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At The Bright Empire....

15 Sep 2016 20:35 - 15 Sep 2016 20:37 #50269 by brantley
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Made a few revisions to the Walking Tall cliffhanger chapter break, to tie in with what I have in mind for the next chapter.

--Brantley
Last edit: 15 Sep 2016 20:37 by brantley.

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22 Sep 2016 15:33 - 22 Sep 2016 15:34 #50394 by brantley
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Was at the local hospital for a colonoscopy yesterday. One of the nurses was from India, but has an odd given name, Axinia, which she said was Russian -- her father had come across it.

Turns out that name goes back to the 10th Century, when the Rus were converted to Greek Orthodoxy, and is a variation of the Greek Xenia; it is best known today because Mikhail Sholokov used it for the heroine of his novel And Quiet Flows the Don. (Oxana is a more recent variation in Ukraine.)

The ancestors of the Velorians in Sweden were related to and presumably still in contact with the Rus before they were abducted by the Galen, One or more of the Rus might even have gone back for a visit, and gotten caught up, so... Anyway, I figure I'll use the name for a Velorian in Walking Tall. Shadar thinks it might be interesting to have a Velorian looking for her Rus roots,

--Brantley
Last edit: 22 Sep 2016 15:34 by brantley.

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27 Sep 2016 01:14 - 27 Sep 2016 01:15 #50444 by brantley
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Tarot Barnes has done some work on Heart of Darkness since my own last update, and might even finish it. He's done some really good edits so far -- better than my own. Here's hoping...

--Brantley
Last edit: 27 Sep 2016 01:15 by brantley.

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27 Sep 2016 15:48 #50452 by jnw550
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brantley wrote: Made a few revisions to the Walking Tall cliffhanger chapter break, to tie in with what I have in mind for the next chapter.

--Brantley


I'm ashamed to admit that I'd forgotten about the "Brazilian" Supergirl stories. They were probably my favorite of yours.

Everyone wants to be a beast, until it's time to do what real beasts do.

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28 Sep 2016 15:16 - 28 Sep 2016 15:18 #50461 by brantley
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Well, don't forget that much of the credit goes to Jordan Taylor. She set the stage for The Popcorn War, after advising on Terms of Enhancement, and had the original idea and wrote the first couple of chapters for Walking Tall. Wish we could see more from her, but she's moved on...

--Brantley
Last edit: 28 Sep 2016 15:18 by brantley.

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28 Sep 2016 15:22 - 28 Sep 2016 15:23 #50462 by brantley
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Working on an update of "Delphic Obstacles" that will tie in with events on Reigel Five dating back to Ordinary Velorians, The High Cruel Years and, especially, "Blind Justice." I'm tweaking those stories a bit to make the connections more explicit.

--Brantley
Last edit: 28 Sep 2016 15:23 by brantley.

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29 Sep 2016 02:48 - 29 Sep 2016 13:35 #50476 by brantley
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www.brightempire.com/Delphic.htm

High time, even past time, for an update to “Delphic Obstacles.” But here it’s more about reaction than action. It’s about how Peter Durgin and Sirren react to having uncovered the mother lode of xintanite at the Begglestrom mine on what was once a prison planet and still a pretty wild one. It’s about the reaction of the Begglestroms, about striking it rich and the investigation into the attack on their compound. Ad it’s about Peter hearing a name – a name which, in the context of what brought the Begglestroms to Delphi, reveals what must have brought him here.

But that context links “Delphic Obstacles” more clearly to related stories: Part Six of Ordinary Velorians, Part Three of The High Cruel Years, and “Blind Justice” (That last originally by Shadar) – all of which have been tweaked to strengthen the connections.

www.brightempire.com/OV-6.htm

www.brightempire.com/cruel-3.htm

www.brightempire.com/Justice.pdf

Cross-connections between stories in an invented universes is a passion, or a vice, or perhaps both, that I picked up from Cordwainer Smith.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cordwainer_Smith

www.cordwainer-smith.com

If Aurora Universe fiction of this kind is one of your favorite indulgences, I hope you’ll indulge in these stories.

--Brantley
Last edit: 29 Sep 2016 13:35 by brantley.
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29 Sep 2016 03:58 #50477 by AuGoose
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Mmm. Cordwainer Smith. Undoubtedly in my top 5 favorite authors. Probably number three. When you write sci-fi in the 50s and it holds up as futuristic TODAY, you're doing something right.

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29 Sep 2016 04:11 #50479 by brantley
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Of course, I can't come close to the poetic power* of Cordwainer Smith, but I can try to put an imaginary history together the way he did.

--Brantley

* one example from his novel Norstrilia:

<<“It was not the site of the earth which surprised him – it was the smell. .... This earth and air smelled alive. There was the odor of plants, of water, of things which he could not even guess. The air was coded with a million years of memory. In this air people had swum to manhood, before they conquered the stars. .... It was the wild free moisture which came laden with the indications of things living, dying, sprawling, squirming, loving with an abundance which no Norstrilian could understand. No wonder the descriptions of the earth had always seemed fierce and exaggerated!>>

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29 Sep 2016 07:56 #50481 by Woodclaw
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brantley wrote: Of course, I can't come close to the poetic power* of Cordwainer Smith, but I can try to put an imaginary history together the way he did.

--Brantley

* one example from his novel Norstrilia:

<<“It was not the site of the earth which surprised him – it was the smell. .... This earth and air smelled alive. There was the odor of plants, of water, of things which he could not even guess. The air was coded with a million years of memory. In this air people had swum to manhood, before they conquered the stars. .... It was the wild free moisture which came laden with the indications of things living, dying, sprawling, squirming, loving with an abundance which no Norstrilian could understand. No wonder the descriptions of the earth had always seemed fierce and exaggerated!>>


I can echoes of Mr. Smith's work in both your and Au's writing, in particular with the choice of adjectives.

(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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29 Sep 2016 11:47 #50482 by brantley
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I confess I hadn't myself noticed anything related to choice of adjectives. My most deliberate imitation of Smith has been in the use of ritual, as in the induction of Protectors:

<<Centuries ago, this had been the only entrance to the Hall of Protectors. But the Hall had been much smaller then. There had been no public atrium, no shrine, no soaring tower with floor after floor of artificial environments and training arenas. That had all been erected over and beside the original Hall, a simple structure of rough stone.

But the gargantuan gate with its massive ring -- that was still the same. And the ritual, that was still the same. Well, almost the same: Aphro'dite herself no longer appeared before the Great Door to welcome the candidates, although she still initiated them in the ancient manner once they entered. Her place was taken by the presiding elder of the High Council.

It was he who addressed the candidates and their Sponsors.

"Protectors there were of old, Protectors there are today, Protectors there will ever be. So was it ordained by Skietra."

"It has ever been so, and ever will be," intoned the Witnesses.

"And thus do we gather here to fulfill her ordinance. Here come all that be new to try their vocations before the Great Door. And here today, on the ninth day of the eleventh month, come --"

The presiding elder recited the names, including that of Alisa-zar Kim'Vallara. There was no hint of irony in his voice, nor any look on the faces of the Witnesses to betray that anything was amiss.>>

And in Alisa's welcome on Kelsor 7:

<<Because he had vouched for her, her credentials were beyond question. She would be a credit to the world, this world she had chosen. There was no hesitation in her voice as she answered the Four Questions.

"What is your true name, and whence come you?"

"Alisa-zar Kim'Vallara. Velor."

"By what name and world of origin shall you be known to us?"

"Alisa Liddell. Reigel Five."

"What do you bring to us?"

"My mind. My hands. My heart."

"Do your come to us without reservation, forswearing allegiance to any other world or polity?"

"I do."

That was all it took. She was now a citizen of Kelsor 7.>>

--Brantley

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29 Sep 2016 19:30 #50488 by brantley
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It was nine years ago that I posted what my wife called my "brain dump:" an essay about how my life has been shaped by literature, music and other arts:

brightempire.com/lit-rant.htm

Some of you may not have been here in 2007. And I don't know if any who were have posted this sort of self-reflection.

--Brantley

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05 Oct 2016 12:18 - 05 Oct 2016 12:20 #50554 by brantley
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Did some housekeeping this morning, updating links to a couple of stories by other writers and one of my own.

My own is "An Unsuitable Job for a Messenger," originally posted in 2008 as "Unrelenting Breasts;' the link now reflects the later title as opposed to the original:

www.brightempire.com/Unsuitable.pdf

That story is related to Lisa Binkley's "Questlings," which I had mirrored as a Showcase item but now goes by its title:

www.brightempire.com/Questlings.htm

Finally, Tarot Barnes' "The Long Night" now goes by an updated link:

www.brightempire.com/longnight.htm

--Brantley
Last edit: 05 Oct 2016 12:20 by brantley.
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17 Oct 2016 10:14 - 17 Oct 2016 10:17 #50752 by brantley
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www.brightempire.com/Walking.htm

Another chapter of "Walking Tall," with Patricia Ortiz and her allies having to use their wits as well as her strength in combatting a conspiracy against her family and her world. But I have to confess that I had to fix a major screw-up in regard to the status of one of the villains -- killed off in a previous update and brought back in another. Aargh! And nobody else seems to have noticed! But I think I have it fixed now. I'm also introducing another character, Velorian Auxiliary Protector Axinia, who can be called in because of the conspiracy having been proven to involve an Aurean infiltrator advising a fraudulent enterprise and a corrupted local police force in Patricia's home town. Axinia will have a backstory of her own, as well as playing a key role in resolution of the main story...

--Brantley
Last edit: 17 Oct 2016 10:17 by brantley.

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30 Oct 2016 00:14 #50939 by brantley
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Working hard to finish "Walking Tall" in time for my birthday site update next Thursday. I've figured out how to add more excitement, and bring several story lines together. Hope it all works out.

--Brantley

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03 Nov 2016 10:57 - 03 Nov 2016 10:59 #51023 by brantley
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www.brightempire.com/Walking.htm
www.brightempire.com/Senseless.htm

I turn 75 today, and am celebrating by having finally, finally
finished a story begun by Jordan Taylor more than 11 years ago.
“Walking Tall” was inspired by the 1973 movie about Buford Pusser, a
former wrestler turned lawman who returns to his home town to clean it
up. Jordan wrote a couple of chapters in 2005, and then abandoned it.
I didn't know enough, I thought, to continue the story until I came
across some notes she'd sent me in 2005, plus a few hints in e-mails.
So I took it up and began fleshing out the details about the family
and friends of Patricia Ortiz, a Velorian Legionnaire returning to her
homeworld of Alguna Parte – where she would learn in time that all was
not well. Jordan's part ended here, in an exchange with her
half-brother Rick:
“I don’t want to hurt you, Patricia,” he said, in a mock-serious tone.
”You can’t.”
I went on from there, introducing other members of her family, giving
her ex-boyfriend a name and position, plus adding details about the
planet, including the names of cities and towns relevant to the plot,
the political structure, native foods, and even pastimes. I also
tweaked some of the details in the backstory and going forward. Jordan
planned to have a football game figure in the story, but football
(soccer as we know it) hadn't been invented at the time Alguna Parte
was settled. So I hit on using commonball, based on a game from Greek
and Roman times.
There were other things I changed. Jordan’s outline focused on
gambling, as in the small town of the movie. But Alguna Parte is a
world. So I ramped up the agenda of Patricia's nemesis, making him the
owner of a commonball team that he uses as a cover for criminal
enterprises – not just gambling, as in Jordan’s outline, but a bid for
commercial and political power. I also introduced more family
complications, supporting characters and cultural background – and
even a sidelight on Velorian history. But the bottom line is that
Patricia finds love at the end with Tomas, a man who has risked his
life to expose the criminal conspiracy...
It’s not the story Jordan would have written. But I wanted it to be
worthy of her.

Also new today: "Timeless, Clueless, Senseless," a takedown of mindless new time travel series on TV.

--Brantley Thompson Elkins
Last edit: 03 Nov 2016 10:59 by brantley.
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03 Nov 2016 12:26 #51027 by Raa
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Happy Birthday.

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03 Nov 2016 15:15 #51032 by Sarge395
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A vast and interesting empire. Been a long time reader. Congrats on the birthday.

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03 Nov 2016 16:25 #51036 by Woodclaw
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You know I alwasy forget that you're older than my dad Brantley, I can only wish to be half the writer you are when I reach your age. Best always :)

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03 Nov 2016 18:35 - 03 Nov 2016 18:36 #51042 by brantley
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Woodclaw wrote: You know I alwasy forget that you're older than my dad Brantley, I can only wish to be half the writer you are when I reach your age. Best always :)


And if I could be a tenth of the writer one of influences, Cordwainer Smith, was:

<<Under Old Earth
By Cordwainer Smith

 
I need a temporary dog
For a temporary job
On a temporary place
Like Earth!
—Song from The Merchant of Menace
1
There were the Douglas-Ouyang planets, which circled their sun in a single cluster, riding around and around the same orbit unlike any other planets known. There were the gentlemen-suicides back on Earth, who gambled their lives—even more horribly, gambled sometimes for things worse than their lives—against different kinds of geophysics which real men had never experienced. There were girls who fell in love with such men, however stark and dreadful their personal fates might be. There was the Instrumentality, with its unceasing labor to keep man man. And there were the citizens who walked in the boulevards before the Rediscovery of Man. The citizens were happy. They had to be happy. If they were found sad, they were calmed and drugged and changed until they were happy again.
This story concerns three of them: the gambler who took the name Sun-boy, who dared to go down to the Gebiet, who confronted himself before he died; the girl Santuna, who was fulfilled in a thousand ways before she died; and the Lord Sto Odin, a most ancient of days, who knew it all and never dreamed of preventing any of it.
Music runs through this story. The soft sweet music of the Earth Government and the Instrumentality, bland as honey and sickening in the end. The wild illegal pulsations of the Gebiet, where most men were forbidden to enter. Worst of all, the crazy fugues and improper melodies of the Bezirk, closed to men for fifty-seven centuries—opened by accident, found, trespassed in!>>

--Brantley
Last edit: 03 Nov 2016 18:36 by brantley.

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