Xenobiology! Xenobiology! Xenobiology! Xenobiology! Xenobiology! Xenobiology! (Part 3)

I felt I was a bit overdue with another list so here’s a third list of cool xenobiology stuff!

For those who have missed my other lists and doesn’t know what xenobiology is it’s pretty much just really weird and/or realistic aliens. It’s the art of speculating on how animals might evolve under different conditions from that of earth. Basically truly alien, aliens.

Enjoy!
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Discovery Channel – Cosmic Safari
Let’s start off with yet another made-for-tv “documentary” about possible aliens. I seriously thought I had covered every one of these kinds of programs. But then out of nowhere I find yet another one and this could very well be the earliest one. It’s from 1999 and it’s a whopping 1 hour 40 minutes long.

As I’ve seen numerous other shows like this there wasn’t much new for me here.They cover all the regular stuff like exoplanets and the goldilocks zone. What I was hoping for was glimpses of weird aliens. Sadly there weren’t a lot of those in this at all. I’m guessing the CGI was too expensive at the time as this “cosmic safari” didn’t really have that many aliens. But if you haven’t seen anything like this before and want a truly in-depth program about a wide variety of subjects regarding aliens this is quality stuff. (it probably helps if you find the seriously dated CGI charming too)

There’s not much about this online but the entire program can be found by a quick torrent search.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1427026

Franxurio
Let’s continuue with an interesting artist. Franxurio (as he is called on deviantart) might not have a large selection of aliens up on his gallery but the creatures there are all fantastic and best of all truly alien. This creature here is just a drawing he did while practicing with a tablet. I really like the whole strange placement of the feathers.

http://franxurio.deviantart.com

René Laloux
Now this guy is a legend. Hopefully most of you people have heard of him before and seen his animated films but if not you’re in for a treat. Apart from some short films he managed to make three animated science-fiction films in the 70’s and 80’s. All of which happen to have a wide selection of really weird alien creatures. People might know him best for Fantastic Planet which I’m sure some of you will atleast recognize in some vague hazy childhood memory. The image below is from his third and last movie Gandahar.

All of his three movies happen to be uploaded on youtube of which you can find links to below.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rene_Laloux
Gandahar on Youtube Part 1
Time Masters on Youtube Part 1
Fantastic Planet on Youtube Part 1

Brynn Metheney
Brynn Metheney is the creator and artist of a group of fictional animals living by the fictional Morea river. Apart from drawing other random amazing creatures in general too. I’m pretty sure she’s going to be considered one of great artists of speculative biology in the future. The design and coloring and everything about her creatures is just amazing.

Sadly she just recently shelved the entire Morea River project as she’s understandable getting a crapload of design work because of it. But there’s still a lot of really great drawings to last us for some time. Hopefully she’ll return to the project some time in the future or maybe even create something new and equally amazing.

http://www.brynnart.com
http://www.themoraeriver.com
http://lenorekitty.deviantart.com
http://www.creaturespot.com/main/author/brynnmetheny

Frank R. Paul
I love it when I stumble upon stuff like this. Frank R. Paul is the name of a really prolific artist of pulp covers between the 1920’s and 1940’s. He drew an amazing amount of really fantastic sci-fi covers and interiors during his life. And one amazing thing in particular was a series of pages on the native life of all the planets in our solar system made for Fantastic Adventures in 1939. Ridiculous stuff now maybe but the imagination and weirdness of all these creatures is just amazing!

You can find bigger versions of all the pictures in this series in the links below as well as pictures of pretty much all the art he’s done.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_R._Paul
http://www.frankwu.com/Paul-listing.html
http://pya.cc/pyaimg/pimg.php?imgid=106063
http://current.com/1im984c

Tiffany Turrill
Tiffany Turrill might not be exclusively drawing alien creatures but she has drawn quite a lot of them to be worth mentioning. Especially considering her creatures are gorgeous! The picture below here is of a Feathertongue Prowhead. I really like the strange contrast of this almost elephant or dinosaur creature but with the addition of some sort of feather-like underside. It looks both familiar and really alien.

http://tiffanyturrill.daportfolio.com
http://lieserl.deviantart.com
http://www.creaturespot.com/main/author/tiffany

Mike Corriero
And here’s yet another amazing creature designer. Seriously, there’ s so many really great ones popping up now. It’s like a renaissance of xenobiology art! But anyway, this guy is amazing. I just recently got his sketchbook in the mail now and it’s just filled with gorgeous and interesting drawings. I don’t know what more to write. The guy is just amazing and has done a crapload of drawings. Enjoy!

http://mikecorriero.deviantart.com
http://mikecorriero.blogspot.com
http://www.creaturespot.com/main/author/mikecorriero
http://parkablogs.com/content/book-review-planet-planet-creatures-and-strange-worlds
http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/planet-to-planet/14916342

Terra
And here’s even more amazing pulpy magazine sci-fi art! I love this stuff. There’s always so much really fun and gorgeous lost art to be found from these kinds of magazines. Terra was a science-fiction magazine that ran between the 1950’s and 1970’s in west-germany. In the first link below you can find tons and tons of scanned covers of the magazine. And it’s all fantastic stuff! Most of it doesn’t really have any alien creatures in them so I’ve included another link of a blogpost which has posted all the covers with “monsters” on them. Unfortunately I haven’t managed to find out who the artists are for most of these.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mickythepixel/tags/terra
http://monsterbrains.blogspot.com/2011/01/terra-german-science-fiction-magazine.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terra_%28German_science_fiction%29

David Melvin
Now this artist is a creature machine! He just keeps on drawing amazing creatures of all kinds over and over again. While he’s not really specialised in aliens he’s managed to drawn quite a lot of them just through the sheer amount of random creatures he’s created. I’m especially fond of the level of details on this creature here below.

http://davesrightmind.deviantart.com
http://www.creaturespot.com/main/author/davidmelvin

Cory Trego-Erdner
And another deviantart artist but this time also a short story writer. He’s the creator of a world called Ring which is some sort of space habitat populated by aliens. With each drawing of an alien he also gets caught up in the backstory and ends up writing a short story about the alien. There’s not that many aliens but the ones he’s done are amazing! And it’s interesting reading all the backstory of it all. Hopefully he’ll keep producing more of these aliens. Like this alien right here that while it’s bipedal it’s not really humanoid at all. Great stuff!

http://m0ai.deviantart.com
http://www.creaturespot.com/main/author/moai

Frank Little
And now something completely different and really unique! Frank Little is a photographer/digital artist that makes truly incredible strangely realistic landscape pictures. It’s hard to describe as I haven’t really seen anything like it before. I’m guessing it’s some kind of combination of real photos with really skilled computer rendering where he’s creating these really alien landscapes. He also manages with the feat of doing something that looks really alien without resorting to using a really colorful and unnatural color scheme. It’s earthlike blue skies and green nature and yet it all looks really strange and alien. Such cool stuff!

http://fclittle.deviantart.com/

Skywhales
And now finally here’s a treat! Skywhales is an animated short film from the 80’s by animators Derek Hayes and Phil Austin. The entire short film is uploaded on youtube and I urge you all to watch it. While the main aliens are not really that alien, being pretty much cartoony humanoids, it’s the whole setting and animal life which makes it interesting from a xenobiology standpoint. That combined with the seriously messed up ending which in the end makes the film depict a truly alien world. This is seriously worth a watch and if you like it you can find the film included on the British Animation Classics Vol.1 DVD which I’ve also included a link for below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQ6qw1nh0tA
http://www.britishanimationawards.com/dvd_shop/dvd_bac01.htm

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And that’s it for now! I still have more cool xenobiology stuff to write about so I’m sure there will be yet another list of this in the future!

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A list of movies I really really really really want to see.. PART NINE!

Captain America
I remember me and my siblings “hating” and ridiculing Captain America when we were little. The name in itself is just kind of over the top and after being exposed to america pretty much from birth here in sweden there’s always been a lighter anti-americanism around. Making a superhero named after your own country just seemed like standard obnoxious patriotism from americans that always think they’re the best in the world. But growing up as readers of french and belgian comics we kind of just hated and ridiculed superheroes in general too. But the hate was in essence superficial and after reading and loving The Ultimates and now seeing this trailer I’m all over this movie. Captain America makes sense in the context of WW2 and it should be interesting seeing him transported into current times in the upcoming Avengers movie. This movie just looks like a really fun pulpy adventure movie with a super soldier punching nazis.

Trailer.

Zonad
Here’s an irish comedy that got me interested the instant I saw the teaser. It’s just hilarious in it’s absurdity. From what I can guess the movie is about a guy that turns up in some irish town in the 50’s claiming to be an alien named Zonad. For some reason everyone in town believes him even though he looks and acts ridiculous. There’s a longer trailer out but the below teaser does a better job of making you want to see the movie.

Trailer.

Tree Of Life
And finally, here’s the latest movie by genius filmmaker Terrence Malick. I absolutely love The Thin Red Line and The New World written and directed by him. Both are extremely beautifuly, honest, deep and amazing movies. I love them. The feel, everything. And this movie which apparently goes into the evolution of life, cosmic exploration and childhood nostalgia gives me goosebumps. There’s just so much beauty in this trailer.

Trailer.

Battle: Los Angeles
I know I know, I’m kind of late with this one. I’ve been looking forward to it from way back when they first released pictures but I haven’t managed to catch it in the theaters yet so I’m still looking forward to it. I’m really enjoying the resurgence of alien invasion and sci-fi movies these days. Feels like it’s been ages since hollywood got into full blown space sci-fi mode again. With this movie I’m just hoping for some gritty close combat alien warfare and hopefully it will deliver.

Trailer.

Cowboys & Aliens
The title might sound like the movie will be some sort of cheap SyFy production but this really does look amazing. Everyone behind it from the really talented Iron Man director Jon Favreau to the cast of Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford fit perfectly. The movie just looks really fun and exciting with cowboys shooting at spaceships. What more can anyone want in a movie?

Trailer.

Without
And here’s a quiet and moody drama about a young girl who takes a really isolated job on an island as a caretaker for a handicapped person in a vegetative state. The isolation and routinte of the work starts affecting her after awhile. The whole movie seems to have this amazing slow quiet mood and there’s hardly any dialogue in the trailer but it drags you in anyway. If done good, mood movies like these can be really amazing.

Trailer.

Thor
And another superhero that for someone growing up in sweden seemed pretty ridiculous. You also got a tiny bit offended by the fact that americans turned one of our major mythological figures into a superhero in tights. But then I saw the trailer.. damn. This just looks like so much fun. It probably helps that I really enjoyed Thor from The Ultimates comics too. And then when I realized the guy playing Thor is the guy who played Kirks dad in the beginning of Star Trek I got even more interested. Bring on the Avengers by Whedon now, I can’t wait!

Trailer.

Melancholia
And here’s another genius filmmaker going into making a fringe sci-fi movie. Lars von Trier from Denmark. I’ve only seen a handful of his works. Loved some (Riget, Dear Wendy) and kind of hated others (Antichrist). But he’s always interesting and parts of Antichrist was seriously beautiful. This movie about a planet on collision course with earth looks and sounds really interesting as long as you can suspend your belief on the subject. The trailer is just packed with stunning visuals.

Trailer.

Your Highness
Even though I’m not a stoner in any way I’ve really enjoyed the stoner/action/comedy Pinapple Express. Your Highness is the latest stoner mash-up comedy from the same people as Pineapple Express and instead of an action movie they’ve set this movie in some sort of medieval fantasy setting. Just as Pineapple Express took a somewhat serious approach to the action this movie looks like a proper fantasy movie too. Along with looking hilarious.

Trailer.

The Big Bang
And here’s a movie which is kind of hard to describe. I hadn’t heard of it until very recently when I saw the trailer. It stars Antonio Banderas as a private detective and at first the movie looks like a regular detective movie but then the trailer goes into unexpected bizarre directions with metaphysical sci-fi and magic and stuff. This could be a horrible mess or really really amazing.

Trailer.

Another Earth
At first I was just somewhat interested in this movie. It’s about people coping with the sudden appearence of another earth in the sky. The concept in itself is impossible in so many ways but it seems to be more of a surreal fantasy concept to spark some interesting philosophical ideas about what you would do if you could try out another life. After seeing the full trailer I got really excited about the movie. It looks like it could be emotional and thought-provoking stuff.

Trailer.

Tucker And Dale Versus Evil
And lastly, this comedy just looks absolutely hilarious. Too bad it seems to be going under the radar a bit. I haven’t heard much of it even though it stars some pretty funny actors like Alan Tudyk. The plot is brilliant and is about two in reality friendly hillbillies that due to some unfortunate missunderstandings scares the beejeesus of some city college kids leading to from their viewpoint a murderous hunt a la Deliverance. If the movie is as funny as the trailer this could be amazing.

Trailer.

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A list of comics I really really really really want to read! [PART 2]

And here’s finally my first post that I actually debut here on my more pop-culture specialized wordpress blog. All the previous posts here I have pretty much just copied over in their entirety from my older livejournal blog (barbarpappa.livejournal.com). But this one just like all the upcoming posts about films and comics etc.. I will post here first.

I don’t have much more to write so let’s go straight into this second list of comics I want to read!

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Xombi
This comic was originally released in the 90’s and is now suddenly revived again. It’s about this guy who got infected with nano-machines which left him immortal and with the ability to create anything he wants just by thinking about it. Apparently the comic goes into some really strange and bizarre directions. The new artist for the comic is Frazer Irving who did the fantastic art on Gutsville so I would probably read this comic for the art alone. After reading a short preview of the comic I got really excited about the story too. Just check out these panels of some guy talking to spare change. I love stuff like this.

RASL
This is latest comic by writer/artist Jeff Smith who previously did the much praised fantasy comic Bone. I haven’t read Bone as I’ve never been that interested in fantasy but this comic about a trans-dimensional arts burglar sounds right up my alley. The protagonist travels between alternate realities stealing and selling stuff. Everything just looks and sounds top-notch.

Nonplayer
Now this comic simply looks gorgeous! The art is just so detailed, clean and nicely colored. Really beautiful stuff. The story is set in some sort of virtual WOW-like world and sounds interesting enough. But the art is what sells it. Hopefully the story isn’t too shabby either.

Last Mortal
Publisher Top Cow comes out of nowhere and starts releasing interesting stuff all of a sudden. I had a similar idea of my own which is why I find this comic interesting. It’s about a guy who finds out he’s immortal on the unfortunately timed moment when he tries to kill himself. I don’t know much else but that plot combined with nice art piqued my interest.

Echoes
Like I said, Top Cow just started releasing interesting stuff and here’s another cool looking comic out from them. And if this one delivers on the premise it could be really interesting. It’s a drama about a guy who finds out his father was a serial killer after he dies of natural causes. The son needs to re-evaulate his entire life and relationship with his father has he starts to fear he might share the same impulses. If the writing isn’t up for it the art will atleast be great. Just look at the panel below here. So much emotion.

Hellblazer – City of Demons
I’ve always been more fond of the character of Constainte than the actual comic. Not that I don’t love Hellblazer. All of it is top-notch stuff but it’s been a bit uneven between the different writers and artists. What sells me on this stand-alone mini is the art by Sean Murphy. I remember reading and loving the Shaun of the Dead adaptation from IDW just because of his art. He has finally started to get the appreciation he deserves now with a whole bunch of different minis from Vertigo. It’s nice to see atleast one really great up-and-coming artist not getting sucked into the superhero area of comics.

Eldritch!
Here’s a comic where I totally missed all the hollabaloo about it as it happened. It got voted the best comic or something on DC Comics webcomic site Zuda which would make it published as a book too. Unfortunately it won just as Zuda imploded which left the artist and writer with nothing and a comic in limbo. It’s written by Aaron Alexovich whom has done various fantastic horror/sci-fi/comedy graphic novels with Slave Labor and the now extinct Minx line. I’m a massive fan of his Serenity Rose comics. Let’s hope Eldritch! will see the light of day.

Cyclops
Cyclops is from the creative team behind the seriously fantastic hitman drama The Killer from Archaia. I love The Killer, it’s well written, well drawn and expertly translated from the original french. Cyclops seems to be a whole other type of story and is set in a near future setting. In this future warfare has turned into some sort of reality show where viewers can follow the soldiers by a camera on their helmets. It looks to be a tragic, hilarous and thought provoking satire that reminds me of the sci-fi films Paul Verhoeven used to do.

Carbon Grey
I didn’t think much of this comic at first. I only checked it out as I’m still not too tired of steampunk yet and the art looked nice. But after reading a preview it actually seems to be pretty great. From the little I read it seems to actually be kind of well-written. And the art is gorgeous! I’ll be sure to check this out when it gets collected into a trade.

Infinite Vacation
Here’s another aternate reality story which sounds and looks pretty great. It’s about some sort of reality-app which you can use to jump between different realities of how your life could end up. If you hate your current life of working in an office or something just get this app and try out another life. I’m not sure how this works with the fact that there should already be another one of you at pretty much every other reality but I won’t mind finding out by reading it. The writing and art seems really good and it’s nice to see some more sci-fi comics.

Vision Machine
And all hail the mighty godess of sequential arts, another sci-fi comic! This one is set in a world where some shifty corporation has just released some sort of mind-connected glasses which lets just project everything your imagination can dream up to the other wearers of the same typ of glasses. Apparently the corporation behind it has less than moral goals with the product and I guess the comic turns into some sort of story about the dangers of giving a corporate organization too much power. If that doesn’t sound interesting the arts looks amazing too!

Vinland Saga
And now finally a comic that might be tricky to find unless you don’t mind downloading a pirated copy. It’s a manga by the creator of the amazing hard sci-fi drama Planetes (also a fantastic anime series). I don’t read that much mangas but I really like this guys stuff. His art is really clean and a bit toned down and reminds me more of a european comic. He’s really good with creating realistic characters and good drama. As a person of nordic descent I’m genetically interested in anything viking making this comic really interesting. I’ve only read the first book by way of fan-translated pirate copies and the story and action pulls you in from the start. Let’s hope this finds a western publisher to release it in english.

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A list of movies I really really really really want to see.. PART EIGHT! [LO-FI SCI-FI EDITION]

I just applied for various film schools for this fall and in celebration of that here’s another list of movies I’m really looking forward too. I’ve done a zombie list, and now most recently a post-apocalypse list and this time I’m doing yet another themed list. For some reason I’ve tried to keep my list at around 12 movies and when I noticed there were just 12 movies with a similar vein I thought “Boom! Themed list.”.

So here’s a Lo-Fi Sci-Fi themed list!

What the hell does lof-fi sci-fi mean you might ask? Well firstly, whoa there you sound a bit angry, I’m doing this for free you know? Dick. Secondly what I mean by lo-fi sci-fi is science-fiction movies that isn’t so flashy or futuristic. I could probably just have used the term near future sci-fi but I really liked the sound of lo-fi sci-fi. It’s catchy.

In all these movies there’s a science fiction plot point but the actual movie sort of feels or looks more contemporary. There’s also an emphasis on drama and ideas rather than action. So there. Now behold!

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A list of Lo-Fi Sci-Fi movies I really want to see!

The Adjustment Bureau
Let’s start with a movie most of you might have heard of already. This Matt Damon and Emily Blunt starring movie seems to be pretty much just a great big love story about soul mates and fate. Only in this movie the two lovers aren’t really fated to be with eachother at all. Some kind of shady (godlike but seemingly technology using) organization which makes sure that fate goes as per planned tries to intervene in their blossoming love. The couple of course tries to fight this by staying together turning the movie into some kind mouse and cat game with them hunted by the fate police. (Wow, I made it sound terrible didn’t it? I honestly think it looks good.)

Trailer.

Transfer
Here’s a german indie movie about old rich white people renting/buying living third world bodies to transfer their minds into when their own bodies grows useless. Even though the budget is low which means there won’t be a lot of flashy eye candy the movie still looks great and interesting as a solid sci-fi with more ideas than effects.

Trailer.

Jim
This movie might not have the biggest budget either but that doesn’t stop it from going for scope. The movie is split into two parts where one part takes place in a near-future setting where you can genetically alter your offspring. And the second part takes place far into a future dystopia populated by post-humans.

Trailer.

0000
Here’s what looks to be a gorgeous mind-fuck of a movie. The trailer below is only test footage which bodes really well for the actual movie. It looks great! And the actual story is not too shabby either. As I understand it’s about a man that invents some kind of networked machine that lets you connect your mind to others creating a great big human hivemind. Yeah, I know, awesome.

Trailer.

Source Code
Here’s the latest movie by Moon writer/director Duncan Jones. Moon is one of my favourite movies and I was really looking forward to the directors second personal movie. Because the world is a terrible unfair place of chaos he’s had trouble getting funding for his second movie but got offered the directing duties for this movie in the meantime. The movie stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a soldier traveling back into the mind of a suicide bomber just before he blows himself up. Gyllenhaal needs to figure out when a second bomb will blow. It’s like a mix between Groundhog Day and Quantum Leap.

Trailer.

Eva
Here’s a spanish robot film starring one of my favourite actors, Daniel Brühl from Germany. In the movie he plays a shy inventor creating a robot girl. That’s pretty much all I know and while it doesn’t sound original in any way possible the effects looks pretty good for a smaller european film.

Trailer.

BlinkyTM
More robots! This time with the debut film of director Ruari Robinson who has done a couple of really nice sci-fi short films. He’s good with effects and I think he was once attached to do the Halo films. This movie is a lot smaller and is about a young boy who has a robot toy friend that turns bad. The trailer is amazing and manages to make the pretty cute robot look menacing even with it having a great big constant smile on its faceplate.

Trailer.

Limitless
Even though the whole “we are only using a small part of our brains potential” is just a missunderstanding. That doesn’t stop popular culture from using it over and over again in fiction. But as a person well versed in the art of suspension of belief I’m still looking forward to this movie where a pill has been released which unlocks all that hidden potential. The side effects are of course horrible and once you start taking it you can’t really stop. The movie is about some starving writer who starts using the pills and begins rising in power.

Trailer.

11 Minutes Ago
Now here’s a low-budget movie that proves that you can make interesting stuff only with an idea and hard work. The movie is about a time traveler from the future who at different times in his life travels back to one wedding day for exactly 11 minutes. The movie seems to be from the perspective of a film crew filming the wedding and is apparently in real-time with the time traveler showing up at various parts of his life. They only filmed it in one day apparently too. Pretty cool.

Trailer.

Phasma Ex Machina
Another super low budget film. It reminds me a bit of Primer with someone building a fantastic invention in their own garage. In this movie instead of a time machine they build some sort of machine to amplify nearby spirits. A pretty bad idea it turns out when deceased loved ones start popping up again like nothing has happened.

Trailer.

Womb
And finally we get our Doctor Who movie! It’s about the Doctor growing up and falling in love with Eva Green. The doctor sadly dies which leaves Eva Green so heartbroken she decides to clone her lost love and raise him as her own child. This of course creates some tension when the original mother finds out. Oh and when I say the Doctor I of course mean actor Matt Smith but come on, they really are the one and the same. Woo!! Doctor Who movie!!

Trailer.

Love
And finally here’s a movie I’m not entirely sure what it’s about. I’m guessing it’s about a lone astronaut that gets stuck on the international space station after the world ends or something. He starts going insane and I’m guessing he starts imagining himself in other time periods? Or something. I don’t know. It looks amazing though! Truly beautiful stuff. Reminds me a lot of The Fountain (which I love). It’s probably not as good as that but it could still be a solid movie.

Trailer.

And that’s it for now.

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Outland (Peter Hyams, 1981)

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“They sent me here to this pile of shit because they think I belong here. I want to find out if… well if they’re right.”

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Ikarie XB 1 (Jindrich Polák, 1963)

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“Coincidence exists among us humans, but not among the stars.”

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Eolomea (Herrmann Zschoche, 1972)

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“I’m off to find a new civilization in socks full of holes.”

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