QSFer James Siewert has a new MM sci-fi book out, Oarthecan Star Saga book 1: Allure of Oartheca.
In the furthest reaches of unexplored space, a cyber-thief with a tarnished heart of gold meets a disgraced ex-navy captain who refuses to be beaten. Though they’re from opposite ends of the galaxy, fate slams these two men together in desperate bid to stop a vicious race of elitist cannibals from destroying all these men hold dear. But their toothy foe is not the only danger our two heroes face – an Allure that whispers promises of rapture, and destruction. If our heroes give in, they lose, if they give up, they lose … and the fate of the galaxy rests in the balance.
In the spirit of high-space adventure, with a touch of charming romance, Allure of Oartheca is an epic love song to the science fiction genre, placing two men who love men at the forefront of a battle of their past, their present, and – if they’re brave enough, if they’re bold enough – their future. Come share an adventure full of authentic, one-of-a-kind characters, fantastic new people and worlds, rich imagination and genuine hope in the face of heart-pounding action.
Warning: Explicit sexual content, but all consensual. Some violent scenes. Cliff-hanger ending?
Just a little more. Just a little more …
‘Captain, are you jacked yet?’ an impatient voice asks, bristling gruffness buzzing over my suit’s comm system.
Ivan Vasilyev. Ship’s cook, according to my official register. Unofficially, my team’s heavy gun, demo-expert and general pain in the ass, when he isn’t kicking ass. I love him and all, he’s part of my ship’s family, but sometimes his input is about as welcome as finding a skid-mark in your jockeys. Awful at chess, but has this stubborn patience that keeps him coming back to learn, and fun to play against–he’s not a sore loser, to his credit.
‘Well,’ I begin nicely, though my voice doesn’t quite hide my exasperation. Both our tones are due to nerves. He’s safely on board, watching me float out here in free space, my right hand holding the latch to a derelict spacecraft we’re trying to break into, my left, palm open, pressed up against a seared-off access port, gently petting at it as though it were a giant metal kitty. ‘You see the hatch unlock yet?’
There’s a pause before he returns a sour-sounding ‘No.’
‘That means I’m not jacked. Wanna give me a moment while I try and get that done?’
A sound of scuffling comes over the comms, and then Ivan’s pained ‘Oww!’ in the background.
‘Sorry Captain,’ the annoyed voice of Bethany ‘Betts’ Ortez replies. First officer and chief pilot, officially. Smuggler and grand larcenist, off-record. Two years Coalition of Allied Planetary Systems Navy (CAPS-N) officer, but now formerly goody-two-shoes Lt. Ortez is wanted by said Navy and four other non-allied star systems. Pssh, amateur: I’m wanted by nine, currently. She is my best friend though, my big sister by another mister. ‘Turned my back for a moment,’ she adds, and I can hear what I imagine is her elbow whumping Ivan again.
‘Be nice, he means well,’ I reply, but then I’m distracted by a kiss of electricity in my brain, as the wireless interface jack in my palm finally latches on to the access port’s interface jack. The cybernetic display unit behind my left eye starts streaming a series of connection protocols to my vision, as my biologically integrated computer system starts saying its first hellos to the derelict’s systems.
The faint tingling of my biocomp, which is about the size of a grain of rice and installed between my C4 and C5 vertebrae, is a remarkably comforting feeling, and I remember to feel lucky that I’m one of less than half a percent of humans who experience such mild side effects from their cybernetics. Most who try what I’m attempting would feel their interface-arm go dead the instant they jacked in, followed by a sensation of either burning, freezing, or in rare but still far too many cases, intense formication that ultimately renders the whole idea of them hacking a system pointless. For me? It’s a feathery touch, like brushing the tips of your fingers along the hairs of your neck.
James and his husband live in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. Part-time office drone, part-time storyteller, full-time sci-fi and fantasy enthusiast (and some spooky ghost tales), James couldn’t find enough stories involving guys like him and his hubby are: big men with big hearts, full of big ideas!