Reality Skimming

Sunday, March 14, 2010
Intro to chapter of Healer's Sword
Wrote up the synopsis of Healer's Sword, below, as an intro to a sample chapter I am sending to a travel-grant opportunity, and rather liked it so I thought I'd share it here as a sneak preview to Part 7: Healer's Sword which is awaiting editing by editor Richard Janzen for release no later than 2011. (Next book out is Part 6: Avim's Oath - Aug 2010 from Edge.) I don't include the unedited chapter, below, just the synopsis introducing it.

Synopsis introducing sample chapter

In Part 7: Healer?s Sword, middle-class Ilse Marin gets embroiled in the reforms of military genius Horth Nersal in an attempt to solve her financial problems back home. Against her better judgment, since Horth is not only her social superior by birth rank but belongs to an incompatible sub-species of human with respect to male/female behavior, Ilse falls for him very hard in a lustful sort of way that she has never expected to experience. Sevolites, like Horth and Ilse, are bio-engineered humans designed for the faster-than-light mode of travel called reality skimming which is too taxing for most ordinary humans (a.k.a. commoners). However, the bio-engineering took place on Earth a thousand years ago. Sevolites have since rejected their origins to evolve a neo-feudal culture with two distinct sub-species: the Demish, like Ilse, who believe in treating men and women differently; and the Vrellish, like Horth, who are all male in terms of their behavior from the Demish standpoint. Both the Demish and the Vrellish are leery of bio-sciences due to bad past experiences with a third kind of Sevolite called Lorels, but Horth?s friend Erien is trying to revive bio-science which is where Ilse got her training from a medic Erien employs named Mira. In the excerpt below we see Ilse doing a work stint on one of Horth?s battlewheels ? a kind of flying space-station shaped like a torus that acts as an carrier for spherical rel-fighters. But in this scene the pilots, or relsha, haven?t been fighting other Sevolites. Instead, they?ve been doing the necessary but menial work of sweeping space lanes free of dust using their skim-intrusion fields. Reality skimming requires hard vacuum to be safe.

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Friday, October 30, 2009
Part 6: Avim's Oath last edit
Sent my last edit, incorporating the work of editor Richard Jenzen, to Edge earlier this week. Release date is April 2010. In this book, Amel and Erien sort out how to share power ...

"I do not want Amel sworn to me," Erien said, as hotly as he had ever spoken to his formidable sire. "I have saved him twice. I've paid the debt I owe him. And I have business of my own to get on with."

Amel confronts new possibilities for his love life ...

'Of course, I can't child-gift to Vretla, Vrellish style, and become a respectably married Demish prince at the same time,' Amel realized, unwisely letting his eyes focus on a section of the wall at the very moment the idea of marriage, as a political expectation, pounced on him.

and the benefits of becoming a religious icon ...

"Abomination!" screamed the assassin.
"No!" cried the man who threw himself in front of Amel.

Luthan tries to make sense of Reetion sex-ed ...

'What do you mean by giving me such a thing!' she wailed at Erien in her thoughts, but with such desperation she could hardly believe it made no sound. 'Is it an insult?' she agonized. 'Or some crude Vrellish suggestion? Or could it possibly be your strange, Reetion notion of trying to help?'

And introducing Alivda ...

"There's gratitude for you," Alivda quipped back. She leaned forward with an elbow on the table. "I did make sure he was a bigger monster than me, first. I mean, when I came across all girly, he could have tried to go for first blood, and he didn't."
"I do the moral check-up for Amel," she added with perfect seriousness. "I have to be able to tell him the bastard deserved it."

And the Princess Samanda O'Pearl, a 'middle-class' Royalblood from a parochial Demish world ...

"You look ? fluid," Sam heard herself say, in a small voice. She got the pronouns right, up-speaking Amel with the proper differencing and inflections for an adherent of his order addressing her spiritual leader.
Amel's pale brow constricted, putting a wave in his jet black eyebrows. "Pardon?" he said.

And we meet one very Golden Demish champion ...

The man with Chandra was the greatest living Paladin, Oleander Vesta, and he looked every bit as strong and dignified as his collectible card. He was eighty-five, never married, only twice defeated in tournament duels ? once by the infamous champion D?Ander ? and the victor of six fatal challenges over his long career as champion to the House of Vesta.

And one very Vrellish champion (Vras Vrel) ...

His bare chest was oiled. He wore leather flight pants and a pair of bright red suspenders barely wide enough for the crimson braid patterns embroidered on them. A sword hung at his right side and an odd-looking platform was strapped to one shoulder, reminding Erien of nothing so much as a perch for a bird of prey.

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Sunday, April 26, 2009
New summaries parts 6-10
I've updated summaries on the ORU site for novels 6 through 10. David will be putting them up, soon, at Meanwhile, I'm blogging the one for Part 6: Avim's Oath which is with Richard Janzen for editing. This is the one I'm currently reading aloud on Saturday mornings, half an hour at a time, to my daughters and their friends Krysia, Mel and Holly.

Part 6: Avim's Oath ? Rejected by Erien, and challenged by Perry to realize the dream of making the Blue Demish a court power, Amel competes with Luthan to win Demora in a bizarre competition to identify which of them is ?nicer?. Luthan struggles with her love of Erien and Vretla just wants to get pregnant by either Pureblood. When Amel?s new body guard, Alivda, chucks Vretla out of Amel?s bedroom, she joins Erien on a mission to rescue his young nephew, Leksan, who is kidnapped by a rival clan. Amel and Erien struggle to cooperate for the greater good while competing for love and for oaths. (Coming April 2010)

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Friday, February 27, 2009
Insight from editor Richard Janzen
I hope that your work on your next book is going well. I know you and  
Brian have a pretty aggressive publication schedule set out, and I'm
sure it's a daunting task to bring all of the storylines in your head
to the page. sometimes it can feel so limiting to put things on the
page -- suddenly, the events are all so defined. Often I prefer the
liberties I can take in my imagination before stories become trapped
in the bindings of a book.
from an e-mail message Feb 22, 2009

This comment from ORU editor Richard Janzen struck a resonance with me, as I take a deep breath and face tackling book 7. Miss Alison. Grateful for the support of Brian Hades, Justyn Perry, Marie Bilodeau and Lynn Perkins on the publishing front. Paul Strickland recently volunteered to help with profiles of first expansion and other "connected" people for Bridges in June 2009. Krysia Anderson gave me a nice surprise last night, when I got home from a long day of wrestling with ergonomic problems at work, by engaging in discussion of her short story in progress for anthology 4. And I read a bit of the post-wedding scene that book 7 starts with, in which Sam O'Pearl is contratulating herself on pulling off a trick event-of-the-century ... just before Eler starts a brawl.

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Thursday, November 06, 2008
News on Part 5 and 6
Richard Janzen

News from editor Richard Janzen, on Part 5: Far Arena progress. Meanwhile, I am working on first draft of Part 6: Avim's Oath, which I share just a bit of the rough-draft-in-progress from, below, as a GIF. It's sooo hard to wait until the book's out to get the fun of imagining people reading bits! Bad, bad leaky author.

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