QSFer Angel Martinez has a new FF holiday sci fi tale out:
As a security officer on an interspecies ship, Growlan Raskli’s experienced in heading off species-specific aberrant behaviors in order to keep the peace. But when her captain asks her to find out what’s bothering their sole human crew member, Raskli’s out of her depths. She hardly knows anything about humans and she’s not a psych doctor.
Something’s definitely upset Human Jen, something to do with human holidays. The more time Raskli spends studying humans and interacting with the intriguing Human Jen, the more personal the assignment becomes. Determined to lift the dark cloud from Human Jen, Raskli will do whatever it takes-within safe parameters, of course.
About the Collection:
Traditional Winter Holidays can be tough for a variety of reasons-family pressures, finding the right gift, homesick longing, and haunting memories to name a few. This collection showcases eleven queer short stories, from tender contemporaries to sweet paranormal to far-flung space tales, all designed to make you want to reach for your hot cocoa and your favorite snuggly spot. Come join us for A Holiday To Remember.
For this tour, Mischief Corner Books is giving away two $25 gift certificates to their eBook store, and two rainbow beanies. Use the link here:
Or embed the Rafflecopter code here:
Raskli sank onto one of the conference room chairs, thankful someone had left a backless one vacant for her. All the other variations of seating—the bowl, the multi-armed, the single-backed—squished her spines, and she would’ve broken the T-perch.
The row of spines down her back refused to lie flat, which would’ve made certain chairs even worse, but the unscheduled meeting set off her ambush alarms. The ship’s doctor, Oolob Blub, occupied a bowl chair, her hydro-suit a slick sheen over her tentacles. The captain, Kteket Tse, had the largest multi-arm chair at the head of the table, their mandibles clacking in a worried frown. First mate Mmnem Nnep had decided on an oblong shape that afternoon and sat, more or less, in one of the straight-backed chairs.
Definite ambush. No other security officers present. Were they rotating her out? Had they decided having a Growlan security officer was too close to stereotyping? Raskli didn’t mind. She would tell them so. She liked her job. It better not be a transfer to engineering.
“Growlan Raskli,” the captain hissed and clacked, translated to a genderless, fluid voice by Raskli’s omnilang ear cuff. “We are concerned for Human Jen.”
“Captain, I— What?”
“Human Jen is not behaving within previously observed species parameters,” Dr. Blub sent telepathically to the omnilang. “Her vital functions are within normal specifications but she appears to…well, we are uncertain.”
“Previous behavior has included melodic chanting during work cycles,” Mmnem Nnep read from his holo-notes in his low, burbling voice. “As well as the Human sound they categorize as laughter and a social need to interact verbally with workmates. These behaviors have not been observed for three days.”
Raskli looked from one officer to another. “So, you’re saying Human Jen is…sad?”
Captain Tse’s mandibles clacked hard. “We must be cautious not to assign our own emotional responses to unfamiliar individuals of other species. It is quite possible that this is some normal Human cycle.”
“But we find little evidence in the interspecies manuals to support these changes as normal Human behavior,” Dr. Blub added. “Hence our concern.”
Raskli scratched her head spines. “Well, um. I’m sorry our Human is broken?”
First mate Nnep leaned forward, his organelles redistributing with the movement behind his translucent outer membrane. “We would like you to attempt an investigation. Try to ascertain if there is an issue. We hope a better understanding will allow us to assist.”
“Me? Why me?”
“Because you are both members of lactating placental species,” Dr. Blub blinked all four of her dark eyes slowly.
“I’m not lactacting!” Raskli closed her mouth carefully, not wanting her tusks to catch her lower lip in her agitation.
“No, but your species does.” Captain Tse shifted uncomfortably, folding several of their arms over their abdomen. “We have no other Human crewmembers. You are the most biologically compatible crew on our rosters.”
Raskli snuffled for a moment, thinking, ears swiveling. “I suppose if there’s no one else. But I’m not xeno-psych trained. Not more than the basic intro courses. I can’t promise anything.”
“Any effort will be appreciated, Growlan Raskli.” Captain Tse rose on their four hindmost legs. “If you learn anything of interest, please bring it directly to Dr. Blub.”
I write all over the fantasy and science fiction spectrum, including (so far) secondary-world fantasy, urban fantasy, steampunk, Gothic, historical paranormal, spaceships, and various unholy mashups of these.
I grew up in Alberta, Canada, but now live in an old house in Toronto. My other current passion is contra dance, a social/folk dance done to live Celtic and roots music. My favourite places in the world are the Canadian Rocky Mountains and a little valley in Norway. In my other life, I edit non-fiction for the government.
For more information, please visit or email:
Email: [email protected]