Print left at the Scene of the Crime


If you enjoy my posts and like my artwork please support my growth by buying one or more of the fourteen different prints I currently  have available on my deviant art page:

Robert Garbin’s Prints 


Distilled Emotions

I have hem hawed on how to approach  this subject for some time now because I wanted to make a positive post but was unsure how I could do so.  The subject is about my favorite soundtrack “Halo 4”.  I do not just mean of the Halo series but of all my soundtracks and it has even managed to take out “Star Wars:  The Empire Strikes Back”.  What made it so hard to write about was the fact that 343 in their quest to appease the fans decided to back away from the musical paths they had blazed in Halo 4.

Truth be told; however, I was one of the un-pleased in the beginning.  But as I have listened to both the cd’s for this soundtrack I have decided it is the best overall Halo soundtrack because of its variety and cohesiveness.  Don’t get me wrong, I love all the Halo soundtracks.  I just find that the Halo 4 soundtrack stands on its own better than any of the others with the least skip-able tracks.

Just listen to this track by Kazuma Jinnouchi.


The track starts out hauntingly sterile and cold then moves into the human sadness of Master Chiefs long struggle and the friends he has lost.  Now compare this to another track by Kazuma, which is one of my favorites.

A driving track that perfectly fits the activity of fighting through the belly of the Infinity in a massive mantis war machine, or as Caboose calls it “Freckles”.  Finally, listen to this stirring tribute to all the qualities embodied in the character of Spartan 117.


However, there is so much more because Kazuma Jinnouchi was not the only composer for the “Halo 4” soundtrack.  Neil Davidge also contributed many great tracks such as:


finally rock out to this track.


All I can say is that I was disappointed that “Halo 5: Guardians” did not follow up on the great work done in “Halo 4” and not just in the single player campaign or graphic beauty.

Space is Overwhelming but Neat


I am currently reading “Persepolis Rising” and I have been hit with two thoughts. I wonder how much the authors have ever considered them. If you follow my blog, you know I am constantly thinking and coming up with creative ideas, some in the form of stories and artwork, some in the form of unique analysis of other’s work.

The first idea stems from the series as a whole. Early on in the series, there were a lot of references to crossing into different territories like Mars’ space. However, how do you denote territory in a multi-planet/moon society?  Much of our concepts of boundaries come from our life here on earth where we think in two dimensions and relatively fixed features.  As we move out into the solar system with its vast expanses of space, we will need to seriously update our ideas of borders.  If we stuck to the old mindset for borders, then the orbit of Mars’ would define their space within a certain range nearer and further from the sun.  Earth’s boundaries would be similarly defined and would be totally encompassed by Mars’ borders.  In addition, certain distances above and below the planets orbit need to be claimed as well.  The problem for Mars is that their territory would be inconceivably large to administer.  Even Earth’s much smaller territory would be a challenge.

Now on the other hand, if you chose to make the territory boundaries connected to the physical planet, then you have to deal with orbital mechanics.  There will be times in a planets orbit where the physical boundary space defined for their territory would have no bearing at all on the trade of a competing planet with respect to the same trading partners.  For example, if Mars was on the opposite side of the sun from Earth and Ganymede then their sovereignty would not come into play between these two points.  How do you enforce tariffs?  What I am saying is that some of the concepts for territories mentioned in the Expanse series may be incorrect or at the very least need much more definition than I noted in the stories.  The only factor that I have left out, which may come into play yet is orbital mechanics in space flight, but that does not fully negate my argument.   Just something to think about as you read the series.

The second thought I had pertains to the appearance of the sphere on board “The Heart of the Tempest” toward the end of  “Persepolis Rising”.  There was much emphasis placed on the fact that as the ship moved, the sphere stayed exactly where it was relative to the inside of the ship.  My earth bound thinking said “wow, how could the aliens manage to keep the effect in such precise control from presumably a great distance”?  I was thinking of it as aiming some physical manifestation onto a ship in rough seas and managing to keep it precisely placed from all the walls, floor, and ceiling.  I felt it was nothing like doing the same on dry land.

Then I thought again.  The challenge of aiming and placing a manifestation on or in a planet would be the same if you step back to the scale of a solar system and beyond.  A planet is really nothing more than a giant spaceship.  Again, I was seeing that I needed to change my frame of reference when thinking about the implications brought about by the authors.  This is what science fiction does best.  It makes you think beyond the normal realms of life into the vast unknown.  Let me know what you think.

Incarnated Gods-R-Us

A post or two ago I asked my readers to help me chose a title for a short story I was writing.  Both were equally good for me so I was having trouble deciding which one to choose.  The idea for this tale grew from a very interesting Youtube video (AIRL) a friend suggested I catch.  Well, the story is finished, albeit in a rough form so here it is.


Tides of Mortality


Robert Garbin


The subject shuddered with the sudden onset of sharp discomfort, shock and dismay registering in her outward expressions while her inner turmoil spilled out in pleading.

“Wait … Wait … No this can’t be right … ahhh … can we start over?”

As the observer watched silently, her pleas became more piteous.

“Please, Please, something is horrible wrong.  Please stop the experiment!”

Fear became more pronounced as the world she knew became less defined, paler in the wake of lost senses no longer needed.   A faint high speed thudding underlined the increasingly strident calls for mercy.

“Why won’t you listen to me?”

“Damn you, stop this now!”

                “Please … Pleaseeeee … Mercy, oh mercy … Please!!!!”

She began screaming and snarling in agony, fear, and desperation.   The observer noted all of it but remained dispassionately quiet.  Soon the screams lost strength and coherence, turning into sobs then pitiful mewling.  The thudding; however, slowed down while growing stronger until it became a steady beat.  Thump, Thump.  Thump, Thump.


In the delivery room, Mrs. Sanchez was in the final stages of delivery with her husband by her excitedly exhorting her to one last push.  The doctor spoke calm words of reassurance to the first time parents as he gently helped the new person from its comfortable nesting place.  A final all out push delivered the tiny being and all the messy accoutrements of new life into the doctor’s hands.  Deftly he set about cleaning the child then hung it upside down to deliver a firm but not too firm smack on the rump.



With a wail of displeasure the immortal god took in her first breath for the six hundredth time.  The observer watched as the reincarnated god was swaddled and placed into the arms of her mother, another re-born god.  He sat for a long time watching the scene as complicated thoughts flowed through his mind like radioactive particles streaming out from a star into the depths of space.

After millennia of transitioning the immortal beings of the universe into and out of mortality, the pattern never changed.  They came with a strong desire to see the universe from such a unique perspective followed instantly by regret and fear when the processes of reducing their cosmic consciousness down small enough to fit began.  Their short time lived on the mortal plane ends with their re-emergence into the immortal universe where they truly belong.  Eons spent with comrades missed in the other realm, while a slow yearning builds for a return to mortality.  He never lacked for participants in his on going studies.

The observer began to conjecture the possibility of tides ebbing in and out of the mortal plane that drew immortals like the mariners he watched at times to the ocean.  He wondered at other properties, such as the tides of mortality, contained within the never ending mysteries of the universe.


New Projects in the Works

I just scanned in the finished seahorse drawing that I plan to start painting soon for a larger project, while the spider has been in my files for some time.  The spider is in a basic state and is intended to be mechanical, which is what slowed me down because, as I have said before, I am not good at mechanical drawings.  The idea for the spider came from an older drawing I did of human piloted spider walkers (scouts) under fire using thrusters to make short leaps out of danger.  My desire is to update the idea using what I have learned with digital painting.  I am posting it now because I have some new ideas about the project and hope to get back to work on it.

Atomic Joe Complete Destruction


Here is the final version of Atomic Joe and I am really happy with how this turned out.  I came up with the idea of creating a demonic being to represent man’s constant blindness and idiocy towards his own foibles when dealing with forces that are intolerant of such things after watching this documentary on the Chernobyl Accident.



The number of errors due to pride, arrogance, greed, etc. that created this accident are staggering.  While the Three Mile Island and Fukushima Diiachi accidents were different, they all share one similar trait, a failure of imagination.  In other word, the inability to comprehend and plan for all the natural and man made disasters that could create catastrophic reactor conditions.  Not only do we have to deal with the results of and continued dangers presented by Nuclear Power, we also have to face the dangers created by making Nuclear Power a business where cost/benefit ratios and bottom lines become more important than safety.  Businessman play Russian Roulette with societies safety just to make more profit.  How many times have manufacturing accidents, disasters, or toxic spills occurred because someone was trying to save money where they shouldn’t have?  With Nuclear Power, the costs are even higher since the radiation can last for centuries.  So remember that whenever you leave a light on or waste energy.  Atomic Joe is always lurking in the background to give you a real good radiation tan.  Bones.


P.S. If you look, you will find the names Chernobyl, Fukushima Diiachi, and Three Mile Island in the painting.

Hazmat Team Needed


Please make sure to wear your hazmat suit when viewing this image since Atomic Joe is really starting to put out the rads.  Viewing may cause loss of hair, burns, and vomiting, take care to not touch the physical image.  Making progress and trying new ideas, including moving layers forwards and back.  I want to give a soft red glow to the back like I have seen in pictures of atomic blasts but have not been happy with the results so far.  Fourteen painted layers so far and I cannot combine any yet because their placement is set according to depth they represent.