Ever so often, someone is brave enough to ask for my opinion on something they've written. I'm a curmudgeony (yes, that a word) Creative Writing teacher -- and not the cute kind of curmudgeon either. My mind is trained to not like what you've written. Not out of spite, but just because there is so much crap out there. Something magnificent, by definition, must be rare. If someone hands me a script, I will always try to read it. Usually, I don't finish. That, in itself, should be taken as a sign. However, if I do finish it, my notes may not be kind, but they will be sincere. If the notes are cruel, be encouraged. It means I care, and I really want this story to be good. Over a year ago, October 20, 2009 to be exact (I keep every email), my friend and colleague Ryan Cody sent me his script for ICARUS, issue one. I sent back 43 notes. I can't claim to have actually improved upon what was already a good story, but let's pretend.

That issue is now available for purchase (click here). Both for digital download and if you want a print copy. You can also read a preview.

Here's the official word on ICARUS:

In 2014, a young child with the ability to look into the future sees an object approaching Earth, a giant spacecraft containing a species intent on invasion and occupation. She locates the most public superhuman of the time, The Golden Templar, and convinces him to take her to a secret group of world leaders. The Ameliorata do not believe her story and cast her away. When she, and other gifted seers go public with their warning, global riots break out and the world is turned upside down with religious and economic collapse. The Ameliorata decide that the superhumans cannot be allowed to roam unchecked and continue to upset the power balance. They order the execution of every known superhuman. Major Fisher Riley is put in charge of exterminating the world’s most powerful individuals. The Ameliorata convince the public that the oncoming object to Earth is only the asteroid Icarus, preparing to make its scheduled pass of Earth.

Icarus is expected to pass Earth on June 16th, 2015.

I highly recommend it. After all, I finished reading the script. The concept is fascinating, focused and well delivered. I've always enjoyed Ryan's art, which I think is particularly well-suited for modern adventure stories -- potent with dark, deep colors.

Read it. Enjoy it. I did.