J. Scott Coatsworth has a new queer sci fi collection out: Tangents & Tachyons. And there’s a giveaway!
Tangents & Tachyons is Scott’s second anthology – six sci fi and sci-fantasy shorts that run the gamut from time travel to hopepunk and retro spec fic:
Eventide: Tanner Black awakes to find himself in his own study, staring out the window at the end of the Universe. But who brought him there, and why?
Chinatown: Deryn lives in an old San Francisco department store with his girlfriend Gracie, and scrapes by with his talent as a dreamcaster for the Chinese overlords. But what if a dream could change the world?
Across the Transom: What if someone or something took over your body on an urgent mission to save your world?
Pareidolia: Simon’s not like other college kids. His mind can rearrange random patterns to reveal the images lurking inside. But where did his strange gift come from? And what if there are others like him out there too?
Lamplighter: Fen has a crush on his friend Lewin, who’s in a competing guild. But when the world goes dark, only a little illumination can save it. And only Fen, Lewin and their friend Alissa can light the spark. A Liminal Sky short.
Prolepsis: Sean is the closeted twenty-five-year-old editor of an 80’s sci-fi ‘zine called Prolepsis. When an unabashedly queer story arrives from a mysterious writer, it blows open Sean’s closet door, and offers him the chance to change the world – and the future.
Plus two flash fiction stories – The System and The Frog Prince, never before published.
This is the first time all of these stories have all been collected in one place.
Scott is giving away a full set of his previously self-published eBooks to one lucky winner:
Across the Transom
You wake screaming, but no sound comes out of your mouth. Don’t be afraid. I won’t hurt you.
It’s a regrettable part of the transfer. I wish it were different, but I have only a few seconds to cross the transom, and no time to make it easy.
I enter you.
Our eyes flicker open.
I can feel the frightened fluttering of your heart. Our heart.
We are one now. Your body, my soul. You are my puppet. I am truly sorry it had to be you. I don’t get to choose.
We reach down between our legs, and our body quickens at our touch. It’s soft there. Warm. Our body is covered with pliant pink skin. Four limbs. A head covered with hair.
Not scaled, like the last time.
Time. Time is short.
I can’t get distracted by your needs and fears. This has to be it—I have to stop Him this time. I owe Aiaia that much.
We get up, slipping out of bed, leaving your mate alone under the coverings.
His fleshy, hair-covered arm is splayed across your pillow. Oblivious of what’s happening to you. To us.
You wail in protest, but you have no control, no voice to scream with.
I can feel Him coming. The disruptor, destroyer of worlds.
He’s here now too. On Earth.
I roll the name across our tongue. It’s a strange word, but beautiful enough. Exotic.
We don’t have much time. I remind myself. There can be no distractions. Transfer is always disorienting, for the host and for me.
We must stay focused, you and I.
We are crying now, a strange sensation as warm water runs down our cheek. I force us to stop, and we wipe our cheeks dry.
This will go easier if you stop fighting and surrender to me. I won’t hurt you.
I feel you retreat inside of us.
Our shoulder itches. We reach up to scratch it absently with our strange configuration of five fingers.
Fumbling quickly through your closet, we find clothing. Jeans. T-shirt. You supply the words, your fear slumping to a dull, thrumming ache.
“What are you doing?” Your mate is awake. Kevin. Another male of your species. Humans.
I gather only the information I need from your mind. “Go back to sleep. I’m going for a walk.” The words, though alien to me, seem to make perfect sense to him.
Kevin nods. “Be careful.” He lays back down, and soon a heavy, rhythmic sound emanates from him.
This is something you do sometimes—you are restless, like me.
I can see it in our head. Hundreds of walks on different nights, all down the same street. Streets. Not airways.
The moon high above, or the halo of light panning the street and Mrs. Neely’s well-trimmed photinia hedge, its new red springtime leaves glowing golden in the light of the streetlamp.
So many new words. I shake our head. No more distractions. Last time, he got there mere seconds before I did, and she was lost because of it. Let’s go. We nod. Together, we slip out of the room and out of the residence.
We stop to stare at the stars. You have a beautiful world. I can feel your thrill of pleasure. Lovely growing plants fill your neighborhood—trees, bushes, grass and flowers. The air is cool and fresh on our face.
It’s nothing like my own world. Burnt and blasted are two of the kinder adjectives I could use. The heat suited me, though, finding relief in the higher climes. Aeries reaching halfway to the stars.
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 queer 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, and is a full member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).
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