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Sparkler

Sparkler is an online digital magazine of original English-language fiction inspired by manga and light novel magazines in Japan. Most of the stories in the magazine fall into three major formats: comics/manga, illustrated prose (light novels), and audio dramas.

It is currently featuring two audio dramas: Tokyo Demons and a science fiction audiod rama series titled Awake.

Several hundred years in the future, the United States is overcrowded, low on resources, and dealing with a bitter homeland war. In the midst of this, colonizing ships send tens of thousands of people to start a new life on earth-like planets in different solar systems; all passengers are cryogenically frozen for the duration of the 3,000-year voyage. The ships aren't fully automated, however–they need human crews to keep the machinery running and to act as a failsafe to wake the real crew if something goes wrong. For people who can't afford the high cost of buying fare on the ship, they can pay their way as part of the crew: ten years on the crew equals passage for one person. These individuals are taken out of cryogenic sleep once, left awake to work their years, and then are frozen again. People are woken in staggered shifts – a full crew is six “awake” people at one time.

600 years into the voyage, Hina Hwan is woken to work her half of the thirty years needed to pay the fare of her fiancee and his young daughter. But she swiftly learns that the only thing worse than six people isolated in space… is six people and an unidentified corpse.

Episodes of Awake are available as streaming YouTube videos for everyone, and as downloadable MP3 files for subscribers.

  • Last modified: 2014/01/14 00:20