Luminosity (Twilight Fanfic) Discussion Thread 3

This is a thread for discussing my luminous!Twilight fic, Luminosity (inferior mirror here), its sequel Radiance (inferior mirror), and related topics.

PDFs, to be updated as the fic updates, are available of Luminosity (other version) and Radiance.  (PDFs courtesy of anyareine).  Zack M Davis has created a mobi file of Radiance.

Initial discussion of the fic under a Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality thread is here.  The first dedicated threads: Part 1, Part 2.  See also the luminosity sequence which contains some of the concepts that the Luminosity fic is intended to illustrate.  (Disclaimer: in the fic, the needs of the story take precedence over the needs for didactic value where the two are in tension.)

Spoilers are OK to post without ROT-13 for canon, all of Book 1, and Radiance up to the current chapter.  Note which chapter (let's all use the numbering on my own webspace, rather than, for consistency) you're about to spoil in your comment if it's big.  People who know extra stuff (my betas and people who have requested specific spoilers) should keep mum about unpublished information they have.  If you wish to join the ranks of the betas or the spoiled, contact me individually.

Miscellaneous links: TV Tropes page (I really really like it when new stuff appears there) and threadAutomatic Livejournal feed.

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Is Elspeth going to try using her sending power for general education? If she could turn a human into a passable doctor by sending them someone's memories of medical school, for example, she can solve several broad classes of societal problems very effectively by mass-producing various types of professionals from volunteers.

I suspect this will rapidly become a moot point, what with the growing population of immortal superpowerful supergeniuses: if there's a societal need for more Xes, the Empire can modify their "immigration" policy to put people willing to practice X for a decade or two on their fast-track.

Admittedly, you probably don't want newborn vampires practicing medicine.


After Radiance ends (I currently expect #52 to be the last, maybe the second-to-last, chapter), I have two projects that will be lined up to go next.

However, both of these projects need significant amounts of preliminary work out of the way before I can even start writing the prose, let alone publishing it.

I don't want to go stagnant during this downtime, so while I'll definitely use the time freed up by no longer writing Radiance to hurry those preliminaries along, I also want to be, yanno, writing stuff as well as preparing to write stuff.

Solution: Luminosity/Radiance short stories. (Working title for the collection thereof: "Flashes".)

I'm not going to do a third novel. Two is enough, and I do have other stuff to get to that isn't fanfiction. But I can produce a short story (roughly the size of a Radiance chapter, i.e. more than 4,000 words but usually fewer than 5,000) once a week to keep in writing practice, and to offer additional perspectives on the Luminousverse, until Elcenia's relaunch and/or Dreamward are ready to go.

I've made noise about doing omake/other extras before, and people have given me suggestions, but I wasn't collecting the suggestions in any systematic way and don't have them stored anywhere. So, if you've already suggested something, suggest it again and this time I'll make a note; and if you haven't, this is a good time to present an idea. I'll come up with my own if I don't get reader submissions I like. Ideas should be "canon" (comply with the Luminousverse; e.g. no telling me to write a story about, I dunno, Addy having a torrid affair with Nathan during the twenty minutes or so she spent on the Isle of Man or Alice creating an immortal child or something, because that didn't happen). Suggestions could be as specific as "tell me how Aro and Sulpicia met" (I'm actually thinking of writing that one first to have ready to post before Radiance wraps up) or as vague as "something from some Volturi's perspective sometime when something was happening".

Uh, well I had made a few suggestions a ways back but I can't remember all of them and as it's my birthday I don't currently have the time to search for them amongst all my comments and private messages.

Here's a few though: tell us about when Bella met Allirea and Eleazar and managed to steal Allirea away and their subsequent journey up until they met with Elspeth and party again.

Tell us about how Bella reacts to Elspeth having been Chelsea'd, and if that is insufficient as an omake, what she is doing and thinking when and after Elspeth is abducted twice, and anything else you'd like to add pertaining to that time frame (e.g. Bella almost attacking Pera).

Tell us about the first major contact between the Golden Empire and human governments, and any subsequent contact you find interesting.

Tell us about the first direct public contact (televised or otherwise) between human society and the Golden Empire, preferably from the perspective of Bella's past human acquaintances, like Angela, Mike, Ben, Jessica, Lauren e.t.c.

Tell us about the first official function Elspeth attends. Will she wear a crown? Will Jacob really get a title?

Tell us about Allirea's experiences as personal bodyguard of the imperial family.

That's all I have for now. :)

How about a story following a human trying to go through the official process of getting turned? I'd really like to see (a) how human society reacts to the demasquing, and (b) in particular, the interactions between those who want to become vampires and those who consider the vampires to be enemies.

I'm writing (this very minute, actually) the official form one needs to fill out to apply to get vamped. Depending on how long it winds up being, I might turn it into a framing mechanism for something more storylike.

It'd be cool to hear about how the New World Order is recieved by those Vampires who want to continue killing people.

I would love to hear about what Alice has been up to since the Volturi were defeated.

(It keeps seeming odd that she isn't being consulted during all of this strategic planning... e.g., making sure that breaking the masquerade to various people's relatives won't result in being forced to kill them... so I assume that she's working on something off-camera. )

Alice checked that with Addy ahead of time when Addy was making the appointments; the trouble was that they couldn't do a check on how Elspeth (or even her power in Addy's hands) would affect things because she blocks Alice.

I don't know if you'll get this, but I was wondering about vampire powers. I'd be specifically interested in a high level martial artist (7th Dan in aikido or equivalent) gaining abilities. It seems like most vampires use brute force to fight, and even though different techniques are required, I can't imagine that a trained martial artist wouldn't have a distinct advantage.

I had a long reply written up but I accidentally hit cancel and it's gone. Argh.

Short reply:

No, wouldn't help noticeably. Vampires have a much higher strength-to-weight ratio than humans, so using their own weight against them is a technique of negligible value. Their muscles move independently to a greater degree, so locks don't work. They are too tough for "hitting 'em with the floor" (as my old sensei used to say) to be a worthwhile thing to do unless your aim is to destroy the floor. Etcetera. The adaptation from human martial arts required to effectively fight vampires is such that the martial artist might start out with an advantage in mental habituation to combat training (and so take to it more easily), but if you control for that there'd be no benefit.

This could be something you already have planned, but I don't want to make any assumptions, so: I would like to hear about the eventual effects, if any, which come from Elspeth telling Magic that she loves her Mama in chapter 12.

I don't have that planned because there isn't anything, really. Elspeth has to build her relationship with her mother (again), she can't pull it out of deep storage. She's quite aware that, as a little girl, she loved her mother, though.

They gave him his mate's murderer, then they gave him a new mate. I think this pretty much seals Marcus' undying loyalty to the Empire.

In an earlier thread there was a comment asking about the timeline; I replied there and will crosspost here.

These are the broad strokes. (Let me know if you want the dates of other events.)

January 17, 2005: Luminosity opens.

October 2005: Assorted hell breaks loose (partial list in order: Irina finds out who killed Laurent and tips off the Volturi; the Volturi descend upon the wolves; Jacob summons Bella; the Volturi send Demetri looking for Nahuel's sisters; he finds them and helps himself to Allirea).

November 4, 2005: With Allirea in tow, the Volturi nab Alice.

April 4, 2006: Bella encounters Jasper.

May 10, 2006: Bella finds Elspeth.

May 20, 2011: Radiance opens.

May 26, 2011: Last date of Addy touching Aro. Aro was reasonably up-to-date (within a month or two) on the Volturi and Volturi guard at this time, including Allirea. He doesn't keep quite so up-to-date, temporally speaking, on the wolves, but as of this date he has read all the then-in-village alphas and imprints (as they came in, to determine how to cover up their disappearance to the wider world), and about half of the village wolves who were activated when first brought in.

May 27, 2011: Elspeth and Jacob's pack are captured in New York.

May 28, 2011: Elspeth and Allirea jailbreak.

May 30, 2011: Elspeth & co. arrive in Denali. IT'S A TRAP! Some hours afterward, Bella shows up, encounters Allirea and Eleazar, and gets the former out of there.

June 8, 2011: Elspeth is first recruited as assistant brainwasher.

July 1, 2011: The events of "Weaver" take place.

July 3, 2011: Demetri starts looking for Allirea.

July 4, 2011 (no pun intended): Addy is sentenced to death and memory-blasts the Volturi compound and escapes with Elspeth and Jacob.

July 8, 2011: Elspeth's current party arrives in Alaska.

Nathan, I'd like you to drum your fingers on the table. After each tap, choose the best time in the next second to tap again.

Tap tap ... tatap tatap ... tatap tap ... tap tap tap ... tatap tatap ... tatap tatap tap ... tatap tap tatap tap ... "I think now would be a good time to stop."

IMNSMGC ... I am N.'s magic?

I hereby dub this a Great Idea, and request a short story from Alicorn about it.

Because you don't feel like it, or because you want to encourage people to use the right comment thread / make direct replies to your comments so it shows up in your inbox / other please specify?

I've just started reading Luminosity because I haven't read the Luminosity sequence (starting it seemed mentally difficult for one reason or another) and I figured this would be a good introduction. It's quite engaging. Bella's habits do seem quite excellent and she's kind of (edit: definitely) a badass.

Bella's law regarding no non-consensual turning of mates seems like it would be hard to enforce. If a vampire finds their mate and bites them before the Golden Empire can interfere, then even if the Empire finds out before the turning is finished, there's no real way to prove that it was nonconsensual. The mate will be incoherent during the turning process, and after turning will a. have fuzzy memories of right before the turning, and b. be more than willing to lie on behalf of their own mate. The only real way around this is for the Empire to isolate the mate during turning, perhaps applying Alec in order to help them, and then quiz them before they see their mate. However, it also seems that this could be gotten around by simply making sure that the turning is finished before the Empire finds them. It is mentioned that Alice's weekly check for eye color might find the turning, but I should imagine that turning through a syringe should not affect eye color. How might this be enforced?

They can interview the turning mate about whether they got permission or not, with Edward or Maggie or an adequately equipped Addy present.

I'm not sure what you mean about turning through a syringe and eye color. Newborns universally have bright red eyes, unaffected by diet until a couple months in (animal blood) or a year in (human blood). What Alice might notice is, when she's checking on Turner, that Turnee is physically nearby.

True. Okay. I forgot that they have perfect supernatural lie detection available.

This seems like a remarkably harsh rule, since the dynamics of the mate bond with a human provide sufficient incentive to turn the mate without permission--whether permission would have been granted or not--that many people will do it, and it seems likely that a large number of them will successfully finish the turning and bond to their mate, necessitating large punishments for both the perpetrator and the victim of an act of which the victim was entirely innocent and which the victim is overwhelmingly likely to retroactively endorse. Leaving arguments of the morality of nonconsensual turning aside, a law that seems so likely to lead to the Empire carrying out so many morally questionable punishments seems suspect.

That one's not going to carry a death penalty. It is true and obvious that mates would generally still prefer to turn without permission than let their mates die. The rules accomplish two things:

a) strongly encourage at least a good-faith attempt at convincing the mate first;

b) serve signaling purposes to human societies they later reveal themselves to ("no, of course kidnapping humans to turn them is illegal; it carries an N year hiding sentence, and if we can humanely arrange for them to serve it without said mate, we do", as opposed to "yeah, if one of us wants to snag and vamp one of you badly enough it's gonna happen and we'll throw them an engagement party, sucks to be you").

yeah, if one of us wants to snag and vamp one of you badly enough it's gonna happen and we'll throw them an engagement party, sucks to be you

In a manner of speaking.