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       Tales of the Vuduri: Year Four, p.1

           Michael Brachman
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Tales of the Vuduri: Year Four
Tales of the Vuduri: Year Four

  Michael Brachman

  Copyright 2017 by Michael Brachman

  TALES OF THE VUDURI: YEAR FOUR

  All rights reserved

  Copyright © 2017 by Michael Brachman

  Cover art copyright © 2017 by Bruce Brachman

  V4.01.0001

  Also by Michael Brachman

  The Rome’s Revolution Series

  Rome’s Revolution

  The Ark Lords

  Rome’s Evolution

  The Vuduri Knights Series

  The Milk Run

  *The Vuduri Knight

  (*not yet in publication)

  The Vuduri Universe Series

  Tales of the Vuduri: Year One

  Tales of the Vuduri: Year Two

  Tales of the Vuduri: Year Three

  Tales of the Vuduri: Year Four

  The Vuduri Companion

  Dedication

  Unlike the previous years, there is a new person who has been added to the list of people who have inspired me and encouraged me to produce this volume. The prior cast of characters that helped with Tales of the Vuduri: Year One, Year Two and Year Three, still helped me produce this book, Tales of the Vuduri: Year Four. There is my wonderful wife, Denise. She will always deserve a special thank you for understanding I have to write the blog posts. Her patience continues to be boundless. I only have one more year to go so I have to put in the time to craft the entries. Denise graciously allows me the time to do so. Thank you, Denise.

  And, as always, I need to thank my immeasurably talented brother Bruce. He is my go-to guy when it comes to the world of the Vuduri. Not only is he my editor and artist and the inspiration behind MINIMCOM, but he is also fiercely protective of the Vuduri culture and characters. He is always receptive to me bouncing ideas off his head, even when he doesn’t have the time. In addition, Bruce creates the amazing covers, the astounding book trailers and makes my writing so much better. Bruce, none of this would exist without you. Thank you.

  The new person? My grandson Isaac. He is coming up on his second birthday. His growing up and his adventures simply becoming aware of the world around him has inspired many an article and a new way of taking a look at things.

  Finally, I would like to dedicate this book to my Dad, Ray Brachman, who passed away this past December after a long illness. He will be missed by all.

  Introduction

 

  Starting in 2012, I had thrown in the towel trying to keep my Wiki called the Science Behind the Science Fiction up to date. I needed a different kind of forum so I turned to Goodreads and started a blog called Tales of the Vuduri. The blog format was much better suited to what I wanted to accomplish. The one thing I didn’t count on was that it created a monster with a voracious appetite that had to be fed continuously. I have now written over 1500 articles, one every day, and I have another year to go. Maybe it wasn’t the smartest idea I ever came up with. However, writing the blog articles does give me an opportunity to practice my craft weekly and maybe that is not such a bad idea.

  Generating these articles forces me to look out at the ever-accelerating world of science and technology. It also gives me a chance to go back and look at my previous novels more critically, analyzing their strengths and weaknesses which should help in the future. This past year, within the blog, I finally finished up with my study of Rome’s Revolution and jumped right into The Ark Lords .It is my hope to finish up that book as well as Rome’s Evolution before I get to the end of Tales of the Vuduri: Year Five. It is not necessary that you have read these books to enjoy these articles but it couldn’t hurt.

  As I stated, the pace of science and changes in our lives is accelerating. The things Elon Musk is doing are astounding. The Em-drive is headed for space trials. Virtual Reality pushed passed ordinary 3D as an all-encompassing viewing experience. Many of these articles focus in on some amazing new scientific facts and discoveries. Here is a partial list of what you’ll find in these entries about science and life:

  Virtual Reality

  Why airplanes fly the Polar Route

  The DOCX Format

  How the Moroccan Sun will provide free energy

  A floating solar farm

  Gravity Waves

  Lavacicles

  Vantablack

  The EmDrive

  Room temperature superconductivity

  A real Death Star

  Future Jobs

  Hexagons and Saturn

  How do robots see?

  Free Will vs Predestination

  The Electoral College

  Are comic books science fiction?

  Tesla's Solar Shingles

  The Dark Side of the Moon

  Trump and Musk

  Zero Point Energy

  Above Unity devices that produce more energy than they consume

  I find out that Asteroid Day is a real thing

  And don’t forget, lots of amusing images. All guaranteed to be 100% copyright free!

  In 2016, I finally released The Vuduri Companion: a series of short stories and novelettes which didn’t really fit in anywhere else. It even includes the original versions of VIRUS 5 and Rome’s Revolution written way back in 1973. It also contains an original short story entitled “The Immortals” which will be the springboard for a new set of stories starring Rome and Rei. I don’t have much by the way of detail regarding the various plots but I have complete faith that my heroes will provide me with what I need when I need it. They haven’t failed me yet. Much of the introductory material from The Vuduri Companion has been folded in these posts as well.

  To produce so many blog articles, I still follow the discipline I learned in that first year. I write no less than seven blog articles on Saturday or Sunday and then post one each day over the course of the next week. Sometimes, if I know I am going to be away the following weekend, I’ll write 14 articles. That’s a lot to pump out at one time! This year I decided that I wanted the Vuduri year to coincide with the calendar year so this volume contains 370 articles rather than the usual 366. Call it a bonus edition.

  As with the previous volumes, you will find occasional hypertext links but of course they are not functional within an ebook or paperback. When the sole purpose of a link was to take you somewhere else, I added an underline. Likewise, with the prior volumes of Tales of the Vuduri, the entries are exactly as they appeared on Goodreads although I do fix typos when I find them.

  Feel free to jump in anywhere. You don’t need to read the articles in any particular order although the general flow of the literary analysis follows the latter half of Rome’s Revolution and the beginning of The Ark Lords.

  As always, I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them.

  Entry 4-001: December 28, 2015

 

  Virtual Reality

  In the 35th century world of Rome's Revolution, they have no interest in virtual reality. The reason for this is very simple. Virtual reality is all about me and the Vuduri are all about we. They do not treasure personal experience. They only care about the collective whole.

  In fact, there are some Vuduri (on the way wrong end of autonomy) that use what is called Second Sight. Their senses perceive the world, the information is passed along to the Overmind and then returned, altered, and form what that particular Vuduri perceives as the world. I guess when you consider it, maybe that does count as virtual reality.

  Virtual reality started when the first caveman dreamed about saber-toothed tigers. It continued when stories were told around a campfire. Books, movies, television, any art form that takes our consciousness away from our current surroundings is a primitive form of virtual reality. Hollywoo
d is pushing 3D movies hard so you get the sense you are in the movie. . The virtual community called Second Life has been around for 12 years.

  I know the future is coming. We have Google Glass, the Occulus Rift and now the new Samsung Gear VR which uses a regular smart phone to deliver content.

  These devices can all produce "augmented reality" which is your surroundings with a second layer of information or images seamlessly superimposed. Even my heads-up display on my Camaro is a version of this.

  There is a danger. The pleasures of virtual reality could become so addictive that people could put aside their actual life in favor of their simulated life. Why go out and expose yourself to danger when you can sit in your home and take a virtual tour of any location on this Earth or any other world the designers can imagine. See the movie called Surrogates starring Bruce Willis as one slant on this.

  In the end, life is all there is so we should live it to its fullest, not swap it out for a simulation.

  Entry 4-002: December 29, 2015

 

  Stepping it up

  It first started with Rome's Revolution and the state of the art is currently The Milk Run. But as I mentioned in a previous article, the time has come to get back on the horse and start cranking out some new books.

  The first one, working title MASAL - The Robot War, is actually a prequel. This one is very clear in my mind. I'm too new at writing to have canon but this book will not deviate from the hints and off-hand references presented to date. Part 1 is the invention of electro-gravity, the Casimir Pump and using the PPT tunnel method of space travel. Part 2 is two bozos inventing MASAL by basing it off of the Essessoni computer buried under rubble in just to the north of what is now Paterson, NJ. Part 3 is the invention and injection of the 24th chromosome, the birth of the Overmind and the ensuing Robot War.

  But after that, I have to start writing new books about new characters with new issues. The first one, The Vuduri Knight, I only have one scene in my brain. Aason's son Rory is running down a street carrying B'Shev, the son Aason's friend Sh'ev, a member of the plant people known as the K'val. They come to a dead end and are rescued by a long pair of pink arms, dragging them through what they thought was as solid wall.

  Then I have to write another book. I have no idea what it is about but I know I have to step up the drama, the action, the science, everything. I can't just continue to mine the mountain of material I have produced already. But what that means, I don't know. Aerial battles, disease, life and death, I've already done those. I want to write about a pair of immortals but I've never been immortal so it will take time to relate to their condition.

  I may have to break down and buy a book on what makes for a good book. Up till now, I've let the people of the future tell me the story. The time has come for me to start producing the stories myself.

  Entry 4-003: December 30, 2015

 

  Happy Three Year!

  Can you believe it? I have just completed three years worth of these blog articles and I am just getting started! Today marks by 1100th article. That's a lot of articles!

  The subject matter is primarily driven by my sci-fi novels, especially Rome's Revolution but also branches out in time and space to other novels, other places and right here on Earth.

  I try and bring you news of scientific or political changes that will have a positive impact on your life. I'm especially interested in renewable energy and containing global warming.

  But sometimes I reminisce, sometimes I speculate, sometimes I just plain make things up but that is what authors of fiction do.

  I've laid out my novelistic goals for the year, lots of writing, lots of recording and told you about places and people in my life who have had a great influence on me.

  And I will continue. We are nearing the end of the behind-the-scenes look at Rome's Revolution so we'll start digging into The Ark Lords which is particularly fascinating because we begin to churn out all the backstories that were only hinted at in the first novel.

  So I wanted to thank you for sticking with me and rest assured there is plenty more Tales of the Vuduri coming down the pike. 2016 is going to be a great year to spend time in the 35th century!

  Entry 4-004: December 31, 2014

 

  Looking under the ocean

  When I am writing books like Rome's Revolution, I try to write about what I know. Failing that, I work hard to learn about what it is I am writing so I don't make any glaring errors or ruin your fictive dream.

  Sometimes, when I am doing my research, I stumble across something interesting and poof, it goes into the book. In this specific instance, I was looking at the topology of Hawaii, the place to which Rome, Rei and Binoda are to be banished. I was using Google Maps then switched it over Google Earth. I was amazed at what I saw. Here is a snapshot:

  Right away, you notice that what we think of as Hawaii is nothing but the tips of great underwater mountains (probably volcanoes) and the topography beneath the ocean is like a whole new world. I took this experience and let Rei discover it all over again:

  The large screen showed a vast expanse of ocean with a few wisps of whitecaps. Just looking at the images, it was impossible to tell how high up they were visually although the instruments indicated they were about 12 kilometers up. Based upon how long they had been in the air, Rei guessed they were somewhere over the Pacific. Rei adjusted some filters. A polarizer removed the glare and rippling from the waves and made the water look completely transparent. From this height, Rei was able to see detail along the ocean bottom clearly enough to make out some of its topology. He could see crevices, channels and even some peaks that looked like underwater mountains. If you ignored the fact that it was deep blue, some of it even reminded Rei of the surface of the moon.

  On the horizon, a landmass appeared that Rei guessed was the Big Island of Hawaii. As they got closer, he became certain of it. Their craft banked northward and flew directly over the peaks of Kilauea and the even taller Mauna Loa. To his right was the older, rounder shape of Mauna Kea. Because of their velocity, it did not take long until they passed back out over the ocean. They passed over a small gulf then directly ahead was the peculiar arrowhead shaped island of Maui. There were heavy clouds on the northern side of the island where the sea breezes met the mountain peaking in the middle of the island. They flew over the southern side and Rei could see the mammoth crater of Haleakala which he had learned about as a child.

  Like it? Maybe not. I just thought it took my experience and gave just a teensy bit more depth to the characters I was trying to build.

  Entry 4-005: January 1, 2016

 

  The Convenient Shack

  During the latter portion of Rome's Revolution, Rome, Rei and Binoda were on their way to being exiled. My problem was when they got there, would they just be dumped off and have to build shelter like on the TV show Survivor? I really didn't want to bog down the story so I found them an abandoned shack on the southern portion of Wailea on Maui:

  Here is their first exposure:

  Grus interviewed the natives and came back with this information:“There is an abandoned dwelling approximately one kilometer to the south, on the far side of this settlement,” he said. “The residents have stated that you may take that as your shelter for the time being.”

  After they arrived, Rome said, “Mea, let us go indoors and I will explain all.”

  “Very well,” replied Binoda. “Your cousins live just to the north. After we speak, we will contact them and put together some semblance of a life.”

  They picked up some of their belongings and made their way up the rocky path to find a small wooden, two-room hut, a shack, really, sitting just over the crest of the beach.

  “Some digs,” Rei said as they entered, wrinkling his nose at the slightly mildewed smell.

  “It is home for now,” Rome said, trying to be cheerful.

  After surveying the cabin, Binoda spoke to Rei.

  “You go and
gather the rest of our belongings,” she said. “I will get us some water and see if there is any food here.”

  “OK,” Rei said, glad to get back out into the fresh air.

  So the shack was just a staging point for the next assault. It was really convenient for me that it was there, huh?

  Entry 4-006: January 2, 2016

 

  Chip Kelly and the Eagles

  If you are expecting a scifi-based topic today, I apologize. This editorial has nothing to do with Rome's Revolution or the world of the 35th century. It is just that I have been a Philadelphia Eagles fan since I was four years old and Chip's coming and going has had a large impact on my emotional state.

  When the Eagles hired Chip, he was considered the "sexy" choice - a hot college coach that was going to revolutionize the NFL. And I must say, that first game against Washington, during that first half, we sat there with our jaws agape not believing our eyes. We truly were witnessing the future, supersonic football, with an offensive juggernaut that couldn't be stopped.

  Well, things settled down and while we made the playoffs, we got bounced in the first round. Still, it was pretty cool to see a coach come in and take a 4-12 team and turn it into an 10-6 playoff entrant. Things didn't go so well the next year and we didn't make the playoffs. Oddly, our star players were slowly but surely being discarded but maybe Chip knew what he was doing.

  Then came 2015 and the pre-season game against the Packers with our shiny new quarterback, Sam Bradford. Yup, this was our year. Never have I been so excited for a season as this one. Then the wheels came off. The Eagles crashed and burned and now Chip is gone, not even completing his third season.

 

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