Nebador Archives presents an epic young-adult science fiction adventure - Writer's Cave

J. Z. Colby's NEBADOR takes place in the wide universe around us ...
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STORIES
Kibi and the Search for Happiness
2010
Rini and the Old Slave
2010
Buna's New World
2011
First Taste of Freedom
2011
Neti's Temptation
2012
What're Friends For?
2012
Sata's Strength
2012
Boro and Sata
2012
Buna's Search
2013
The Magic Needle
2014
Still Voices
2016
Floating Away
2016
The Lonely Space Dragon
2016


NEBADOR on GoodReads

LibraryThing

The Ghost Host

NOAA Space Weather Scales (PDF)

The Donkey Sanctuary, Ireland

MENSA International

FlamingNet

As the home team, Nature Bats Last.

Outward Bound International

National Outdoor Leadership School

Post Carbon Institute's Resilience.org

Kurt Cobb's Resource Insights

Kids vs. Global Warming

Transition Network

National Youth Rights Association

Hesperian Health Guides

CarolynBaker.net presents Speaking Truth to Power

Writer's Cave

You have entered a dark place, where thoughts wander, ideas play, images dance, themes tease, and everything can get mixed up, or appear in an unexpected form.

Scribbles on the Walls

 PresentPastProgressivePerfect
Transitivelaylaidlayinglaid
Reflexivelielaylyinglain

Is Jackie, or someone else on the RMS Queen Mary, whispering to the author?

In late September of 2011, I had some strange experiences while touring the great ship (in Long Beach, California). I do not have the direct psychic abilities of Peter James (who was the paranormal tour guide on the Queen Mary for years and passed away in 2007), but neither am I ready to label everything as "just a coincidence." One of the strange experiences seemed to be referring to Jackie, a child or child-like ghost who has spoken audibly to people on the Queen Mary for the past 21 years. She seems to be associated with the 2nd class swimming pool (black and white photo below), which no longer exists, as well as the 1st class swimming pool (color photo below), which can still be toured today, although without water.

After that trip to southern California, the first draft of NEBADOR Book Seven: The Local Universe was quickly completed, and contained the first "little" spirit, a recently-deceased young musician. Then, to my amazement, the first half of NEBADOR Book Eight: Witness almost wrote itself over the next couple of months, and real ghosts (planet-bound spirits) injected themselves into the story at almost every turn, and became pivotal at several points in the plot.

photo by Robert Wlodarski

In June of 2012, I had to turn my attention to getting Book Six ready for publication, but look forward to Jackie, or someone, continuing to help me with Book Eight.

"Ghost" Types

Intelligent Ghosts
This is what most people imagine when they think of ghosts. They seem to be individual human spirits or souls, or something similar. They show some evidence of rational thought and will power, usually by responding, in some way, to a human observer.

Residual Hauntings
These seem to not be individuals at all, but rather a recording of some emotionally-intense past event, such as a tragedy, death, or battle. The recording appears to be attached to the substance of a place, such as a building, or just the location itself. Hauntings are often triggered by certain times of day, week, month, or year, or other impersonal conditions.

Poltergeists
"Noisy ghosts" seem to lie between Intelligent Ghosts and Residual Hauntings, sometimes appearing to be individual human spirits or souls, sometimes not. They most often manifest in the presence of an adolescent youth. They seem to be so dominated by negative emotional reactions to past events that they appear to be devoid of rational thought and will power. They may respond to the presence of a human observer, but only as a trigger to their emotional expressions.

Nature Spirits
These are ignored by most modern cultures, yet stories and experiences persist. Nature Spirits include impersonal forces such as "Elementals," and the spiritual aspects of objects, places, and creatures, from the smallest to the entire Earth.

Gods, Angels, etc.
Every religions has them, from ascended individual people, to indescribable cosmic powers. The details vary from religion to religion, but they are usually seen as greater in some way than the other categories above.

Symbols that work (or don't) on the internet

The internet is still fairly new, and has many growing pains. One big problem for any author is that text, when copied from one place to another on the internet, sometimes does not display as intended. The best defense against this is to keep the character set as simple as possible.

FIRST: Remember that a few thing often do not work on the internet:

    - multiple spaces in a row
    - the TAB control character (paragraph indenting can fail)
    - the LINEFEED and CARRIAGE RETURN (sometimes called NEWLINE) control characters (your paragraphs can be smashed together)

SAFEST: Use the original ASCII character set:

    A-Z a-z 0-9 space ! " # $ % & ' ( ) * + , - . / : ; < = > ? @ [ \ ] ^ _ ` { | } ~

Notice that the ASCII character set does NOT include letters with any marks above or below them, and does NOT include smart (opening and closing) quotes, either double or single, the non-breaking hyphen, the em-dash, or the Euro symbol.

NEXT SAFEST: Use the Latin-1 (ISO-8859-1) character set, which is SUPPOSED to work everywhere on the internet, but sometimes still does not.

The Latin-1 character set includes all the ASCII characters, many more symbols, and many Latin letters with marks above or below them. However, it does NOT include smart (opening and closing) quotes, either double or single, the em-dash, or the Euro symbol.

IF NECESSARY: Use the Unicode character set (usually encoded with UTF-8).

The Unicode character set starts with the ASCII and Latin-1 characters, and goes on to include EVERYTHING you could imagine. There are, however, two big problems:

1. Many internet users do not have a Unicode font loaded into their computers.

2. Even when a Unicode font is loaded, it is usually just the most common few thousand characters (out of more than a million that are possible), and there is no way for an author to know if an internet user has the desired characters. (At this time, "Unifont" seems to be the most complete Unicode font available, and then only for the Basic Multi-lingual Plane, Plane 0, the first 65536 characters.)

If you must use Unicode, the author recommends you avoid using any characters beyond the Basic Multi-lingual Plane, as using other characters will greatly increase the chances of an internet user NOT getting your text accurately. (An excellent tool for making this determination is BabelMap.)

Signs of an unfriendly internet site

(Not all "unfriendly" sites are dangerous, but the signs listed below give us a glimpse into the ethical values of the site owners. "Unfriendly" sites are essentially business sites, so the warning "buyer beware" should always be kept in mind. It is also true that a few businesses choose to have completely-friendly internet sites.)

    -- The site refuses to run (or runs very poorly) on older browsers, such as Internet Explorer 8. "Backwards compatibility" has been a strong value in the computer industry since its beginning for very good reasons.

    -- The site is not usable from a dial-up connection (for some reason other than simply slow speed of loading).

    -- Information-collecting options, like "Remember Me" checkboxes, are ON by default, or do it without even asking.

    -- The site requires you to log in, but then does not give you (or hides well) the option to log out.

    -- The site leaves "cookies" on your computer even when you are not logged into the site, not using a shopping cart, and not performing any other task that requires cookies. This is difficult to detect for most people, but many browsers allow regular automatic deletion of cookies.

    -- When you press the STOP symbol on your browser, the page immediately starts loading again: itself, part of itself, or something else.

    -- The site initiates pop-up windows for any purpose that is not a direct request of the user, or pop-under windows for any reason.

    -- The site asks for any information not necessary for the task at hand. The more the site pesters you for unnecessary information, the more sure you can be that they intend to sell it or use it in some way you would not want.

    -- Input boxes are not labeled, or the labels are only readable with the mouse pointer over them.

    -- The site uses an innocent question to hide an action. Example: a checkbox labeled "This is a private computer" which, if checked, saves your password.

    -- The site uses shame tactics to get you to do something, most often, "We're sorry! Your (whatever) is out of date! Click here to download a modern (whatever)."

    (more will be added as I think of them, or others share with me their ideas)

NEBADOR
Book by Book

the narrow streets of a medieval walled city
Book One:
The Test
Spring 2010

English

Português

Français

Letter to Readers

Dramatic Audiobook

Audiobook Chapter 1 (6MB)

Comments

Illustrations

Deep Learning

Where to Get It

Screenplay 1

a lonely beach along a wild seashore
Book Two:
Journey
Summer 2010

English

Letter to Readers

Dramatic Audiobook

Audiobook Chapter 13 (8MB)

Comments

Illustrations

Deep Learning

Where to Get It

Screenplay 1

the colorful aurora above majestic mountains
Book Three:
Selection
Fall 2010

English

Letter to Readers

Dramatic Audiobook

Audiobook Chapter 5 (13MB)

Comments

Illustrations

Deep Learning

Where to Get It

Screenplay 1

stranded on a frigid ice continent
Book Four:
Flight Training
Spring 2011

English

Letter to Readers

Comments

Illustrations

Deep Learning

Where to Get It

fascinating planets with strange life forms
Book Five:
Back to the Stars
Fall 2011

English

Letter to Readers

Comments

Illustrations

Deep Learning

Where to Get It

a shining jewel floating in the blackness of space
Book Six:
Star Station
Summer 2012

English

Letter to Readers

Comments

Illustrations

Deep Learning

Where to Get It

unseen guests at an event of universe importance
Book Seven:
The Local Universe
Summer 2013

English

Letter to Readers

Comments

Illustrations

Where to Get It

stillness and silence where movement and sound should be
Book Eight:
Witness
Summer 2014

English

Letter to Readers

Comments

Illustrations

Where to Get It

Heather's meeting circle at a top-secret military facility
Book Nine:
A Cry for Help
Summer 2015

English

Letter to Readers

Comments

Illustrations

Where to Get It

a strange eco-system deep underground
Book Ten:
Stories from Sonmatia
Summer 2016

English

Letter to Readers

Comments

Where to Get It

Nebador Archives

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by J. Z. Colby
unless otherwise attributed