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At The Bright Empire....

11 Nov 2016 12:14 - 11 Nov 2016 12:21 #51167 by brantley
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www.brightempire.com/GettingHome.htm

www.brightempire.com/longnight.htm

www.brightempire.com/Blog.htm

"Getting Home" is a new story by Tarot Barnes. It was intended to be part of my 75th Birthday update, but came in a couple of days late. After that, I was busy with a lot of other things, including serving as an election judge in my hometown.

Although it isn't obvious, because the setting is enirely Earth, this story takes place in an alternate supremis universe. Ever hear of Eigheim? Not mentioned here, but it's the home of the Fjándmethra, whence come the Guardians, who fight on Earth and elsewhere against the Andskoti (who are mentioned here). It was first introduced here at The Bright Empire in "The Long Night," posted Dec. 22, 2010, without any fanfare. It wasn't until March 10, 2012. in an Occasional Blog entry, that I alluded to the series-in-progress of which it was a part. I wish there were more to share now, but I can only hope that this belated exposure will encourage him to pursue what promises to be an alternate epic.

--Brantley
Last edit: 11 Nov 2016 12:21 by brantley.

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17 Nov 2016 12:00 - 17 Nov 2016 12:20 #51300 by brantley
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brightempire.com/Aurora-1.htm

NOT new story; it was posted in three installments way back in the summer of 2008. But I think Aurora's Tale, by Tarot Barnes, is one of the best Aurora Universe stories ever written. It's a completely different take than that of Shadar on one of the iconic figures of the AU -- here not a mere visitor to Earth, but the defender of another world -- only facing inner conflict as well as the Aurean enemy – the threat to her personally of an Aurean tset'lar prevents her from taking a more direct role in the war. Here's one passage that jumped out at me the first time I read it:

<<Aurora cast her eyes down. There would be enough ‘unnecessary casualties’ today without adding another to the pyre. Reflexively her fingers scratched shallow groves in the rock at the thought. Every death in the war had been unnecessary; she was a Virago, more than that she was the Virago, the first Velorian ever to have been born without need of enhancement. She was stronger, faster and better trained than any other Protector, how could any world she was protecting suffer such appalling defeat?

The obvious answer, a seditious part of her suggested, was that it was her Protectorates’ fault. Aurora and her predecessors had been warning the Porturegans about the Arions for centuries; they had no excuse to have allowed their weapons to stagnate for so long.

Her instincts and training killed the idea almost instantly, but their imprint remained, glowing like a burning filament nonetheless. The Porturegans had had two hundred years to prepare and they’d ignored the danger. Now they were paying for that mistake.

"Paying unnecessarily; the blood being spilt should be mine."Aurora concluded. Regardless of what should have been done it was her duty to take the situation and make it better. Her protectorates shouldn’t have to play anything more than a peripheral role.>>

And in another passage, she recalls Winston Churchill rallying te Porturegans after a horrible battle:

<<Aurora watched the death from the distant second line, looking away only as the sides ruptured and sprayed molten death over the immediate landscape.
The Aureans were already closing on the second line and it was obvious that very shortly yet another retreat would have to be called… but, she braved a glance at The Lance and its still miraculously unmarked hull. There were only minutes till launch. If they could only hold out just a little bit longer they would make it.
So she did the only thing she could. She landed before the twenty of so survivors, with her back to the enemy and her cape rippling in the breeze, she put her hands on her hips to address them
Many were injured, having been dragged painfully over the rough aeneucrete by comrades who did not wish to see them delivered to the mercies of the Aureans. Yet despite their pain and red soaked bandages, they looked up at her. Even as muddy and filthily as she was, Aurora was their symbol of hope, an angel from heaven, their saint and Protector.
“You have fought hard,” she spoke aloud. “Fought so very hard. For longer and harder than could ever have been expected of you. You have achieved more than I could have ever hoped when I asked you to resist the Aurean plague, yet I must ask you for one more thing, one more task before you can rest and that is to hold on for fifteen more minutos. That is all. Just fifteen minutos and all of your sacrifices, all of your death and pain will be vindicated because that ship--” she pointed to The Lance-- “will bring my sisters to me and we will finally drive this scourge from your world.”
She looked into their eyes. She saw their pain. Pain, bone-tired weariness and not a little fear. But she also saw hope, which until moments ago had been dying and now burned like a beacon. They would follow her, and they would give her fifteen minutes
“Thank you,” She bowed almost double, tears of joy and awe spilling from her eyes. “Fifteen minutos, that is all, and you can go. Thank you.”
Someone actually cheered and started to clap. Even the stoic Colonel, crippled as he was by the loss of his arm above the elbow, could be seen trying to give her ovation by slapping his remaining hand against his breastplate.
“You heard her!” someone shouted. “The Fair Child needs fifteen minutos, and we shall give them to her!”
The cry went up. “Fifteen minutos!” “Fifteen minutos!” “Fifteen minutos!”>>

Brantley
Last edit: 17 Nov 2016 12:20 by brantley.
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04 Dec 2016 15:39 #51531 by brantley
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www.brightempire.com/Thunder.htm

Anybody remember an early contributor to Aurora Universe fiction who went only by "Sam?" I came across one of his stories from about 20 years ago in a Google search the other day. "Goddess of Thunder" appears at Diana the Valkyrie's site:

www.thevalkyrie.com/stories/sam/index.htm

He wrote mostly jungle stories, including an unfinished one that ties in with the AU:

www.thevalkyrie.com/stories/sam/liesa/jungle.htm

But "Goddess of Thunder" is more inventive, bringing together the AU, Greek mythology and even dragon lore. In 1997, there wasn't a strict AU canon, whether Shadar's AU-1 and AU-2 or my own version of AU-3. It was just about women who were incredibly super and incredibly sexy.

While working on AU-3, I thought it might be refreshing to return to those days of yesteryear -- as an excuse for mirroring this story, I put it through spelling and grammar check and corrected a number of errors. But the essence is unchanged, as are the picts -- two of them by "Craig," who also hasn't been seen in ages; he is doubtless the same Craig who (along with Sam) collaborated with Douglas W. MacBeth on Conversational Velorian at Infinity Bridge:

www.infinitybridge.net/velorian/index.html

--Brantley Thompson Elkins

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06 Dec 2016 16:02 #51580 by brantley
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Julie and Friends was one of the greatest sites, along with Infinity Bridge, from the early years of the Aurora Universe. It exists now only in a hard to access Wayback Machine archive linked below:
Julie of Velor
For some reason, a direct link to the Archive posted here on the Links page 2015 thanks to Beginner/7bf at Superwomenmania.com turned out not to bring up sublinks from 2004 to the actual stories, but only to a 2016 link advertising the Ubergirls domain for sale by GoDaddy.com. Yet the same link works at SWM and elsewhere. So I'm going the indirect route through an internal htm link. It works in tests. I hope this workaround will solve the problem.
--Brantley Thompson Elkins

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21 Dec 2016 10:42 #51817 by brantley
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www.brightempire.com/new.htm

A major update for the Winter Solstice, with a new chapter in the First Protector saga, completion of "Delphic Obstacles," and the addition of links to historic Sharon Best archives from the Wayback Machine. There are so many cross references that it would be cumbersome to include them all here, so it's best to go straight to the What's New page.

--Brantley Thompson Elkins

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12 Jan 2017 14:31 - 12 Jan 2017 14:31 #52026 by brantley
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I posted this Jan. 6, but the SWM server Apache deleted it:

<<Just had to change the link at The Bright Empire for the Velorian.org archive. Turned out that the Feb. 22, 2003 version didn't display the Velorian Library, so I substituted the Jan. 12 version.

--Brantley>>

Anyway, if you go to my Links page, and click on "Sharon Best: Velorian.org," you should find two dozen AU novels and stories in the Velorian Library.

Meanwhile, I wish somebody would comment on stories at The Bright Empire.

--Brantley
Last edit: 12 Jan 2017 14:31 by brantley.

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13 Jan 2017 17:43 #52047 by brantley
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Just renewed my rental of Infinity Bridge, and got the traffic report while I was at it,



--Brantley

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16 Jan 2017 19:52 #52116 by brantley
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No updates this week, but hits for my most popular work, Empress of the Dawn (2010, with Velvet) have just passed 12,000.

--Brantley

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05 Feb 2017 20:35 #52409 by brantley
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brightempire.com/fit.htm

Still waiting on a story from Shadar. Meanwhile, most of the hits are from old stories; the mix varies from day today. But Evelyn York's "Fit for a Supergirl" (2012) tops the list more often by far than any other, with nearly 26,000 hits at this point. But is it just because it names "Supergirl," or does it appeal for its sense of fun, in contrast to the deadly serious tone of other stories?

--Brantley

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05 Feb 2017 21:31 #52410 by shadar
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My new story is almost done. It's an origin story for a new offshoot of the AU that exploits some lesser utilized AU concepts. Set on Earth instead of some distant planet.

It has characters modeled on old associates of mine when I was an Exec in the Tech industry. The high-end of Silicon Valley was a very weird place for me to find myself, but I met some characters. I also bailed out as quickly as I could. Too intense for my style of living.

I wrote this a year before I bought and extensively modified a house, sitting on the tippy-top of a hill. My real house has glass walls and ceilings, but not as dramatic a setting as the one in the story. I have the rock wall, but not the stream in the living room. And I didn't do any glass floors, but its close enough for me to trace my thinking process of the time.

Even the Velorian was modeled on a real person, who looked the part, but unfortunately with merely upper-end human genetics.

So this story is more personal than anything I've written before. Should be ready this week, assuming I'm willing to stop carving on it long enough to publish.

Shadar

brantley wrote: brightempire.com/fit.htm

Still waiting on a story from Shadar. Meanwhile, most of the hits are from old stories; the mix varies from day today. But Evelyn York's "Fit for a Supergirl" (2012) tops the list more often by far than any other, with nearly 26,000 hits at this point. But is it just because it names "Supergirl," or does it appeal for its sense of fun, in contrast to the deadly serious tone of other stories?

--Brantley

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22 Feb 2017 16:58 #52712 by brantley
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Working on a new ending to the Empress series, so as have something for an anniversary update March 8, even if Shadar's story isn't available.

--Brantley

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24 Feb 2017 11:07 - 24 Feb 2017 11:10 #52752 by brantley
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Meanwhile, a real-world story has to do with a dim red dwarf having planets that might harbor life but would be tidally-locked to the star itself. Kind of like Kelsor 7 in the Aurora Universe.

www.nytimes.com/2017/02/22/science/trapp...exoplanets-nasa.html

--Brantley
Last edit: 24 Feb 2017 11:10 by brantley.

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08 Mar 2017 13:04 - 08 Mar 2017 13:07 #53037 by brantley
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Things change. They get harder.

It's still International Women's Day, but in the real world some women are taking the day off as a political protest. Only that presumably doesn't include doctors and emergency workers. In the unreal world, it certainly doesn't include superwomen like Kalla Zaver'el of the Empress of the Dawn series.

The unreal world, like the real one, can be unpredictable. Just a year ago today, I had committed myself to a fourth book in the series. But that depended on outside input for the Battle of the Triple Moons, which hasn't been forthcoming. And my second thoughts have given way to third thoughts: I can't get a handle on how the build-up to the battle and the battle itself could make for a short novel of close to or even more than 50,000 words.

I had actually begun work on Book Four, but I sensed that it was taking a different direction than I had first imagined. It still had to do with how long-freed Companion Kalla would become the savior of her adopted planet Andros, but it was now past time for superheroics as such. Part Three of Book Three, "The Final Battle," has to do with her variation on the loneliness of command, with how she has to deal with political necessity, including necessary lies – and with unexpected setbacks. She must also deal with personal heartbreaks, and gain a measure of wisdom in both the personal and political spheres...

www.brightempire.com/Empress-3.pdf

I've also done some heavy editing to Part Two, "Love Found and Lost," to better tie in with Part Three.

On a lighter note, some added links to Tarot Barnes' long ago (13 or 14 years) essay Boobs and Bullets.They include short videos, an anime and even a comic strip.

www.brightempire.com/boobs&bullets.html

--Brantley Thompson Elkins
Last edit: 08 Mar 2017 13:07 by brantley.
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10 Mar 2017 01:00 #53067 by shadar
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I haven't had time yet to read the additions to Empress-3, but I really enjoyed the Bullets&Boobs blurb, especially given the attachments.

I can relate to most of what was said. Tarot and you did a nice job on this one.

Like everything regarding our individual perspectives into this genre, it will resonate with some and get a shrug from others. But I like it.

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10 Mar 2017 15:35 #53074 by brantley
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I think there may be yet another angle -- I've seen some complaints by women that men consider them so delicate that they aren't willing to "let loose" in bed.
"I'm not made of glass, I won't break" is an expression commonly used in sex scenes. Well, a man in an superheroine story knows that she is definitely NOT made of glass -- that he can let loose with her and that she'll love it.

--Brantley

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12 Mar 2017 17:30 #53104 by brantley
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As of last night, 100 hits for the updated Empress-3.

--Brantley

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22 Mar 2017 11:16 #53269 by brantley
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The creator of the Aurora Universe has the spotlight today at The Bright Empire, with "A Dinner Party," a new take on one of his old stories -- but also a new take on the AU. And it's as current as CNN and Stephen Colbert, plus with cool details like... just what is it Anja's costumes are made of?

www.brightempire.com/DinnerParty.pdf

Today is the 80th birthday of film and TV composer Angelo Badalamenti. You must know him from Twin Peaks, headed for revival on Showtime. But he should be known for a lot more, and in my latest update of an essay about him, I'm including the latest:

www.brightempire.com/Badalamenti.htm

And then there's "Rambles in the Brambles," an edit of a discussion here at Superwomenmania about a hairy issue in the AU mythology:

www.brightempire.com/Rambles.htm

--Brantley Thompson Elkins

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23 Mar 2017 15:08 #53286 by brantley
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People must be hungry for Shadar -- 137 hits for "A Dinner Party" the first day.

--Brantley

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23 Mar 2017 23:13 - 23 Mar 2017 23:14 #53292 by brantley
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Anybody here who's also a member of AURG might want to get in on a thread started by Alex Vincent, "Turning the concept of a Protector upside down>" Could lead to a really good story, or even a series.

--Brantley
Last edit: 23 Mar 2017 23:14 by brantley.
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28 Mar 2017 17:40 - 28 Mar 2017 17:44 #53380 by brantley
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Every once in a while, the robots visit The Bright Empire, and bump up the daily total of hits to more than 1,000. That was the case yesterday, but I wonder why they have a preference or older stories and essays. Here are the latest totals, in the older of hits yesterday for those with more than ten. Good to see Incident at Madstop and Pictures of an Expedition doing so well, and I'm sure Shadar is happy with the count for Corrididor as well as A Dinner Party!.

--Brantley

1. /Incident.pdf 5,956 38 56.95%
2. /Pictures.html 3,225 36 1.13%
3. /Houseguest.html 4,697 30 1.11%
4. /Corrididor.pdf 2,399 30 8.46%
5. /DinnerParty.pdf 428 26 2.85%
6. /lit-rant.htm 2,256 18 0.99%
7. /new.htm 54,100 15 1.69%
8. /Girlfriend.htm 3,746 13 0.53%
9. /July4.htm 1,648 13 0.07%
10. /Links.htm 14,431 12 0.07%
Last edit: 28 Mar 2017 17:44 by brantley.

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