Time is running out.
After saving the world twice, Xander, Jameson and friends plunge headlong into a new crisis. The ithani–the aliens who broke the world–have reawakened from their hundred millennia-long slumber. When Xander and Jameson disappear in a flash, an already fractured world is thrown into chaos.
The ithani plans, laid a hundred thousand years before, are finally coming to pass, and they threaten all life on Erro. Venin and Alix go on a desperate search for their missing and find more than they bargained for. And Quince, Robin and Jessa discover a secret as old as the skythane themselves.
Will alien technology, unexpected help from the distant past, destiny and some good old-fashioned firepower be enough to defeat an enemy with the power to split a world? The final battle of the epic science fiction adventure that began in Skythane will decide the fate of lander and skythane alike. And in the north, the ithani rise…
Ithani Buy Links
Book 1: Skythane:
Book Two: Lander:
Scott is giving away a $50 Amazon gift card and ten copies of “The Stark Divide,” the first book in his other trilogy, his other trilogy, “Liminal Sky,” with this tour. Enter via Rafflecopter:
EXCLUSIVE Excerpt From Ithani
Mylin opened her eyes.
She sat in a field of data—a city of it. Information flowed back and forth in slow rivers, marked blue by her “user preferences.” That’s what Derren called them.
Flitting red packets resembled nothing so much as wereverens. She instinctively ducked as one of these made right for her, but it passed through her effortlessly, emerging on the other side to “slit” off to wherever it was needed. Another of Derren’s words.
Derren was the OberCorp employee assigned to her by Alix. He was showing her around this “virtual world,” or “veer.” Or maybe “vir.” It was all a bit unclear.
“Cirqs can run in three general modes. One is ‘communication only’—that’s great for contacting other people who are connected to the grid.”
Mylin nodded. “Okay, got that. I think. The grid—it’s like a web that connects everything and everyone in Oberon City?”
“And the rest of civilized—I mean, the rest of the Oberon side of Erro.” His avatar flashed her a sheepish smile. It was even skinnier than he was, and its teeth sparkled when he grinned.
“It’s okay. We think you landers are the uncivilized ones.”
“Fair enough.” He winked at her. “So the second mode is ‘data interaction.’ If you close your eyes, you can see images, process data, and generally interact with the grid and others on a superficial level.”
Mylin tried to frame that in a way that made sense to her. “Like—seeing real life, but from someone else’s eyes?”
Derren nodded. “Or like reading a book, but in your mind.”
Mylin felt woozy. “It’s a lot to wrap my head around.” She looked around, trying to make this strange new world make sense.
“Sure. Sorry. I’ll go slower.”
She shook her head. “No, I’ll be okay.” He was cute. His avatar, aside from being thin as a silverbark, matched his “real” self—black hair, dark eyes. A nice smile. She shook her virtual head. “So this is the third?” She pointed at the virtual world they found themselves in.
“Yes. Virtual space, like I mentioned before. ‘Vir’ for short.”
The place was a jumble of strange shapes, shifting landscapes, and a crazy array of moving objects. “It’s dizzying.”
“We can make it simpler. Bix, can you make a storage box for Mylin?”
Mylin looked around, startled. “Who was that?”
“That was my PA—my personal assistant. His name is Bixter. Bix for short. We’ll get to that in a second.”
The world shifted, and suddenly they were inside a featureless white box. “This is a storage box. A little bit of the grid just for you to use.”
Mylin felt like she was inside a closet. “It’s a bit stifling.”
“We can fix that. Say this. ‘Initiate PA.’”
She looked at him doubtfully. “To who?”
“Just say it. Your cirq will know what to do.”
“Okay.” Feeling self-conscious, she tried it. “Initiate PA.”
A thing appeared before her. It was silver, in the approximate shape of a human, and waited silently, quiescent. “Oooh. What is it?” She walked all the way around it. It was beautiful, like one of the statues of Gael she’d seen at the chapel in Gaelan. She peered at its face, and then jumped backward with a yelp when it opened its silver eyes.
It cocked its head and looked at her. “Hello, Mylin. I am your personal assistant. What form should I take? I can be a human, patterned on someone you know, or an animal, or—”
“A zimbee.” The thought sprang into her head fully formed. She used to love watching the fat insects zip around Founder’s Hill.
The silver apparition frowned and cocked its head again. “I don’t have that creature on file. Can you focus on an image of it?”
Mylin looked over at Derren. He nodded.
She focused on the image of a zimbee, a bird-sized pollinator with yellow and red stripes across its abdomen and fast-flickering wings.
“I see it.” Her PA closed his eyes, and then shrank, sinking down toward the ground and changing color until he became the zimbee she’d seen in her mind’s eye.
This place is amazing. Magic. She’d almost forgotten about her claustrophobia in the bare white box.
Her PA tested out his wings and lifted into the air to hover above her.
Mylin laughed, delighted.
“What would you like to call me?” The rich male voice sounded strange coming out of the small insect body. His multifaceted eyes glittered.
“How about ‘Zim’? And can you make your voice less gender-specific?”
“Zim sounds wonderful. And how about this?” Zim’s voice shifted up the scale, becoming less male-inflected. More like her friend Rhyl.
“I like it.” She could get lost exploring this place and its wonders, but she had work to do.
Derren nodded. “You’re doing great. Now ask Zim to change the blank white walls to something more pleasing.”
“How about a forest meadow?”
Zim bounced up and down. “Like this?”
All four walls became windows out into a forest clearing. Purple-leaved trees hung over a small brook on one side and swayed in an unfelt wind. “Perfect.”
“Okay, last lesson. Zim can get things for you, and you can also use this space to organize them.”
“Get them from where?”
“Mostly from DOC. That’s short for ‘Digital Oberon Corporation AI.’ DOC runs this ‘semi-autonomous grid,’ or SAG. It’s all very confusing at first, I know. Just think of DOC as the guy who knows everything that’s on the grid.”
“Okay.” Mylin laughed. “How do I get here and back?”
“Just ask Zim. Zim, can you take Mylin back to rel?”
“Rel… real life?” Mylin was starting to work this out and to latch on to the possibilities.
Zim hovered in front of her. “Is that okay, Mylin?”
The storage box vanished, and she opened her eyes to find Derren two inches in front of her, peering into her eyes. “You okay? I hope I didn’t overwhelm you.”
He’s so cute. She pushed away gently and nodded. “Thanks for the lesson. Are you going to be here if I need you?” The office she’d been assigned to was a lot like the white storage box. She frowned. Maybe she could get a few things brought in here to make it less dismal.
“Of course. I’ve been assigned to work with you.” He grinned. “I’m a grid whiz.”
“Perfect.” As long as I don’t get too distracted by the cute boy next door. “Can you ask Robyn to come in?” She was tired, but she’d refused a stim. She didn’t want any artificial wake aids. She’d decided she’d rather tough it out with a cup (or ten) of keff, which she’d been delighted to find on the OberCorp menu.
It was going to be a long night.
Scott lives with his husband of twenty five years in a Sacramento suburb, in a cute little yellow house with a brick fireplace and two pink flamingoes out front.
He inhabits in the space between the here and now and the what could be. Indoctrinated into science fiction and fantasy by his mom at the tender age of nine, he quickly finished her entire library. But he soon began to wonder where all the queer people were.
After coming out at twenty three, he started writing the kinds of stories he couldn’t find at Crown Books. If there weren’t many queer characters in his favorite genres, he would will them into existence, subverting them to his own ends. And if he was lucky enough, someone else would want to read them.
His friends say Scott’s mind works a little differently than most – he makes connections between ideas that others don’t, and somehow does more in a day than most people manage in a week. Although born an introvert, he forced himself to reach outside himself, and learned to connect with others like him.
Scott’s stories subvert expectations that transform traditional science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something different and unexpected. He runs both Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband Mark.
His romance and genre fiction writing brings a queer energy to his stories, filling them with love, beauty and power. He imagines how the world could be – in the process, he hopes to change the world, just a little.
Scott was recognized as one of the top new gay authors in the 2017 Rainbow Awards, and his debut novel “Skythane” received two awards and an honorable mention.