Book Jacket


rank 3043
word count 59024
date submitted 25.11.2009
date updated 09.05.2010
genres: Fiction, Science Fiction, Young Adu...
classification: universal

The Centauri Generation

Brian Bandell

Surviving the teenage years is hard enough without having to do it on a space ship.


As the first member of the Centauri Generation - the children born on a 60-year journey to the nearest solar system - Shelly Evers has lots to learn. But what's the fun in that? Her passions aren't that much different from those of girls on earth, except she'll never hit the malls or beaches of the blue planet unless she can convince the crew to turn the space ship around. With the original explorers slowly dying off, she'll get her chance, but it won't do much good if her generation can't run a space ship.

The elders who started this mission won't go out quietly. They'll make sure Shelly and her generation finds a habitable star, even if they have to break some hearts, and a few skulls.

The novel is completed at about 123,000 words. I posted half of it here.

I return reads. See my profile for more details.

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coming of age, exploration, generational, jewish, science fiction, space, teenage years

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tracy t wrote 71 days ago

Hi Brian
just finished reading the first 5 chapters.
I think your story-line is very clever and intellectual with a nice flowing pace. Multi-nation spacecraft so futuristic yet covering all the themes, love, betrayal, bullying etc etc that are timeless. Nicely done.
Just a couple of places that you might want to revisit for an edit.
Chp 3, 13 paragraphs in, Chiyo beat out of .... I think the "out" needs removing or the sentence rearranging to read better.
Chp 4 Dr Evers sighed he's growth wiser .... grown?
So I became a lead because what it took .... this also needs a bit of attention.
Think its a clever book well written and going to back.
Best of luck
Tracy :)

Eidetic Delirium wrote 555 days ago

Wow—there is so much going on here in the first chapter. You’ve got religious tension, typical teen social drama, an entire social structure relevant only to this particular setup, and the whole thing takes place on a spaceship. Plus you’re doing character introductions, moving the story along with action, and developing your themes on top of it—and it’s all well balanced. I’d say you’re off to a really strong start with this.

kokako wrote 625 days ago

Hi Brian,

This is an excellent first chapter, leaving the reader with a real desire to turn the page and find out what comes next. It introduces the kids who I suspect will be the main characters in the story, and subtly informs the reader of the social and political make-up of the Destiny herself, as well as giving us an idea of some of the tensions and personalities.

Probably the main thing you need to focus on is ensuring the tenses and third person narrative are constant. Otherwise, this chapter flows well, is easy to read and engaging, and introduces the story nicely.

Well done.


Racheal McGillivary wrote 629 days ago

Hi Brian,

This is my return read. Wow, what a great book! Well, first chapter anyway. You set up he story nicely with your MC's personality and how ill-treated she is. I love the whole concept of the story and how you incorporated all nationalities. This was a very entertaining and engaging read. I am adding it to my WL for backing very soon. Highly starred!


K E Shaw wrote 638 days ago

Brian, I'm very glad i requested a return read - I'm up to Chapter 4 and from the point of view of story-telling, I am enjoying this. I will definitely be back for more, so Centauri is staying on my shelf.

As a YA novel, the pace is good, and given the pitch I immediately identified with where the characters were and could more or less picture the setting despite little exposition. (I'm a photographer, visually orientated, so what you don't give me, I just make it up!)

Your style is easy and fluid - a pleasant read.

Occasionally some of the dialogue felt a little unnatural to me - ie, being used as an information dump for some of the technical details. I think one of the things (and I've seen it in many genres, including my own of fantasy) that causes us authors (me included) to make this mistake is that we don't fully immerse ourselves in the character's head. If we did, they wouldn't say things that everyone should already know... I understand it's a tough one to circumvent sometimes - the need to get the info out, without reams of explanatory passages. Sometimes though, it just feels wrong as dialogue. It is an intrusion of the author's voice, as opposed to the characters' voices?

I've just had a quick recce of the comments below - gosh?! I don't know much about the technical details of space flight, although I have been researching issues of speed/time - but I admire your bravery in tackling it head on. Apparently that has left you open to some pretty harsh crit from some? I haven't progressed far enough into the story to know if giving that much details is essential to the plot - but if it's not essential, maybe 'fudge' a bit so that the tech-heads don't try and tear strips off you? Very mean spirited of them, and counter-productive.

All the best with this book - I believe you have real talent as a story teller, and that in time this one will be more than ready for the publishers.

patio wrote 659 days ago

interesting story

Adam Thurstman wrote 672 days ago

Wow, what a concept but there in lies the flaw, it takes a 12 year old to point out the ridiculousness of having children on such a long mission, doomed to failure from the start. 'Grown ups' and I think most children would point that out in a flash. Sorry, the story lost credibility from then.

If you wish to see how deep space travel is really going to be done please read chapter 9 of 'Is Israel real'

Adam De-Thurstman

Cara Gold wrote 729 days ago

{The Centauri Generation} – Brian Bandell
Pitch and Chapter 1:

I really like the premise and think you have a promising story to tell – with a unique infusion of sci-fi and Young Adult. The first chapter nicely introduces the characters, and I particularly like the way you make the reader sympathise with Shelley. Some great dialogue to truly show the unfriendliness of the students – particularly liked the insult ‘I hear you pee so much the ship is running out of iodine.’ Very original and fresh!

The use of italics for the little first person thought bubbles work well. Some people critique POV changes/first-third person changes but you have handled it excellently and it isn’t jarring at all.

Overall, a very polished first chapter!

fictionguy wrote 736 days ago

This is a great book for young adults. The writing is good and the characters are brought to the book with realistic vision. I plan on coming back and reading more when I get a chance. Good luck.

Isabel Parkinson wrote 739 days ago

I like this a lot. It’s a refreshing, interesting, and imaginative take on YA fiction. Your writing is smooth, realistic, and clearly well thought-out.
Shelly is a likeable character and her difficulties help the reader to develop sympathy for her.
The line ‘laughter fluttered around like gnats’ in chapter one was particularly good – and I noticed quite a few effective metaphors.
There isn’t much more I can add. I didn’t spot any typos and the pace throughout seemed just right.
Hope to see this do well – I’m sure it will!

Katie2112 wrote 739 days ago

I really like this idea. An interesting change for a young adult/teenage novel. I've only read the first couple of chapters but looking forward to reading more. Highly starred and will be on my shelf as soon as space allows. Well written!

revteapot wrote 821 days ago

Brian, this is good, and an interesting take on the space journey story.
I've only read the first chapter, but you depict well the trapped nature of Shelly's schooling and the way she and the other children are divorced from their own culture (or trapped within it, ref Rafi).
I don't normally like YA, but this read well.
I can find no room for improvement, I'm afraid, so there is little to add but, well done :)

A Priest's Tale.

Prozakville wrote 953 days ago

Hi Brian,

This is an interesting premise, that of onboard politics, power struggles, relationships etc. on a one-way voyage into the black. The classroom bullying in the early chapters comes across authentically and I rooted for Shelley. I also like the idea of the children being trained to take over from the adults - having worked for a family-run business three generations I can see the potential for conflict!

On the downside, the writing isn't as fluid as 'Mute', your other posted work; I'm guessing this is an earlier work? To me, it's also not obviously a young adult novel, as the young protagonists often seem to be on the fringes of the main action. It also never seemed clear what the mission objective was, as a crew of a hundred or so seemed too small to colonise a distant planet (for example, in Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy it was always made clear that the first 100 were there to prepare the way for later settlers). Finally, I also think that more tension could have been drawn out of the story from what should be a claustrophic setting.

Good stuff, though. One of the more original sci-fi stories I've read in a while.

Hollow Moon

YY wrote 972 days ago


The setting of your story is very unique and interesting. You obviously know the 'science' in science fiction. The details that you give make the story very believable while making us wonder, 'what would I do if I were...'

There are two comments that I would like to make that you could perhaps consider. Since I have only read up to the third chapter, they may be invalid and I may change them with further reading.

First, the first chapters are important not only for introducing the characters, but giving the readers an idea, even a false one, of what is to come. After having read to chapter 3, I have a good sense of the setting and the tensions, but I have no idea about what is to come. If it's about extra-marital affairs so conflicted children can inherit their parents jobs, that doesn't sound extremely interesting. Give readers a taste of the excitement and suspense to come. Up until now, perhaps too much focus on description.

Second, you've tried to be broad in terms of the nationalities involved and many of the characters sound genuine. But a good portion of them are very muched anchored in stereotypes, or western perceptions of other cultures. A teenage American girl insecure about herself, a Japanese girl under pressure from demanding parents, a hyper-conservative Jewish man, eager to pass on his own teaching to his son...they're all quite predictable perceptions.

I will put the Centauri Generation on my watchlist and come back to read it whenever I can.

Good work and good luck,

The Imperialists

Jennie Lyne Hiott wrote 984 days ago

The summary of this one caught my attention. It seemed like a neat idea. but after reading it didnt' seem so great for Shelly. I mean how awful it would be to live your whole life and never see the blue sky. and to know you would be 60 before you even had the smallest chance. I couldnt' imagine. I only read one chapter but from it I wonder how it was possible for her to stay away from the other kids on a ship for two weeks? How big is Destiny? And how do they have enough fuel to travel through space for 60 years? Just a few questions that I know alot of readers would like to know when they read. And perhaps it is answered in other chapters. I hope I get a chance to come back and read more soon.

Jennie Lyne Hiott
Hearts and Lies
Beautiful Disaster

Vice Captain Sam wrote 1049 days ago

Hello Brian, sorry for the delay, but I'm back from Canada now and have some time to take at look here. As always what follows is purely a single person's opinion and should be taken with appropriate amounts of salt as recommended by your doctor.


The opening line is weak for me. Why break the mystery of starting school so early? You could drop that line and suddenly it becomes a lot more hook-ish, as we want to find out why Shelly's anxious.

The next paragraph is much better. If you cut out 'With school starting...', this would make its impact much greater, for me.

I like the character insight with the italics!

The little 'bios' of all the new characters are a little distracting. I have enough worldly knowledge to guess where the names originate from country wise, I don't think you need them (I do accept however that this is YA and some YA may not get it). I'm getting a better idea of the characters through how they are reacting to Shelly- use that to show me their personalities rather than one line 'sum ups'.

Rest of this flows well- you set the scene up and it's going strong!

With the lesson- why not do it through dialogue? It would make it more interactive and make the scene closer to the reader as we're hearing it as Shelly hears it.

The conflict in the middle was brilliant! I don't read much sci-fi but this is shaping up to be an interesting read!

Writing wise it's generally solid and I have few, if any, suggestions to add!


Reading on, I really have nothing much else to offer you. You've got the world built up nicely, a strong narrative style and an interesting plot.

Excellent work!

Good luck and all the best


C.N. Howard wrote 1130 days ago

Hi Brian, I don't usually read YA, but this was fun. Poor Shelley. I thought you did a great job of setting the stage for conflict and possible disaster (with the shields). Before I forget, I think you were missing a word in the sentence where Shelley opens her computer. You can't cut and paste the sentence, and I don't have a verbatim memory...LOL. I've only read the first chapter so far, but it's well-written and easy to follow and has a solid start. Should do well in a YA market. :) I'd be delighted to back it and will try to get to further chapters this weekend.
C.N. Howard (Wrath of Angels)

Kim D wrote 1136 days ago

I've read the first three chapters so far and must say i'm really impressed. Your story is well written, nicely polished and flows well. Your teen dialogue is also realistic. One hundred and twenty three thousands words is over the normal limit for a YA book, so you may want to think about this, but there are always exceptions (see Harry Potter!)
You're on my "watch list" for the time being. I've given you lots of stars!
Good luck with it.
St Viper's School for Super Villains

Brian Douglas wrote 1148 days ago

Hi Brian, I've backed this as well. Admittedly I haven't read very much of it yet, but I have just got one of those feelings I am going to like this particular book. When i have read more, same goes for Mute, I will rate them both.

Sheloveswords wrote 1155 days ago

ok. sorry for shouting but bloody heck...I need to know what happens next! I love this book. I was up reading it till 1 am yesterday and spent every spare minute of my Sunday galloping to the end. What is going to happen? I can't believe....oh wait...I probably shouldn't post spoilers.

This book is so enthralling. Every dialogue, every scene just sucks you right in. I love that the technology in this speculative novel is true to life as we know it---definitely not perfect. The children born on this ship dreaming of a better life on Earth that they've never known. Each with their own human strengths and failings. I love the physicality of Shelly's moment of heroism in the last scene. This story made my laugh, choke, clap my hands and gasp.

I love this book. OK. NOW WHERE DO I FIND THE REST OF IT???

Dear Brian: I'm sorry I didn't post any worthwhile crits. Consider this fan mail.

Pete A wrote 1166 days ago

The Centauri Generation
I have to declare a special interest here. Some years ago I actually started a story based on a ‘generation’ ship. It too had as its central idea the thwarting of otherwise well made plans. So it would have been about character conflicts and politics. Your idea, using teenagers as the protagonists with different ambitions is a good one, although I certainly couldn’t tackle it because I think I’ve forgotten those years they were so long ago! So I looked forward to this reading. I have limited the detailed comments to the first couple of chapters because I don’t have time to do a full edit, which this book requires. I hope this is helpful.

Pacing: I didn’t feel that I lacked understanding of the situation at the beginning. Of course that could be due to my experience with this idea but I think you handle that aspect well.
The characters were fine I think, with the strong proviso that I definitely did not like the racial stereotyping.
The ‘voice’ seemed appropriate at the start, although in C2 I was unconvinced by the change to Stanley.
The dialogue was fine but I did feel that your use of language was over-wordy, e.g. ‘iodine is the chemical they use to purify wastewater’ - why not just ‘iodine is used to purify the wastewater’.

Some of my comments below relate to the science given or implied by the situation. People who read this stuff often know a thing or two about it. In the films and on TV they get around this problem by ignoring it, i.e. they just don’t mention stuff or (Star Trek) invent techy nonsense to cover it.
Oh, and 'habitable star' in your pitch - habitable planet surely.

Why a ‘summer’ vacation. Where they are going there almost certainly will not be exactly similar conditions to Earth, maybe even no seasons. Surely the various authorities would have factored all such things into their (extremely expensive) project?
Why would it ever return to earth?
She’s never seen (tenses?)
About the right order of magnitude for time
Find a decent planet (Eh? Not plausible)
‘Entrenched in their seats for minutes’ odd and probably unnecessary word; I guess you mean: ‘Were already settled’
‘in the desk’ odd phrase, just delete it, or add the word desk before ‘monitor’
‘Pernova’ ‘ova’ in Russian suggests a feminine patronymic ending, ie a daughter rather than a son
So, they are going to grow up to inherit their parent’s council positions. Mmm an autocracy; what partly funded by the USA? Don’t buy it.
The teacher gets the book auto-translated. See, the trouble with technology in SF is the speed with which it changes. The process you describe already looks dated. Why wouldn’t the teacher just say ‘get your book to download the English please.’ Wifi enabled readers already exist.

Cliched stereotype again the ‘Swedish bombshell’ – really!
Magic ‘radiation suits’ that ‘block radiation’ ? What sort?
A constant acceleration equal to –g. Have you worked the math on what velocity that would give over the several years of this voyage? After just one year at this rate the ship would be going at more than 75percent of c, with appreciable time dilation effects. The energy requirement (reaction mass) would be enormous to maintain this rate due to the relativistic effect. Such things are like hostages to fortune: if you mention them they are available for examination, if you leave them out they aren’t.
After initial acceleration gravity can be maintained by inertial means, traditionally by rotation (as in 2001 A Space Odyssey)

The anti-proton container is small yet has helium in it, presumably for the electromagnets. How come they are so small. Is ‘small’ necessary for the plot?
‘You paved the way…. ‘ unconvincing dialogue this. All such things would be well in the past of these people.

Star rated

ClaireLouise wrote 1223 days ago


I wondered when someone would take this idea and make something good out of it :) I enjoyed Mute but this grabbed me even more, just because this is the sort of genre I enjoy and your ideas are imaginative without being too over the top, which can happen with SF.
I can see this having wide appeal-I look forward to reading more and backing later this week.
Best of luck to you, Claire

Richard J. Dean Jr. wrote 1276 days ago

Hi Brandon, thanks for your support for Twin Fates!
I noticed you had put Mute below you name but when I was reading your books' pitches, I saw The Centauri Generation looked more like my thing. I hope you don't mind that I commented and backed this instead. Upon request I can switch if you'd like, but I find it easier to give accurate comments when I'm reading something I like.
So you know, I DO like The Centauri Generation. I like how your story pays attention to who was born on the ship and who wasn't. I listen to all the scientists now a days talk about how long it would take to get to a new planet and it bugs me that the planet that is close to us is really several lifetimes away. I like thinking that it is possible to be born on a spacecraft.
Anyway, good story.
Twin Fates

Eunice Attwood wrote 1291 days ago

Another great story from a very talented writer. Keep 'em coming Brian. Backed. Eunice - The Temple Dancer and The Poetic Voice of Soul.

Cariad wrote 1311 days ago

I really enjoyed this. The kids on this spaceship are so normal and ordinary - as I'm sure they would be. People don't really seem to change over history and I love how they have the same issues and behaviours as we do now. No overblown 'space talk.' The characters and situations are real and believable and I like your MC. You set up the scenario and future friction very well in this first chapter and you hooked my attention from the get-go. I will enjoy reading further with this one and have watchlisted you while I catch up with my list of reading!

One typo? Near the start you say - '...a world she's never seen.' - changes tense. Should it be 'she'd never seen' ?

Craig Ellis wrote 1333 days ago

You've set up a fabulous premise for your novel. The story is couched in real science, and with the multi-national crew, real politics. The current world order doesn't work in space either. I'm sure the dynamics of this group will be center stage throughout the novel.

I found myself wanting to know more about the ship, perhaps through a Q and A in the classroom. Still, great sci-fi!

Backed with pleasure!

Craig Ellis
The Sun and the Saber

CarolinaAl wrote 1334 days ago

A dynamic science fiction tale enriched with awesome world building. Thought provoking. Atmospheric. Well crafted characters. Excellent dialogue and narrative. Spot on storytelling. A joy to read. Backed.

paperbat wrote 1335 days ago

Hi Brian. Fancy a return read?
I have got a childrens' book called Paperbats..
I read the first 2 chapters of The Centauri Generation. It uses a theme which is popular with SiFi writers, but you have given it a twist of generational clashes and relationships. Very enjoyable. BACKED.
Jerry [paperbat]

korvet wrote 1336 days ago

I find this a very readable piece of work with an informative narrative, the sort of narrative I would expect to find in an epic. I like the way you get to follow the characters and their different paths through the ship and the concept of a fragile balance. Backed.

Korvet, The Chronos Gambit.

Summer D'Vine wrote 1354 days ago

The Centauri Generation - Lots of intrigue in your first chapter. The teenage dialogue is spot-on. Shelly is an endearing character. Gladly backed.

All the best,
:-) Summer D'Vine

fletcherkovich wrote 1354 days ago


After reading 1-4 chapters of your book, I have just clapped my hands twelve times.
You really have got the power to write. Your story is narrated in a very clear and concise manner. Every line is packed with a lot of details without using much word-clutters. You paint your characters with vibrant colors rather than just describing them. Your use of dialogues is very transparent and comprehensive to attract the reader to continue tracking the development of the story. I love the things that are happening inside your head. For sure, it will find a good publisher since readers out there should read this book for a change. Backed already.


nsllee wrote 1359 days ago

Hi Brian

Great short pitch. The first chapter kept me really hooked. You've depicted the dynamics of the classroom and the ship really naturally, with the exposition woven in well. You really have the knack for keeping the reader's attention. Backed.

Nicole (Chosen)

Eveleen wrote 1360 days ago

(Turning a new leaf)

Johanna Kern wrote 1374 days ago

Very well crafted, engaging story, and I find it a great read!

Congratulations on your superb writing skills.

Johanna Kern
Master and the Green-Eyed Hope

Sherston wrote 1384 days ago

I was first intrigued by the cover and usually my cover instincts are never wrong and so it turned out as I really enjoyed this. Nice writing that urged me to read on. Best of luck. Can't do anything but back this one! :)

dave_ancon wrote 1409 days ago

Very interesting premise, and you weave the tale so expertly. No nits to pic. You might look into Element 115, do a google on "Bob Lazar" and "Element 115" for future spaceship propulsion systems that bend space. I believe we are on the verge of some outstanding new cababilities as far as anti-gravity and space travel are concerned. You may already know this. Also, google "zero point energy" for our future clean energy sources. We are already using that technology (see Bloom Boxes that power Google and other large corporations). As a confirmation, google "Dr. Steven Greer" and "Barcelona" for a very revealing Utube video that will glue you to the tube until it's done. These things are all in our immediate future, but make for great sci-fi now. Backed. Dave

Andrew Burans wrote 1413 days ago

You set the tone well for the balance of your fantasy right at the beginning with your character exploration of Shelly and dealing with her inner angst. Your use of short paragraphs keeps the pace of the story flowing nicely and your descriptive writing style will appeal to the YA audience. Backed.

Andrew Burans:
The Reluctant Warrior: The Beginning

name falied moderation wrote 1420 days ago

Absolutly loved your profile which took me right to the first page Brian. Your cover is hopefully never to be changed. Your story line is amazing and the way you draw me into your characters with the way you color them, takes me to be the observer closely watching the out-play. Just love it. Technically, grammar, well no comment I read from my heart and what feeds me. Your book does that, so I guess the grammar must be great for the flow is constant for me. BACKED Best of luck. If you could find some time to read some of my work, i would really appreciate it and please give me comment on what you will.

'The Letter' non-fiction

Kami K wrote 1429 days ago

I've really enjoyed reading this first chapter. The heavy responsibility weighing down on these children who realise that they are future leaders. Very original and absorbing.
Backed with pleasure.

Gary Morris wrote 1432 days ago

This has to be one of the most unusual angels taken, that I have ever seen. Yes we've seen star exploration and colonisation novels, before, but not one taken from the viewpoint of a 12 year old. This is a tour de force. Bravo!

chvolkoff wrote 1436 days ago

Very interesting premise...I love idea of the teenagers on Destiny watching a film with blond teenagers partying on a beach...also introduced is the feeling that no one wants to alienate the kids because they will be future voters. Time is short, and I can't read it all, but what I read is enough to back it, this is the kind of SF I like a metaphor for the present world, where it is and where it might be going.

jfredlee wrote 1437 days ago

Brian -

Terrific story and your teen MCs really ring true.

Backed, happily.

Best of luck here, and I would love it of you could take a look at my book.


-Jeff Lee

Zero-serenity wrote 1438 days ago

The techy stuff you've come up with was interesting. I like the space travel stuff, personally, and the way you depicted all of this. Hate school and the way kids are little brats, but... you write well, so mention of those terrible years are forgiven =]
~Zero, No Title Needed

SusieGulick wrote 1441 days ago

You are like totally fantastic, Brian. :) How can I ever thank you enough for backing my 2 memoir books?
God bless you. :) Love, Susie :)

pattimaris wrote 1441 days ago

First chapter starts off well with good descriptions and good dialogue. I like the "No, I want a real school!"
Well done!

SusieGulick wrote 1442 days ago

Dear Brian, I got so excited when I saw that you had backed, "He Loves Me." Thanks so very much. :) Since I have already "backed" your book, I will also put your book on my "watchlist." Could you please take a moment to "back" my completed unedited memoir version? "Tell Me True Love Stories," which at the end tells of my illness now & 6th abusive marriage. I'd be ever so grateful. :) Thank you. :) Love, Susie :)
p.s. Remember: Every "backing" you do moves your book & the other person's book closer to the top. :)

DReynolds wrote 1442 days ago

This is a fun and imaginative read so far. Better than some of the books I have picked up at Barns and Noble lately. Keep up the good work. Backed!


SusieGulick wrote 1443 days ago

Dear Brian, I love the idea of being born in space - I was almost born in a boat in the middle on nowhere (my memoir, I'll name below). What a concept - living in space. :) Before I began to read your book, I was prepared by your recap/pitch,which was very well done. Your story is good because you create interest by having short paragraphs & lots of dialogue, which makes me want to keep reading to find out what's going to happen next. I'm "backing" your book to help it advance - this will help yours & mine move up on the charts. :) Could you please return the favor by taking a moment to "back" my TWO memoir books, "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not" & my completed memoir unedited version? "Tell Me True Love Stories," which tells at the end, my illness now & 6th abusive marriage." Thanks, Susie :)
p.s. Remember: Every "backing" you do moves your book & the other person's book closer to the top. :)

lizjrnm wrote 1443 days ago

So imaginative - I am loving this book! You have a gift for writing and the talent for characterizations! BACKED with pleasure.

The Cheech Room

crazy mama wrote 1443 days ago

Not my genre, but the imagination and style can't be denied. Backed!