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At The Bright Empire....

13 Apr 2015 16:15 #41460 by brantley
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And today, it IS the Ides of April, which comes on the 13th, it being a month with only 30 days instead of 31.

That's a bit of historical trivia, but there's nothing trivial about what happens to Kalla and Alexius in the latest update to EMPRESS OF THE DAWN III. It's actually been in the works for a long time, having first been referred to in HOMECOMING II back in 2005. But I still had to develop the actual story behind that cross-reference, and both the specific details and their context have changed as I worked on the Empress saga.

Now it's set in stone, so to speak (Today's update ends on a mini-cliffhanger, after Alexius' enhancement, but before the unanticipated consequences have to be dealt with.), the cross-references had to be updated in both HOMECOMING II and HOMECOMING III. Now if only Shadar and I can finish FIRST PROTECTOR, we'll be seeing more of Alexius....

www.brightempire.com/Empress-3.pdf

www,brightempire.com/Homecoming-2.pdf

www.brightempire.com/Homecoming-3.pdf

--Brantley Thompson Elkins

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01 May 2015 11:58 #41745 by brantley
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It's May Day, and time to spring into the new season with an update to Book Three of Empress of the Dawn. The story of how Kalla has to give up Alexius for the sake of Andros has been a long time coming, but I knew I had to make it part of the story of Andros itself and her place in it.

One bit of serendipity was to turn Verina, first conceived as a throwaway player to tease readers as the first female lottery winner to have an encounter with Kalla, into a major player – you'll see just how major in Part Two, Chapter 10. She is part of the technological, political and social evolution of her world, and her engagement and wedding gave me a chance to dramatize all three.

Readers looking for fetish sex will find it in the same chapter, but soon realize that the very same political and social realities that bring fulfillment to Verina doom the love of Kalla and Alexius. And now the stage is set to jump ahead a few decades to the war with the Aureans and the Battle of the Triple Moons...

www.brightempire.com/Empress-3.pdf

I'd thought I was done with Shore Leave III, but readers thought the endgame was too sketchy and, looking back on it, I had to agree. So I've done my best to flesh it out, and yet also made it more complicated – with Klara, Alisa and Andrea playing an elaborate Machiavellian con on Frida, giving her the rope to hang herself in a more spectacular version of the grand climax at the stadium. The revision also ties up a few loose ends, and hints a bit more hopefully about things to come on Rostran.

www.brightempire.com/ShoreLeave3.htm

--Brantley Thompson Elkins

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02 May 2015 14:51 - 02 May 2015 14:51 #41758 by brantley
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Big bump yesterday in hits for EMPRESS III, three times as many as for the revised SHORE LEAVE III. Maybe it was just on account of the promise of fetish sex, but I hope people enjoyed other aspects of the story. Would be nice to get some feedback here...

--Brantley
Last edit: 02 May 2015 14:51 by brantley.

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20 May 2015 03:06 #42194 by brantley
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Over the years, I've made several attempts to tell the story of Alisa Liddell, and the version of PASSION PLAY I posted two years ago was just one of them. I've never been satisfied with any of them, and one of the reasons was that I had neither I nor Shadar had ever worked out her part in SHORE LEAVE.

I couldn't cross-reference the events in SHORE LEAVE, from her relationship with Andre to her role in establishing a new order on Rostran because there was nothing to reference. I had to resort to a short retelling of what had happened that didn't really tell much. There was also the business of the Lost City of the Old Galactics at Cygnias 275, in which Andre almost died -- Tarot and I had correspondence about it ages ago, but never worked out the scenario, and yet it had to be alluded to in ENCOUNTER AT WESTFOLD.

But now SHORE LEAVE is finished, and I can cross-reference it in PASSION PLAY. And I have it in mind to write a shorter piece called "Intermission," which would deal with what happened at the Lost City, and give a look at how things have begun to settle down on Rostran because Alisa will have to bring Andre there for treatment – rejuvenating his body will be the easy part, but his mind is almost gone and they'll have to reconstruct his personality -- it will be like ging through a second childhood, and that will take some years, during which Alisa will be with the Survey Service visiting Domyr and perhaps other worlds. But she will also be pursuing the interest in the science of history she developed during the Rostran mission.

That's how I see things now, at any rate. Hope to have something to post in a few weeks, especially since FIRST PROTECTOR is still hanging fire.

--Brantley

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22 May 2015 01:02 #42248 by brantley
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Working on PASSION PLAY now, and decided against "Intermissions" after writing a couple of scenes -- it will work better to incorporate those into the main story.

Right now, scenes that were originally intended to be part of the story are split between PASSION PLAY and OPTIONS, mostly because of the problem of working in references to SHORE LEAVE when I didn't know how that story was going to play out. I've already incorporated the OPTIONS scenes, with minor edits, into PASSION PLAY -- which, as I had originally intended, will lead up to Alisa's fateful meeting with Theel'dara. I've also changed first-person chapters into third-person; I can't remember why I went with first person to begin with, but it looks wrong now. The rite in which Lillith becomes a Protector will, instead, be part of another story.

Want to get at least half the new version ready to post on Memorial Day.

--Brantley

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25 May 2015 17:40 - 25 May 2015 17:43 #42347 by brantley
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Passion Play is a project I have been working on for about seven years. It's about the career of Alisa-zar Kim'Vallara, also known as Alisa Liddell, and how she became a pivotal figure in the history of the Aurora Universe.

Another version of this story was posted two years ago, but I was never satisfied with it because there was a missing chapter in her life: how she was changed by her experience on Rostran in Shore Leave. The first two parts of Shore Leave were written by Shadar and myself a dozen years ago, but the third part never got anywhere; Shadar seemed to have written himself into a corner, even with the help of several advisors/collaborators. What was worse from my point of view was that the story line had lost track with Alisa; it was full of complications, but those complications were irrelevant to what I saw as the true course of her life (It didn't help that Andre Kalik, her colleague and lover to be, had practically dropped out of the story.). It was only recently, with my own take on the conclusion of Shore Leave, that I felt I had a handle on Passion Play.

It was only last night, however, that I realized that the lead-in to Shore Leave – "Alisa's Story" – needed work. For one thing, there wasn't any mention of Andre in it, although it seemed from Shore Leave that he must have come aboard the Anders Flame at the same time as Alisa. I had to come up with a dodge, as you'll see. I also cut out some details I'd added to the AUOW version in 2005, having to do with Alisa being gloomy about dark energy and the death of the universe – they didn't seem to fit the overall story line. And, of course, in the AUOW version, Aureans had still been Arions...

Finally, there is a new version of "Options" – which was originally scenes arbitrarily left out of Passion Play. Now it is a series of short reflections on Alisa's family reunion on Velor at the time of her daughter Lillith's Rites as a Protector – and the interplay between her and others whose lives she has touched or been touched by, from Ben Shaffer to Theel'dara.

Today's update features only the first part of Passion Play; there is more to come. But I know where the story is going now, which wasn't the case a few months ago.

www.brightempire.com/Passion.htm

www.brightempire.com/ShoreLeave3.htm

www.brightempire.com/Alisa.pdf

www.brightempire.com/Options.htm

--Brantley Thompson Elkins
Last edit: 25 May 2015 17:43 by brantley.

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27 May 2015 03:17 #42388 by brantley
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No real update yet, but I did expand the chapter called Judgment Day to give the hearing by the Secretariat panel greater context.

--Brantley

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27 May 2015 23:26 #42416 by brantley
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Just put some finishing touches on "Options." More to come on Passion Play, but I'm not sure when.

--Brantley

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02 Jun 2015 17:22 #42546 by brantley
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Some minor tweaks to Passion Play today.

--Brantley

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16 Jun 2015 20:50 #42815 by brantley
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Back to work on PASSION PLAY this week, plus a relates story called "Moment of Truth" that has to do with an encounter between Peter Durgin and Naomi Kim'Vallara.

--Brantley

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17 Jun 2015 15:28 #42822 by brantley
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From A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT (2004). This is the inspiration for an upcoming scene in PASSION PLAY where Alisa Liddell will be reunited with Andre Kalik, who, like the amnesiac WWI soldier in the movie, is destined to fall in love all over again with the woman who spent years searching for him after being told he was dead.

--Brantley

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18 Jun 2015 10:13 - 18 Jun 2015 10:14 #42825 by brantley
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PASSION PLAY continues to unfold in today's update, which takes Alisa Kim'Vallara to Sanctuary to be reunited with Andre Kalik. It incorporates some ideas Tarot Barnes proposed ten years ago about an alternate history that lies on the opposite end of the Dimensional Transporter in the Lost City of Cygnias 275 – and the secret of the Old Galactics. The reunion scene itself was inspired by one in A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT (2004), a French movie that is one of my personal favorites.

www.brightempire.com/Passion.htm

Related to PASSION PLAY is "Moment of Truth." It began as a long scene Shadar wrote, also about ten years ago, in which Captain Peter Durgin catches up with Alisa's mother Naomi on Bering's World, and is trying to put the make on her. That scenario could no longer work, given what has happened with Durgin in the years since. But it occurred to me that it could be reimagined from Naomi's point of view, with her setting out to do a number on the now-discredited and desperate Durgin. Only she ends up taking pity on him, and the "out" she offers him ties in with "Blind Justice," a story by Shadar in which she played a role... I've also done some edits to PASSION PLAY itself to play down Durgin's excesses – there have been complaints that he was too idiotic to believe.

www.brightempire.com/Moment.htm

--Brantley Thompson Elkins
Last edit: 18 Jun 2015 10:14 by brantley.

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02 Jul 2015 10:28 #42973 by brantley
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www.brightempire.com/Passion.htm

www.brightempire.com/Moment.htm

PASSION PLAY once again continues today, with advice from Tarot Barnes on tweaking some details – but also taking unpleasant liberties with his alternate universe on the other side of the Lost City in Cygnias 275. It all has to do with what really traumatized Andre Kalik there. Chances are that Tarot will never write his own version of the story of Riantra and the Lost City, and certainly not in the context I imagine. It just popped into my head since the last update what would have driven Andre over the edge (now hinted at in tweaks to what has gone before), and why Jason would have to edit his memory in order to give him any hope of recovery. But I couldn't make the entire new chapter grim, which is why Andre's body memory comes into play – as an excuse for a sex scene, of course. Also today, a minor tweak to "Moment of Truth," but I'm sticking to the basic scenario there. Sorry about that, Tarot... and Shadar.

--Brantley Thompson Elkins

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03 Jul 2015 15:50 #42990 by brantley
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Made a small but significant tweak to PASSION PLAY last night, Has to do with something NOT found in the alternate universe...

www.brightempire.com/Passion.htm

--Brantley

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04 Jul 2015 00:32 #42996 by brantley
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Come on, guys, let's have some feedback!

--Brantley

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04 Jul 2015 08:46 #43000 by AuGoose
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The volume of work is a little intimidating. Where should a completely new reader start, and is there any sort of wiki for the characters or setting elements if I just wanted to browse some articles about the world? What I've read has been good (excellent in fact), but I feel a little lost trying to understand the politics of the setting from a standing start.
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04 Jul 2015 11:18 #43001 by Woodclaw
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AuGoose wrote: The volume of work is a little intimidating. Where should a completely new reader start, and is there any sort of wiki for the characters or setting elements if I just wanted to browse some articles about the world? What I've read has been good (excellent in fact), but I feel a little lost trying to understand the politics of the setting from a standing start.


That point has been brought forward many times by now: th AU is, quite possibly, the most developed ubergirl setting out there, but the mass is very daunting. So far I've tried many times to find a good starting point and I always failed. More of ten than not it feels like I'm trying to go into one of David Webber's novel from chapter 12 or so.

Unfortunately this makes me unable to properly comment on many of your work Brantley, except from a strinctly singular point of view. I can't say how well your changes fit with the rest of the narrative because I don't know enough about it.

(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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04 Jul 2015 11:24 #43002 by brantley
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Well, here is the basic background page,which includes links to (among other things) a Wiki:

www.brightempire.com/au_history.htm

--Brantley

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04 Jul 2015 16:25 #43006 by brantley
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Have to do this in stages, because the server won't allow all the links in one post. But here are the first two stories in the life of Alisa-zar Kim'Vallara (aka Alisa Liddell), in the order she actually lived them as opposed to the order they were originally posted:

Ordinary Velorians:
www.brightempire.com/ov_overview.htm

Alisa’s Story:
www.brightempire.com/Alisa.pdf

--Brantley

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04 Jul 2015 16:27 #43007 by brantley
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The second set of Alisa stories:

Shore Leave, Parts One-Three:
www.brightempire.com/ShoreLeave1.htm
www.brightempire.com/ShoreLeave2.htm
www.brightempire.com/ShoreLeave3.htm

--Brantley

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