Author: Andrew Bergstrom

Prometheus Radio Theatre Preps Latest Podcast

Prometheus Radio Theatre has been performing live since October, 2000 at Baltimore Science Fiction Conventions. Its largest project is an the award-winning episodic series called The Arbiter Chronicles, created eight years ago by Steven H. Wilson (who also wrote the tie-In novel, Taken Liberty.) The stories center on a group of young midshipmen (and women) who take their name from their first posting in the space navy – the patrol ship CNV Arbiter.

The first Arbiter Chronicles episodes were released on CD in 2003. Since 2005, they’ve produced over 100 episodes of their podcast, including 15 serialized episodes of the Arbiters, six of SuperHuman Times, a couple of ghost stories, and a reading of the Arbiters novel, Taken Liberty. Along the way, they’ve won the Mark Time Silver Medal for excellence in science fiction audio drama, and the Parsec Award for best Audio Drama (Long Form.)

The story is set hundreds of years in the future, after the human race has all but abandoned an Earth which has been devastated by war, poverty and disease. It is an embarrassment to its descendant worlds, and its people are considered the cast-offs of humanity. As the series starts Captain Jan Atal of Rigel V is one of the Confederate Navy’s most-decorated officers, but is despised by his superiors due to his opinions and success. He is sent on a punitive assignment to command the CNV Arbiter and takes with him four misfit proteges:

  • Terry Metcalfe and Kevin Carson, two of the few Terrans ever to graduate the Academy
  • Cernaq, a telepath from a world of extremist intellectuals
  • Atal’s daughter Kaya, whose phenomenal IQ is matched only by the chip on her shoulder

An elderly Wiccan doctor, and a Boatswain who’s an escaped slave join them as they protect Confederate borders from denizens of the violent Qraitian Empire. The situations they deal with highlight the human condition in a darker future than you might expect. Four of the past 15 episodes are available on CD through


Interview: D.J. Coffman on Politics and Webcomics

Interview: D.J. Coffman on Politics and Webcomics

On D. J. Coffman’s blog website George Washington stares at me from behind a "star-spangled" bandana, almost daring me to challenge him. Below is a quote from another founding father John Adams "An honest man will never have any other." Our founding fathers were real hell raisers that defied the British Empire, the legal government at the time, and we should all respect these hooligans for giving birth to our nation.

The 32-year old Coffman has come a long way since 1998 when he first self-published Yirmumah, with his own brand of slapstick humor to kick his sometime collaborator Bob in the nuts and our funny bone.

In June, Coffman allied himself with the Flobots while at the same time publically estranged himself from Platinum Studios over non-payment for his Hero by Night webcomic. He suddenly became a highly public figure in the struggle between creators and the company.

Today Coffman also shows a very serious side of himself; a sequential artist, a thinker to be reckoned with, and a dreamer with a lot of fans. I caught up with Coffman recently:

CMix: How did you hook up with the politically active Flobots musical group?

DJ: Fate I suppose, and it all started with a sign. I don’t consider myself in anyone’s party per se, but I found myself agreeing with [Barack] Obama’s ideas of change. His quote "We are the ones we’ve been waiting for" made me think about hard work, and if you want something done you have to do it yourself. Back in April I created my own yard sign encouraging people to VOTE. I had seen a lot of pickups go by with rebel flags, and some even shouting out racial slurs. The ignorance I was surrounded with, and that my kids might witness, made me sick. I felt like I was the only one that was thinking about the future. Before they took off, I downloaded the Flobots’ Fight with Tools album, which I listened to continuously on the trip to and from the New York Comic-Con. While I was away that sign was stolen and my yard was trashed, right before the Pennsylvania primary. I painted another sign, and I would have continued just to exercise my freedom of speech, and not to have it silenced by any "Hillbillies." The album’s politically charged lyrics stuck a chord inside me, so I emailed the band to inquire about making a webcomic or graphic novel based on their positive lyrics. I quickly received an email reply from Stephen "Brer Rabbit" Brackett, who had heard of my work, and conversations grew from there. I told him about my sign and he replied, "It’s time to paint those signs!"