Dinner Party, a novella

22 Mar 2017 19:10 #53271 by shadar
shadar created the topic: Dinner Party, a novella
Mike is an escapee from the high tech world who has used his small fortune to to build a mountaintop mansion that he shares with a remarkable girl who was originally born on the planet Velor. She is all that stands between the Arion Empire and Earth, but she is not a mighty Protector nor does she have any training for that role. Something she discovers very quickly when an innocent dinner party becomes a battleground between dark forces who want to destroy Earth and all its lifeforms.

In 2004, I wrote a short story called Dinner Party as a tribute to an Aurora Universe contributor named Mike. He wasn’t a prolific author, but he was the source of many ideas that became canon.

The characters I used were inspired by my circle of friends back when I was an executive in the high tech business in both California and SE Asia. A strange time filled with very strange people that culminated in a very odd dinner party. This story grew from that seed of reality… with a very great deal of amplification and no small amount of imagination.

That original short-story has now grown into a novella that is the beginning of what I hope will become a trilogy. It introduces several changes to AU canon that old readers might notice, but it's truly intended to introduce new readers to a 21st century version of the Aurora Universe.

This is also the first significant bit of writing I've done in years. Hope you enjoy it.

Shadar
March 22, 2017

The book is published in PDF form on Brantley's Bright Empire site, as he mentioned in his earlier post. Here's the direct link:

www.brightempire.com/DinnerParty.pdf
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22 Mar 2017 22:09 #53273 by brantley
brantley replied the topic: Dinner Party, a novella
Any conceptual connection between your latest and stories like "Raptor" and "Nachalnik?"

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23 Mar 2017 01:11 - 23 Mar 2017 12:01 #53275 by slim36
slim36 replied the topic: Dinner Party, a novella
some inspirational super models

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23 Mar 2017 02:07 #53277 by shadar
shadar replied the topic: Dinner Party, a novella
The tall woman in lace is awesome...
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24 Mar 2017 02:59 #53296 by shadar
shadar replied the topic: Dinner Party, a novella

brantley wrote: Any conceptual connection between your latest and stories like "Raptor" and "Nachalnik?"



I made no deliberate attempt to draw from those stories, but my thinking about AU concepts always shifts in degrees, and those stories were part of the process.

As far as the AU storyspace goes, "Dinner" shares no plot elements or characters with any other story.

This is new stuff, despite being inspired by a 2004 story. The world is basically our everyday Earth, where anything related to aliens and superheroes is merely fiction. And then the Supremis come.

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24 Mar 2017 15:09 #53303 by brantley
brantley replied the topic: Dinner Party, a novella
TBE Stats reader show views up to 256 for the first two days!

--Brantley

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25 Mar 2017 01:41 #53328 by slim36
slim36 replied the topic: Dinner Party, a novella

Can imagine if Transformers had been a superheroine vs the Transformers Rosie Huntington Whiteley could have defended earth from the robot invaders

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25 Mar 2017 02:44 #53329 by slim36
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25 Mar 2017 15:02 #53335 by brantley
brantley replied the topic: Dinner Party, a novella
Hits reached 322 yesterday.

--Brantley

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25 Mar 2017 16:22 #53336 by shadar
shadar replied the topic: Dinner Party, a novella

brantley wrote: Hits reached 322 yesterday.

--Brantley


Nice that somebody is reading it, but haven't heard from anyone yet. But it is a long story compared to most. Most people have real lives to live, so whenever is fine.

I mostly write these as a personal challenge to extend and improve my storytelling in this genre. I've always got new stories in my head, but only occasionally do I put the effort in to share one. But Dinner was fun to write given it was based on a real life event (albeit with HUGE embellishment and exaggeration).
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25 Mar 2017 16:35 #53337 by brantley
brantley replied the topic: Dinner Party, a novella
I hardly ever get comments on my fiction any more. Activity is practically zilch at Yahoo groups I'm familiar with. And even here, people seem to be a lot more interested in the West Twins than in any of the fiction.

By the way, this is pure coincidence, but in Elizabeth Moon's Vatta's War series (2003-8, soon to have a new episode), there's a similar who-can-you-trust element. But in Moon's case, there's also a lot about space warfare and how it's affected by communication (ansibles, the loss thereof, and improvements thereto).

--Brantley

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25 Mar 2017 18:17 #53338 by circes_cup
circes_cup replied the topic: Dinner Party, a novella
I think the length of the story may be creating some additional lag time in everyone's response. Given a typical schedule, it may take more than one sitting to get through 95 pages. I finished it just last night.

First, it's a great feeling to be reading some "original Shadar" again. You were the writer that first introduced me to the fantasy of the super-strong woman, and it's a realm of fantasy that I've enjoyed now for nearly twenty years. It's nice to have a piece that returns us to the original days of the Velorians, the Arions, the orgone, the Protectors, the notion of earth as the antiquated progenitor of the galaxy's advanced civilizations.

On this story, I found it to be much more compact than your early work -- a setup, a conflict, a resolution of the conflict, a conclusion. That tighter design gave the story momentum and tension, which is important to me. It's one thing so say "she was really strong and really pretty", but it's only when those attributes are placed in the context of a good story that they come to life for me. This story did that.

My favorite part was the twist in the middle. I'm not going to spoil for anyone else. It was a complete and chilling surprise for me, and I thought it was very well done.

Hope you keep writing!
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25 Mar 2017 19:42 #53341 by shadar
shadar replied the topic: Dinner Party, a novella

circes_cup wrote: I think the length of the story may be creating some additional lag time in everyone's response. Given a typical schedule, it may take more than one sitting to get through 95 pages. I finished it just last night.

First, it's a great feeling to be reading some "original Shadar" again. You were the writer that first introduced me to the fantasy of the super-strong woman, and it's a realm of fantasy that I've enjoyed now for nearly twenty years. It's nice to have a piece that returns us to the original days of the Velorians, the Arions, the orgone, the Protectors, the notion of earth as the antiquated progenitor of the galaxy's advanced civilizations.

On this story, I found it to be much more compact than your early work -- a setup, a conflict, a resolution of the conflict, a conclusion. That tighter design gave the story momentum and tension, which is important to me. It's one thing so say "she was really strong and really pretty", but it's only when those attributes are placed in the context of a good story that they come to life for me. This story did that.

My favorite part was the twist in the middle. I'm not going to spoil for anyone else. It was a complete and chilling surprise for me, and I thought it was very well done.

Hope you keep writing!


This is some of the most useful feedback I've ever received, Circes. Yes, I was trying to make it tighter than my old style, and to toss in both a mid-point surprise and some decent tension and action along with a denouement at the end. All things I was historically bad at doing. To show a little more than merely tell.

I'm very pleased to hear that some of that worked.

Shadar

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27 Mar 2017 17:25 #53363 by pithlit
pithlit replied the topic: Dinner Party, a novella
It did take a while to read.

I totally loved this story. Everything I would want a super story to be.

I feel a whole door of writing has been opened to me.

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28 Mar 2017 01:22 #53367 by shadar
shadar replied the topic: Dinner Party, a novella

pithlit wrote: It did take a while to read.

I totally loved this story. Everything I would want a super story to be.

I feel a whole door of writing has been opened to me.


Now you are getting me excited. Which is good since this is book 1 of a trilogy.

Tks for the kind words...

Shadar

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28 Mar 2017 14:38 #53374 by pithlit
pithlit replied the topic: Dinner Party, a novella
So I'm getting into this Velorian thing.

A few questions.

I've seen the term Aurora Universe.

AU-1
AU-2
AU-3

Can someone please explain these too me?

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28 Mar 2017 14:52 #53376 by brantley
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28 Mar 2017 15:32 #53377 by Woodclaw
Woodclaw replied the topic: Dinner Party, a novella

pithlit wrote: So I'm getting into this Velorian thing.

A few questions.

I've seen the term Aurora Universe.

AU-1
AU-2
AU-3

Can someone please explain these too me?


These numbers indicates the different incarnations of the Aurora Universe based mostly on Shadar's development and choices.

AU-1 was the early incarnation built around a single character: Aurora Fairchild.

AU-2 is the most well known incarnation an it's the one based around the Infinity Bridge archive and this is more or less where Brantley, Velvet, the late Mac and so on came on-board.

AU-3 is the current iteration.

(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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28 Mar 2017 16:13 - 28 Mar 2017 16:14 #53379 by brantley
brantley replied the topic: Dinner Party, a novella
My link above Woodclaw's post is more canonical, and a lot more detailed -- with Shadar himself weighing in on AU-2.

--J.J.
Last Edit: 28 Mar 2017 16:14 by brantley.

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28 Mar 2017 21:31 #53383 by pithlit
pithlit replied the topic: Dinner Party, a novella
Thanks for all the replies.

I have a great starting place now.

Looks like I have reading that will take me through the summer now.

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28 Mar 2017 22:22 #53387 by shadar
shadar replied the topic: Dinner Party, a novella
Here's a fairly simple primer on the aspects of AU history that is relevant to my writing in 2017 and beyond.

While the AU has gotten so rich and involved that even I can't keep up with it (Brantley is the only historian who understands all of it now), I've simplified things as much as I can while still clinging to the bits and pieces of history, sometimes modified slightly, that I find indispensable:

Background of the Aurora Universe (AU2017)

The AU, as I envision it for my 2017 writing is drawn from my old AU-2 definition. It shares many concepts and bits of history with Brantley’s explorations in his universe (AU-3), particularly his depictions of the early days of Arion (which he calls Aurean) and Velorian history.


1) It begins with the Galen, a very advanced alien race who discovered that humans are both intelligent and uniquely resilient, and have a genome that’s easy (for them) to create "client races" who can populate Earth-like planets across the galaxy. They’ve secretly been abducting people from Earth for thousands of years. These abducted “Terrans” are tweaked to be able to live in the various environments on the worlds they want to populate. There are now hundreds of human-populated worlds out there.

The only people who don’t know any of this are the people of Earth, who the Galen keep in the dark so as to not corrupt the wild seed source of their genetically-engineered human races. Basically, we’re a seed bank, and we’re being mushroomed. But like any scientist, the Galen find it important to maintain a control, and also a fallback to start over if things go too wrong. That’s us, stuck on our Earth with a powerful alien race who is determined to not let us get too far off it.

2) The Galen have been fighting with another ancient alien race called the Elders for millions of years. Somewhere along the way, the Elders managed to render all Galen females infertile, presumably with some bio-engineered orgasm that even the Galen couldn’t stop. This dooms the Galen to eventual extinction, although they live a very, very long time.

3) The Galen decide to bio-engineer a group of humans into dedicated procreators, or surrogates, to allow their race to survive. They scoured the Earth for a robust, homogeneous breeding group with a narrow gene pool to simplify their work, and found a village of remarkably tall, robust, blonde-haired, blue-eyed Nordics in a region of what would eventually be called Sweden, over near the current Norwegian border, the time around 1000AD. Glaciers and other inhospitable terrain had isolated this pre-Christian population in an otherwise fertile valley for many hundreds of years. The timeframe is the waning years of the Viking era, and the Vikings are the only outsiders who know of this village, and they protect it from any travelers. Unknown to history, a handful of Viking royalty have chosen wives from this village for many generations to strengthen their line, given their offspring are always born tall and amazingly athletic.

(The closest currently-named location to where this village once stood is Laisdalen, Sweden. Only a few Sami reindeer herders and the occasional hiker pass through this empty land today, which is ironic given Laisdalen spawned a galactic civilization that remains unknown to most Earthers.)

Given that the Galen are very powerful beings, they had to greatly enhance these new abductees with their own DNA so they could survive the act of mating and also protect and raise their immensely powerful children, who are powered by an energy form called Orgone. They enhance these humans by eliminating most of the non-coding (junk) genes and replacing them with one’s analogous to their own. They then placed their newly engineered humans on a gold-cored planet named Velor, thus creating the Velorians. The Galen call this new subspecies Homo Sapiens Supremis to distinguish it from the other surviving subspecies, Homo Sapiens Sapiens.

(I use the term Terran to refer to both the Earth-resident version of Homo Sapiens Sapiens and the modestly tweaked versions of us that live on their seeded worlds. ) 

They also engineered in a control mechanism so the Velorians couldn’t escape Galen control, and they based the control on the way gold suppresses the secretion of certain hormones (presumably also a weakness with the Galen).

The Velorians themselves didn’t originally understand any of this, other than the handful of young women they harvested from Velor each year to become a procreators, who were never allowed to return to tell their stories.

The Galen care nothing for Velorian men beyond ensuring the birth of future generations of useful females. Nor did they give men any way to store Orgone in their bodies, although they have the same abilities as their females when they have access to Orgone. It’s only their finest females, a genetic class called Prima-1, that the Galen want for procreators. They install a artificially intelligent Maternity Engine on Velor that purifies and tweaks the ova and sperm before in-vitro fertilization to ensure their needs are met and the race doesn’t mutate or diverge. This way they crank out both a sufficient number of Primas to be their surrogates, but also lesser classes of Velorians to support them, and just enough males to keep the whole system working. No interbreeding with ordinary humans is possible.

Also, given that the Galen solitary goal was to create Procreators, they amped up Velorian’s pheromones and hormones to make them extremely sexual beings. After all, they had only one use planned for them, and they wanted them to be both willing and inspirational.

4) After several hundred years of this status quo, a religious group of Velorian Natural Lifers emerges who believe that old fashioned reproduction is the sacred way of life, and they believe the Galen plan of controlling them to use only for their procreation is an abomination. This leads to a cultural split in Velorian society that threatens to become a civil war. Fortunately, the Naturals discover an ancient Galen transporter machine and use it to flee to a planet they name Aria. The Natural Lifers all leave, once again restoring harmony (and complete Galen control) to Velor.

But it doesn’t end there. The split is so acrimonious in the eyes of the religious zealots that these new Arions attempt to expunge any reminder that they were once Velorians. Since Velorians are 100% blonde and blue-eyed thanks to the narrow gene pool they brought from Earth, the Arions decide to release a wild retrovirus into their population on Aria to insert the dominant human gene for hair color (brown/black) into their population. Something goes drastically wrong (likely Galen sabotage) and this planet-wide dispersal of the retrovirus mutates to reduce the physical powers of most of their people (creating the numerous Betans) and enhances the physical power (even above Velorian levels) for a very small percentage, less than 0.01%.

That tiny elite fraction of Arions call themselves Primes, and they assume political, military and economic control.

5) Yet both Arions and Velorians remain trapped on their own planets while the Galen (through their agents called the Seeders) populate many other worlds with abducted Terrans. Only the Galen know they exist. The real story at this time is the proliferation of new human-populated worlds, which number in the hundreds.

This situation remains stable until an alien race of traders called the Scalantrans discover Velor. They find nothing to trade on that backward planet, devoid of technology except for the Maternity Engine, which does not interest them. Just a bunch of uniformly pale hairless apes of a type they’ve observed on a number of newly terraformed worlds, who in many cases they are already trading with.

But to their great surprise, they discover that the handful of Terrans who work and travel with them on their trade ships are very much taken with the Velorian women. While the Sclalantrans themselves have no concept of human beauty, the humans working with them report that the Velorians are all unimaginably stunning blondes, and sexually willing to the extreme.

One of those humans proposes a basis for commerce that would allow Velor to become a Scalantran trading partner. Since the Velorians are desperate for something to trade, they take the Scalantrans up on the radical idea of offering some of their young women as indentured servants to the Scalantrans. The plan is for the Scalantrans to transport these women (who they call Companions) to worlds with wealthy Terrans and sell their contracts. In so doing, they discover (in almost disastrous ways) that these women gain fantastic strength, the ability to levitate, to see through things and even burn things with their eyes, and they cannot be injured by any known weapon.

The panicky Scalantrans nearly pull the plug on the whole program when they realize that transporting these superwomen is extremely dangerous. That is, until they discover by accident that a solid gold choker around a Velorian’s neck (think slave collar) will reduce their strength to nearly that of a Terran, and eliminate all their other abilities except for their resistance to injury, which is only slightly diminished. (The gold band interferes with the neck’s pituitary gland which controls the hormones that allow Orgone metabolism).

The Velorian Council, which by now has had a taste of real wealth, accelerates the sale of its daughters into indentured servitude to gain the hard capital they need to trade with the Scalantrans. They make laws that guarantee that Companion contracts are inviolate for the equivalent of a Terran century, and order Companions to serve their contract holder in any way he or she wishes.

Once the wealthy and powerful Terran men on seeded worlds realize that they can buy a century-long indenture for the most beautiful women they’ve ever seen, they all want one. Not only to warm their bed, but even more importantly (for many) to protect them from any foe. These Companions help some of these men create dynasties on their worlds, given that their contracts are handed down from one generation to the next until the contract is completed. (Velorians live for many hundreds of years). Many Companions become so bound to their new families, and so estranged from Velor, that they remain long after their contract ends, many indefinitelyl. Velor, in any case, doesn’t want them back and the Scalantrans gain no advantage by carrying them home.

6) As this horrific trade in human flesh from Velor unfolds, the Arions develop their own spaceflight technology and begin a conquest to sweep the Terran worlds into their Empire. They try to convince the Companions who are in place that they are slaves. They believe that Supremis should be the dominant humans in the galaxy and they invite the Companions to join them as free people. The Arions also believe that only through shared strength and military alliance can they protect humanity from further exploitation by as yet undiscovered hostile alien races, rumors if whom they have heard from the Scalantrans.

7) As the Arions continue conquering worlds, drawing some Companions to their side, they begin to battle other Companions who decide to defend their contract holders. But those Companions are outclassed by both the more powerful Primes and a new weapon called a GAR (a weapon that shoots a circular laser beam to evacuate a tunnel to the target down which they shoot charged particles and, with some models, a tiny bit of anti-matter). These weapons can actually harm a Companion.

Also, while Companions are educated and skilled at many things, they aren’t trained as warriors. 

8) One Companion decides to break her contract and travel back to Velor with information about this new weapon and the Arion plans to subvert Companions so that a defense can be created. She winds up kicking off a revolt on Velor that leads to the collapse of the Companion trade.

Soon after that, a Galen scientist who was instrumental in creating the Velorians, and who is horrified by the rise of the Arion Empire, allies herself with Velor to begin further enhancing Companions into warriors who are even more powerful than Arion Primes. In such a way are the Protectors born.

9) Velorian Protectors are soon stationed on many Terran worlds to protect them from the Arions. On some worlds they are visible, and they form the Enlightenment, an alliance of worlds which opposes the growing power of the Arion Empire. However, on undisclosed worlds, like Earth, they operate secretly, if at all.

10) Earth is unique in that the Galen forbids either the Velorians or Arions from operating openly for fear of spoiling their seed bank. They certainly don’t want the people of Earth to realize that there is a vast galactic civilization out there, populated by abducted and tweaked humans.

They land some undercover Velorians whose job it is to block or discredit or otherwise interfere with programs like SETI which try to locate other civilizations. They will also secretly work to supress any spacecraft technology that emerges which has the potential to take Terrans outside their own system. Earth must remain mushroomed for all eternity.

The Arions have a different approach. They have been secretly infiltrating governments on Earth since at least the 1920’s. The Arions are hoping to create a total breakdown of societal and economic foundations that will lead to global war, and WWII is their first success. They believe the next such war, which will inevitably become nuclear and biological, will so threaten the Galen’s human seed-bank that the Galen will relent and allow the Arions to come in and restore peace by taking control of Earth and making it part of their Imperial Empire — something they are very practiced at doing. Or so goes the as-yet unrealized Arion master plan.

An underground war is now being fought on Earth between Velorian and Arion forces, but we ordinary humans usually can’t see it. We see the disintegration of culture, war and terrorism that results from the Arion attempts to subvert Earth, but Terrans assume those instabilities and chaos are of their own making.

It is only when a rogue Arion General decides to push things along by supplying Arion weapons to some of their client humans on Earth that the existence of the Supremis begins to surface.

The beginning of that conflict, illegal in the eyes of Aria and Velor as well as the Galen, is described in Imperial Earth Book 1, called Dinner Party.

This, then, is essentially is the story-space for my 2017 AU writing, with the additional caveat that portions of my stories may also take place on the seeded, terraformed worlds out there, as well as on Velor itself, as we will see in Book 2, Golden Planet.

— Shadar, 2017
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29 Mar 2017 01:34 #53389 by brantley
brantley replied the topic: Dinner Party, a novella
www.brightemipire.com/empress.pdf

Empress of the Dawn introduces the Scalantran trade in companions, and its sequels get into some of the later complications.

Still hoping we can finish First Protector, which ushers in the next era in Velorian history...

--Brantley

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29 Mar 2017 10:03 - 29 Mar 2017 10:03 #53398 by slim36
slim36 replied the topic: Dinner Party, a novella
oops a typoed link heres a corrected version
www.brightempire.com/empress.pdf
Last Edit: 29 Mar 2017 10:03 by slim36.

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30 Mar 2017 13:03 #53408 by brantley
brantley replied the topic: Dinner Party, a novella
From Shadar's AU2017 prospectus:

<<The beginning of that conflict, illegal in the eyes of Aria and Velor as well as the Galen, is described in Imperial Earth Book 1, called Dinner Party.>>

Nothing to do with Arthur C. Clarke's 1976 novel!

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperial_Earth

--Brantley

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30 Mar 2017 14:26 - 30 Mar 2017 14:27 #53411 by shadar
shadar replied the topic: Dinner Party, a novella

brantley wrote: From Shadar's AU2017 prospectus:

<<The beginning of that conflict, illegal in the eyes of Aria and Velor as well as the Galen, is described in Imperial Earth Book 1, called Dinner Party.>>

Nothing to do with Arthur C. Clarke's 1976 novel!

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperial_Earth

--Brantley


With apologies to Arthur C Clark... I did not have his book in mind when I came up with the title. Nor any other authors or events. It simply fit my intended story.

I've long shown that the Arions have designs on Earth, for various reasons, but the Galen prohibit direct action on Earth for reasons of their own..

We know that direct military conquest, force against force, would be devastating, given as a species, we take it very personally when someone wants to take our land away and enslave us.

An alien attacking force would arrive with very limited forces compared to the entire planet's militaries. Even if their weapons and ships are far superior. Think of the two Red Dawn movies but on a planetary level.

But there are other ways to get the same thing. Or so the Arions think.
Last Edit: 30 Mar 2017 14:27 by shadar.

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31 Mar 2017 11:51 - 31 Mar 2017 12:48 #53431 by brantley
brantley replied the topic: Dinner Party, a novella
AU2017 isn't that different from AU-3 except in the change of names for Kara and the Arions. But there are some contrasts. Here's Shadar on Seeding:

<<It begins with the Galen, a very advanced alien race who discovered that humans are both intelligent and uniquely resilient, and have a genome that’s easy (for them) to create "client races" who can populate Earth-like planets across the galaxy. They’ve secretly been abducting people from Earth for thousands of years. These abducted “Terrans” are tweaked to be able to live in the various environments on the worlds they want to populate. There are now hundreds of human-populated worlds out there.>>

In the original version of AU-2, there were protos like the Olympians, Geheimites and Tanzrobians who were enhanced by the Galen before their creation of the Velorians. But there hadn't been any tweaking of later abductees for Seeded worlds; planets like Belside (whose survivors founded Kelsor 7), Nova Iberia, Tazzi and Andros were populated with ordinary humans from different ethnic groups. Reigel 5's settlers also included Daimoni, a client race of the Elders with mental rather than physical powers, although I don't think it was ever quite clear how that came about.

But in an edit of First Protector 1, Shadar made Jana Sunderland an immigrant from Zeta-5, a high-gravity world. I went along with that, so it's now part of AU-3, but still not typical of AU-3.

--Brantley
Last Edit: 31 Mar 2017 12:48 by brantley.

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20 Apr 2017 00:57 #53720 by jay_manus
jay_manus replied the topic: Dinner Party, a novella
Shadar, I just want to add my voice to those who enjoyed your novella. It brought back all the memories of the early days, when you were the only one doing any significant writing. It's wonderful that so many others have now joined the fray, but we all owe you a debt for getting us started. You made it safe for us to consider powerful female characters who didn't necessarily come from the comic books or wear capes (not that those are bad! - but it really blew open the flood gates in my mind at least). And of course the richness and fullness of your universes are inspirational.

Are you receiving my thanks yet? :-)

I'm gonna go back and re-read some of your earlier work now.

Thanks,
Jay

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22 Apr 2017 00:38 #53741 by shadar
shadar replied the topic: Dinner Party, a novella

jay_manus wrote: Shadar, I just want to add my voice to those who enjoyed your novella. It brought back all the memories of the early days, when you were the only one doing any significant writing. It's wonderful that so many others have now joined the fray, but we all owe you a debt for getting us started. You made it safe for us to consider powerful female characters who didn't necessarily come from the comic books or wear capes (not that those are bad! - but it really blew open the flood gates in my mind at least). And of course the richness and fullness of your universes are inspirational.

Are you receiving my thanks yet? :-)

I'm gonna go back and re-read some of your earlier work now.

Thanks,
Jay



I appreciate the very kind words, Jay.

I'm trying to write with a style similar to my earlier work but with the polish (if I may be bold enough to presume) that comes from writing a few million words in this genre. That early period was the most fun.

I'm glad to see that Dinner Party reminds you of my early work, so I'm on the right track perhaps.

Hard at work now on Part 2: Golden Planet

Shadar

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