Chapter One of The Courtesan Prince: Pilots Are Uncomfortable People — Summary by Nina Munteanu

The Courtesan Prince part 1 of the Okal Rel Saga

The Courtesan Prince part 1 of the Okal Rel Saga

In the far future, two waves of human descendants have scattered across the universe to make a new home. The first Alpha colonists develop a liberal and technocratic society and call themselves Reetians (from Rire). They frequently lose their minds and their lives during faster-than-light space travel, called reality skimming, and eventually lose contact with Earth due to jump destabilization, and assume Earth was destroyed during the collapse.

 Meantime, Earth produced genetically superior Sevolites, who could withstand reality skimming. An ensuing war between the Sevolites and their allies with Earth led to the foundation of the Sevolite empire, an austere society rooted in maintaining the purity of the original, genetically superior blood lines.   

A thousand years later, Earth’s offspring (Reetion and Sevolite) meet. And clash. After a brutal war, they agree to segregate, based on ideological differences.

Now, 200 years after the “Killing War” in which the Reetians were all but destroyed by the Sevolites, the Reetian Space Service Explorations Branch recruits hot-headed pilot Ann of New Beach to help pilot an ambitious mission to make Second Contact with human colonists known as Gelacks on the far side of Killing Reach Jump. 

The recruiter finds Ann languishing in a resort-like “group home” and suffering from a “clinical depression”; reality skimming has taken its toll on her mental health. But Ann is a hot commodity: a pilot with great grip. A veteran in reality skimming, Ann knows how to avoid the gap (exposure to dimensions ordinarily coiled up in the stuff of the universe) in navigating the jump. Ann seizes the recruiter’s offer even though it means aligning herself with a renegade co-pilot, a colleague she had previously assaulted, and a dangerous mission of questionable merit.

 Ann meets the swarthy mission leader, Ranar, a bright anthropologist determined to succeed in Second Contact, with an opportunity to reunite the Reetions with another branch of humankind: Gelacks. Gelacks might be what’s left of Earth’s population; a beta colony that explored in another direction after the Reetion’s jump to Earth collapsed a thousand years ago. A culture where disputes are settled through the sword.

 The Courtesan Prince immerses readers in a world rich with culture, space travel, adventure and intrigue. I enjoyed the terms Lynda invented for the various aspects of her world. Lynda, you are a master world-builder! 


Nina Munteanu is the author of five novels and short stories, translated into several languages throughout the world. Her latest book “Outer Diverse“, the first book of her Splintered Universe Trilogy, will be released October 2011 by Starfire World Syndicate. Nina teaches writing online through her website and conducts workshops throughout North America. Her fiction writing guide “The Fiction Writer: Get Published, Write Now!” (Starfire World Syndicate) is used in several North American universities and schools and will be published in Romanian by Editura Paralela 45 this fall.


About thealiennextdoor

Nina Munteanu is an internationally published author of science fiction and fantasy novels and short stories.
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