a lot, typically sci-fi but some fantasy. Anyway I just finished Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke. I’ve not read a whole lot of his catalog, actually. This book centers around Earth being visited by the Overlords – a massively advanced alien race – that forces them into one world government and peace. This seems good initially but it turns out they have plans that they are not letting us know.

It seemed like a really great premise, but the book just never delivered. The book is somewhat short at like 225 pages – not necessarily a bad thing. But the problem was I never really connected with any Earth characters, and the aliens are not really the protagonists either. There’s nobody to latch onto in the story. So at the end when dramatic things are happening, I was not really affected. I wanted to find out, I had invested the time reading the book, but I really didn’t care so much.

It’s important that you have characters people care about. I think that with Marooned, that is something I need to work on. Do we really care what happens to John? Often he’s kind of a jerk. And Asimov isn’t exactly someone you love even though lots of people get a kick out of his comments. Anyway, it’s something that’s on my mind and I’m trying to improve.

My next book is Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein which I started last night. I’ve wanted to read it for some time. So far, pretty interesting.

Previously on Marooned…

If you are a new reader, you have jumped in at the perfect time. We’ve just begun a brand new story in Marooned. All you need to know is that Captain John (the spaceman) and Asimov (the robot) have been stranded on Mars. Ugo the Martian (the green guy) has put them up in the Martian underground city Vita, and they live there now. There are other various Martians you’ll meet along the way. Sit back and enjoy the story!

If you want to be fully informed, you can start reading from the beginning

You can also read Episodes in full-screen mode without digging through the archive!