Book: The Dreamers of Ourdh by Thelbert Dewain Belgardcategories: Book, Sci-Fi Fantasy, Gay Romance, Mutual Dreams, Alien World, Time Travel, Zen, Extraterrestrial Colony, Far Future, Ahimsa, Menage A Trois, Science Fiction
Thelbert Dewain Belgardabout this book: The main purpose of The Dreamers of Ourdh is to entertain. I think a novel has to be interesting above all else. But as my "English Composition" professor said in undergraduate school, "It's hard to say NOTHING in an interesting way." One of the "somethings" I want to say in Dreamers is that time and reality are not what we think. Time is not linear. Timelines are not absolute. Dreams can be real and waking consciousness unreal. It's shared perception that makes things real.
The two young men—Arenh and Mikah—who are the pivotal characters in this story often experience shared dreams. And one of them sees right away that the whole world we call "reality" is actually a shared dream. The other is not so sure. The Dreamers (with a capital D) are a community of highly evolved transtemporal beings who share a specific dream which they call "the Great Dream." They adopt Arenh and Mikah (who are both of noble birth and the rulers of their clans on the alien world of Ourdh) because these two guys also (without realizing it) share the Great Dream.
At first I was tempted to make Mikah a woman. The story demands a love affair at the very center of it—a bond between two human beings that is so powerful it transcends time and space, life and death, and reshapes their entire world. But there is a risk in putting a same-gender love affair center stage in a story intended for general audiences (Brokeback Mountain notwithstanding). Most every culture on Earth stigmatizes such relationships. The stigma is often internalized by those involved in such relationships. So much so that suicide among gay teens is in our culture four times as likely among youth who identify as gay. (Suicide is the second leading cause of death among teens in general.) So another message of this book especially to young people) is an ancient one: "Love is of God; those who love are born of God and know God, for God IS love." On the planet Ourdh, however, God is actually a Goddess—at least in the Clans ruled by Arenh and Mikah—the Ancient Mother, a merger of Mother Nature and the feminine ideals of many cultures as embodied in such figures as Quan Yin and the Virgin Mary. In any case, I resisted temptation and went with my first instinct. Mikah is definitely all male. And he's in love with his wife Leah as well as his best friend Arenh. To make things even more complicated, Leah and Arenh have a little thing going for each other as well. So much so that Arenh told Mikah in Chapter 12, "I understand ... It's only natural that a man doesn't want to share his wife—even with his best friend." To which Mikah replied, "No, sweet Arenh ... You don't understand at all. I share my wife with men I don't even know. The problem is sharing my best friend with my wife!"
Christopher Moss, reviewing the book for GLBT Bookshelf says, "The involving, engaging nature of the story glows like a crystal beacon, and I have already told two friends they want to read this book". And Ed Cryer says in his Amazon review, "It is both time and distance, love and hate, sex and power and beauty all wrapped into a tale that mystifies from beginning until the very end. In the end you'll wipe away a tear but I shall not tell you whether you'll be crying for joy or sorrow."
As the author, I'll go a bit further than Mr. Cryer (without risking a spoiler)and say that it's often darkest just before the dawn. But with the first rays of the rising sun, the tears of sorrow become tears of joy.
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