QSFer James Dunham has a new queer sci fi book out:
Philosophically brilliant and thoughtful, James Dunham’s debut novel, The Helena Orbit, charts a twisting and skillful course through the volatile pitfalls of family and politics, the thrill of scientific exploration, and the quiet, musical stirrings of humanity alone in the sublime void of space.
After 500 years of deep space travel, the inhabitants on board the colony ship Euclid, both artistic and scientific, celebrate their arrival in orbit above the planet Helena.
Everywhere young scientist Edwyn Santiago looks, the inhabitants of the colony ship Euclid seem restless. Centuries of deep space travel have taken their emotional toll on this small, artistic, and scientific society, which has precariously held itself together through generations of isolation. The arrival celebrations provide a momentous but brief respite. Pre-colonization research of the planet remains to be done and, while festivities dwindle, new threats surface.
Even as Edwyn helps to make startling new findings about the planet, she discovers a less idyllic, more cloistered side of the colony, and uncovers intrigues and secrets hidden for centuries that reopen old societal and family wounds. Taking on a duty much larger than her scientific inquiries, she strives to locate some saving grace for her yearning and divided civilization.
Will the new world meet the colonists’ expectations and provide a welcoming environment? Or will unforeseen dangers jeopardize the dreams of their ancestors?
James Dunham’s stories have appeared in The Southeast Review, Crab Fat Magazine, Philadelphia Stories, and other publications. This is his first published novel. He earned his MFA in fiction from Bowling Green State University and is a graduate of the Writers Institute at Susquehanna University. He is also the editor of the online literary magazine The Quiet Circle. He lives in New Jersey with his wife.