New Release: ITHANI

Promo

IthaniThe final MM sci fi book in J. Scott Coatsworth’s “Oberon Cycle” trilogy is out – “Ithani”!

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…

Oberon Cycle Trilogy

Ithani Buy Links

Dreamspinner eBook | Dreamspinner Paperback | Amazon eBook | Amazon Paperback | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo | QueeRomance Ink | Goodreads 

Book 1: Skythane:

Dreamspinner eBook | Dreamspinner Paperback | Amazon Kindle | Amazon paperback | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo | QueeRomance Ink | Goodreads 

Book Two: Lander:

Dreamspinner eBook | Dreamspinner Paperback | Amazon Kindle | Amazon Paperback | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo | QueeRomance Ink | Goodreads 


Giveaway

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:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d4753/?


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?”
“My pleasure.”
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.”
“Anything?”
“Sure.”
“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.
“Or reality.”
Zim hovered in front of her. “Is that okay, Mylin?”
“Yes, please.”
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.


Author Bio

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.

You can find him at Dreamspinner here, Goodreads here, on Amazon here, on QueeRomance Ink here, and on Facebook here.

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New From J. Scott Coatsworth: ITHANI

Promo

Today is release day for J. Scott Coatsworth’s latest novel, ITHANI, the final volume of the Oberon Cycle trilogy. I offered to help spread the word, because I like sharing info on authors’ new releases.

But then I smacked myself on the forehead. Duh! I’d already signed up to host the blog tour on the 25th. Which, I’m sure you noticed, is just a few days away.

So instead of double-posting the same exact blog post, I’ll just send out the Amazon link today. Stay tuned, the upcoming blog post has exclusive content. 

Here you go!

I confess…

personal
I have a confession to make. My conscience demands it.
Every weekend I try to do some extra cleaning. You know the kind, where you really, really clean something on a semi-regular basis in an effort to keep on top of it. Well, last week I did the kitchen, which was disgusting because I figured out I can’t even remember the last time I did it. (Valid excuse: I was sick as hell. When I finally felt strong enough to do something about it, the holidays attacked. I did it as soon as I could!)
Fine. So my kitchen’s clean now. The guilt from leaving it gross for so long doesn’t even begin to compare to what happened today, though.
I intended to do the bathroom. It’s gotten more attention than the kitchen, because it’s smaller and bathrooms get really nasty if you don’t clean ’em. But it wound up being the plants.
I started watering my plants this morning, only to discover that one of them had been knocked clean out of the window and turned upside down, coming to rest on top of the radiator, poor thing. (Wondering how that happened? I have a kitten.)
So I fished it out, set it up with some more dirt, and… I kept hearing these sad little plant-voices.
Stupid human, they were saying. She promised us a good home, they whispered, while I looked around for the source. She even said she’d give us a new pot last week!
And then I realized what happened.
A couple weeks ago, almost three actually, I ran across a bunch of herbs for sale pretty cheap. So I picked some up. Rosemary, thyme, and basil, to replace the rosemary and basil I accidentally murdered by leaving them outside on a night that was way too cold for them. I brought them home, promising them a nice new pot and regular water. You know, the good life for a plant.
But what really happened was I set the poor little buggers down with the other plants, forgot to repot them last weekend, forgot they even existed. I barely remembered to water anyone last week, because it was so busy at work.
And now here they were, all sad and dried out, but still hanging on to life. I immediately found them a new pot, got them into it, gave the poor things water and access to the grow-light. They’re now sitting beside me, all sorts of happy, standing up and singing a little growgrowgrow song. Whew! Plant crisis averted.
And now, conscience clean, I can go on about the weekend. In other words, back to editing The Apex Mage.

Ramblings about 3D stuff

3D, personal

I upgraded my computer recently. Yes, I know, I’ve told everybody in this world and three others about my new computer. That’s because I love it, and I’m proud as hell that I assembled the big beast without messing anything up. But I stuck my old drives in the new case, because there wasn’t anything wrong with them. And… about three weeks later, one of the big old monsters started groaning and complaining, acting like it was way too old to get up in the morning, and saying it wasn’t going to last much longer.

So I got a new drive. Took a chance this time on something new, which I usually don’t. I tend to wait for a new technology to be out in the world for a while before trying it, because it seems like tech companies are in such a rush to get something out there that they don’t neccessarily work out all the bugs first. But what the hell, life’s short. The drive I got is a hybrid between a normal drive and an SSD, called the Seagate Firecuda. And let me tell you, that thing is fast! I don’t regret trying something new this time, that’s for sure.

Which brings my rambling ass back around to the 3D stuff. Imagine that.

When I moved into the new system, it screwed up all my carefully sorted and organized 3D content. My categories didn’t work anymore, what with the new OS and the new SSD holding the new OS and having to re-install all my programs to work with the new OS and… You get the picture. I’d just barely begun getting the mountains of stuff organized when I had to put the new drive in, and move all my content. Again. Breaking all my categories. Again.

“Bugger” was the least of what I said, but I got everything onto the new drive.

I bought a product ages ago when it was on sale for about three bucks called Content Cataloger Easy. I wasn’t initially too impressed with it, because all it does is round up every thumbnail in the content directories and display each and every one of them. It makes a huge batch of images, stretching across many pages, without an easy way to navigate through the things. But I gave it another try out of sheer desperation. Yes, the thing is still a pain, with the endless scrolling through mountains of crap. But it’s also really nice, because it lays out pictures of everything, complete with the path to the whatever. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve run across something I forgot I had, or I forgot just how cool it was.

Which brings me to my other problem. Please, people, don’t let me buy any more content! Holy crap, I’ve got enough stuff cluttering up my hard drive to last three lifetimes! If you catch me hinting that I’m looking for more, then please kick me right in the butt. Hard. Because I’ve got plenty.

I blame Daz for that. 😉 They’re the ones that have had some amazing sales right when I’ve had some bucks to spend. And it’s also my boss’s fault, too, because she gave me a nice shiny bonus check that coincided with one of those good sales.

And now, having sufficiently bored people with my randomness, I’m going to get back to sorting my big pile of stuff. Let the agony of sorting be a lesson to me for the future, one all about exercising self-control and using the bonus check for real world things like food, or clothes, or even vehicle repairs.

A Random Memory

personal, Random

In case you don’t know this already, I love to bellydance. I’m out of practice now, because of that whole sick thing, but I’ll get back to it soon. Work’s far too crazy right now to allow much of anything.

Anyway, I was thinking today about my last public performance. I was up on stage, dancing with my veil. People were okay with it, but not going crazy or anything. The music changed, I let the second veil come out, the crowd went bonkers. Everyone loves double veil, after all.

And then…

One of my veils cut loose and fluttered down to the ground.

Super embarrassing! There I was, spinning like a crazy thing, wearing my “I’m performing” smile, with only one veil. Crappy. But I traveled towards it over three spins, then spun low and grabbed the sneaky bastard and got it going again. Decent enough recovery, but man, it sucked.

And you know what? Despite the embarrassment, I still love to dance. Maybe I’ll get back to performing again, maybe not, but either way I’m going to break those veils out again and let them fly.

When Disasters Attack

personal

This year has been a rough one for me and my family. Anyone who knows me knows I almost dropped dead several times in the last year. Well, I just found out my brother was in a horrible car crash last month and could have died very easily. He’s still alive, and one hundred percent as cantankerous as ever. Which means that my sister-in-law set up a GoFundMe account for him, but didn’t tell him, because he’d find a way to get up and kick her ass over asking for charity.

But dang it, everybody needs a bit of help sometimes, and being almost dead and unable to work certainly qualifies as a time to ask for help. My sister-in-law asked me to share this if I could. I had to think about it a bit, because if I post it to Facebook, well, my brother will see it and probably get ultra pissed.

So I’m posting here.

If there are any people out there who read this and also happen to be one of the super-nice people who occasionally donate some bucks to strangers in need, check out this GoFundMe. I know you awesome people exist, because I hear about you frequently from others talking about how some random stranger donates to a GoFundMe. Heck, when I was recovering from my surgery, I even got a couple people tossing a few bucks my way that I’ve never heard of.

So here you go. The picture of the smashed-up car is what they got my brother out of, and onto a helicopter in time to survive. (Um… edit. She changed the picture. It shows my brother and his wife now.)

https://www.gofundme.com/7f8smw-randy039s-recovery

And by the way, just to be clear, I don’t expect any random miraculous donations. I’m just sending this out to the world because there’s a slim chance, and because I am absolutely certain my brother doesn’t read my blog and therefore won’t cuss me out. Which he most assuredly would if he knew about this, know what I mean? So please don’t think I expect anyone who sees this to dig out bucks to support a total stranger.

 

PROMO: Slow Thaw

Promo

Hey look, J. Scott Coatsworth is at it again!

Slow ThawJ. Scott Coatsworth has a new MM trans/cisgender holiday romance book out: Slow Thaw.

Javier Fernandez is a climate scientist living in a research station near the South Pole. Since his husband was killed in a car crash, he’s preferred to be alone, and is less than thrilled to have a junior scientist thrust upon him by his rich patron.

Col Steele is a trans man fleeing a bad break-up, ready for the next step in his career, who is ready to spend Christmas anywhere but at home. When a crack in the ice separates the two men from safety, they are forced to come to terms with their own losses and each other.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

QueeRomance Ink | Goodreads


Giveaway

Scott is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour. Enter via Rafflecopter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d4740/?


Excerpt

Meme - Slow ThawIt was the start of the end of the world, but Col Steele didn’t know it yet.

The rhythmic whomp whomp whompof the helicopter’s rotary blades matched the beating of his heart.

I’m here. I’m really here.

He pressed his face to the glass, eagerly taking in the landscape below, capturing the view in his phone. There was no cellular network here, of course, and he had his Sony A73 packed away for the real work, but his phone was good enough to record his own personal memories.

The sparkling blue and white of the Ross Ice Shelf spread out before him, almost indescribable in its frozen beauty. The ice seemed to stretch on forever here in the South, as they called it. On the ice.

The copter had left the Southern Explorer a few minutes earlier, taking off from the grey deck and passing over a span of cold ocean water where a waddle of penguins played in the Ross Sea.

The cliffs of The Ice were white enough—and tall enough—to put the cliffs of Dover to shame with their splendor.

Col checked the temperature gauge on the console. It was a relatively balmy Antarctic day, with the temperature hovering just below zero Fahrenheit.

“First time?” His pilot, Joseph, steered the copter over the ice field with practiced ease.

“Yes. Not yours, I assume?”

“Nope, I’ve done the run to Amundsen–Scott more than a dozen times, people and cargo. Been out to Bettancourt three times now.”

Col nodded. Paul Bettancourt was his benefactor—a billionaire who was keenly interested in the science and effects of global climate change.

He picked me.Out of more than two hundred research scientists, the man had chosen Col to be the next fellowship scientist to join Javier Fernandez at Bettancourt Station for a six-month internship.

It was still sinking in.

The timing couldn’t have been better. Col had no desire to be home for the holidays this year. After a bad breakup with David, he was nursing a broken heart, and was in no mood for Christmas trees and candy canes. Far better the frozen tundra of Antarctica, to match his frozen heart.

The Ross Shelf was much more varied a landscape than he’d expected. The smooth white ice near the shore gave way to a variety of landforms, the result of the ice being pushed and pulled around by gravity and shaped by wind and snow and rain for millennia.

There were mountains and valleys, the peaks white and the shadows a beautiful blue.

In other places, the wind-blown snow created long scallop shapes along the ice.

In at least one spot, a wide, shallow pool of melted water almost glowed turquoise in the sunlight. Not a good sign.

“You see a lot of melting out here?”

Joseph nodded. “More every year. It’s been a slow thaw, but every summer season it goes a bit faster. Lots more icebergs too. Seeing one of those calve off the main shelf is something else. Crack! Thunder!And a great splash of water as it hits the ocean.”

Col grinned. “I’ve seen it in the Arctic. I spent a year based out of Whitehorse, studying the ice sheets up north.”

“Never been. Though I hear the girls in the Yukon are wild.”

Col snorted. “I wouldn’t know.” What he didn’t say was that he’d been one of them, once. On the outside, at least.

That was a lifetime ago.

Now this new life was laid out before him, and he just wanted to move forward.

He captured as much of the landscape as he could manage with his phone, awed that he was finally here. Then he tucked it away to just take in the experience.

“Might wanna get your phone ready,” Joseph said at last. “We’re almost there.” The pilot pointed off to starboard, and a small speck appeared in the distance, alongside a long line in the ice.

“It’s bigger than I imagined.”

Joseph’s eyebrow went up. “Bettancourt?”

“No. The Giant Crack.”

Joseph laughed. “You scientists suffer from a sever lack of imagination.”

Col grinned. “It’s true.” He stared at the Crack. It stretched from one edge of the horizon to the other, a sign of things to come. He’d seen many pictures of it, of course, but seeing it in person. It was awe inspiring, and a little frightening. It had happened two years before, but since then, the shelf seemed to have stabilized again.

It was the reason he was here, as much as his break-up with David.

He snapped a few pics, then looked down at Bettancourt Station.

It was a modest place, maybe the size of a couple RV’s hooked together. It basically was—two modules built by Northrup-Grumann to Bettancourt’s specs, brought in by military copter and hooked together. One served as the laboratory, and the other as living quarters for the scientific team.

Fernandez was there now. His last lab partner, Astrid Danvers, had departed a few days earlier. It had all been in the briefing email.

Col whistled. It was going to be a tight space for his six-month rotation down there.

Still, it would be worth it. Careers were made by postings like this, and he’d have a chance to put his education and experience to work at something that might actually help the planet.

Fuck you, David.

He took a couple more shots, and then settled in for the landing.


Author Bio

Scott lives with his husband Mark in a yellow bungalow in Sacramento. He was indoctrinated into fantasy and sci fi by his mother at the tender age of nine. He devoured her library, but as he grew up, he wondered where all the people like him were.

He decided that if there weren’t gay characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends.

A Rainbow Award winning author, he runs Queer Sci Fi, QueeRomance Ink, and Other Worlds Ink with Mark, sites that celebrate fiction reflecting queer reality.

Author Website: https://www.jscottcoatsworth.com/

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworth

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworthauthor/

Author Twitter: https://www.facebook.com/jscoatsworth/

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jscottcoatsworth/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8392709.J_Scott_Coatsworth?from_search=true

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/j-scott-coatsworth/

Author Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/J.-Scott-Coatsworth/e/B011AFO4OQ

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NaNo Winner!

Writing

I did it! I finished my NaNoWriMo project today, at an officially verified wordcount of 50016. This, despite the moment of panic when I discovered the Scrivener wordcount does not, in fact, match up with the NaNo validator. In fact, it was off by about 250 words. That part sucked. “I’m done! I’m done! … oh shit. No I’m not.”

If all goes as planned, I will be editing/revising The Apex Mage in January. Ish. Who knows if I’ll get to it. Because I’ve got a guilty secret. The sales were just too good for my self-control, and I bought the Elder Scrolls Online. It’s a gorgeous world in there, and it may take me a while to come out of it…

PROMO: The Rising Tide

Promo

I confess, I’ve been waiting quite eagerly for this one. And now it’s here, but I can’t get it yet until I recover from paying rent, so… I’ll advertise it instead. 😉

 

The Rising Tide

J. Scott Coatsworth has a new queer sci fi book out: “The Rising Tide.”

Earth is dead.

Five years later, the remnants of humanity travel through the stars inside Forever, a living, ever-evolving, self-contained generation ship. When Eddy Tremaine and Andy Hammond find a hidden world-within-a-world under the mountains, the discovery triggers a chain of events that could fundamentally alter or extinguish life as they know it, culminate in the takeover of the world mind, and end free will for humankind.

Control the AI, control the people.

Eddy, Andy, and a handful of other unlikely heroes—people of every race and identity, and some who aren’t even human—must find the courage and ingenuity to stand against the rising tide.

Otherwise they might be living through the end days of human history.

Series Blurb: Humankind is on its way to the stars, a journey that will change it forever. Each of the stories in Liminal Sky explores that future through the lens of a generation ship, where the line between science fiction and fantasy often blurs. At times both pessimistic and very hopeful, Liminal Sky thrusts you into a future few would ever have imagined.

DSP Publications | Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | QueeRomance Ink | Goodreads 


Giveaway

Scott is giving away two prizes with this tour – a $25 Amazon gift card, and a signed copy of “The Stark Divide,” book one in the series (US winner only for the paperback). For a chance to win, enter via Rafflecopter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d4734/?


Excerpt

The Rising Tide Meme

Eddy Tremayne rode his horse, Cassiopeia, along the edge of the pastures that were the last official human habitations before the Anatov Mountains. Several ranchers along the Verge—the zone between the ranches and the foothills—had reported losses of sheep and cattle in the last few weeks.

As the elected sheriff of First District, which ran from Micavery and the South Pole to the mountains, it was Eddy’s responsibility to find out what was going on.

He had his crossbow strapped to his back and his long knife in a leather sheath at his waist. He’d been carrying them for long enough now—three years?—that they had started to feel natural, but the first time he’d worn the crossbow, he’d felt like a poor man’s Robin Hood.

He doubted he’d need them out here, but sheriffs were supposed to be armed.

He’d checked with Lex in the world mind via the South Pole terminal, but she’d reported nothing amiss. In the last few years, she had begun to deploy biodrones to keep an eye on the far-flung parts of the world, but they provided less than optimal coverage. One flyover of this part of the Verge had shown a peaceful flock of thirty sheep. The next showed eight.

The rancher, a former neurosurgeon from New Zealand named Gia Rand, waited for him on the top of a grassy hill. The grass and trees shone with bioluminescent light, and the afternoon sky lit the surrounding countryside with a golden glow. The spindle—the aggregation of energy and glowing pollen that stretched from pole to pole—sparkled in the middle of the sky.

The rancher pulled on her gray braid, staring angrily at something in the valley below. “Took you long enough to get here.”

“Sorry. The train was out of service again.” Technology was slowly failing them, and they had yet to come up with good replacements.

She snorted. “One helluva spaceship we have here.”

He grinned. “Preaching to the choir.” Forever didn’t have the manufacturing base yet to support anything close to the technology its inhabitants had grown used to on Earth. Which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, if you asked him. With technology came new and better ways to kill. He’d seen it often enough in the NAU Marines. “What did you find?”

“Look.” Her voice was almost a growl.

Eddy looked down where she was pointing. “Oh shit.” Her missing sheep were no longer missing. They had been slaughtered.

He urged Cassiopeia down the hillside to the rocky clearing. A small stream trickled down out of the mountains there. He counted ten carcasses, as near as he could tell from the skulls left behind. Someone had sheared a couple of them and given up. It looked like they had skinned and cut the rest up for meat, the skin and bones and extra bits discarded.

Gia rode down the hillside behind him.

“Didn’t you report twelve sheep missing?”

She nodded. “Bastards took the two lambs. Probably for breeding.”

“That actually might help us.”

“How’s that?”

He dismounted to take a closer look at the crime scene. “They’ll have to pasture them somewhere. May make it easier to track them down.”

“Maybe so.” She dismounted and joined him. “This was brutal work. Look here.” She picked up a bone. “Whatever cut this was sharp but uneven. It left scratch marks across the bone.”

“So not a metal knife.”

“I don’t think so. Maybe a stone knife?”

He laughed harshly. “Are we back to caveman days, then?” It wasn’t an unreasonable question.

She was silent for a moment, staring at the mountains. “Do you think they live up there?”

“Who?” He followed her gaze. Their highest peaks were wreathed in wisps of cloud.

“The Ghosts.”

The Ghosts had been a persistent myth on Forever since their abrupt departure from Earth. Some of the refugees had vanished right after the Collapse, and every now and then something would end up missing. Clothes off a line, food stocks, and the like.

People talked. The rumors had taken on a life of their own, and now whenever something went missing, people whispered, “It’s the Ghosts.”

Eddy didn’t believe in ghosts. He personally knew at least one refugee who had disappeared, his shipmate Davian. He guessed there must be others, though the record keeping from that time had been slipshod at best. He shrugged and looked at the sky. “Who knows?” It was likely to rain in the next day or so. Whoever had done this had left a trail, trampled into the grass. If he didn’t follow it now, it might be gone by the time he got back here with more resources.

Gia knelt by one of the ewes, staring at the remnants of the slaughter. “Could you get me some more breeding stock? This… incident put a big dent in my herd.”

“I’ll see what I can do.” He took one last look around the site. It had to have taken an hour or two to commit this crime, and yet the thieves had apparently done it in broad daylight. Why weren’t they afraid of being caught? “I’m going to follow the trail, see where it leads.”

Gia nodded. “Thanks. We’re taking the rest of the herd back to the barn until you get this all figured out.”

“Sounds prudent. I’ll let you know.”

Slipping on his hat, he climbed back up on Cassie and followed the trail across the stream toward the Anatov Mountains.


Author Bio

Scott lives between the here and now and the what could be. Indoctrinated into fantasy and sci fi by his mother at the tender age of nine, he devoured her library. But as he grew up, he wondered where the people like him were.

He decided it was time to create the kinds of stories he couldn’t find at Waldenbooks. If there weren’t gay characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends.

His friends say Scott’s brain works a little differently – he sees relationships between things that others miss, and gets more done in a day than most folks manage in a week. He seeks to transform traditional sci fi, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something unexpected.

A Rainbow Award winning author, he runs Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband Mark, sites that bring queer people together to promote and celebrate fiction reflecitng their own reality.

Website: https://www.jscottcoatsworth.com

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Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/J.-Scott-Coatsworth/e/B011AFO4OQ/

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