Character illustration

Radian & Shadebeam

Author: Gary W. Olson



When the three MiGs crashed into the mountains, Radian and Shadebeam finally noticed something was going on.

"Hey," Akane said. "Something's going on."

"Yeah," Shadebeam agreed. "Hey, you guys see what just went on?"

*Who, us?* Symon asked, innocently.

-Don't mind us,- Kyoko told them. -Just go on doing what you're doing. It's much more entertaining.-

"China?" Akane asked.

*I'm not sure, but I think you defeated the Chinese Air Force,* China said. *Not my air force, I mean, the country China's air force.*

"We did?" Shadebeam asked, confused. She and Akane looked around, and saw the wreckage of six MiGs littering the mountainscape around them. "Huh. Damn. Who knew?"

"We have *got* to pay more attention to these things," Akane said.

Main Characters:

Run: January 1994 - November 1995

Notes: At the end of the The Songs of Darkness, Radian was defeated. Free of the nihilistic desires that drove her to attempt transcendence by converting the Earth into magical energy to consume, she faced a trial and likely lifetime imprisonment. Shadebeam, a version of herself from altiverse 001SFSTORY, assisted her in escaping from the C Building, with the assistance of CalForce's AI, HAL, and together, they fled to Australia.

A chance encounter with a mysterious courier named Zero and the even more mysterious Black Sphere he was carrying encouraged them to pursue him across seven continents, with Karina Selanova of the Mega-Intelligence Bureau pursuing them in turn. Through twists both grand and small, through time loops and delusions and the dehumanizing effects of inevitability, they reached the end of their long journey, and learned the punchline to the funniest joke in the universe. (Well, Radian did, anyway. She hasn't told Shadebeam).

This series, which ran for an even one-hundred episodes (not counting the epilogue, "Innocent When You Dream"), is considered by Gary to be the pinnacle of his Superguy writing run. The final storyline, "Lay Me Low," where every theme developed throughout the series, both overt and subtle, came together, is his absolute peak. Everything written by him for Superguy before that was prologue; everything written for Superguy after that was epilogue. During its run, the series won a cartful of Grunions, including Best Series (in both 1994 and 1995), Best Antagonist (Radian, solo in '94, tied with Ramrod in '95), and Most Confusing.


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