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At The Bright Empire....

03 Nov 2010 11:54 #20786 by brantley
At The Bright Empire.... was created by brantley
EMPRESS OF THE DAWN, the first part of which appears today, was inspired by Shadar's outline at Aurora Universe: Other Worlds for the background of a story he never wrote, about a Companion named Kalla working on the planet Andros, long after her indenture. What appealed to me was the idea of her living long enough to have pursued a number of different careers, and to help shape the progress of her adopted world. More about that in "Behind the Stories" – scroll way down there! But I also wanted to shape that imagined world for myself. I was a Byzantine history buff back in high school, and I used that background to imagine the people who called themselves Romaioi – although they weren't Roman – and the kind of society they might create when the Seeders brought them to a new world. Shadar had imagined a world peopled by Greeks from classical times; I had an entirely different idea. Of course, I was fascinated by Kalla herself – enough to give her guest appearances in Part II of Velvet's Homecoming and in "Incident at Madstop," while I was trying to work out the details of her early life. Velvet helped a lot with the opening chapters about her journey to Andros with the Scalantrans and her arrival and indenture and first days with Feodor.

www.brightempire.com/empress.pdf

But there's a lot more to this update than one story. I've been working on a novel, Countdown to History, that is set mostly during World War II and introduces the Velorians and Arions to Earth in my take on the Aurora Universe. Only "Arions" sounds just like "Aryans," although there isn't any connection between the two – in my first drafts, I had Arions hedging their bets by working with both the Nazis and the Communists against the West. So I cast about for another name – one acceptable to Shadar and Tarot Barnes as well as myself – and came up with Aureans. It has a certain resonance, because it sounds as if it comes from the Latin word for gold, and we could even imagine that the Naturalists who exiled themselves from Velor early on considered themselves the real Golden People. But making such a basic change meant going over other stories at The Bright Empire to do find-and-replace – and make other minor tweaks for the sake of consistency between stories. Nearly all of that has been done, from Throne of the Gods through "Incident at Madstop," but there are a few exceptions – notably The High Cruel Years and The Mission. In the first case, the confusion of "Arion" and "Aryan" was a plot point in the story and that has to be rethought; in the second, I'm not happy with the whole tone of what was a collaborative effort, and want to go over it more extensively... when time permits.

Another rant today, albeit a short one. "The Silly Season" is about odd news stories that are appearing out of season, and are not amusing. Also about the media's current obsession with celebrity trivia and the like at the expense of real news.

www.brightempire.com/silly.htm

Finally, although it doesn't relate directly to TBE, I am happy to announce the resurrecton of Infinity Bridge. Created by the late Douglas W. MacBeth, who wrote much of the best Aurora Universe fiction ever, it was brought back by dedicated fans after his death in a plane crash in 2001. Lisa Binkley had been caretaker for the last eight years, but the demands of Real Life had gotten in her way, and there was a problem with the password that should have allowed for a change of ownership. Tyler Spivey donated a complete archive of the original site to the Aurora Universe Readers Group after the site went down, and Tarot Barnes registered a new domain and uploaded the files over this past weekend. It's all there now.

www.infinitybridge.net
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03 Nov 2010 12:55 #20788 by argonaut
Replied by argonaut on topic Re: At The Bright Empire....
Thanks to Tyler and Tarot for getting Infinity Bridge back online!

Is there any chance of AK's stories getting uploaded to the new site?

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03 Nov 2010 13:12 #20789 by brantley
Replied by brantley on topic Re: At The Bright Empire....

Thanks to Tyler and Tarot for getting Infinity Bridge back online!

Is there any chance of AK's stories getting uploaded to the new site?


I've tried calling AK at home, but only gotten his answering machine. I'll keep trying. I e-mailed him a while back about the situation, but I don't know if he's still using the Julie of Velor e-mail link. It's been quite a while since he added anything to his site. Maybe he's just gafiated (sf fanspeak for "Getting Away from It All").

Meanwhile, let me know what you think of EMPRESS OF THE DAWN.

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05 Nov 2010 12:59 - 18 Jan 2017 10:47 #20819 by brantley
Replied by brantley on topic Re: At The Bright Empire....
Finally heard from AK, and put him in touch with Tarot. Hope they can work something out.

--J.J.
Last edit: 18 Jan 2017 10:47 by brantley.

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03 Feb 2011 02:12 - 18 Jan 2017 10:51 #21526 by brantley
Replied by brantley on topic Julie of Velor/Kalla of Andros
Still nothing further from AKi, although I have an archive of his site from Tyler Spivey.

There's a complete Book of Feodor, first part of EMPRESS OF THE DAWN, at The Bright Empire now. I notice that there are a lot of hits now for other stories in which Kalla Zaver'el apperas, HOMECONING II and "Incident on Madstop."

brightempire.com/empress.pdf

brightempire.com/Homecoming-2.pdf

brightempire.com/Incident pdf

Velvet Belle Tree wrote most of HOMECOMING, which is the most popular series at my site, and she and Tarot Barnes contributed some of the best parts of EMPRESS.
Last edit: 18 Jan 2017 10:51 by brantley.
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07 Mar 2011 19:53 #21967 by brantley
Replied by brantley on topic At The Bright Empire....
Eight years now since the creation of THE BRIGHT EMPIRE, and in today's update there is more of THE POPCORN WAR, a story originally conceived not long after TERMS OF ENHANCEMENT. It was originally a collaboration with Jordan Taylor, who has since gafiated. But it wsa okay with her for me to carry on with it:

<www.brightempire.com/Popcorn.pdf>

Not part of the update, but as an added bonus here, is some Brazilian classical music, Novo Recife having been originally settled by people abducted from the Brazilian Nordeste:

<
>

The AURG's own Brazilian authority, Jecel Assumpção Jr., dserves a lot of credit for vetting the language, and he even approved some of my embellishments, such as a proper Brazilian term for "enhancees."

Not new but improved, at least from my point of view, are Episodes 1-6 of THE MISSION, a collaboration with Robert Nagle that got out of hand, at least from my point of view. It was impractical to rewrite them entirely, but I tried to tone down the greatest absurdities:

<www.brightempire.com/The Mission.html>

A Blog update link and a number of recommendations for older and perhaps neglected stories by authors other than myself can also be found at:

<www.brightempire.com/new.htm>

--Brantley Thompson Elkins

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05 Dec 2012 00:28 #29564 by brantley
Replied by brantley on topic At The Bright Empire....
So it's been more than a year and a half that I've been away. Some time soon after my last post here, I started having problems with the log-in or forum access or both -- I think this was long before the virus crisis I've seen mentioned elsewhere.

Anyway, I clicked on the SWM link by chance yesterday, and suddenly I was back in. A lot has happened at The Bright Empire, so perhaps the best approach now is just to post the What's New link again:

www.brightempire.com/new.htm

You'll see I have a couple of major unfinished projects, The Popcorn War and Book Two of Empress of the Dawn. I'm embarking, with help from Shadar, on yet another, Surely Some Revelation, which was inspired by discussion about the Warp Drive at the Aurora Universe Readers Group. Why isn't there any Warp Drive in the AU, now that a NASA scientist says it's feasible? Some conspiracy of the Galen, about whom we know little and what we "know" ain't necessarily so!

Be nice to have some guest writers, especially if they're willing to study up on the AU, which isn't easy -- especially my version, in which there are all sorts of cross connections between stories set even centuries apart. I picked up that trick from one of my favorite sf writers, Cordwainer Smith (He has a wikipedia entry.).

Glad to be back!

--Brantley
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12 Dec 2012 12:35 #29664 by brantley
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www.brightempire.com/Showcase.htm

Today is the last recurring number date of the 21st Century, and I just couldn't resist picking it to put up Lisa Binkley's "Questlings" as a Showcase feature.

Part one of a projected three-part saga about the flawed protector Nov'ayul, it first appeared in 2001, before I'd even heard of the Aurora Universe. A few years later, it was put up at Fictionwise, a commercial e-book site, but for copyright reasons had to be revised as a non-AU story. Barnes & Noble bought out Fictionwise a year or so ago to eliminate one competitor to Nook, but it turned up its corporate nose at "Questlings" and a number of other works and deleted them. That left only a single chapter of the original version at Lisa's site. Until she can get around to updating her site (and, hopefully, adding to the saga), I'm offering it as a Showcase item. The text is exactly as written 11 years ago, although some of the consensus background of the AU has changed since then. It's a true classic.

--Brantley Thompson Elkins
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13 Dec 2012 02:18 #29676 by starfury483
Replied by starfury483 on topic At The Bright Empire....
So Im looking for a particular story which was on Julie of Velor site. It was about a lab assistant, who was working for Lex Luthor. Luthor's plan was to lure Superman to a warehouse, and use a beam to steal his powers and infuse them in three of his henchmen, however it stead Supergirl comes. There is a fight, and the girl manages to turn the beam on Supergirl and transfer all of supergirls powers to her. The girl then beats up Supergirl, late she meets Lex, and beats up and rapes Superman. Any ideas on this?

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13 Dec 2012 02:30 - 18 Jan 2017 10:51 #29677 by brantley
Replied by brantley on topic At The Bright Empire....

So Im looking for a particular story which was on Julie of Velor site. It was about a lab assistant, who was working for Lex Luthor. Luthor's plan was to lure Superman to a warehouse, and use a beam to steal his powers and infuse them in three of his henchmen, however it stead Supergirl comes. There is a fight, and the girl manages to turn the beam on Supergirl and transfer all of supergirls powers to her. The girl then beats up Supergirl, late she meets Lex, and beats up and rapes Superman. Any ideas on this?


Maybe you could find it at the Wayback Machine Archive of Julie of Velor:

web.archive.org/web/20080216121115/http:....infinitybridge.com/

Or Geek Seven might know. He seems to be in touch with AK, the man behind Julie of Velor.

--Brantley
Last edit: 18 Jan 2017 10:51 by brantley.

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13 Dec 2012 02:40 #29678 by inactive
Replied by inactive on topic At The Bright Empire....

So Im looking for a particular story which was on Julie of Velor site. It was about a lab assistant, who was working for Lex Luthor. Luthor's plan was to lure Superman to a warehouse, and use a beam to steal his powers and infuse them in three of his henchmen, however it stead Supergirl comes. There is a fight, and the girl manages to turn the beam on Supergirl and transfer all of supergirls powers to her. The girl then beats up Supergirl, late she meets Lex, and beats up and rapes Superman. Any ideas on this?


Maybe you could find it at the Wayback Machine Archive of Julie of Velor:

web.archive.org/web/20080216121115/http:....infinitybridge.com/

Or Geek Seven might know. He seems to be in touch with Kiyoshi, the man behind Julie of Velor.

--Brantley


No, I never knew Kiyoshi, but from the description the story sounds like 'The Superior Girl'. One of the later chapters was in the storybank, but the wayback machine is probably your best bet for earlier chapters.

- GeekSeven

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13 Dec 2012 03:05 #29679 by starfury483
Replied by starfury483 on topic At The Bright Empire....
That's the story "Superior Girl". thanks everyone the wayback machine had it.

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13 Dec 2012 06:26 #29681 by fats
Replied by fats on topic At The Bright Empire....
just to let everyone know, I have a full backup of Julie of Velor all 235 story files, Anon now has the files and will be adding them in due course.

Fats

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13 Dec 2012 07:00 #29682 by njae
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just to let everyone know, I have a full backup of Julie of Velor all 235 story files, Anon now has the files and will be adding them in due course.

Fats


Didn't realize that there were this many files from Julies place. Sorting them all in might take a while.

New Deviantart, setup in progress
njae2.deviantart.com/

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13 Dec 2012 08:32 #29683 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic At The Bright Empire....

just to let everyone know, I have a full backup of Julie of Velor all 235 story files, Anon now has the files and will be adding them in due course.

Fats


Didn't realize that there were this many files from Julies place. Sorting them all in might take a while.


You have no idea.

Also, thank you Fats for putting my neck on the line. Do you want me to fetch the axe too? :P

About AK/Julie/Kiyoshi's stories, I'm working on the ones that were uploaded to this site, but I don't know about the others. To be honest the problem is that a lot of those stories were very picture heavy (which was part of their charm) and I don't have the pictures right now.

So, without some input from the original author, I don't know what to do with them.

(formerly Anon, still Librarian)

"What is the point of having free will if one cannot occasionally spit in the eye of destiny?" ("Gentleman" John Marcone)

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13 Dec 2012 13:12 - 18 Jan 2017 10:57 #29687 by brantley
Replied by brantley on topic At The Bright Empire....
julievelor.tripod.com/UM/um1.html

Above is a link to a story presumably byAK that appears at what seems to be a ghost his old site (If you try the URL of the site without the story link, you just get a message saying the site is a subdomain of Infinity Bridge, but that's way, ay out of date. Only this particular story is relayed to a Geek Seven story. What sayeth Geek Seven?

--Brantley
Last edit: 18 Jan 2017 10:57 by brantley.

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13 Dec 2012 14:27 #29689 by inactive
Replied by inactive on topic At The Bright Empire....

julievelor.tripod.com/UM/um1.html

Above is a link to a story presumably by Kyoshi Akima that appears at what seems to be a ghost his old site (If you try the URL of the site without the story link, you just get a message saying the site is a subdomain of Infinity Bridge, but that's way, way out of date. Only this particular story is relayed to a Geek Seven story. What sayeth Geek Seven?

--Brantley


I love that story; it was also an inspiration for my story 'The Skylark', but other than that I have no link to Kyoshi. If memory serves, there was another story featuring German supergirls in WW2 that he said was inspired by the epilogue to my story 'Liberty Belle'.

I've never had any direct contact with Julie/Kyoshi, but obviously his work has been an influence on mine, and in a couple of cases I was an influence on him.

- GeekSeven

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13 Dec 2012 17:55 #29693 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic At The Bright Empire....

julievelor.tripod.com/UM/um1.html

Above is a link to a story presumably by Kyoshi Akima that appears at what seems to be a ghost his old site (If you try the URL of the site without the story link, you just get a message saying the site is a subdomain of Infinity Bridge, but that's way, way out of date. Only this particular story is relayed to a Geek Seven story. What sayeth Geek Seven?

--Brantley


I love that story; it was also an inspiration for my story 'The Skylark', but other than that I have no link to Kyoshi. If memory serves, there was another story featuring German supergirls in WW2 that he said was inspired by the epilogue to my story 'Liberty Belle'.

I've never had any direct contact with Julie/Kyoshi, but obviously his work has been an influence on mine, and in a couple of cases I was an influence on him.


Actually there were two stories, both still avaible from the ghost website. One was the introduction of Ubermadchen , the other was titled Ultimate Arms Race .

(formerly Anon, still Librarian)

"What is the point of having free will if one cannot occasionally spit in the eye of destiny?" ("Gentleman" John Marcone)

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14 Dec 2012 01:53 - 18 Jan 2017 10:55 #29698 by brantley
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02 Jan 2013 00:43 #29924 by brantley
Replied by brantley on topic At The Bright Empire....
A New Year begins, and what better way to begin it than with another update of Book Two of EMPRESS OF THE DAWN, the story of Kalla's career on the planet Andros. But I have to be honest, and also give credit where credit is due. I had planned to make this a Winter Solstice update Dec. 21; only when Velvet Belle Tree read my original draft of the new chapters (in Part Three, "Kyros Tromeos") she told me in no uncertain terms that they needed work – they were too sketchy, too pompous, too much "tell" instead of "show." She was absolutely right; I'd gotten lazy, or at least inattentive. So I've been back over it for the last 10 days, trying tomake it a better story (I'd already addressed some other problems others pointed out to me, such as details of technological progress – and a certain painted statue...). A few final edits by Velvet came just this afternoon:

www.brightempire.com/Empress-2.pdf

It took a while; there've been distractions like my day job with a trade magazine, catching SKYFALL (maybe the best Bond movie ever), THE HOBBIT (dreadful) and LES MISERABLES (a classic, really moving), Christmas shopping... oh, and COUNTDOWN TO HISTORY, the story of Earth's Protector Kira during World War II::

www.brightempire.com/countdown.htm

I hadn't done any work on that for quite a while, but I let friend I saw SKYFALL with read what I had. He's not an Aurora Universe fan, but he knows the popular fiction market as co-author with his wife of a successful mystery series, and he thinks it could sell. So I'm workikng on that again; I've added new scenes and revised others. The new excerpt has all the new material, all in continuous narrative.

--Brantley Thompson Elkins
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08 Jan 2013 14:30 #30014 by brantley
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More than 300 hits in the past week for the EMPRESS OF THE DAWN update. Thanks, guys!

--Brantley

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14 Jan 2013 02:23 #30113 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic Review of Empress 2
I re-read Empress part 1 before starting on the second part, and was once
again struck by how very good a story it was. It has it all, drama, love,
sex, battle, intrigue and discovery, starting by introducing us to the very
first Companions as they left Velor and discovered many things about
themselves. Exciting stuff.

From there, we are immersed in a wonderful bit of world-making, drawing as
Brantley does on the history of the Byzantine Empire on Earth and how it might have been
transported to another planet.
We see how a great dynasty is
built and maintained, and also how political marriages can produce heirs who
lack many of the good qualities of the original Patriarch that Kalla is
indentured to — Feodor. How ruling families can produce both admirable and
disgustingly bad rulers thanks to their political marriages.

With Feodor and Kalla, Brantley lays out a classic love story, one that
started in disrespectful fashion (he purchased a concubine!!) and then
develops into a great love that is based on both respect and adoration.

At the same time, we begin to see how this concubine (actually a Companion)
begins to shape not only the ruling Andros Family but also an entire planet.
Given her long life (for all purposes, she’s immortal), her influence
crosses the generations. To her credit (and in respect to the local culture)
she always tries to work behind the scenes. Yet she alone makes the
difference between a world that could be caught forever in feudal decay and
battle, but instead takes strong steps to develop into a world that casts
off its superstitions and begins to develop a true technology and a basis
for trade. All of which begins to slowly lead toward the develop of a middle
class, a technology and an education system, which in the fullness of time
could introduce a measure of equality among its people and between the
sexes. It is a microcosm of the development of a great civilization on
Earth, which is undoubtably what the Seeders and hoped for. (Although others
would simply say these are experiments by the Galen on humans. Its anything
but an experiment to those who live on the seeded worlds. Its their life.)

There were many outstanding scenes in the story, including one where a
defeated conquering ruler stands atop a high tower and throws Feodor’s heir,
and infant son, from the tower. (That reminded me a bit of Sauraman standing
atop Orthanc as Gandalf and company stand below to offer amnesty — which he
does not take advantage of.) Kalla of course can’t allow the heir to die, so
she reveals more of herself to more people than ever before. Up to that
point, in every pivotal moment of the development of this world, Kalla is
there, making a difference, even if very few people witness or even know the
roles she plays.

Beneath it all is a nice ticking clock in the form of Festus and his invading
army of devotees to the Orthodox Church. That drives the story forward,
creates tension, and makes the reader truly care for the outcome. The battle
is nicely set and well described and fought, with an ending that only Kalla
could bring about, all without revealing herself.

And in the middle of all this, we see the battle between enlightenment and
knowledge on one side and superstition and corruption on the other. A battle
between Humanism and the Church if you will.

While Feodor can be hard and even brutal when he has to (ala Ned Stark in Game of
Thrones season one), he is also merciful when he can afford to be. He most
certainly isn’t cruel. His son Kyros is nothing like his father, and its
heartbreaking to see Kalla bound to serve the son the way she was his
father. Yet she comports herself according to the rules of a Companion, even
while working to encourage others to pursue learning in areas that were not
traditional for their people, all with the occasional help for her friends
among the Scalantrans. A distinction no other Companion can claim.

In essence, we see this lowly girl from Velor, a concubine of the Velorian
priests before being sold into the same role on a distant world, as the
driving force behind the development of an entire civilization. We can even
see the earliest seeds of the development of that great interplanetary
federation, the Enlightenment. It’s a tale that only a Donaldson fan could
appreciate.

I could go on forever on Part 1, but this is supposed to be about Part 2.

At first, part 2 pleased me with a continuation of the excellent story line
of Part 1, and while it is very satisfying when it comes to further showing
us how a world can be created through the sacrifice and hard work of its
people (with some key contributions from Kalla), it lacks the kind of
ticking clock drama of the first part. No grand battle to decide the future,
but lots of palace intrigue. It does a nice job of preparing the way for the
second major pivotal moment in the planet’s development, that drama remains
to be told, presumably in Part 3.

However, I found the lack of a driving plot made it somewhat difficult to
absorb all the characters that we are introduced to. Way too many characters
for me to keep track of, to be frank. Of course, that’s the way of real
dynasties, who required many, many family members who often warred with each
other to drive toward the future. Lots of politics and intrigue and
backstabbing. Brantley shows that the bright future we see hints of could
collapse anytime back into a dystopian future if not for continued
interventions from Kalla.

Yet she’s both humble and devoted to the development of the planet, working
as she does behind the curtain in the ruling family. But she might as well
be a goddess in the way she reaches down and saves the situation from
sliding into ruin. Brantley does a really great job of trying to show how
someone can be both powerful and powerless at the same time. How humility
can be stronger than bravado. How one determined woman with a clear purpose
(albeit someone who remains young for centuries and has Velorian abilities)
can influence an entire world.

In the telling, we begin to see how the Velorians moved from being a truly
depressed, abandoned and unlikable race, powerful without the slightest clue
to how to use their power, and how they move closer to being the mighty
Protectors that we read about in later stories. Its a fascinating tale of
the limits and opportunities of physical power, but more than that, it tells
the story of how a single determined person can change the future for
billions of people. All while living a life that would be regarded by most
as amoral and shallow, a life that we presume most of her other Companions
have not risen above.

Hopefully Brantley will carry a critical subset of his characters
(and their descendants) into a Part 3 which will show us how the planet now
named Andros become a space power and a modern world. Most importantly, we
have the great conflict with the Aureans to look forward to, given they will
undoubtably pay attention to Andros and its Companion once they find their
way into space. I can easily foresee Part 3 becoming very dramatic, filled
with action, as it further sets the stage for a work that I’m trying to
revive which deals with how we moved from the era of Companions into the
First Protector.

In so many ways, this work is a cross between the AU and the great works of
world-building SF. Brantley clearly understands what those great works were
built on. Yet instead of being stuck in a single time and place (ala the
excellent and very contemporary Song of Fire and Ice — Game of Thrones),
Brantley is showing us how worlds and civilizations are built.

So while Part 2 was a bit of a pause and a head filler after the wonderful
story of Part 1, it has necessarily set the stage perfectly for a return to
an exciting Part 3.
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14 Jan 2013 14:00 - 14 Jan 2013 15:53 #30121 by brantley
Replied by brantley on topic Review of Empress 2
For those of you who don't keep up with the Aurora Universe, EMPRESS OF THE DAWN grew out of a concept that Shadar himself had posted years ago:

velorian.net/auow/Andros/scrapbook01.htm

Of course, I ended up changing a lot of the details. To begin with, Shadra imagined Andros having been seeded with ancient Greeks. But Feodor isn't a Greek name. In both classic and modern Greek, the name is Theodor. But Feodor was the equivalent in old Russian (which didn't have the Th sound) at the time the Varangians (who came from Sweden, like the ancestors of the Velorians) founded the Kievan monarchy in 882 and adopted the local language. The Varangians/Kievan Rus became involved in war and then trade with the Byzantine Empire, and some of them settled in the Empire. Although we call it the Byzantine Empire, the Byzantines called it the Realm of the Romans (Romaioi) because they saw themselves as inheritors of the Roman Empire even though they hadn't ruled Rome or spoken Latin for centuries. So I went with that. In a bit of serendipity, the gown Shadar shows Kalla wearing at the time of her indenture is actually very much like the stola, formal female attire in Byzantine times, so I used it accordingly in Book One:

www.brightempire.com/empress.pdf

I drew on other elements of Byzantine history and culture, but the battle of Nesalonika is a variation on the Battle of Nagashino in Japan, where firearms from fixed positions were first used. But I had to adopt a different narrative strategy for Book Two

www.brightempire.com/Empress-2.pdf

I faced the problem of covering a lot of ground in no more space than devoted to less than a year in the reign of Feodor. Not more great wars; if there had been, it would have meant that Feodor and Kalla had failed in their purpose. So instead I turned to mini-stories of political maneuvering and progress in technology, trade and education. As usual, I did a lot of Googling to make details about other seeded worlds, Fujiwakoku and Indra, authentic in terms of how they might have developed from the societies of medieval Japan and Gupta India. I brought in more Andros family members to give Kalla a sense of family that I don't think she would have experienced on Velor -- and also to show them as taking part in building progress; these people aren't just idle aristocrats. Beyond that, it was important to give Kalla a greater sense of commitment. This comes in an exchange with Pateria, Methodios' lawful wife, who is willing to sanction Kalla's relationship with her husband, on condition that she protect him from Kyros. And even after that...

“Protect my daughters, and their loved ones. You must swear it."
"I swear," Kalla said, after only moment's hesitation.

Kalla is now bound by honor to do more than her indenture requires, and the protect the family even after her indenture expires. The chapters posted Jan. 1 are motivated by that commitment, and she will have to see that through in further chapters -- in a time when she is helpless to protect others from the madness of Kyros (I have to point out that Shadar carelessly identified him as the son of Feodor; he is actually a grandson, and half-brother to Methodios -- he inherits the throne only because Methodios, the older son of Feodor's heir Jayar, never had a son of his own -- only daughters.).

--Brantley Thompson Elkins
Last edit: 14 Jan 2013 15:53 by fats.

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08 Mar 2013 23:15 #30687 by brantley
Replied by brantley on topic Review of Empress 2
FIRST PROTECTOR was first conceived by Shadar in 2007, and the two parts of his original version still appear at the AUOW site. But when he bequeathed AU-3 to me recently, it was the first project I wanted to take up. I'd taken over and completed two major stories of his, The High Cruel Years and Encounter at Westfold, and in both cases I had some world building to do – Shadar has never been terribly interested in that. But First Protector has been more of a challenge, because it's set near the close of the 15th Century, yet contained obvious anachronisms like "coeds" and "OK." Beyond that, it didn't give any sense of how Tazzi's World came to be as it was. I didn't want to burden the narrative with information dumps, and I wanted to be true to the characters – perhaps truer than Shadar. Kev, during the course of the story, turns out to be half-Aurean; but before that he seems too human in relation to Jana – and thereafter too superhuman (and too ignorant of things Velorian) in relation to Vespyr. So I've tried to steer a middle course. As for the background, it occurred to me that the third part should get into not only the journey of Vespyr to Velor, but what happens to Kev and Jana on Tazzi's World – where they are in peril for having defied Gazrall in conniving with Vespyr. It was through their story, I found, that I could do some historical backfilling about Tazzi's World itself – to account for how such a necessarily insular and conservative seeded culture could have evolved into the cosmopolitan and hedonistic one Shadar imagined. And even how the planet got its name! By the way, today's the eighth anniversary of the Hostway version of The Bright Empire.

brightempire.com/First.pdf
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16 Mar 2013 01:51 #30777 by brantley
Replied by brantley on topic Review of Empress 2
brightempire.com/First.pdf

Off-the-board reaction to my first redaction and expansion of FIRST PROTECTOR hasn't been exactly favorable. There were a number of scientific glitches and logical holes I inherited with the original version. But since a strict approach to dealing with these would require rewriting the story practically from scratch, I've tried to deal with the basic problems, or perhaps only gloss over them, by ratcheting up the conspiratorial elements -- which were there to begin with. It's all a matter of who you can trust, which is practically nobody, including not only Gazrall and his ilk but the Scalantrans and even Vespyr herself (who has her reasons, but is "playing" everyone else). Maybe this won't satisfy critics, but it's the best I can do.

--Brantley

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