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At The Bright Empire....

19 Dec 2014 11:12 #39440 by brantley
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Call it Bright Friday, as opposed to Black Friday. The latter may have been something of a disappointment, economists say. But here things are really looking up.

Book Three of Empress of the Dawn has been updated, launching the romance of Kalla and Alexius – but that has its challenges as well as its rewards for both of them.

www.brightempire.com/Empress-3.pdf

Speaking of launches, the SyFy Channel just broadcast a new much-heralded miniseries called Ascension. But as Velvet Belle Tree observes, "It Totally Didn't Fly:"

www.brightempire.com/Ascension.htm

As for Shore Leave III, I'm still working on the continuation, but comments on the Nov. 25 update have led me to make some edits in the account of events at München to clarify the narrative:

www.brightempire.com/ShoreLeave3.htm

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01 Jan 2015 18:16 - 01 Jan 2015 18:17 #39646 by brantley
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Happy New Year. Just some slight updates, and the most important one actually comes from the Wayback Machine on the Links page:


www.brightempire.com/Links.htm


Although it is still shown on the Aurora Universe Writers Group home page, the Jolie Howard Fiction link there (like several others) is dead. But I've added a link to the archived version further down, just below that for the Julie of Velor archive. Jolie Howard, a.k.a. Lisa Binkley, is the author of some classic AU fiction like the Nova'yul saga, but also other outstanding sf and fantasy including As Pretty Girls Do and The Secrets of Katie Zurin. She was an early inspiration to me:


http://www/brightempire.com/Binkley.html


Another dead link on the main AUWG page is actually still a live sub-link at Infinity Bridge: Susan, the Amazing Adventures of Sara Corel, a legendary story by Toomey Starks (killed in a car crash back in 2000), an inspiration to Shadar and others. Thanks to Tyler Spivey at the Aurora Universe Readers Group for pointing this out!


www.infinitybridge.net/Susan


Although it isn't a real update, I've made a tweak to Shore Leave III reversing the two last chapters (79 and 80) to create more of a cliffhanger, based on discussion at the AURG about a new development -- an anti-matter explosion -- in the crisis that faces Rostran.


brightempire.com/ShoreLeave3.htm


--Brantley
Last edit: 01 Jan 2015 18:17 by brantley.

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21 Jan 2015 19:04 #39932 by brantley
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Have just uploaded slightly tweaked versions of EMPRESS OF THE DAWN, Parts One and Two:

www.brightempire.com/empress.pdf

www.brightempire.com/Empress-2.pdf

It's a matter of chronology; there'd been some comment at AURG that it was hard to tell when things were happening, in either Terran or Galactic years. So I've added some references at the time of Kalla's arrival at Andros in Part One, and at the beginning and end of Part Two. But something that dawned on me was that Scalantrans would do business in terms of Galactic years, so that the Indentures of Companions would be 111 Terrans years (I'm not sure how long a Velorian year is, but it wouldn't make sense to have contracts of different terms on different seeded worlds). I have adjusted by own file on the chronology of the series according, with the expiration of the Indenture coming in 1271 instead of 1260, and the Restoration (at the end of Part Two) in 1277 instead of 1265 -- since the previous dates weren't mentioned the previous story files.

--Brantley

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01 Feb 2015 12:07 #40167 by brantley
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Forget about Super Sunday in the NFL. This is Super Sunday at The Bright Empire.

First up, there's more of Shore Leave III, now retitled To Hold the Center. Klara has made her way to the headquarters of the human underground at the end, but there are complications she doesn't know about in the deteriorating situation on Rostran – and Alisa Liddell and her comrades are caught up in those same complications. I've done some editing of the version posted Nov. 25 in line with my latest conception of how the rest of the story will play out.

www.brightempire.com/ShoreLeave3.htm

Second, there's a revised version of McCloud's Daughters, Shadar's story from 2004 that introduced Sanctuary and the McCloud family, including Klara. It was written before what we call Aurora Universe 3 had fully evolved from AU-2, and some of the details – including how Ben Shaffer first met Xara – didn't jibe with AU-3. I also wanted to soften the details of Klara's personality cult, which in the original version made it difficult at best for her to emerge as a sympathetic character in Shore Leave. There were some other inconsistencies between the two stories that I had to resolve as best I could in further edits.

www.brightempire.com/McCloud.htm

Finally, from Velvet Belle Tree, there's "Imitation Biopic." We'd both been to see The Imitation Game, which purports to tell the true story of Alan Turing, the British mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst and pioneering computer scientist who was a key figure in cracking Nazi Germany's naval Enigma code, which helped the Allies win the Second World War – only to later be prosecuted for his homosexuality. It may be a terrific movie, but like a lot of film biopics, it shades the truth – shades it a lot, in fact. Velvet went to the trouble of reading the doorstopper of a biography on which the film is supposedly based, and found it so far off base that it left me wondering whether its makers could have passed the Turing test (an approach he devised to determine a machine's capacity to exhibit intelligent behavior equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human).

www.brightempire.com/Imitation.htm

--Brantley Thompson Elkins

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01 Feb 2015 15:55 #40170 by shadar
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brantley wrote: Forget about Super Sunday in the NFL. This is Super Sunday at The Bright Empire.

--Brantley Thompson Elkins


Sacrilege...!!!

Shadar

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01 Feb 2015 17:14 #40174 by brantley
Replied by brantley on topic At The Bright Empire....

shadar wrote:

brantley wrote: Forget about Super Sunday in the NFL. This is Super Sunday at The Bright Empire.

--Brantley Thompson Elkins


Sacrilege...!!!

Shadar


And here's more sacrilege about the beer and sports "culture" generally:



--Brantley

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01 Feb 2015 19:11 #40181 by shadar
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Hey, I resemble that comment.

Except in my house, instead of cats, it's my three yellow Labradors. The youngest (Bo) can't watch violence on TV without diving under the bed. He freaked out watching Dancing with Wolves with Kevin Costner the other day. Still not sure if it was Costner's ridiculous pandering to the noble savage myth or the painted, feathered indians yelping and running around, but every time the natives got restless, he freaked.

Not sure how he's going to handle a house full of screaming people today. My female Lab (Abby) uses the confusion to steal food. Every time people stand up and shout when we score, she scores something off a plate. I hope she's going to be very well fed today. And Kermodei (my older dominant male, pronounced kur-mode-ee) insists on dropping his ball into guest's laps so they can play too. If that fails, he gives us an unsportsmanlike penalty and goes off to sleep.

Shadar

brantley wrote:

shadar wrote:

brantley wrote: Forget about Super Sunday in the NFL. This is Super Sunday at The Bright Empire.

--Brantley Thompson Elkins


Sacrilege...!!!

Shadar


And here's more sacrilege about the beer and sports "culture" generally:



--Brantley

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01 Feb 2015 20:54 #40185 by brantley
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Well, once the dogs are through watching the Seahawks, maybe they can read the updated stories!

--Brantley

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01 Feb 2015 21:10 #40186 by shadar
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My dogs reading comprehension sucks. It's even worse than their driving.

But I'm game to do some reading, but probably not today. Between beer, hard cider, wine, a dozen strains of weed, homemade pizzas and homemade apple pie and ice cream -- and football -- I plan on being out of my gourd today.

I'm giving my keys to Kermodei for safe keeping. He thinks he runs the household anyway.

Shadar

brantley wrote: Well, once the dogs are through watching the Seahawks, maybe they can read the updated stories!

--Brantley

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02 Feb 2015 10:39 #40194 by brantley
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Are the dogs really mad this morning?

--Brantley

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14 Feb 2015 16:20 #40415 by brantley
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Kalla Zaver'el is back, in a Valentine's Day update to Empress of the Dawn III:

www.brightempire.com/Empress-3.pdf

A lot is happening in her life, and a lot is happening on Andros, where she has been trying to find a new role as an ex-Companion since the accession of Nestor as the Patriarch. She and Nestor are both working to bring faster technological and social progress to the world, and engineers from Indra are assisting them. But what she knows and Nestor doesn't is that their world might face war with the Aureans -- and that it will need to prepare. Meanwhile, she has found a new love, Nestor's younger brother Alexius, and shared her confidences with him -- only he wants to be a part of her efforts, not just a confidant. Some of the details are based on suggestions by Daphne Orgone, but I've put my own spin on them.

--Brantley Thompson Elkins

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08 Mar 2015 19:35 #40863 by brantley
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It's Interstellar Superwomen's Day again, as it was ten years ago today when this incarnation of The Bright Empire made its debut. And this time, I have a couple of treats. One is my conclusion of the Shore Leave saga, after more than a decade, with To Hold the Center. There's a lot of revisionism here, which relates to not only the previous episodes, The Gwyndylyn and Primal War, which were plotted and mostly written by Shadar, but also to Shadar's McCloud's Daughters and my own Bird in Paradise. The details are explained in a new post to my Occasional Blog.

www.brightempire.com/ShoreLeave3.htm

www.brightempire.com/Blog.htm

First Protector is another project begun by Shadar, but that has been in limbo – albeit not nearly as long as Shore Leave. It was originally intended to be a single book, and that version – far from complete – was last updated July 20, 2013. But then Shadar reconceived the story as three first-person narratives by Kevin Galton, Vespyr and then Kevin again. It introduces a new nemesis named Mal'lkar – who comes on to Vespyr and deceives her in order to threaten Kevin – on Tazzi's World.

That involves changing a lot of the details of what is now going to be Book One (See Behind the Stories), which leads up to Vespyr's escape. I'm sure all of you are eager to see that, but I don't know how long it will take Shadar. My Book Two, a work in progress, is based on the proposed scenario for Book One. Book Three will be about Vespyr's return to Tazzi's World as the first of the Velorian Protectors

www.brightempire.com/First-2.pdf

www.brightempire.com/behind_stories.htm

--Brantley Thompson Elkins

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17 Mar 2015 15:08 #41007 by brantley
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Maybe this is where some of my hits for Empress of the Dawn are coming from:

www.yumpu.com/en/document/view/12232769/...e-bright-empire-home

Anybody here know anything about Yumpu?

I also see that there are two books with the same title by James Glass (The Google listing for his unaccountably also mentions mine, although the actual link is only to his) and Frank Brunner. And then there is Myshella, a character in Michael Moocock's Elric saga referred to as the Empress of the Dawn.

Can't take the credit for any accidental free publicity. Can't complain, either.

--Brantley

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17 Mar 2015 17:34 #41008 by shadar
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Did Yumpu just take your material and redistribute it without permission? Your book is actually sourced from their site, which makes updates a challenge for you, I presume. But what about copyrights? Or just theft in general?

The Center for Copyright Integrity rates them as one of the worst of the infringing sites. Here is their writeup (as way of example of flagrant violators):

EXAMPLE 5 : YUMPU i-Magazine AG
Location: Moosackerstraße 17
Diepoldsau, Schweiz 9444 +49 (0)89 41 61 70 20
Website: www.i-magazine.de www.yumpu.com/en/info/agb
info@i-magazine.de
Legislators: German Embassy

Yumpu has got brass 'ones' of a giant size. The German based imag removed my Orphan Works comment from the Register of Copyrights site, posted in and around February 2013. The absolute gall of this international entity to poach the Internet, scavenging clearly stated clearly marked 2D ARTS IP with directive 'My comment is clearly marked with MAY BE USED ONLY UNDER LICENSE. Yumpu states on their site their fees for using the data and for how long. Excuse me! That is my data. Yumpu's Theft of my IP might also be called Piracy. Bottom line, they are the same behaviour- theft, the only difference being Piracy is the buzz term around Congress, Legislators and Law Enforcement invoking images of swashbucklers with wooden legs and eye patches. I can tell you exactly where I would put my peg leg if I got hold of Yumpu but that is a problem in an Internet world unless legislators get their game on and get the Search Engines and ISPs to collapse these entities behaving in violation of Treaties between America and, in the case of Yumpu, Germany. Its not rocket science to figure out the extent of the International theft here. Search Yumpu. What the hits. Count the hits... profitable business model or not makes no difference to an IP owner and the person whose name is being sold internationally. As for the Register of Copyrights? Geez louise, Maria. Walk the walk, just dont talk the talk. You are on notice your agency file shared data. What are you going to do about it and Yumpu and others of that model now that you know you participated, knowingly or not in file sharing on line....?

Also, they use a type of PDF reader that I can’t tolerate. I need the text to enlarge significantly without overflowing the screen. Yumpa can’t seem to do that, so its sub-readable.

It would be interesting to learn how your material got on their site, Brantley.

Free publicity, yes. But they are ripping you off -- making money from your work that you'll never see any of.

I fervently believe every author has the right to control where their material resides and how its shared and/or marketed. Yumpu violates all of that.

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17 Mar 2015 18:31 #41010 by brantley
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The WHY I don't know; apparently EMPRESS and EMPRESS II are the only stories of mine they have pirated. The HOW is easy enough; since The Bright Empire is a free site, all they had to do was download my pdfs from there and upload them to their site. I wasn't going to make any money from my free stuff anyway, but what about future works I do hope to profit from? I wonder if any authors are suing them; seems to be they could be subject to a class action suit.

--Brantley

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18 Mar 2015 11:32 - 18 Mar 2015 11:40 #41025 by Skye
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Two things right off the top of my head:
- The address given is in Switzerland, not Germany. That the german embassy should have anything to do with them seems strange. The mistake there is probably in the .de which is the german TLD but in no way a hint that the holder is actually in Germany. A whois lookup gives this company in Lichtenstein (Name: Host Master, Organisation: adRom Holding AG, Adresse: Landstrasse 58, PLZ: 9494 Ort: Schaan, Land: LI, Telefon: +423 5522 748130, Telefax: +423 5522 7481320, E-Mail: domains@adrom.net) as the technical contact and this Lawyer (Name: Rechtsanwalt Harald J. Moench, Adresse: Nussbaumstr. 12, PLZ: 80336, Ort: Muenchen, Land: DE) in Munich as administrative contact.

- I don't know about swiss and lichtenstein law, but german law has no class action lawsuits in the US form.

Edit:
I took another quick look at yumpu.com (here's a link to their english TOS, by the way: www.yumpu.com/en/info/terms_of_service ). From what I can tell their content is more or less "user" generated. So probably someone took the original texts and uploaded them. A quick email advising them of the copyright/license-infringement might take care of it.
Last edit: 18 Mar 2015 11:40 by Skye.

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19 Mar 2015 12:16 #41041 by brantley
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Turns out they've also pirated Part 2 of Shadar's "Chip off the Old Block:"

www.yumpu.com/user/velorian.net

But why just Part 2, I wonder...

--Brantley

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19 Mar 2015 13:19 #41042 by brantley
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Seeded world scenes?

www.halcyonmaps.com/sun-replaced-with-other-stars/

No doubt other landscapes could be used for the same sort of manips.

--Brantley

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19 Mar 2015 15:29 #41046 by shadar
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brantley wrote: Seeded world scenes?

www.halcyonmaps.com/sun-replaced-with-other-stars/

No doubt other landscapes could be used for the same sort of manips.

--Brantley


Pretty neat... Funny how nice our star looks compared to others. But then, we humans are deeply, deeply biased toward our sun. Happens when your species evolves under a single star, I guess.

Reminds me of all the discussions of finding other Earth-like planets and G series stars, driven by the anthropocentric assumption that intelligent life could live there. In contrast, what if aliens don't come here because of our poisonous oxygen atmosphere and the billions of different kind of dangerous pathogens in our air and soil? In everything.

If we traveled, we'd bring some of those with us. We can't live without thousands of different kinds of bacteria swarming around and through us. From bugs to bacteria. Our gut bacteria alone could lay waste to entire civilizations. We're a walking bio-hazard of the first degree. No human would be allowed on any planet with intelligent life.

Best way to handle Earth is to keep us tightly quarantined. Best way to do that is to mushroom us. We're not only a biohazard, but we're curious and driven to explore (part of a long-running evolutionary Homo sapiens survival strategy -- expand our territory and kill or eat anything we find). If we get loose, then there goes the universe.

Only a truly invulnerable alien species could visit Earth and survive, and then they'd probably be quarantined for life afterward. Or else be boiled in oil and irradiated with high energy gamma rays to kill anything off.

Anyway, it's another way to look at the concept of alien life. I'm not familiar with any SF writing that is based on this premise, that our micro flora is a threat to everyone else, but surely it exists.

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19 Mar 2015 16:57 #41049 by brantley
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shadar wrote:

brantley wrote: Seeded world scenes?

www.halcyonmaps.com/sun-replaced-with-other-stars/

No doubt other landscapes could be used for the same sort of manips.

--Brantley


Pretty neat... Funny how nice our star looks compared to others. But then, we humans are deeply, deeply biased toward our sun. Happens when your species evolves under a single star, I guess.

Reminds me of all the discussions of finding other Earth-like planets and G series stars, driven by the anthropocentric assumption that intelligent life could live there. In contrast, what if aliens don't come here because of our poisonous oxygen atmosphere and the billions of different kind of dangerous pathogens in our air and soil? In everything.

If we traveled, we'd bring some of those with us. We can't live without thousands of different kinds of bacteria swarming around and through us. From bugs to bacteria. Our gut bacteria alone could lay waste to entire civilizations. We're a walking bio-hazard of the first degree. No human would be allowed on any planet with intelligent life.

Best way to handle Earth is to keep us tightly quarantined. Best way to do that is to mushroom us. We're not only a biohazard, but we're curious and driven to explore (part of a long-running evolutionary Homo sapiens survival strategy -- expand our territory and kill or eat anything we find). If we get loose, then there goes the universe.

Only a truly invulnerable alien species could visit Earth and survive, and then they'd probably be quarantined for life afterward. Or else be boiled in oil and irradiated with high energy gamma rays to kill anything off.

Anyway, it's another way to look at the concept of alien life. I'm not familiar with any SF writing that is based on this premise, that our micro flora is a threat to everyone else, but surely it exists.


Aliens would have different DNA, maybe even a different biochemistry, and thus not get our diseases -- like, do cats and dogs get smallpox? Do we get distemper? In The War of the Worlds (1897), H.G. Wells had the invading Martians succumb to our diseases, but he was making the same mistake. Just to live on another world, we'd have to import our entire ecology -- alien life forms would be inedible or even poisonous to us. In the AU, seeded worlds are given enough Terran plant and animal forms for the humans to survive and flourish. In David Gerrold's series, The War Against the Chtorr, Earth itself is invaded by an entire alien ecology that is vigorous enough to displace ours.

--Brantley

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