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Tower of Iron Will

All who enter the Tower regain 100 sanity points.

Currently reading

Machine of Death: A Collection of Stories About People Who Know How They Will Die
Randall Munroe, James Foreman, K. Sekelsky, Camron Miller, John Chernega, David Michael Wharton, K.M. Lawrence, Jeffrey C. Wells, Vera Brosgol, Kit Yona, J. Jack Unrau, Jeff Stautz, Aaron Diaz, Matthew Bennardo, Yahtzee Croshaw, Douglas J. Lane, Brian Quinlan, Kate Beaton

The Adventures of an Ordinary Woman in Outer Space

The Ballad of Halo Jones - Alan Moore, Ian Gibson

The Ballad of Halo Jones is a science fiction graphic novel series Alan Moore wrote back in the mid 1980's. Set 3000 years in the future, it tells the story of a young woman driven to escape her dead-end life. Her story begins in a giant welfare housing complex filled with gang violence. Halo manages to find a job as a hostess on a luxury space cruiser and later ends up in the military. All along the way she loses friends and encounters all sorts of tragedy and misfortune.


There are a lot of visible influences here. Book one has some nods to Burgess' A Clockwork Orange, with its invented future slang and casual violence. Book three recalls Haldeman's The Forever War with soldiers dealing with the relativistic effects of time distortion. There is also a bit of anti-Heinlein reaction, especially with the faster than light propulsion system called the "free lunch drive."


The collection is called "The Complete Ballad" because it includes the three parts Moore wrote, although he had originally planned for the story to run to nine parts. I think part of the reason Moore walked away from the project was that his stated intention was to write about a completely ordinary woman who was not a she-devil or a sexpot, but just like someone you would meet in your daily life. The problem with writing a science fiction adventure about an ordinary person is that the more adventure they have the less ordinary they become. If Moore had finished the story Jones would likely have been a space hero on a par with Flash Gordon or Buck Rodgers.


Some readers have expressed hope that Moore will return to the story and finish it some day. While I would like to see the rest of the story, I kind of hope he does not, because I would like see it as completed by 1980's Moore. While Moore is still a fantastic writer, he has grown angrier and more bitter over the years, and that is saying a lot because he wasn't exactly an upbeat optimist when he wrote Watchmen and V for Vendetta. I shudder to think what horrors contemporary Alan Moore would inflict on poor Halo. Best to leave it as is.