Sci Fi


As the writer of a science fiction, space adventure webcomic with a retro-futuristic aesthetic, hyper-vivid colors, dramatic lighting and a tough-guy protagonist possessing of a somewhat antiquated sense of style, it can be hard to solve for the variable in the all-important equation “If you like ‘X’ you may also like my comic, Ion Grip.” But now I’ve found Stroper––a science fiction, space adventure webcomic with a retro-futuristic aesthetic, hyper-vivid colors, dramatic lighting and a tough-guy protagonist possessing of a somewhat antiquated sense of style––by Eddie Porter. And holy damn do I find myself in good company.

Stroper is the story of Pak Booker, a mulleted poacher of endangered alien wildlife. Booker seems to take no joy in his work; indeed, the danger inherent in the job and the great length he is willing to go to in stalking his prey demonstrate the terrible need Booker must be in to resort to a life of crime. All this is subtly and competently covered in the first few pages of issue #1 and sets up our Anti-hero’s true antagonist: a universe rife with injustice, corruption, and oppression.

Eddie Porter writes and draws this book with the laser-focused vision one only finds in single-creator works, and yet he somehow avoids the self-indulgent pitfalls that many such books succumb to. He chooses his battles, both narratively and stylistically, providing the reader with a concise story and a stark, cartoony aesthetic. No panel is wasted––long, shadowy scene-setters burst with mood, action scenes punch you with just the right microsecond, and dialogue is brief but nuanced. I am not aware of any other comic Porter has worked on, but he attacks this book like a veteran, confident in his skills.

Issues #1 and #2 are available now and I highly recommend fans of Ion Grip and innovative comic storytelling go pick them up.

Small Press Finds From San Diego Comic Con 2016: Hex11 #7

This year at SDCC, I spent a lot of time at the Hex11 booth. I’m kind of a fan. I even hired their colorist, Samantha Carrasco, to work on my own book, Ion Grip. So, of course I picked up the newly released 7th issue of the series.

Issue #7 is the start of a new story arc that promises to explore the cryptically hinted at realm of the Hex-verse known as the Verge. As it is the very tip of a narrative iceberg, I don’t have much to say about it just yet, save a couple stray thoughts. But I’m intrigued, which is exactly what one wants from the first issue of an story arc.

Stray Thought Number One. While Hex11’s first story arc starts with protagonist Elanor struggling with her own disappointing orinariness, here Elanor can’t quite get comfortable with the fact that she might actually be quite extraordinary––a situation reversal that leaves her every bit as relatable as she’s always been. It’s a nice touch. She’s still a bit too self-conscious and self-righteous, but writer Kelly Sue Milano gives the reader’s own thoughts voice via the criticisms of heartthrob-demon-made-flesh Osrick who never misses an opportunity to call out Elanor’s faults.

Stray Thought Number Two. Speaking of said hot demon: this issue also pushes forward the dynamic between Elanor and Osrick, while keeping the tension in place. There’s a real Pride and Prejudice feel to Elanor and Osrick’s developing relationship––which, incidentally, is one of my favorite of the romantic narrative archetypes. (It’s far better than the star-crossed lover tragedies or the misunderstanding-that-keeps-them-apart comedies. Hell, if Nora Ephron had written a comic about a witch and a demon, I suspect it would look a lot like Hex11.) Now I’m not saying the two of them are definitely going to get together in the end, but there’s definitely more than a shipper’s dream going on there...not that I’m shipping those two...I’m just saying...nevermind.

You can pick up a floppy of Hex11 #7 at or get the digital version a Comixology. And if you haven’t read 1-6 yet, the trade paperback is now available, so go ahead and pick that up too.

Season 2, Episode 5: The Propagandist, Part 3

Part 3 of 3. In which crime fiction takes a bite out of Jacques Ellul and spits out some Science Fiction.

Last time We left Rett Ellis as a prisoner of the Littleton Motor Cycle club soliciting the dubious help of an undercover Vice agent... when Chester Reeves walks into the room; the very man he’s been looking for. Will Ellis live long enough to complete his mission?

You can contact us at Find us on Facebook and follow @apweber on twitter.

This episode of Lies and Half Truths is brought to you by Arts Digital.

Next: Cephalopod Sign, Part One 03.19.2016

Photo by Brenton Salo

Photo by Brenton Salo

Season 2, Episode 4: The Propagandist, Part 2

Part 2 of 3, In which crime fiction takes a bite out of Jacques Ellul and spits out some Science Fiction.

In part one of the Propagandist, a psychically unsettled freelance Propaganda agent named Rett Ellis is sent to find the mysterious folk singer and man-of-the-people, Chester Reeves before the latter causes destabilizing damage to the placid, uniform landscape of social messaging. But on his way to the lawless mountain town of Littleton, Ellis is waylaid by highwaymen. Will Rett Ellis live long enough to find who he’s looking for in Littleton?

You can contact us at Find us on Facebook and follow @apweber on twitter.

This episode of Lies and Half Truths is brought to you by Arts Digital.

Next: The Propagandist, Part Three 01.22.2016

Photo by Brenton Salo

Photo by Brenton Salo

Season 2, Episode 3: The Propagandist, Part 1

This is the first of a three part story in which crime fiction takes a bite out of French political and social philosopher Jacques Ellul and spits out some science fiction.

This story was written and performed by me, A.P. Weber. The music was provided by Das Verlin and Josiah Martens wrote the theme song. Meg Weber produced the show, along with me, your host A.P. Weber.

As always, you can email your us at In particular, we’d be interested in hearing from other writers who want their work to be featured on a future episode. You can like our facebook page and follow me on twitter, as well. Also, please consider reviewing this show on iTunes, Stitcher or wherever.

This episode is brought to you by Arts Digital. Arts Digital is a graphic design and digital development studio. Go to 

Next: The Propagandist, Part Two 01.15.2018

Photo by Brenton Salo

Photo by Brenton Salo

Season 2, Episode 1: A Steady Hand, Part 1

In season one, we introduced you to a mysterious and sinister man who brokers “time” in exchange for loyalty. Now, we take you back to that haunted noir setting with an all new tale.

Credits: This story was written and performed by A.P. Weber. Science Heroes provided the music and Josiah Martens wrote the theme song. Meg Weber produced the show along with me, your host, A.P. Weber. Courtney Stubbert designed our logo. Photos were provided by Brenton Salo.

I’d like to invite you to get in touch with us. You can email your feedback to My twitter handle is @apweber.

This episode of Lies and Half truths is brought to you by Flash Pulp! A fiction Podcast with a Modern pulp twist. Monday, Wednesday and Friday Flash Pulp delivers 3-10 minutes of original sci fi, fantasy, noir, horror--you name it. Go to

Next: A Steady Hand, Part Two 12.18.2015

Photo by Brenton Salo

Photo by Brenton Salo

LAHT Season 2! Coming Friday Dec. 11th!

At long last, I'm ready to announce season 2 of the Lies And Half Truths Podcast! Episode 1 of season 2 is coming this Friday, December 11th (as the title of this post has already indicated.) It's going to be a fun season--longer stories with cliffhangers and all sorts of craziness. You'll love it. We have a new theme song composed by Josiah Martens, too! You can here it in the above preview. Let us know what you think; you can email us at or tweet at me (@apweber). 

Also, I want to let you know about our first sponsor for the podcast: Flash Pulp. It's a fiction podcast. I'm not sure how they manage to do this, but they publish new episodes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday--and they're damn good stories. If you're enjoying Lies and Half truths, there's a good bet you'll like Flash Pulp. So check them out. 


LAHT Presents: Saving Mars, Chapter One "Not Big On Protocol" by Cidney Swanson

As you know, I'm currently writing Lies and Half Truths season 2. Until it launches, we're bringing you some stories by other great writers. 

On this episode, I read an excerpt from Cidney Swanson’s Saving Mars. Swanson is an award winning YA Sci Fi and Fantasy writer. Check out her Blog. You can pick up Saving Mars and many other books by Swanson on the Amazon book store or on her website. 

Original music for this episode was provided by Josiah Martens.  He did an amazing job and we hope to collaborate quite a bit on future episodes. 

As always, Meg Weber produced this show, along with me. 

I'd love to hear your response to this episode. Did you like it? Did you hate it? We're you like, "meh?" What kinds of stories do you want to hear on future episodes? Email us at

Episode Preview: Saving Mars, By Cidney Swanson

This Friday, October 16th, the Lies and Half Truths Podcast is bringing you an excerpt from Cidney Swanson's Saving Mars, read by me (AP Weber) and scored by my good friend Josiah Martens. It's going to be great, so don't miss it.

Episode 3: The Mastodon


The Mastodon? If memories from my boyhood serve, The Mastodon wore a garish costume, just like the rest. His was brown and yellow with a deep-vee revealing thick, red body-hair. Or was that Ultimate Man? No. Ultimate Man had the crimson cape; he could fly, too. Mastodon couldn’t fly. And the deep-vee was the middle part of an ‘M’ on his chest... so, yeah, Mastodon.

“Why do you believe that you’re the Mastodon?” I say--because you can’t argue with a delusion. Believe me; I’ve tried.

Brian sits across from me leaning forward in his chair, gripping the armrest as if he’s still bearing the weight of his confession on his back. He’s breathing heavily and I’m wondering if he will faint.

But thinking about it, he really could be. He’s huge, broad-shouldered. About the right age, late forties/early fifties. He’s pudgy around the middle, but I’d buy him as an aging superhero--metahuman, or whatever. He even has red hair.

Brian runs a shaking hand across his brow.

“Can I get a lorazepam?” he says in his husky, thick-tongued drawl.

I nod and stand, take out my keys as I cross to the cupboard. We keep this cupboard locked, of course. There’s a book where I sign for every single dose I give out: morning, noon, evening, bedtime, PRNs. Some of the guys living in this house have twenty different prescriptions or more. Most of the meds are to treat the side effects of their various antipsychotics: diabetes, high blood pressure, eczema, constipation, nausea. Mental health or physical health? I often wonder which one I could live without. It’s a hell of a choice.

And then there’s the drugs they like--like lorazepam.

I finger through the file folder of med boards, take out Brian’s lorazepam PRN--plastic bubbles on one side, foil tags on the other. I pop one into a little dixie cup with dainty pastel flowers all over it. I read somewhere that snipers take this same drug to slow their heartbeats, steady their hands for accuracy; Brian takes it every day and if he has to ride the bus, he takes a little extra.

When I give the cup to Brian, he dumps it out into his enormous hand and stares at the pill, tiny white against a field of red palm.

“You don’t believe me,” he says.

I sit down across from him with a cultivated nonchalance and take a heavy breath. You can’t argue with a delusion, but here we go.

“I have my doubts,” I tell him. “Didn’t all those guys die back in the nineties? There was, what, some kind of reality dysfunction. All the heroes and neverdowells across the multiverse came together and were destroyed in some sort of quantum cataclysm. Right?”

He’s nodding like it were just the objection he was expecting, then he makes a fist around the little pill and brings it to his mouth.

“All of them but me,” he says and swallows.

Photo by Brenton Salo

Photo by Brenton Salo

Mornings are always busy around here. By seven, the guys are filtering into my office to get their first round of meds. A lot of them need to be woken up so they can get their meds on time--they have to take them, and they have to take them at the right times; it’s part of the contract they signed to get into the halfway house program. When I go into their rooms, I always knock and make a big show of warning them that I’m coming in; but they're always just sleeping.

Back in the office, I take up my customary position behind a counter near the med cabinet. Steven comes in doing broad, sloppy boxing moves. He’s trying to get in shape, he tells me.

I begin popping pills out from a stack of boards thicker than five volumes of an encyclopedia. I have the paperwork next to me--a grid of tiny boxes for every medication on every day. I put my initials down for each pill that goes in the cup. It takes a while, so Steven jogs in place for a bit and then goes back to punching.

Russell comes and stands in the doorway. These two argue sometimes because it takes so long for Steven to get his pills and Russell has to wait. Russell eyeballs Steven for a few seconds then says, “You’re doing it all wrong.”

Steven turns and looks Russell up and down, incredulous.

This is just what I need this morning. Steven’s been spiralling out of control lately, getting more and more agitated, short-fused. He goes on these long tirades filled with violent imagery and I have to tell him to leave the house and walk around the block to cool down; but that hasn’t been working lately. I keep warning my superiors that he’s decomping--that he needs his meds adjusted or something. They just tell me to document everything.

“What do you know about it?” Steven says, puffing out his chest.

Russell shrugs. “I used to be a boxer.”

“OK,” I say and push a dixie cup full of pills across the counter.

Steven turns on me like an angry dog turning on his master.

“Don’t say that! I hate it when you say that! It sounds like you’re saying ‘Oh gay’ and I’m not gay!”

I use my fake calm voice, “I’m just telling you that your pills are ready.”

He pours the cup into his mouth, then walks over to the water cooler and fills it up.

“You’re the gay one. You’re a fucking faggot,” he says through a mouth full of pills. He drinks the water, crumples the cup and drops it on the ground.

“Go for a walk,” I tell him, trying to sound authoritative, as if there were anything I could do to compel him to obey.

He huffs and shoulders past Russell.

“What’s his problem?” Russell says, moving in to take his place in front of the counter.

“You didn’t have to provoke him.”

“I used to be a boxer,” he says, raising his voice an octave to show that he’s being defensive. “I was just trying to help.”

Russell is all matted hair, and whiskers and food stains on his clothes. He wouldn’t look at all out of place sleeping under a doorway somewhere downtown.

I get to work on his meds.

When were you a boxer?” I say, just short of calling him a liar.

He pretends not to notice my tone.

“Oh, when I was younger. But I didn’t like it. I just can’t hurt people.”

I nod as if I agree. But I read his file. I know what he’s done. It’s not fair to judge because he was psychotic at the time. No one could seem further from that man I read about than the man standing in front of me now, though. But isn’t psychosis just that moment when the cork pops off and everything seething inside you comes spilling out?

Russell swallows his pills and says, “can I get a sharp knife?”

Staff keeps the kitchen knives in the office so the guys have to ask when they want to use one. They’re supposed to be practicing life skills, learning to be independent. This means, every now and then, they need a knife. But I still feel nervous whenever I give one out.

“I’m going to chop up some vegetables for an omelette,” Russell explains.

I retrieve the knife and hand it over. “Don’t forget to bring it back.”

“I won’t,” he says, but I know he will. I’ll most likely find it lying on the kitchen counter later this afternoon.

Photo by Brenton Salo

Photo by Brenton Salo

Everyone’s had their evening meds, and I’m waiting for my shift to end--for the night staffer to come in. The house is quiet. Brian taps on the office door.

“Can I get another lorazepam?” he says and slumps into a chair.

“OK,” I say--it does kind of sound like ‘Oh, gay.’ “What’s going on?”

Brian clears his throat. “I just been thinking about that boy.”

“What boy?”

“You know, that one that used to run around with The Dark Cowl. What was his name? Like a mouse or a bird or something. I never understood why The Cowl would put a kid in danger like that. We were supposed to be protecting kids, weren’t we?”

I raise my eyebrows as if to say, “Yep, it’s a crazy world. What are you going to do?” This is not something I want to get into right before quitting time. I move to the med cabinet to get his pill.

“You ever pick something up,” Brian continues, “and hold it in your hand and think, ‘this thing is very important. Too important for me. I’ll just mess it up.’ So you put it down?”

“Um,” I say, flipping through med boards. I have no idea what he’s talking about.

“On that day when they all died and I didn’t,” he goes on, lowering his voice like he’s talking in church, “I tried to talk the boy out of going with them for the final battle. I told him someone had to stay behind just in case. He said, ‘you do it, then.’ So I did. He was only fourteen and he died with the rest of them.”

I pop the pill into a cup and when I look up, Steven’s standing there in the doorway; his eyes are wild and shining. Brian gets up and rushes toward him. Then I see the knife in Steven’s hand--I never did find it, did I.

Brian is reaching out like he’s going to grab Steven. Steven brings up the blade and Brian folds over it, collapses, holding his stomach, curled up on the floor. Steven looks at me. Hate and vengeance all over his face. He’s rubbing the front of his pants. I can see an erection bulging there and I’m paralyzed.

“Fucking faggot,” he says and takes a step toward me.

I put my hands out in front of me. “Steven--” I begin to say, but he slaps me in the face so hard I jerk to one side, and see white sparks popping in the periphery of my vision.

“Bitch! Faggot!”

And then Russell’s in the doorway and his fists are up by his chin and he cocks back and he let’s fly. The blow connects with Steven’s brow and he reels backward and falls onto the ground.

I grab for the phone and pound out 9-1-1. I’m screaming at the dispatcher. Out of the corner of my eye, I see Steven getting to his feet. Russell’s fists are up again, but Steven ducks by him and out into the hall. I hear the front door open and slam shut.

“Lock the doors!” I scream, and Russell rushes to obey.

The dispatcher is all assurances of an ambulance and patrol cars. I drop the phone--no, I throw it down without bothering to hang it up.

Brian rolls over a bit and I can hear him crying softly. I kneel beside him. Blood is pooling on the carpet so I take my shirt off and try to bunch it up around the blade still wedged in his belly. His eyelids sag and when he speaks his voice is even thicker than usual.

“You look just like him. The boy. About the same age, right? Would have been fourteen at the time, right?”

I nod. “Yeah. You saved me.”

Next: The Last Request 06.05.2015