This is one of those transitional pages that doesn’t by itself contribute a lot. It doesn’t really land any big jokes or develop any characters (we already know Cora is a bit cavalier when it comes to distribution of ordnance, for example) but is useful for general continuity.

I really wanted to include the first panel from the next page at the end of this one as an answer to Sydney’s question, but it just wouldn’t fit. At least not unless I made the panels tiny. I maybe could have put panels 4 and 5 on the same line, then scooted panel 6 over, but the panel 1 from 867 is visually a little complex, and would have been diminished by trying to cram it all in.

So, instead, let’s talk Space Opera. If you happen to have a series you adore, share it. I’ve been hankering for a new book to read lately, and there’s so many damned novels with space ships on the cover, there’s just no way to make an informed guess about what might be good or not. You guys know that I like Star Justice and Three Square Meals as I’ve recommended them quite a few times. I think the thing I like about them… well, they’re solid male power fantasy pulp. I don’t necessarily need a harem, but a decent romance subplot definitely doesn’t hurt a book. Really the thing I like is a main character that is mildly to wildly OP who goes around kicking a lot of ass for good reasons.

Wildly OP is really tough to get right though. TSM does it right IMO. I mean, without spoiling the MC’s origin story… he gets pretty fucking powerful – but there are always appropriate challenges waiting for him and his crew. Like fighting a literal dragon with a battleship level shield generator and plasma weapons strapped to its back. Yeah. TSM has dragons.

Honestly, a smaller cast helps too. I like a “cozy” book in that regard. I generally get lost when I’m reading about how the MC’s contact talked to the Subchancellor of Mission Comptrollers and there’s a 45 page chapter about the 90 people that work for that dude. A little politics is fine, but I want a book about a dude or chick righting wrongs with railguns and a spaceship that has a sexy AI that no one else knew about, because there’s always a sexy AI on the spaceship.

Allow me to recommend a book that is… well, not a space opera, but has some space stuff at the beginning. It’s called “Upon a Savage Shore” and it’s basically “Enemy Mine” but replace Louis Gosset Jr. with three alien catgirls. The author for some reason never collected it into a book and put it up at Amazon or elsewhere, so you can only find it at Literotica. It does have some sex in it, but the vast majority of the story is shipwreck survivors making it on an alien planet while the one human guy tries to navigate all the cultural pitfalls of his co-castaway’s society.

That’s another thing I like. Some good, hard xenoanthropology. I don’t know why, but it pushes all the right glands in my brain that squirt out the happy juice.

Oh, here’s a tip for you guys that do a lot of reading online. Get Calibre, then get a plugin called FanFicFare. It lets you paste in the first chapter of a story from a variety of sites, then the plugin rips all the chapters into an e-book. It does an excellent job 99% of the time. Then you can set up Calibre with your kindle’s email address and have it send those books to you without fiddling with USB cables. One warning though, since I’ve discovered this combo (along with another one creatively called “Generate Cover” my kindle has become littered with tons of “books” with shitty covers that came from various websites.

Double res version will be posted over at Patreon. Feel free to contribute as much as you like!