Mysterious Space Signals

The following is inspired by a news article about signals from space that return every 16 days. You can read the article here.

Brain yelped a cheer interrupting my nap. 

Ever since the news story about strange signals from space every 16 days, Brian’s been at his equipment trying to decode the blips and static. It was interesting for about the first 15 hours. 

“I did it!” said Brain. He adjusted dials and knobs as I yawned and scratched my head. “In a matter of moments, we will discover the nature of these pulses.” Brain continued to adjust wavelengths and double-check readouts; I moved from Brain’s cot to the seat next to him. “Scientists are debating if the pulses are caused by an orbiting object blocking the source or if the source is orbiting an object. Another possibility is the source itself is pulsing.” 

The machine whined for a minute, which woke me up even further.

“Translation of cosmic pulses complete,” said SPOT, the artificial intelligence.

Brain and I fell into a deep hush. The machines beeped a couple times before the answer came.

“Eat at Joe’s,” said a friendly voice bouncing out of the speakers like a used car salesman who’d spotted a customer from across the lot. “Save 20 percent on your first online order. Offer expires 500 million years from broadcast date–Galactic year 2151.”

A hologram calendar appeared above my watch. “Drat!” I said. “It expired yesterday.”  

“Remember,” the ad continued, “if your order doesn’t arrive in 30 parsecs, it’s free.”

I sighed. “Why does everyone get that wrong? Parsecs are not a measurement of time!” I glanced over at Brain; he stared forward like a fish that’d just learned hooks are bad. “What’s wrong?”

“The greatest scientific mystery of our age…and it is a commercial.” He covered his face with a hand. “Why is the universe such a cruel mistress?”

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading!

Copyright 2020 Joe Rover. All rights reserved.


Stone Star | Review

Stone Star, a comiXology Originals, follows the adventures of Dail aboard the nomadic space station Stone Star. The station is similar to a traveling circus but instead of bearded ladies and cotton candy, you get gladiators and death marches.

Dail begins his tale as a scavenger and thief but soon runs into a retired gladiator who sees that Dail has a special skill. Not much is revealed at first, but it appears he can control machines and become an energy being.

Eventually, he meets Kikanni, an on-the-run royal who’s family is displaced because of a coup. Dail witnesses the murder of Kikanni’s family at the hands of Stone Star workers. He and she then have to escape and hide.

img_2674The plot was a typical story about an average person with a great destiny and strange powers. The characters seemed pretty bland. The displaced princess, the good guy thief, the stoic and wise mentor, etc. Even by the end of the book, the characters didn’t seem to grow much–but it is the first book. The first book is meant to introduce the characters, setting, and plot. 

Stone Star does have a somewhat interesting plot. Someone murdered Dail’s father. His murder happened shortly after he refused to rig the fights. I think we can see where this is going.

So, if the characters are typical and the mystery is pretty standard, why did I like the story? It was one of those hard to put down books. I finished it in about an hour. 

Part of the reason was the art. It was pretty impressive; though sometimes it did look rushed, there were some moments that made my mouth drop.

I think the other part that made the comic so appealing was Dail’s powers. At first I wanted to know what they were. Then I was like, “Oh, he can just control machines. Big deal.” But then he merged with a fighting robot, and later he was able to semi-merge with Kikanni and learn her backstory. So, even though right now it seems like all he can do is control technology, they hint at something greater.

I also think pacing had something to do with my enjoyment. There weren’t many slow points and when you did slow down, you felt like you needed the rest. You felt like you were on the run with Dail and Kikanni; you felt as much in danger as they did.

Finally, I think it was the world. The setting of a traveling space station that works as an entertainment center is kind of unique. Also, it was neat seeing all the different alien beings. I liked the variety and creativity in each one. Each showed the personality well. I also liked how Dail looked human but not so much you’d think he was human. You know he’s an alien. The design choice allowed me to empathize with him but at the same time not wonder “How’d a human get here?”

While on the surface, Stone Star seems typical, the pacing, unique characters, and the deigns of the setting and world pull you in and make the read worthwhile. While I would like to see more adventures with Dail, Stone Star isn’t at the top of my To-Read list. I’m going to pre-order the book, but I’m also not marking down the days till its release on June 1. 4.1/5

A couple images from Season 1.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading!


Today’s Amazon Affiliate links: 

I get a percentage from any qualifying purchase; doesn’t have to be the ones listed below. Thank you for helping to support my blog so I can continue to tell stories, write reviews, and more.

Buy Season 1 Now
A young thief named Dail discovers a dark secret in the depths of Stone Star and has to decide where his destiny lies. 
Pre-order Stone Star Season 2 Now
A young warrior named Dail has been drawn into the ring and is trying to prove himself in the Grand Arena, but there are forces on the station determined to see him destroyed as revenge for his father’s fighting legacy.

File X-001 | Dogboy Reborn Side Quests

Incoming Message

Kkktt!!

This is Captain Stone of the International League of Super-Transbeings. The date is May 16, 2003. We have just received the following message.

Series of text messages sent from Unknown on July 10, 2019

Unknown: It’s all a lie.

Unknown: Ten years ago extraterrestrial life invaded Earth. That part is true.

Unknown: It is also true that the battle was over in three days.

Unknown: But it wasn’t the aliens that were victorious. Earth won that day.

Unknown: The governments saw this as an opportunity. War, famine, crime, violence, hate, climate change, and terrorism were all on the rise.

Unknown: They saw a chance to change all that. The drones, the ships–those are controlled by the Earth Unity Federation pilots. The few aliens we see on patrol are really Earth Unity Federation military units.

Unknown: The EUF scavenged the technology left by the aliens. They pretended to be the aliens. They created the peace treaty in order to set up new restrictions and have the aliens as the scapegoats.

Unknown: The aliens haven’t been on the Earth since July 6, 2009. It’s all been a ruse to keep us in check.

Addendum: It is now July 10, 2009. The alien invaders did arrive as predicted by the message. We, however, were able to intercept them before reaching Earth.

The Citizens remain unaware of any supernatural presence.

Kkkktt!!


Thanks for reading! Joe Rover eBooks are available at many online retailers.

Copyright © 2019 Joe Rover

International League of Super-Transbeings, Dogboy, and related characters Copyright © 2016-Present by Joe Rover

All rights reserved. No part of this post may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without prior written permission of the author/publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews or as a repost/share with link to the original post.

All characters, organizations, and locations in this post have no existence outside the imagination of the author and have no relation to anyone bearing the same name or names. Any resemblance to individuals known or unknown to the author are purely coincidental.

All rights reserved.