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Flight

Queer Sci Fi Flash Fiction Contest V2

Flight
Editions:Kindle - First Edition: $ 4.99 USD
Pages: 262
Paperback - First Edition: $ 12.99 USD
Pages: 262
Paperback - First Edition: $ 24.99 USD
Pages: 262

A 300-word story should be easy, right? Many of our entrants say it’s the hardest thing they’ve ever written.

Queer Sci Fi's Annual Flash Fiction Contest challenges authors to write a complete LGBTQ speculative fiction micro-story on a specific theme. "Flight" leaves much for the authors to interpret—winged creatures, flight and space vehicles, or fleeing from dire circumstances.

Some astonishing stories were submitted—from horrific, bloodcurdling pieces to sweet, contemplative ones—and all LGBTQ speculative fiction. The stories in this anthology include AI’s and angels, winged lions and wayward aliens. Smart, snappy slice of life pieces written for entertainment or for social commentary. Join us for brief and often surprising trips into 110 speculative fiction authors’ minds.

Discovery

Queer Sci Fi Flash Fiction Contest V1

Discovery
Part of the Queer Sci Fi Flash Fiction Contest series:
Editions:Paperback - First Edtion: $ 9.99 USD
ISBN: 978-1514735473
Pages: 232
Kindle - First Edition: $ 3.99 USD
Pages: 232

The rules are simple enough. Write a complete story—either sci fi, fantasy, or paranormal. Make sure it has LGBT characters and/or an LGBT vibe. And do it all with just 300 words.

The stories in this volume run the gamut, from platypus shifters to alien slug monsters, from carnival horror stories to haunting stories of ships with souls. There are little jokes, big surprises, and future prognostications.

Homecoming

by J. Scott Coatsworth

The Homecoming
Editions:Kindle - First Editiom: $ 2.99 USD
ISBN: B012U86JFO
Pages: 71

When his own world is destroyed, Aldiss and his crew barely manage to escape, leaving friends and lovers behind. What was meant to be an exploratory trip back to the home world turns into a mad dash for survival. When they awaken from stasis on Earth, which was abandoned by humanity five centuries before, they must quickly learn about their new home. While exploring the region around the ship, Aldiss meets Hari, a shape-changer, whose people harbor secrets that might cost the crew their lives.

Excerpt:

Hari reached the edge of the woods just in time to see Neru crouching to leap at the two-legs. Young fool.

He gathered himself and jumped after Neru, knocking him aside as his teeth reached for the two-legs' throat.

Neru turned and snarled at him, backing away toward the woods.

Hari stood firm, ears back, hackles raised, and drew the corners of his mouth back to reveal his teeth. Back off, Neru.

The whelp shook his head and grinned with the brashness of youth, until Hari leaped at him and nipped his ear. With a surprised yelp, Neru turned his head, deferring to Hari's strength. As you say, brother. There was a cockiness to Neru's look that unsettled him.

The other wolf backed up slowly then turned to disappear into the woods.

Hari caught a glimpse of Mavi watching from the shadows. The old wolf snarled, and slunk off after her son.

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What do you seek, old mother? Hari wondered, watching Mavi's silver-tipped tail flicker into the darkness. It was clear where Neru's courage and cunning had come from.

Hari turned back toward the two-legs. He was holding a strange stick, not unlike the one that Hari's grandmother had shown him in the wolf dream.

But it was his face that caught Hari's eye. He knew that face. The two-legs' eyes were white-gray, and his jet-black hair was swept to the side.

Despite the danger, he shifted in the manner only a few of the clan are able to do in the cold. He grew quickly taller and less hairy but no less muscled, and stood naked before the two-legs.

They stared at each other for a long moment. Hari felt an immense attraction washing over him. He saw in his summer form that this two-legs was beautiful. His own body responded to this… man… in an unexpected way, seeing and feeling things his winter form could not. Hari leaned forward and sniffed the stranger, drinking in his musk. It smelled enticing. Strangely familiar.

He sensed the two-legs stiffen, and to reassure, him, Hari licked the man's neck.

The two-legs was trembling now like a young whelp, so he tried something else. He took the stranger's face in his hands and kissed him.

The shaking slowed, and then the man was kissing him back. Hari was hungry for him, like a starving wolf at the end of a long, hard winter.

It is not the time for this, the keh whispered in his ear.

He broke contact and turned away, ashamed that he was betraying his Clan, and for lust. An emotion of his summer form.

"I'm sorry," he said to the two-legs, without looking back. "It won't happen again." Even he was not sure if he meant Neru's attack, or the kiss.

He shifted back into his winter form and loped off into the woods after his pack mates.

COLLAPSE
Reviews:Paul B. on Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words wrote:

This book clicks on just about every level. The heartbreak Aldiss feels at the loss of not only his home planet but his ex (even though he states there is nothing romantic between them anymore) is palpable. The hope of a new home world is quickly set back first by the crash landing and the dangers that caused but also with the troubles of Cat’s illness coming out of stasis. Add in the inter clan squabbles about what to do with their now returned ancestors and it spells trouble. Hari is guided not only by his mother but the keh, the spirits of his ancestors. The two “Law & Order” type twists near the end of the book complete the upheaval. But the feeling of hope at the end of the book makes the ride worth taking. This author is new to me and I look forward to reading more from him.


About the Author

Scott has been writing since elementary school, when he and won a University of Arizona writing contest in 4th grade for his first sci fi story (with illustrations!). He finished his first novel in his mid twenties, but after seeing it rejected by ten publishers, he gave up on writing for a while.

 

Over the ensuing years, he came back to it periodically, but it never stuck. Then one day, he was complaining to Mark, his husband, early last year about how he had been derailed yet again by the death of a family member, and Mark said to him "the only one stopping you from writing is you."

 

Since then, Scott has gone back to writing in a big way. He has sold more than a dozen short stories - some new, some that he had started years before. He is currenty working on two sci fi trilogies, and also runs the Queer Sci Fi (https://www.queerscifi.com) site, a group for readers and writers of gay sci fi, fantasy, and paranormal fiction.


Between the Lines

by J. Scott Coatsworth

Between the Lines
Editions:Kindle - First Edition: $ 3.99 USD
ISBN: B011A0STW4
Pages: 53

What if you could hear the words behind the words? Brad Weston’s life seems perfect. He’s GQ handsome, the chief of staff for a Republican California state senator, and enjoys the power and the promise of a bright future. And he’s in a comfortable relationship with his boyfriend of six years, Alex. Sam Fuller is Brad’s young blond blue-eyed intern, fresh out of college, running from a bad breakup, and questioning his choices and his new life in politics. To make things worse, Sam also has a thing for the boss, but Brad is already taken. While looking for a gift for his boyfriend, Brad wanders into a curiosity shop and becomes fascinated by an old wooden medallion. Brad’s not a superstitious man, but when he takes out the medallion in his office, he sees the world in a whole new light. And nothing will ever be the same.

Excerpt:

It began with a medallion.

The piece was a simple wooden disk, hand carved with the shapes of leaves and forest boughs and polished by centuries of use, giving it a patina of great age.

It sat upon a small green velvet pillow—the kind jewelers sometimes use, rather unsuccessfully, to enhance a plain necklace of false pearls. The kind you might expect to find on your grandmother’s settee, in a slightly larger size, embroidered with “Home Sweet Home.”

Yet there was something compulsive about it—something hidden in the dark crevices of the carving, filled with the dust of ages.

At least that’s what Brad would recall years later, when he thought back on the first time he saw it: the moment when the lines of his mundane life suddenly snarled, snapped, and ultimately recombined into something quite different.

Of course, he didn’t know any of this at the time.

Reviews:Janette on Three Chicks After Dark wrote:

…The medallion is a brilliant twist on a familiar trope, adding a paranormal edge to conventional elements. I was anxious to see what would happen each time Brad wraps his hand around it, and I found myself wondering what it would be like to truly see the thoughts of people around me. Would l like it? What would they be thinking? After seeing what happens in Between the Lines, I’ve pretty much decided ignorance is bliss, although for Brad it does have a silver lining… Raring: Bad Ass Boots


About the Author

Scott has been writing since elementary school, when he and won a University of Arizona writing contest in 4th grade for his first sci fi story (with illustrations!). He finished his first novel in his mid twenties, but after seeing it rejected by ten publishers, he gave up on writing for a while.

 

Over the ensuing years, he came back to it periodically, but it never stuck. Then one day, he was complaining to Mark, his husband, early last year about how he had been derailed yet again by the death of a family member, and Mark said to him "the only one stopping you from writing is you."

 

Since then, Scott has gone back to writing in a big way. He has sold more than a dozen short stories - some new, some that he had started years before. He is currenty working on two sci fi trilogies, and also runs the Queer Sci Fi (https://www.queerscifi.com) site, a group for readers and writers of gay sci fi, fantasy, and paranormal fiction.


A More Perfect Union

by J. Scott Coatsworth

A More Perfect Union
Editions:Kindle - First Edition: $ 6.99 USD
ISBN: B01GMDKIQ4
Pages: 350
Paperback: $ 17.99 USD
ISBN: 978-1634773317
Pages: 350

On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States made a monumental decision, and at long last, marriage equality became the law of the land. That ruling made history, and now gay and lesbian Americans will grow up in a country where they will never be denied the right to marry the person they love.

But what about the gay men who waited and wondered all of their lives if the day would ever come when they could stand beside the person they love and say “I do”?

Here, four accomplished authors—married gay men—offer their take on that question as they explore same-sex relationships, love, and matrimony. Men who thought legal marriage was aright they would never have. Men who, unbelievably, now stand legally joined with the men they love. With this book, they share the magic and excitement of dreams that came true—in tales of fantasy and romance with a dose of their personal experiences in the mix.

To commemorate the anniversary of full marriage equality in the US, this anthology celebrates the idea of marriage itself—and the universal truth of it that applies to us all, gay or straight.

Contains my story "Flames", a magical realism story:

Alex and Gio had a big fight, and Alex ran away. Then a fire at home destroyed the life they had built together, and threatened to take Gio away from him.

Alex had always thought love was enough to keep them together. Why did they need wedding rings or legal certificates? But now, with Gio lost in a coma, his mother has banished Alex from his side.

What if Alex’s voice is the only thing that can bring Gio back from the brink? Their memories are all Gio has left, and the urge to just let go is getting stronger.

Still, nothing can keep Alex from Gio's side. If it’s against the rules, he’ll break them. In stolen moments alone together, Alex fights to bring him back, one memory at a time.

 

Published:
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Editors:
Cover Artists:
Genres:
Tags:
Excerpt:

On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States made a monumental decision, and at long last, marriage equality became the law of the land. That ruling made history, and now gay and lesbian Americans will grow up in a country where they will never be denied the right to marry the person they love.

But what about the gay men who waited and wondered all of their lives if the day would ever come when they could stand beside the person they love and say “I do”?

Here, four accomplished authors—married gay men—offer their take on that question as they explore same-sex relationships, love, and matrimony. Men who thought legal marriage was aright they would never have. Men who, unbelievably, now stand legally joined with the men they love. With this book, they share the magic and excitement of dreams that came true—in tales of fantasy and romance with a dose of their personal experiences in the mix.

READ MORE

To commemorate the anniversary of full marriage equality in the US, this anthology celebrates the idea of marriage itself—and the universal truth of it that applies to us all, gay or straight.

From my story "Flames":

Monday, September 27

There was only this moment. This place. Alex holding Gio’s hand, gently because of the burns on the back of Gio’s arm and hand. The sounds of the breathing machine came in regular soft sighs.

The little green box held in Alex’s other hand–and all it symbolized between them.

All their life together had shrunk down to this moment, this place, this plea. “Please wake up, Gio. Amore mio, svegliati.”

COLLAPSE
Reviews:Sammy on The Novel Approach wrote:

A More Perfect Union is an anthology by four authors who have lived through the turbulent times before and after the journey toward marriage equality for all. These are their stories, fictionalized yet personal, given to us to understand just how important the passing of the marriage equality law was for them. These are beautiful stories, each with the same message: love is love.

For Flames:

First, I love the way in which the story was presented. As Alex sat by Gio’s bedside and related stories to his comatose lover, we experienced how those words affected Gio and how they brought him back from the edge time in again. It was the sound of his partners voice that continually drew Gio back to the land of the living, and the heartfelt remorse that Alex felt in their last moments together before the fire simply pulled at the heartstrings. This was a beautiful love story that spanned a decade and you felt the deep connection these two men had despite the fact that for most of the story Gio lie in a coma unable to respond. I won’t spoil the end of the story for you, but suffice it to say that it was simply beautiful. Rating: 4.5 stars


About the Author

Scott has been writing since elementary school, when he and won a University of Arizona writing contest in 4th grade for his first sci fi story (with illustrations!). He finished his first novel in his mid twenties, but after seeing it rejected by ten publishers, he gave up on writing for a while.

 

Over the ensuing years, he came back to it periodically, but it never stuck. Then one day, he was complaining to Mark, his husband, early last year about how he had been derailed yet again by the death of a family member, and Mark said to him "the only one stopping you from writing is you."

 

Since then, Scott has gone back to writing in a big way. He has sold more than a dozen short stories - some new, some that he had started years before. He is currenty working on two sci fi trilogies, and also runs the Queer Sci Fi (https://www.queerscifi.com) site, a group for readers and writers of gay sci fi, fantasy, and paranormal fiction.


Myths Untold: Faery

by J. Scott Coatsworth

Myths Untold: Faery
Editions:Kindle - First Edition: $ 5.99 USD
ISBN: B01E85MBS6
Pages: 247
Paperback - First Edition: $ 14.99 USD
ISBN: 978-1925506044
Pages: 247

Faeries are part of mythology the world over, past, present, and future. Called elves, brownies, the fae, and more, they evoke a sense of wonder and a little danger. Faery has its own rules, and humans enter at their peril.

In this spirit, we bring you the first book in the Myths Untold anthology series—four stories from the land of the Fae: a homeless man in Cardiff and the luck that could destroy him; the trans man in future San Francisco who falls for an elf; the village boy who has always been a little different; and a faery prince whose birthright was stolen from him.

Welcome to Faery.

My story "Through the Veil":

In the not-too-distant future, San Francisco has been swamped by rising sea levels caused by global warming, and has only survived by building a wall to keep the water out of the heart of the City. Colton is a trans man barely getting by on the canals outside the wall. Tris is an elf who has come to the human world on his journey to become a man. Fate brings them together, and everything changes for Colton when he sets out with Tris to find the elf’s missing brother, taking Colton behind the Wall for the first time.

Published:
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Editors:
Cover Artists:
Genres:
Tags:
Excerpt:

Excerpt – Through the Veil

Tris sat in the prow of the boat, eagerly drinking in all the sights around him. This place was unlike anything he had imagined before, filled with its own kind of magic, and also its own darkness.

He’d had some time to consider what had happened to his brother. Somehow, the tuatha had been waiting for him when he crossed the veil. Had it happened to Laris too? His brother was stronger than Tris, but he likely hadn’t had the aid of someone like Colton, and the sword that now hung at Tris’s waist.

He put his hand on it. He had seen its like many times before at home, one of the swords the Knights of the Guard carried to protect the royal family. So what was it doing here?

“Can I ask you a question?”

“Shoot.”

“Where did you get the sword?” He looked up at his unlikely protector. “And how did you know where to find me?”

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Colton frowned. “It was given to me, and I was told where and when to wait for you.”

“By whom?”

Colton frowned, thinking. “I don’t know her name. She’s called the Pharmacist, and she provides… necessities, for a price.”

Tris thought about that. “And what was your price?” he asked quietly.

Colton didn’t answer for a long time. The steady motion of the oars pushed the boat along, and a large structure appeared ahead, poking up out of the water. Tris
was about to ask again, unsure if Colton had heard him, when he finally replied.

“Myself.” He said no more.

Tris decided it was better not to pry.

The structure ahead grew quickly larger, and Tris saw that it was brick on the bottom, with metal support stanchions on top. It was wide and squat, not nearly as impressive as some of the buildings on the other side of the Wall. But it held a sort of grandeur nonetheless.

“Is that our destination?”

“Yes,” Colton said, sounding relieved to talk about something else.

“What is it?”

Colton laughed. “More like, what was it? It was a stadium where teams from different cities used to play one other.”

Tris looked back at the building once again. A stadium? The place looked like it could hold thousands and thousands. Letters along the top of the building spelled out “AT&T Park.”

“What’s an AT&T?”

Colton shook his head. “It’s too hard to explain,” he said.

COLLAPSE
Reviews:Ben Brock on Queer Sci Fi wrote:

Through the Veil by J. Scott Coatsworth

In the not-too-distant future, San Francisco has been swamped by rising sea levels caused by global warming, and has only survived by building a wall to keep the water out of the heart of the City. Colton is a trans man barely getting by on the canals outside the wall. Tris is an elf who has come to the human world on his journey to become a man. Fate brings them together, and everything changes for Colton when he sets out with Tris to find the elf’s missing brother, taking Colton behind the Wall for the first time.

This was the only story that ventured into the urban fantasy realm, which made it an exciting and fresh addition to the anthology. I loved future San Francisco with its Venice-like feel, and I loved that it was dirty and dark and on many levels repugnant. I also loved our hero, a transman, who fights for the right to be him every step of the way, and yet because of the environment that’s shaped him, even when his wildest dreams are handed to him by a guardian angel of sorts, he peers at the giver and says, “This for real?” [my paraphrasing]. He was definitely a relatable and dynamic character in a fantastic setting.


About the Author

Scott has been writing since elementary school, when he and won a University of Arizona writing contest in 4th grade for his first sci fi story (with illustrations!). He finished his first novel in his mid twenties, but after seeing it rejected by ten publishers, he gave up on writing for a while.

 

Over the ensuing years, he came back to it periodically, but it never stuck. Then one day, he was complaining to Mark, his husband, early last year about how he had been derailed yet again by the death of a family member, and Mark said to him "the only one stopping you from writing is you."

 

Since then, Scott has gone back to writing in a big way. He has sold more than a dozen short stories - some new, some that he had started years before. He is currenty working on two sci fi trilogies, and also runs the Queer Sci Fi (https://www.queerscifi.com) site, a group for readers and writers of gay sci fi, fantasy, and paranormal fiction.