First you have to know about the Aurora Universe. That's a long story, too long to tell here, but you can study up on it at the Aurora Universe page.
Or go to its current incarnation under Shadar (the current incarnation of the Artist Formerly Known as Sharon) at http://velorian.org/auow/index.htm .
For now, let's just say that it's a universe of superheroines, inspired by the comics and justified by comic book science, but with an elaborate history/mythology all its own.
The Bright Empire is devoted primarily to my own superheroine fiction, plus commentaries on that fiction and other subjects. I'm also hosting stories by Aurora Universe veteran Joe Haley, newcomers Jordan Taylor, Betty Bontang, Ultrasybarite, Xoronewithnature, Daphne Orgone and Charon MacDonald, and even classic Sharon Best AU fiction and reference materials.
Most of my own stories here thus far are set in the AU, more or less, given that different writers have different takes on the AU. Mine is the version Shadar now calls Generation 3. "Throne of the Gods," was the first to be set offworld as opposed to here on Earth. "Sleeping Beauty," a sequel to "Mundane Secrets of the Yo Yo Brotherhood," is also set offworld, although the original story wasn't. Other off-world works include "Pictures of an Expedition," a prequel to TOG; and "Terms of Enhancement," a sort of sidequel, and "Twins."
And then there is Ordinary Velorians -- Shadar wrote the first four episodes in his Sharon days, but the last three are mine. There's also a story, "The Mission," begun by myself and continued by Rob.
I have my own gallery of erotic superheroines, smaller than most because I'm very finicky about picts, and others appear in stories -- embedded now, not just links, as at the old site.
For all stories, present and future, the usual word of caution for a site such as this: these are for mature readers only. If you're not 18 or older, please be gone. And if the Church Lady or her ilk stumble across this site, let them be gone too!
The Bright Empire takes its name from a passing reference in the work of Cordwainer Smith, one of my very favorite science fiction writers. But it relates perfectly to the essence of the Velorian Enlightenment and its Protectors, whose beauty and valor bring light and hope even to the darkest corners of the universe.
It is a vision that I think may be of greater significance than even its original creator realized. It may be erotic fantasy in large part, and yet it is also a fantasy of female empowerment. A few of my women friends even consider it feminist, although I have never made such a claim and hesitate to do so now.
Anyway, forget about theories. The Bright Empire is about what I like. So let's just say that I like my superheroines to be beautiful and sexy and powerful and intelligent -- and benevolent. You won't find me writing dominatrix fiction, or the kind where the superheroines deliberately or accidentally kill men while trying to have sex, or engage in wanton vandalism. And you'll never find me writing the kind where the superheroines are stripped of their powers and raped or otherwise abused. I think women are wonderful, and should be treated as such in fact and in fiction.
--Brantley Thompson Elkins