Reality Skimming

Reality Skimming

Reality Skimming promotes optimistic SF -- stories that inspire us to fight the good fight for another day. Committment to larger projects, the writer's sense of mission, joy of reading, the creative campfire of the SF community and the love of deserving protagonists are celebrated. We believe in heroes and striving to be what we believe in. It is also a news hub for content related to the Okal Rel Saga written by Lynda Williams.


Golden Souls by Lynda Williams – Post 15

Vretla puts the Dem'Vrel in their place
Golden Souls by Lynda Williams, is a story of Amel's envoy period. Illustrations are by Richard Bartrop.
Glimpse of the rivalry between the Therd and Lekker clan seen in Kar Therd and Sen Lekker. (BTW: Sen appears in Part 6: Avim's Oath, of the Okal Rel Saga books.)
<< Start at Beginning >>

Vretla ordering the Dem'Vrel around.

"Get rid of the animal," Vretla ordered the nearest Dem'Vrel of the handful who had climbed in the window after her. "It is upsetting Amel."

"Sensitive little whore," the Dem'Vrellish man chuckled with a mocking grin.

Vretla fisted her hands in his jacket. "And a damn good one," she said, lifting him off his feet. " You good at anything, Kar Therd?" Vretla heaved him towards the disabled horse before he could answer. Kar’s companions hooted their amusement.

Amel winced as the thrown man struck the horse and jerked his head away to look around the room's décor. His need for a diversion made Dela wish the room was not so boring but she’d had never had the heart to countermand Lady Ril's sober tastes.

"Sen, take care of the animal," Vretla repeated her order to another of the Dem'Vrel.

The woman addressed shouldered between two larger men. She wore pants and a sword, like them, but she didn’t look as man-hard as Vretla.

"Yes, Liege Vrel," Sen said.

Dela noted Vretla was not addressed as 'Princess-Liege', just 'Liege'; and instead of bottling her up in the house, people did what she told them to. She also recalled it was Liege Vrel who had killed her husband, Chandad. The horse was harder to forgive her for. But admiring her husband's killer did not sit right with Dela, either. And Vretla was simply too bizarre. Like a fish who had walked out of a pond to come to lunch, or a commoner who understood Fahandlin's poems.

Vretla puts the Dem'Vrel in their place

Vretla puts the Dem'Vrel in their place


ORU Contributors #5: Brian Hades

Okal Rel Contributors: A series of profiles celebrating the people who've contributed creatively to the Okal Rel Universe.

Brian Hades, Publisher

Brian Hades, Publisher

Brian Hades is the publisher/owner of Canada's largest publishing house dedicated to Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror: EGDE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing. Hades' books have been nominated for Canadian, US and Australian literary awards such as the Sunburst, Aurora, Aurealis, ForeWord and Ben Franklin Awards. Hades is the first Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy genre publisher to have sold publishing rights to The Science Fiction Book Club of New York. Other co-publishing and licensing deals include the release of various USA hardback and paperback editions, the translation and publication of French, Italian and Australian editions, as well as the optioning of television/movie production rights and the co-production of an animated short movie based on the poems in i-ROBOT Poetry by Jason Christie.

When did you first encounter the Okal Rel Universe?

I first encoutered the Universe when Lynda and Alison presented THRONE PRICE to me for consideration. THRONE PRICE is the 4th book in the seeries, but it ws the first book finished. I liked the idea of a huge decology (10 books) series and, since I’m a bit of a risk taker, agreed to publish the entire saga. Book 7 just came out, Book 8 is sheduled for the fall of this year and books 9 and 10 will be out next year (2013).

How are you involved with the ORU? Has this involvment been a positive expeirence for you?

My involvement is that of publisher. I oversee that the edits are done, the production is complete and the finished books are distributed and offered for sale. It takes a lot of energy to work on such a long series of books, but each one holds its own reward and I can’t wait to have them all available (maybe in a boxed set).

What can you see in the Okal Rel Universe's future?

The future of the Okal Rel Universe in open to so many possibilities. Of course there is already an ongoing series of Novellas being published and there are the OPUS anthologies of short stories that allow other writers to contribute to the Okal Rel Universe. Spin offs could include plays, pod-casts, net-movies, etc. There is no real limit to how big the Universe might grow. This is one of those book projects where the author encorages others to “play” in the universe. My hope is that many many “others” do so.


Isnad about origins of Theodore Sturgeon story

The quote below from Andy Love came up in conversation on the Talking RFF mailing list Oct 06, 2012. See Reading for the Future on facebook. A discussion ensured concluding with a definition of a fascinating word with Muslim origins.

Andy Love said

I'd long ago heard that back in the 1950s Theodore Sturgeon was experiencing writer's block and Heinlein sent him a list of story ideas and some money, but now the letter is available online:

One of the story ideas Heinlein provided was this:

"Once there was a man who could not stand it. First he lost the power to read and then the headlines did not bother him any longer. Then he lost the power to understand speech and then the radio could not bother him. He became quite happy and the wrinkles smoothed out of his face and he quit being tense and he painted and modelled in clay and danced and listened to music and enjoyed life.

Then a clever psychiatrist penetrated his fugue and made him sane again. Now he could read and listen to the radio and he became aware again of the Cold War and juvenile delinquency and rapes and rapacity and et cetera ad nauseam.

He still couldn't stand it. He killed quite a number of people before they got him."

... which became one of my favorite Sturgeon pieces ("And Now The News")

Alberto Monteiro posted suggesting there might be a letter from Heinlein to Hubbard ...

Robert James wrote:

There is no evidence in the Heinlein archives for that event. It may have happened, but no letters remain. Heinlein's biographer has told me the whole thing is apocryphal, but there is one person who claims it happened, and that he got the story from RAH -- Lloyd Eshbach. It's in his memoirs.

Which led to Alberto Monteiro teaching me a new word:

So, we do have what the muslims call an "isnad" for the story. Isnad is a sequence of X heard from Y, that heard from Z, until it comes from ... that heard from The Prophet. Reference: Duncan B. McDonald, Development of Muslim Theology, Jurisprudence and Constitutional Theory (1903), Part II, The Development of Jurisprudence, Chapter I

ORU Artifact #13: Edge Newsletter Sep 2012

The Okal Rel Universe has inspired many beautiful, curious, fun and touching moments, objects and re-mixes or interpretations over the years. This page celebrates them one by one. Found one that should be here? Tell us about it for the finder's reward of the month. Send your discovery to [email protected]

The Okal Rel Saga Continues ... with Part 7: Healer's Sword. Feature from Sept 2012 publisher's newsletter, Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing.

Part 7: Healer's Sword Review by Ayla Sept 2012

Part 7: Healer's Sword Review by Ayla Sept 2012

A Part 7: Healer's Sword review features in Sept 2012 newsletter from Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing, written by Ayla.

Why Words? #1: Neo-opsis (origin of name)

The story behind the name - something that emerged in an e-mail conversation with Stephanie. Stephanie is cover artist for Opus 6 anthology and has agreed to edit a future opus - probably Opus 7.

We spell the magazine's name as Neo-opsis or NEO-OPSIS, not Neo-Opsis. The idea with the name is that it is neo (new) opsis (which means view or opinion) and the two o's with the dash make a pair of glasses o-o in the middle.

Stephanie Ann Johanson - Sept 2102


Golden Souls by Lynda Williams – Post 14

Amel and Dela finally meet.
Golden Souls by Lynda Williams, is a story of Amel's envoy period. Illustrations are by Richard Bartrop.
Amel argues with Vretla about the horse, but manages to notice his hostess.
<< Start at Beginning >>

Amel and Dela finally meet!

Vretla narrowed her dark eyes. "Just because you are pure Demish doesn’t mean you’re always right about everything to do with words."

"No!" Amel exclaimed. “I’m not!”

"Hah!" said Vretla. "So you did say 'let go'!"

"I mean I’m not pure anything!" he protested. "Except a mess."

Vretla scowled. "You are a Pureblood."

Clearly the Vrellish creature didn’t understand Amel was referring to his soul, not his birth rank. If Ril was right, Amel’s mixed blood had attracted a Vrellish soul. But the more she saw of him, the more Dela had to wonder how Ril could be so sure. On Demora, a Soul of Light would have grown up knowing he was a great treasure. But if such a being had been raised as a commoner on Gelion, it was hardly strange to imagine he might be a bit confused about himself.

Amel extracted himself from Vretla's grip, conscious of Ril and Dela staring at them.

"You must be Princess Dela," Amel greeted her, speaking rel-to-pol without suffixes. If Dela believed he knew proper grammar well enough to depart from it with sound intentions she might have been reassured by such kindly condescension. Instead, she just stared. Except for the black hair, he could have stepped down from a full-length painting of Fahandlin the Beautiful. Almost. He looked vulnerable, but not particularly frail.

The horse flexed its bleeding body with a long, tragic nicker.

Amel turned toward it, pain reflected in his face. "It's suffering."

Amel and Dela finally meet.

Amel and Dela finally meet.

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