A Miracle of Webcomicing
Submitted by Linda Howard Valentine on February 9, 2007 - 13:59
This weekend marks the last time you'll be able to say, "A Miracle of Science -- yeah, I was following it back when it was first published." Next week, the strip -- about a pair of officers tasked with discovering, defusing and arresting scientists suffering from SRMD (Science Related Memetic Disorder, i.e., mad science) -- draws to a well-earned close after six years.
So if you have a need to be part of the hip in-crowd (whatever that means) or just really enjoy a great sci-fi story, now's the time to catch up before next week's finale.
The cleverest thing about this strip is its premise, which is that mad science is a five-staged mental disease that starts with infection ("HAHAHAHAHA! IT COULD WORK!") and progresses through the inevitable chase sequence (stage 4) and denouement (stage 5). SRMD is a big problem for 2148 Earth, so big it has dedicated security forces, the Vorstellan Police, who weed out and resolve these cases before they become galaxy-threatening, using a process known as memetics.
But a good premise isn't enough, and what really makes this strip work are its sci-fi sensibilities. A Miracle of Science pulls in a lot of science fiction standbys (even the concept of memetics hearkens slightly back to the days when Azimov predicted that psychiatry would save us all), but it makes them fun. There's enough science to let you suspend disbelief, and not so much that the story bogs down in technical lingo. The artistic design of the tech enhances all of this; it's easy to let your mind go and just be entertained, rather than distracted by quibbling details like physics or questions like whether such a thing as an orbital cannon could ever actually work. ("Could it work? HAHAHAHA! They laughed at me in Vienna! I'll show them all!")
From potentially sentient robots to sentient group minds to deranged computer hackers on off-world colonies, it's amazing to see what marvels of science will save or doom us next. And with all their strange creations and ideas, clearly the maddest scientists of all are strip creators Jon Kilgannon and Mark Sachs. Catch this strip now, before their infection reaches its inevitable denouement next week.
New to A Miracle of Science? Don't go to its homepage; start at the beginning instead.