Author Interview and Excerpts from Green Music at Lynda Williams’ Reality Skimming

The Oakel Rel Universe’s Lynda Williams and David Lott recently ran a wonderful interview with me in their Campfire Column, asking about my thoughts on Optimistic SF. Their Reality Skimming page promotes optimistic SF — stories that inspire us to fight the good fight for another day. Commitment 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. It is also a news hub for content related to the Okal Rel Saga written by Lynda Williams.

Here is an excerpt from my interview:

My sister and I, a year apart, were childhood reading buddies. Sometimes, we literally read the same books at the same time, over each other’s shoulders. We switched from British juvenile fantasy to juvenile and YA science fiction in grade six, discovering Heinlein and going on from there. We were nerdy science lovers and SF offered a community in which that didn’t mean social ostracism, as, I think, it still can. Science fiction has often been called a literature of ideas; it’s imaginative scope, often in terms of setting, appealed hugely to my curiosity and thirst for adventure. I love to travel off the beaten path and some of my thirst for the unfamiliar surely stemmed from my reading material. When I was a little older, I was impressed by how writers including Maureen McHugh and Ursula K. Leguin explored issues including gender and economic disparity. Such works can give us hope–what if, in other places and times, folks have found solutions, however provisional, to problems we are still struggling with, here on earth. It doesn’t matter if they’re invented–the important part is the hope. It’s difficult to act without hope.

You can read more here.

illustration by Richard Bartrop

illustration by Richard Bartrop

They also decided to run Painting Dream, Chapter Nine from my first novel. Painting Dream will be broken up into eight installments, each one posted on a Tuesday. Here, for example is the link to the the November 26 excerpt from Green Music It’s the third in the series.

Around the same time I was first corresponding with Lynda and David about participating, Rich Dana at Obsolete Press asked to run the same excerpt in issue # 7 of his wonderful Obsolete Magazine, a little while before it sadly folded. I first started corresponding with Rich because he had been running articles of my daughter’s, and back then I was helping out with Kelly’s correspondence.

Green Music is ten years old, but one of the nice things about working in the small press is that books can have a longer shelf life than they might if you have a Big Six publisher.

I saw Lynda in Calgary during the summer at When Words Collide and thanked her for running the excerpt. I told her that Rich had recently run an excerpt from Green Music  as well, and that it was interesting to me that two different editors who were fond of the book wanted to shine a little light on it within a couple of months of each other, even though it’s a decade old.

“All moments exist contemporaneously now,” Lynda said. Or maybe she said, “All times and all dimensions are merging now.” Or maybe it was, “We can now read all books, no matter what dimension they were first published in.”

If I’d written it down, I’d know for sure. I’m being silly, a little, but whatever she actually said, I was completely charmed.

I also got to meet illustrator Richard Bartrop at WWC.  He is responsible for the charming drawing of Green Turtle Ale, in hand blown bottles that look like they’re made of beach glass.

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