Introduction

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To our Watching Dead: Krysia Anderson, David Lott, Lexie Pakulak, and Bobbie DuFault.

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Curious about the Okal Rel Universe?

Readers have called it addictive. And inspiring.

The characters are nearly as old as the founding author, Lynda Williams, and as complex as their histories inside and outside their fictional setting. The cultures are research-informed thought experiments in the biological and technical boundaries of being human. Sword Law isn't archaic warfare. It's about avoiding conflicts fatal to life. And Rire is about living in a truly transparent society that is neither a case of "Big Brother is Watching You" nor a utopia.

There are rich rewards for those who love a long series with integrity, free of the risk of being blown about by the winds of ratings or fear of cancellation. Many of the thousands of people who've enjoyed it have become creative contributors, because as reviewer and co-editor of Neo-Opsis Magazine Stephanie Ann Johanson put it, when you are in the universe it feels as if another story might be happening elsewhere if you wandered into a different room.

BACKGROUND

The saga was published by Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy, a mid-sized Canadian press, between 1999 when contracts were signed and the sale of rights back to Lynda Williams in 2013. But before that, for over twenty years the Okal Rel Universe (ORU) has grown and evolved as the outgrowth of Lynda's lifelong obession with collaborative writing and role playing. The role play aspect ended in high school. The writing stretched well into Lynda's adult years and the Edge experience with author-friend Dr. Alison Sinclair; also, during the early 2000s, with the inclusion of young adult collaborators introduced to Lynda through her daughters, and by others met at SciFi cons or through Lynda's work at the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George, Canada.

Between 2013 and her retirement in 2018, Lynda ran Reality Skimming Press along traditional lines. It cost too much, reached too few people, and did not bring enough joy. So with the help of collaborator Michelle Milburn, the ORU is about to embark on its third life. One that honors its roots. And has the potential of doing some good in the world.

HONOR BONDS

As the project rolls out on Wattpad, we'll provide more details about options for joining the team as a creative value-added partner selling your own derivative works, or as a charity organizer with a vision to use the ORU to raise funds for a cause one of its characters would approve of ... hopefully one of the more ethical characters. Although no ORU character is good or evil, entirely. I just shudder to think what Eler might want to sponsor, for example. Or -- much worse -- Ava Delm. And there are causes Di Mon might be associated with that he wouldn't want to be. Even if Ranar approved. All that will make sense if you decide to fall with us this year.

Welcome to the Okal Rel Universe.

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