QSFer Dan Ackerman has a new queer sci fi book out (bi, trans, pan): Penumbra.
Arden inherited Eden, a space station floating over a dying planet. He also inherited an oppressive class system, worker shortages, and an entitled ruling class that refuses to make concessions. Rhys, a worker who’s earned Arden’s trust, helps him make unpopular changes to keep Eden alive.
Arden’s reputation as a shallow and formula-addled leader leaves his friends and foes skeptical of his leadership. Rhys gains power and is met with resistance from the ruling class. But without intervention, Eden’s labor shortages may lead to the end of the station, and Terra One, within Arden’s lifetime.
Warnings: eating disorder, mental health, substance abuse, implied sexual assualt
Maybe Arden could do that. Find a sweet, silly person who’d agree to raise his child. Someone who’d become something more to him.
Except Arden suspected he’d need a lot more than familiarity and playing house to ever feel something about another person these days.
He left the empty shop window. He visited the handful of remaining shops, offered encouragement to the managers.
The shop keepers made their usual subtle complaints about being short-staffed.
A lot of the peerage had lost money in the restructuring, but it was better to lose a little capital than go hungry. Everyone had more than one venture under their belt, anyway.
Arden passed through the days.
He scheduled for Rhys to come to his chambers after his last shift in Hydroponics Three. He reclined on the couch with a tablet in his hand. He flicked through a few reports, then indulged in a few episodes of This Endless Life, an old soap opera from Terra One.
He glanced at the time halfway through the episode where Trisha revealed the father of her baby.
Rhys was almost half an hour late.
Arden closed the episode and doublechecked that he had scheduled the appointment and that Rhys had acknowledged it. Thralls didn’t, as a rule, have tablets, so Rhys would have had to used one of the consoles mounted to the walls in the Quarters. Sometimes those got crowded and messages went unseen.
Dan Ackerman is a writer and educator who has lived in Connecticut for their entire life. They received wrote their Master’s thesis on representations of women in same-sex relationships in contemporary Spanish literature and cinema.
In their spare time, Dan continues to read and write, supplemented with a healthy amount of movie marathons and gaming.