QSFer Erik Schubach has a new lesbian sci fi book out, book three in the Tales From Olympus series: “Odyssey.”
The United Races have become stronger in the centuries after losing their greatest beacon of peace and gentleness. Olympus has moved the palace and capitol City Tree of Alfheim into the citadel in case the Jotunn reach the Olympian’s host world.
The daughter of Queen Jania Sure Step, the All Mother of the Ljósálfar and Dökkálfar elves, is at a crucial juncture in her life as she becomes an adult. She must choose from three paths before her, yet she feels none of those are her calling.
Crowned Princess of the Elves, Arin, named for the fallen Hero of Asgard and Olympus, finds a path lost to her people and restarts old traditions so that she may stand as the Iron Wall for her Elvish heritage.
But when both Titan and Frost Giant Star Killer vessels threaten her world, will her resolve be enough? And what are these flashes and visions she has been seeing since she was born?
This final chapter of the Tales From Olympus holds the key to a universal peace, or Alfheim’s fiery end.
Mother was calling again, “Arin?” I sighed as her voice took on an exasperated tone.
“Arin Swift Strider, get out here this instant.”
I huffed and looked from my door to the open window that overlooked the Citadel and across the tops of the Tanalus trees which soared hundreds of meters into the air like giants reaching for the sun. From this vantage point, I could see the massive gates of Allrbus, the ancestral home that sang to the Ljósálfar, Light Elf of Alfheim half of my blood.
Those trees were works of the heavens themselves, whose branches when mature, were tens of meters thick, stretching out hundreds of feet and created those living half domes of wide green leaves. With the unaided eye, I could just make out the tree that stood above all others, dwarfing even some of the cities on other planets I have seen in my short four hundred years. The City Tree of Allrbus, where the first palace resided high in its branches.
The new palace we lived in now in the Citadel of Olympus was by necessity, the great enemies of all the races were out there, and the Elves had nowhere to flee if they turned their sights on Alfheim. With the new palace residing in the city of the Olympians, our people could flee with them if the time of a culling came to us.
My other mom prodded me gently through our nanite link. I swear she relies on it more than talking. How could such a shy and vulnerable person be my mother? I caught myself smiling warmly, I loved her so very much and that was one of her strengths, having the same effect on all she meets. That and the Three Embers were the most powerful people of the United Races. Yet with all that power, they refused to fight, even when the alliance is threatened. They were true Valkyriefrior, and mom and the other two Embers were pushing for me to choose now that I’ve had my four-hundredth birthday and was considered an adult, finally!
But I don’t know if I can follow the ways of the Valkyrie of Peace, my other mom, the Queen of the United Elves is a warrior, and all my aunts are warriors, and even Aunt Artemis, who is neither Asgard nor Elf, but Olympian, fights for the Elves. And I find the song singing in their veins, singing in mine as well.
But both mothers push and push me to choose the path of peace like my namesake, the venerable Arina the Whispering Breeze, the hero of the realms, and I do not wish to disappoint them. It was infuriating. The problem is, I don’t even know who I am yet. I know I should have figured it out long ago, but it is so hard to do being a virtual prisoner in my own life as Crowned Princess of Alfheim.
Only Grandma Kara and Aunt Inatra understand that I can’t choose a path for myself unless I see for myself just who I am. They sneak me away all the time to go on hunts deep in the forests near the Mirror of the Sun Sea to the west. As they are the deadliest Valkyrie, it is the only time I can get away from the royal guards who are my shadows. Well… or the times I sneak out when I’m supposed to be in my chambers doing my lessons, and my grandmothers and aunts train me in combat, to hone and discipline my mind and body. Their Verr somehow can shield my mind from the others so that they do not know what we do.
Grandma Kara is so haunted whenever she trains me, she says that to truly understand peace one must learn what the cost of that peace is. And she says that no matter which path I chose, that of peace or that of the warrior, her heart will swell with pride for me, knowing I made the choice knowing the value of either.
Aunt Inatra? Heh. She’s not subtle. She wants me to choose the path of a warrior, to defend those who cannot defend themselves. She is one of the oldest Ragnarok alive today, and the old-timers all seem far more aggressive than the younger Ragnarok, even though they all look no older than me since they have standard Asgard nanites prolonging their lives.
But for how frightening it is to watch the historical records of the rages she would lose herself to when fighting insurmountable odds with Grandma Kara, she is one of the most loving people I know. It is a strange dichotomy, but then again, strong emotion is strong emotion is it not?
Mom said through our link, “Arin, love. Your mother wants to speak with you.”
I got my start writing novels by accident. I have always been drawn to strong female characters in books, like Honor Harrington. And I also believe that there is a lack of LGBT characters in media. So one day I came up with a story idea that combines the two… two days later I completed the manuscript for Music of the Soul.
Each of my books features strong likable female characters that are flawed. I think that flaws and emotional or physical scars make us human and give us more character than simply conforming to some “social norm”.
I write in many genres including romance, scifi, fantasy, paranormal, dystopian, and even cozy mysteries.
My most ambitions undertaking is the Techromancy Scrolls series that is an epic adventure in the world three thousand years after a mass extinction event. Mankind is rebuilding in a world where magic and technology collide.