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About dioscuri

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  1. Enigma of Flatness

    Thanks! That particular dog house is not one I've visited before -- I've kept on passing it by, but it looks like there are a few stories I'd love to read there. I guess Dreamer is used to being in the dog house by now! He keeps thinking that he's in charge of himself. I have a few thoughts about what position Dreamer could actually hold on Dream of Dawn without being in a conflict of interest position. I'm scratching my head on that one. I think he cannot Captain the Dream of Dawn. I'll get those thoughts together and post my conclusions. cheers, dioscuri
  2. The Enigma of Flatness

    Science Fiction as a genre in itself may have a limited life span. Its problem is that its subject matter tends to get used up rather fast. There's only so much you can speculate on and still maintain some believability with the characters you create. Good characters perhaps need to be able to transcend a genre rather than depend on it. Detective fiction ends up in the same category I think. Enigma of Flatness tackles something that hasn't been tackled in a while, that is artificial intelligence. Interest in the field of A.I. has dropped off of late seeing that there have been no major advances in the technology. We are barely beginning to understand human intelligence, let along create an imitation or a machine/computer version of it. Add a new type of scanner and all of a sudden you get new results you never expected. Who expected the results that resulted from the study of music and the human mind using fMRI technology? This is radically new and will in the end transform not only our understanding of human cognition but also the field of music theory. The idea that one can study a musical composition simply by studying the notes the composer wrote are coming to an end. We'll be able to understand the structure based on how our minds understand it. Dreamer, as a character, is a radical departure from any other A.I. I've run into. Even Cmd. Data on Star Trek really broke no new boundaries, depending as it did on Asimov's positronic brain. Dreamer is just so unexpected. cheers, dioscuri
  3. The Enigma of Flatness

    Oh! about science fiction authors, Harlan Ellison to be specific. You know he was a Viet Nam veteran and he published some short stories shortly after his return. I *know* this is not available anymore, if you find it, its a collectors item, that is the ORIGINAL version of "A Boy And His Dog", it is the single most shocking science fiction short story I've ever read. I could likely be rated as pornographic, the only reason it isn't is because there are no pictures in it. One of my profs brought a copy into one of the first "Speculative Fiction" classes ever taught in upper level education back in the 1970's .... cheers, dioscuri
  4. The Enigma of Flatness

    Even though I love the genre, I have not necessarily loved the writers. Arthur C. Clarke seems cold to me and Asimov, for all his creative genius seems not to have been able to create a memorable character. I still like reading Asimov however. Heinlein at one point just got to mom, home and America apple pie for me. It has been Ray Bradbury's work that really got me thinking. For some reason I just loved "Something Wicked This Way Comes" and there is something diabolically evil about "Fahrenheit 513" (did I get the title right?). I have been fascinated with his images of Venus as a planet where there is continuous rain....enough to drive you mad. His images of our planetary systems are really fantasy however and maybe "Something Wicked" also belongs there to. If I can get into the first few chapters, I'll probably finish the book. In this case, Keene grabbed me with instant action by two characters who are basically lovable and then plops them (as an escape) right in Dreamer's arms so to speak. However, they have to rescue Dreamer's Avatar from the evil programming put in place by the Orions. So in the first two chapters, three of the main characters are thrown together and have to learn to trust each other. That was quite the compositional tour d' force! As you go along chapter by chapter, slowly Dreamer's past is revealed, I think he spent almost three years chained to that docking array on Alta-Ishasa! Meanwhile someone who hates loathes and despises Dream of Dawn sits stewing in his own hatred planning very elaborately for the day Dream of Dawn shows up. Ultimately, his obsession on Dream of Dawn proves his downfall. In the end he is nothing but a mass of interconnected computer parts, with no body capable of independent movement. And on re-reading parts of it, it is his sister ship, Celine who observes that Dreamer has not given up his habit up picking up strays! I think she is also accurate in observing that despite Dreamer's very independent attitude, he definitely needs a strong captain to keep him in tow. I've now reached the last published chapter, and to his credit, Keene has not given us a cliff hanger! YEAH! Now that isn't to say I won't be waiting with baited breath for the next installment. I keep thinking that there's only a bit to say about this story but the characters are so rich in differences and experiences that I could go on for days with just what is there. Devon, you'd better take really GOOD Care of Fennec! Fennec's chutzpah in walking up to two armed men with blasters ready to fire and calmly asking them to lower their weapons some how shows me that Fennec is much more than any of us suspect. Perhaps now that we are paying attention to this story, our attention will force the story up in importance to the author. I gather writing is not his full time profession. cheers, dioscuri
  5. The Origins of the Vosh

    Many people wanted there to be an English mythology, hence King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Apparently the field of philology has morphed into something a bit different these days. These days a philologist might even be called a linguist. But never forget that the English have a particularly rich folk song tradition which seems in some people's minds to have tended to push down the number of influencial English composers from the Rennassaince to the 20th century. Tolkein was (interstingly) a member of the Inklings, a small group of English academics who gathered together and talked about things English and things religious to. C.S. Lewis was a prominent member of this group as well. They shared writings some of which were never published and many that eventually were. If you read C.S. Lewis' creation story, then read Tolkein's from the Silmarillion, you will see the similarity. But Tolkein's interest in language went far beyond just English and English mythology and history. He shows definite influences from many Nordic mythologies. One page a read stated that elvish bore great similarities to Finnish of all languages (which is not Scandinavian). Several times I've seen mention of the Edda Eldar, and other ancient Nordic lays. Oddly enough, this material seems to have also been of interest in Germany to E.T.A. Hoffmann who's opera Ondine is considered by many to have been the first opera in the Romantic tradition (unfortunately the sets and scores were burned in a fire which ended its successful run and it has only recently been reconstructed from orchestral parts and notes). Hoffmann is where Wagner gets much of his material for his operas. The link I've mentioned is interesting, it has much material that I've never read (yet) and was not available when I was sleuthing things out. I think that Tolkein's interest was in language and then came to understand that languages grow out of cultures or grow out along side the cultures and their histories. His stories are attempts to put histories with the languages he invented. There are, apparently quite a number of them in various states of completion. The Elvish ones seem to be the most complete. Language, a culture and its history walk together. Shakespeare is impossible without Elizabethan England, and it was also that he stood on the cusp of a radical change in the English language. Our language benefited greatly from his genius. The influence lingered on and moved into Europe in the 19th century where every composer I've studied about or learned about knew and had heard Shakespeare's plays ether in English or in translation. This, of course brings us full circle back to J.R.R. Tolkein and ostensibly Jamie de Valen (writer)! cheers, dioscuri
  6. The Enigma of Flatness

    hmmm I'm not quite sure what you mean. I am actually using my Mac to have it read to me. The Mac has several convincing voices which sound very human-like and very easy to listen to. The only problem is that it doesn't always get contextual meaning and pronounciation correct. A notorious one is lead (which is led (past tense and the metal -- a noun) and read (red or reed). So the program reads quite well, but it certainly does not understand what its reading. The fact that they can make the voice sound convincing even in complex sentences is quite amazing. There are ways to attempt pronounciation corrections but I have not worked hard enough to find out how to get it right yet. However, I do love bed time stories! One thing it does do quite well is get past pronouncing viciously long names or ones I have no clue about. It flipped off the name of the boys home planet like it said the word every day. On the other hand I have been reading quite a bit of David McLeod's Book of Hero's "translations" for a while so I may have just gotten quite used to the style to. I noticed this hiatus as well, and am glad that you have noticed it to and mentioned it. I'm sure he will make note. Hopfully he's looking for our comments now. I've mentioned something about "talking behind his back" as an excuse for writing directly to him. Perhaps that will make us a little bit more real to him. He seems aware of his non-human humanity and sometimes almost falls into that trap. I think he did with his first captain. He most definitely makes a good counselor for those two Orion boys who can't quite get past their societies misguided rules against males touching or loving. Serveral times he called them both out on it, saying that he could see all their biometric readings sand not to try to pull the wool over his eyes. On the other hand, he makes a crucial mistake with Fennec when he dances with him. Having the two Orion men there as in love with each other as they are perhaps makes Dreamer stronger in a way in that it prevents him from edging to close to his top ranked captain and crew members. Remember though, that Dreamer is massively under manned currently. Notice his penchant for picking up lost strays, something like those kids that can't leave a stray puppy or kitten without a home! In some ways, his ability to flirt with being human and not get caught up in it may be one of his strong points .... but who really knows yet. Have you run into his sister yet? LOL he's quite upset when she calls Dreamer her sister ship and insists that they are sibling ships. They came off the production line a mere 4 hours after one another. Oddly, only Liorelle even come near to understanding Fennec. I think I can see what has happened to him in a way because there was so much left out of my own development at home growing up in a Christian fundamentalist family who cut me off from friends with whom I had things in common with, leaving me a lonely teen feeling that parental love was dangerous. They had cut me off from things like drama and musical theatre, and sometimes had threatened to take away my piano lessons. This left me even more isolated during those key periods of development. So in a way I understand how lost Fennec must feel not having much of himself really there and no memories to go with it. I don't know if Dreamer can quite understand that, he's to flip and to fast with the smart reply .... you cannot do that with Fennec just yet. Liorelle needs to see to his education or something like that. For all their focus on family and bloodlines, the Kinjori seem totally ruthless and completely self-centred. They are willing to sacrifice any of their own for the dominance of their own race. Hence the Onyx Hand. (I wonder just how brittle onyx really is). Liorelle has been hurt badly by this herself ... see the letter Dreamer delivers to her from her mother. Dreamer is certainly not your usual dispassionate A.I. that's for sure. There is another much more non-human A.I. lurking out there which is quite dangerous yet. Dreamer is not yet aware of her and its only been mentioned once so far. For being nominally sentient it seems very sure of its sexuality however and I find that puzzling (and dangerous). I saw that gap as well, and in his author notes he mentions that to, I think if he starts getting tons of attention for his writing he may see it as a much higher priority. Also when I point out that he's in the same league with Jamie.wri that changes things a lot. I am not just kidding around here. I really think that Devon Keene is one of those writers you do not want to loose. This is science fiction writing at its best. No vampires or werewolves, nothing supernatural just speculative science and its wonderful for a change. thanks for reading! cheers, dioscuri P.S. I wonder if Dreamer might visit my twin stars .... of course no ulterior motives here at all!
  7. The Origins of the Vosh

    Speaking of the Silmarillion, I just happened to have my copy handy! As I thought I had remembered, what was published as The Silmarillion was published after his death and consisted not only of the Silmarillion itself but many other interesting fragments. I remember reading comments by Tolkein himself in which he stated that his motives for creating LOTR sprang from his invention of the Elvish language. As he pointed out, every language develops in a culture and has a history. Much of the Silmarillion is just that. It was written over the entire span of his life. Jamie.wri being quite another person will not have conceived his tale in the same way. The only thing I would much like to see is some more bits of the Icarian language. We may still since it will likely be used in the ceremonies surrounding the Wizard and the King assuming their stations. I'm sure Jamie.wri has never quite experienced the amount of questioning and speculation which is taking place during the time he is writing the next chapter! As you may have noticed, I have found another story about which I think I'm just about as passionate about as TSOI.I am truly puzzled about the "Enigma of Flatness". I think whoever made those Farships, may have made a gay one! Dreamer sure is attached to his male crew members. Hmmm, Odd, I had not considered that flat was enigmatic, but I know others do! Einstein on the other hand was sure that time was bent and twisted in a kind of corkscrew! Now all we need is a shape for space itself; just a small insignificant problem! Thus endeth my speculation and thoughts on TSOI and LOTR (and the Silmarillion of course); they are birds of quite a different feather! That reminds me to write to the author instead of just talking behind his back.. even though everything I've said is nice and complimentary. Oh, and I'd like a date with Dreamer to! By my twin stars! His farship could jump through those cracks in space and be here in no time at all! You know it is those binary star systems which produce a plethora of jump points to! cheers, dioscuri
  8. The Origins of the Vosh

    True enough, however, the promises and treaties that were broken and over which the Vosh call the Xanamarians Oath Breakers all happen after the fall of Kuronos and during the period of stasis. They seem to have no legends save the Prophecies which seem to point to Jamie as the one to fulfill the broken promises. It seems odd that they have no history before that since they seem at the present time to be keeping such careful documentation of their history. That they are somehow related to the Kalorians seems logical. Also keep in mind that the Kalorians had only limited immunity to the virus that infected and killed the humans or removed their capacity for higher level thought processes. It could be that the Vosh are descended from those Kalorians who's memory was affected by the plague but were not killed. There is so much room for speculation! cheers, dioscuri
  9. The Enigma of Flatness

    Well, I'm almost lost for words here! I started reading The Enigma of Flatness with little or no hope that it would be a truly good Science Fiction story and have been proven completely and utterly wrong! I've only just run across this story, and it looks like the author posts only every two or three months, but each chapter has pulled me inexorably deeper into the plot. This is a true Science Fiction story, there are no vampires, no alternate universes and no magic. Its a story in the true sense of the genre. The author gives you no hint at the beginning where this story might be heading. There are two young men, orphans living on the planet Astral-Ishasa, who've been living with each other all their lives, and of course, dreaming of the stars. One day, crossing a street Tallas picks up a plain white opened envelope in which he finds a data disk. He absent mindedly puts it in his pocket. The next day, after falling asleep with at his friend's Sabrin's dorm room, they are awakened by a frantic call from a friend warnig them of the police attempting to hunt down Tallas. Frightened at being arrested by the quiet nasty Orion Police, they run. Run for three days before stumbling through a space port and slipping inside the only ship that isn't an Orion War Ship. The ship is a small ovoid shaped black ship which neither of them have seen before. Stumbling through the door they are saved from the Orion Police when the ship's AI shuts the air lock. However on the bridge they are greeted by the ship's avatar who keeps shooting at them. The avatar begs them to disable the security locks put in place by the Orions. After pulling the optical cables from the wall, the killer Avatar collapses. I won't go on since the author, Devon Keene cleverly attempts to hide his identity by not posting his name in the first few chapters, claiming that this is his first story posting. Well, don't hide from us! You are good. This is one of the few Sci Fi stories online that comes anywhere close to the quality and craftsmanship of Jamie de Valen's The Scrolls of Icaria. (The Scrolls are found over at The Awesomedude's site.) There are few stories in which the author succeeds in truly endearing all his main characters to his readers. Devon Keene succeeds admirably at this. Oh! by the way, the ship is not just a ship, the ship, Dream of Dawn is really an AI far ship, a ship capable of scouting and finding jump points which can be used to jump huge distances between stars and even galaxies. The AI, who prefers to be called just Dreamer, has resigned from his own navy and just disappeared. After three years the AI is now held captive by the Orions and accidentally stumbled upon by Tallas and Sabrin as they flee for their lives. With his slight southern drawl, and his charming sense of humour (a hint of sarcasm thrown in ) we soon realise that there are now three main characters, not just two. Dreamer is appalled when Sabrin proposes selling Dreamer for the cash since they are broke. Of course Sabrin is just kidding, yanking Sabrin's chain. There are more than a few hints that Dreamer's sexuality may be slightly skewed --- I think he's attracted to humans and male humans at that! Either that or he has the habit of picking up strays he finds and keeping them as his crew! If I'm wrong about his sexual attraction, I'm certainly not wrong about his want to help those in trouble, those who have been unjustly treated by an uncaring and unsympathetic universe. So far, I have only found hints of Dreamer's story, how he came to be one of only two existing far ships. In a later chapter he runs into his sister ship. I'll not say more about the plot, and I haven't given to much away since so much more happens they meet so many more strangely interesting people along the way! Has anyone else found this story and followed it? Please post and start a discussion, even just about the title. How is flatness enigmatic? Perhaps, for Dreamer, time makes life flat since it goes on so long that looking over life's landscape, events seem to even out over the length of time. Of course that's just my idle speculation. Yeppers! this is the first story since finding The Scrolls of Icaria that I've been as excited about reading it. The only problem is that yet again, I seem to be reading faster than authors are posting chapters! But that's a problem you run into with quality and highly creative authors ... they inspire their readers. cheers, dioscuri
  10. OMG NO!!!! Noooooo!!!!! I was just correcting a long reply to Talon when Firefox suddenly crashed (I'm using a beta version) and I've lost the post I think. We'll see if it turns up by some feat of magic or one of those quantum chance events physicists like to talk about. I'f It doesn't reappear, I'll see If I can reconstruct it. There was a long intricate stream of logic in it I'm not sure if I can reproduce .... cheers, (shaking his fist at the universe!) dioscuri
  11. The Origins of the Vosh

    Sorry, Mary Shelly did "Frankenstein" not vampires. The popularity of vampires began with John Polidori's "The Vampyre" in 1819. It is Bram Stroker's 1897 novel "Dracula" that further popularized and provided the stereotypical vampire that is the basis of the modern vampire genre of horror novels, films and TV shows. Remember, all such stories are fiction. As is TSOI. Fiction being "the class of literature comprising works of imaginative narration, esp. in prose form". Being fiction, the characters, events, plot lines and any other elements of such stories are all the products of the writers imagination and it is the province of the author of the fiction as to whether or not it has any relation to reality. Many people like the vampire genre stories. I'm not overly fond of them, so the simple solution for me is to ignore them. My favorite genres are Science Fiction and Fantasy or a combination of the two. I don't read Science Fiction stories with the expectation that all of the science has any relation to real science. Key word there is "fiction". The Fantasy genre kind of speaks for it self, no reality there. I read and follow TSOI for no other reason than it is a great story. Whether or not the genetic manipulation in the story that created the Icarians or the Kalorians reflects the current genetic research in the real world is irrelevant. The same is true of the mirror gates and research into teleportation devices. It's irrelevant, it's not important. What is important is if it fits and enhances the story. What may be more important is the authors talent and skill in being able to grab and hold the attention of and provide some enjoyment for the reader. Jamie has those in spades and is, IMHO, a true Wordsmith. Sorry didn't mean to get into a rant. TomasG Thomas; I don't see your post as a rant in any way at all. It is simply a statement of your own personal preferences in the Literature you read. You are certainly entitled to that. I, myself am horribly picky in what I like to read. I plowed my was through "Foundation" but after the first volume, I found I didn't like the direction Asimov was taking his story. Reading all of them was simply to be able to say to any critic that I had indeed read all of them and my judgement stands. It was also just plain dogged determination that the series was not going to defeat me! I was standing by an elevator the other day and commented that we should have transporter beams to take us to our destination for they would certainly be more efficient. Look at your cell (mobile phone for anyone outside of North America) and think of the communicators used in StarTrek. Not quite the same but you can see the similarity. What is Science Fiction today may not be in the future. As far as genetic manipulation goes, we are on the cusp of some true understanding. With things like fMIR (Functional MIR) scanning we can look deep into the brain and see in great detail its functioning and in real time. I mentioned that they had discovered that babies inthe womb had already learned a musical vocabulary while they still had no language ability. This was a stunning surprise and its affects were felt into the Anthropologist community and into the study of psychological evolution. It seems that music has played a far more important role in our development than we thought and it may have preceded language! We are learning more about DNA and how it affects us far beyond the simple strands of genes. Genes have other meta markers which may be turned on or off or have other setting. These are changed and set after conception and not before. This means that for many complex things in humans, that the simple understanding of basic DNA is simply not enough. That we are pre-programmed for our sexuality is not a simple matter of either possessing or not possessing a certain gene, It may be a matter of something that happens to the genes inside our mother's womb before birth and after conception. Truly, what we do know is simply dwarfed by what we do not know. A certain amount of humility is required of us humans, something which seems to have been lacking in the Empire. The very idea that someone could have claimed to have reached a state of self actualization is quite simply presumptuous. Basically, they devceved themselves. Charles, I don't think has quite realised this. He is on his way to understanding this, but he is not there. Hippolito on the other hand, in quite simply incapable of understanding this concept. I think Croal had begun to understand this, and had greatly desired to right some of the wrongs which he himself may have been responsible for. Perhaps he will by the time we finish this book. This is one of the reasons why I am being patient with our author as he struggles to put into words what I could never in a thousand years accomplish. Developing new species like the Kalorians and the Icarians simply tests out own humanity. Obviously those in the Empire saw those two newly created species as less than human and as property and not as real people. I hope you realise that not long ago women were considered property and children as well. Children have fared far worse than women in this change in status. If children are considered real people, for all intents and purposes they are treated by their parents as property. In most cases, the child has no defense and has ho advocate for his own rights. Perhaps the treatment of the Icarians and Kalorians really points the finger at us and how we treat each other. Gay kids frequently know for sure about their own sexuality as soon as puberty hits, and that's between 11 and 13 usually, yet the laws in most countries do not acknowledge that a child might be able to understand who he is. Of course this is utter rubbish, but the laws continue to make this distinction. Heterosexual until proven otherwise is the usual motto. Far to many of us have suffered under that deliberate misunderstanding of sexuality and many live in prisons with invisible bars which prevent them from fraternizing with those with whom they have the most in common. In many cases we are as patronizing and dismissive of our children as the Empire was of the Icarians and Kalorians. The biggest question is if anyone will learn from the eloquent writing of the likes of jamie.wri. I am pessimistic about this possibility. We surely have not learned anything from the tragedy of "Romeo and Juliet". Odd isn't it, that the love theme from Tchaikovsky's tone poem inspired by the Shakespeare play was inspired by his first gay love in what we'd consider high school! SSShhh don't tell anyone, they'll try to take the work out of music libraries in schools everywhere! No, some presumptuous self-centred, pompous music historian will come by and drop some sort of gibberish reason why this is not so and the academic peer reviewed magazines will jump on it as just giving voice to the "other side". (why I have this love/hate relationship with muisc theorticians and historians.) Thanks for pointing out my error with Marry Shelley. While she was not responsible for the resurrection of the Vampires, she certainly was the progenitor of a whole genre of literature to do with horror. Without Mary Shelly, we certainly would not have that rich, very unique way of exploring the human psyche. Odd how it was often English writers who forged the way in literature. Studying music, Shakespeare's influence in music from his own time through to the present day is quite phenomenal. Not only did he influence those English speakers, but his plays found their way into the literature of the stage of almost every European country. Verdi, Wagner, Berlioz, Schubert, even Beethoven was influenced by Shakespeare's work and quite frequently set it to music. No other author save perhaps E.T.A. Hoffmann has had more influence, its to bad that English is the onlly language badly servered with good translations of E.T.A. Hoffmann's literature. His music is important almost beyond belief, His opera, "Ondine" is often counted as the first Romantic Opera. Weber's Der Freischutz takes the honour only because the sets and costumes for Ondine were destroyed in a tragic fire. The production has only recently been reconstructed by scholars. In Engllish, likely the works of Edgar Allan Poe would have been impossible without Hoffmann. Most of Wagner's Ring Cycle of operas are based in whole or in part on characters and ideas found in Hofffmann's work almost a century before. His greatest work perhaps is the one about Tom Cat Muir. It is perhaps the strangest book ever written and published. It begins with a publishers note that the galley proofs arrived in complete disarray. Apparently someone (Tom Cat Muir) had used the blank side of the pages to write is own memoirs. The publisher thinks the book has so much merit that he publishes it as is, so the book is printed as it arrived with Tom Cat Muir's memoirs sometimes gracing the page then a a few pages later, suddenly and frequently in mid-sentence, we are in a completely different setting and in the story of the "original" author. This story is about a back water kingdom somewhere in Germany in which the people at court display the utter blandness and inane gossip, and somewhere within that story is Hoffmann's own mirror image in the personage of Kapelmeister (a conductor or music director) Johannes Kreisler. Kreisler's music is misunderstood and he is completely unappreciated for the musical genius he is. Then suddenly we are back with the cat. The cat has somehow learned to read, write, and converse with humans and so has in theory become one of the educated elite. Unfortunately, his true nature bubbles to the surface when a rat runs through a banquet hall where Muir is attending a banquet. Muir's instincts take over and instantly he is the hunter we know cats to be. He gets a feral look in his eyes. Pounces on the rat and devours it in front of the invited guests. Hoffmann's own cat was named Muir by the way, he was a grey tabby and the two of them died within months of each other in about 1823. There is a translation which would be in the public domain but it has not been made avaailable however there is a translation published by Penguin books.
  12. Book 2

    I have a question about gate travel. We are told in no uncertain terms that two beings cannot be touching at the time they travel through the gates, yet Liudowag and Barcepa run through the gate holding hands. Then, when Charlie is awakened, then sent away with the Ghroum, Spinoza is thrown at Charlie and travels the gate on Charlie's shoulder. At least this is the impression those two passages give. Isn't this a contradiction? cheers, dioscuri
  13. The Origins of the Vosh

    Time and time again we are told that the virus attacking the humans of the Empire is advancing far faster than anyone has admitted. That's the reason I say the Empire is in disarray. Savaron Loka up to now has been a successful manipulator of the Emperor. The Emperor does what Loka wants. His absence changes nothing, the virus is the agent that introduces the disarray inside the Empire. Gold Glass is all but gone. And the Ghdar know more than we think about ordinary soldiering. Niklas has instilled in them the Code of the Ghadar. Part of that is that they fight for their cause and they fight for each other. This is close to how the Wizard's Own Legion is constructed. Mystery stories I can accept, its the Vampire stories I cannot abide! Every time I turn around these days there is a story called Sci/fi with a heard of Vampires and other supernatural creatures in it. This isn't science fiction, nor is it fantasy. The correct genre for Vampire stories and the like is Horror. One of the reasons I read TSOI is that there is not hint of vampires or any other super or preternatural character. Once you've read one vampire story, you've read them all. All they do worry about being murderers because they are now carnivores that need human blood to live. Darn it all, so do Vampire bats and mosquitoes. Someone invent a Vampire that doesn't drain its victim please? Doesn't this basically make sense? The concept of vampires is flawed, its basically the same as when Marry Shelly wrote the first Vampire story. Lets have some creativity here. cheers, dioscuri
  14. The Origins of the Vosh

    But then all stories about life are mysteries, none of the characters know what will happen to them, and neither does the reading audience. I've thought about placing the second book first, but, somehow, it just wouldn't work. The whole story became much more mundane, and the cold sleep syndrome affect would be of no importance because we'd know they'd get their memories back already, Most of what we didn't know would have been served up on a silver platter. Life, as we live it is a mystery. We are trapped by time, trapped because we do not know the future and because we cannot move back and forth like we could on a line on a graph. We, like the characters in TSOI are stuck in that mystery called life and there are no detectives to hire and solve those mysteries, no John Steed and Emma Peel, no Sherlock Holmes to take charge of the problem. We face it without knowing what the future brings. TSOI is closer to real life than we may think. Notice who is telling this story. Jamie is telling it. This gives you a a clue. Jamie is going to survive. We have no hint that Jamie is broken in spirit so we can be fairly sure that Niklas has survived. That is another clue. Now if jamie.wri had chosen a third person narrative format for his story, Then we'd really have no clue as to what happens. But its that his narrator is part of the plot itself, we know at list a little bit more than we think we do. TSOI just has no Miss Marple. Mysteries all have their Miss Marple or the equivalent detective. cheers, dioscuri
  15. The Origins of the Vosh

    True we don't know if those in Taldor Valoren activated the barrier or not, I rather think they would have as it was part of the measures to protect their children. We know it isn't the same one protecting Altinestra, I suspect Jamie sets that one up at another time before they enter stasis, no doubt there will be an answer in the next instalment as that is rather a crucial feature in the story. Although I suppose it is possible, not likely, but possible, Jamie and the others were in stasis for 100 years, woke up, found everything still in turmoil, blocked off Altinestra and went back for another couple of thousand years Read the page on the Orbs, there is some fascinating information there. There is information which implies the creator of the orbs or the programming inside the orbs *knew* and understood the encrypted data on the Monastery of Infinity. I'm going out on another tangent here. No one knows who created and built the Monastery or the Tower of Agromon. Who named them that and why? The Tower of Agromon is so high that it reaches above the clouds frequently. To me it seems as if it is a broadcast centre of some sort or a control centre. There is also the issue of who the Ghroum's Guadajeir was, what his purpose was and why he failed at what he was to do. All we know is that this Guardageir did not fulfill his mission. I get the impression that there is some unknown consequences for a guardajeir who fails in his duty. Perhaps this is why the Empire attempted genocide as a solution. I'll take another guess, the fact that the Ghroum only communicate well telepathically, and that their facial and body expressions do not fit in with those common to ALL Earth cultures currently known, they were placed on that planet with the promise that it would be a safe haven for them. When the humans made land fall, that all changed for some reason and we don't know why. To bring this all together, I think there is a great deal of power controlled by the Tower of Agromon and the Monastery of Infinity. Jamie understood the Monastery, so did Croal and also Jonas I would guess. Someone else is in on this secret to otherwise the Orbs would not have been created the way they were. It seems some of them were finished with great haste and the purpose of some were changed. This story is not a real mystery, it only feels like that to us because Jamie.wri is not writing as fast as we can chew up what he writes! No writer can! Tolkien took how many years to finish the Lord of The Rings? How man years did Dune take to finally finish? What about Asimov's Foundation series? While these were books, the audience was left at the end of many of them knowing that they had to wait for another book to find out information they wanted to know. This doesn't make them mysteries, there's no detective work, just a large amount of time. Three ages of Middle earth for Tolkein, I''ve forgotten how many for Asimov's Foundation and for Dune. TSOI is at a tipping point. Jamie.wri has to bring things together for us soon. However, remember, we have another book to go after this one. We are merely cleaning up old history at this point. We are learning what Jamie and Niklas and many other Icarians forgot during the long cold sleep. what we need is patience, and the understanding that the kind of writing that Jamie.wri is doing is exceedingly difficult. He has stated that he has the ending of the book planned out that he does have the outline of the book finished. My inclination is to trust him since he has not really let us down so far. It is difficult I know, that is why I've been doing other reading. I've found stories like Owen which has enchanted me. We've finished part one with 54 chapters I believe, and we're on to Owen II. There are characters in that story about a farm boy who longs to go to University, he makes it there, finds an unexpected friend, falls in love (again). Many crazy mad cap things happen (there's one place where a character accuses another of being "... as confused as a new born baby in a topless bar!") and some tragic things as well. I've read and re-read David McCleod's Book of Heros stories about another world where magic is a reality. "George of Sedona" is a good one to start with. Some people from this Earth have slipped through to this place just called World. Imagine a world where humans live to nearly 800 years old, and the time you spend as a youth is extended drastically. You'll have to go to Gay Authors for this one. The author is not currently adding to these stories but each one is complete in itself. Oh! and I just discovered another one on Nifty! "The Enigma of Flatness" (personally, I've never found flatness enigmatic in the slightest -- i still await what is enigmatic!Perhaps if the flatness, the plane was twisted a bit ..... and turned into a one sided plane (a mobeius strip -- no, not a stripper joint! though there is a short story in a book called Fantasia Mathematica where a stripper attempts it!) It might turn out to be somewhat enigmatic --- but then it wouldn't be flat) was a complete and delightful surprise. A "far ship", a ship that is an AI has a human avitar that is cute, good looking, funny, adventurous, and looking for a crew .... apparently cruising the Universe and hopping from galaxy to galaxy looses its novelty and the AI longs for human company finding it in two boys running from the secret police on their home planet and stumble onto "the Dream of Dawn", the AI calls himself Dreamer for short. Alll this I have discovered while waiting for jamie.wri to give us another episode. He's got competition but you will notice that I keep coming back to TSOI for more. I have discovered more stories, but that should keep some of you reading for a while. Its kept me sane while being patient with our beloved author --- and I'm not being sarcatic, I think Jamie.wri is one brilliantly talented author who is sharing his creative process in part with us. We see how a real novel is built and how much work is involved. Now that I've given away some of my discoveries, gimme some of yours! Chapter 43 has been an eye opener. Most of the things that happened I suspected or knew would happen, I just had no idea they'd take place the way they did. I had thought that the Emperor would be assassinated along with Savaron Loka at Castle Rood when the Ghadar were supposed to be put to death. I was right about the assassination of the Emperor but wrong about who would do the deed. I suspect that if we read back we'll find a clue that Renaud had every intention of setting things up for Jamie to take his own revenge on the Emperor. We missed that clue! Were this a mystery, there would be clues enough to solve the mystery by now. Instead, the plot simply thickens. We hear less and less about the Commonwealth, though the gate interdiction still stands.There was also a comment about someone or something with the power to simply wipe out everything on the planet. Who or what this is we do not know and I think that the characters we are following do not know either. What we see as mysterious, they aren't even thinking about. What is it that Jamie knows or thinks he knows about Charles that makes Charles afraid of Jamie and Jamie so angry at Charles? I've said this before, the Legion of Red and Black were an order of Icarians that were infiltrated by the Empire and used for their own means. Charles either does not know the whole story or has just not got the power to change what has gone wrong. You think TSOI is a mystery? I've found some amazing things about music and the human brain. You realise that we understand music long before we understand language. We understand music and its grammar/syntax etc. in our mother's womb. Language waits until after birth. As a musician I guess I really got a head start on everyone else in the arts. That, btw, I found on the You Tube of all places! Life, it seems is a frustrating place to be, but what other choice to we have? I dearly wish I could meet up with a far ship like Dream of Dawn and trip off across the stars...... but then, where would my piano be? We're just at a frustrating point in the story. I'll assure you that Jamie.wri is even more frustrated at this point, wishing that he was further ahead. But you realise that it is us that keeps him on his toes and keeps pointing out discrepancies. I'll leave you now with this long run on post. There's lots here to occupy you and lots to comment on to. cheers, dioscuri the twins are watching you!