QSFer J. Scott Coatsworth has a new MM sci-fantasy romance out: Firedrake.
A handwritten note.
A lavender rose.
And memories cracked like shattered glass.
Kerry has had a bad day, and he’s sick of his life in Arco Four. Nothing ever changes, even for a firedrake. Days and nights pass with a quiet air of desperation, as everyone tries to convince themselves their lives in the superscraper have meaning.
A strange scribbled note offers him a distraction—and maybe a chance to finally unlock his broken memories.
But to find out, he’ll to go Outside. No one ever goes Outside. Still, what does he have to lose?
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Patrick stared through the tree branches at the sky where the stars shimmered brightly, eyes wide as moons. “Ever wonder what’s out there?”
Kerry shook his head, scratching the back of his neck absently. “Sometimes.” He liked that his cousin talked to him like an adult and not a ten-year-old. Patrick was a few months older, starting to look more man than boy.
Patrick nodded. “Mom says there are whole planets out there.”
He looked up again. Each of the stars was a pinprick of perfect light in the blackness of the country night. “Where?”
He pointed to the brightest star in the sky. “Right there…”
Kerry’s world exploded with light, and he screamed.
Cracks shattered Kerry’s memory like glass, and it fell away in shards, leaving him staring at the blank gray walls of the booth.
“Fifteen credits. Thank you.”
He flipped off the flash image that floated in the air above him and pulled the plug on the me jack, slapping it back into its holder. After a rough day with the Guard, he’d come for a little escape—a childhood memory of rain, or the beach, or… something comforting from before the Change.
Why did it have to be that one?
Snarling, he slipped out of the booth onto the club floor. Dancers jostled him on all sides, the smell of sweat heavy in the air, and the throb of heavy funk blared from a dozen speakers. He pushed past the tangle of arm and legs on the Shack floor.
Kerry growled. He needed quiet. Time to think. He’d skipped his last dose, and he could feel the fire building inside—he didn’t want to hurt anyone. Sooner or later, someone would come looking for him to make him take another pill, but right now he felt awake, and alive.
Those who weren’t too stoned to notice scrambled out of his way when they saw the firedrake tattoo across his face. The streak of red in his hair and his father’s angular features, set him apart from the many others crowded into Arco Four. Those, and the finely laid tracing of dragon’s wings that graced his cheeks and the bridge of his nose like spider silk.
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).