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New Release: Aether – Molly J. Bragg

Aether - Molly J. Bragg

QSFer Molly J. Bragg has a new FF superhero romance out (gender fluid, lesbian, trans MTF), Heart of Heroes book 3: Aether.

When Maggie Bennett agreed to take a break from her own research to be the test subject in an experiment, all she wanted to do was help her best friend Sierra secure grant funding for the new medical imaging machine she was developing. But when Sierra’s ex-boyfriend Garrett causes an explosion in the lab next door, Maggie finds herself gifted with Superpowers and in the custody of the High Guard, Sun City’s most prominent Superhero Team.

At first, it isn’t bad. The High Guard is helping her learn to use her powers while also working to keep her and Sierra from getting blamed for the explosion. And there’s Varsha, the cute speedster that keeps showing up at her room with homemade ice cream and staying for lesbian movie marathons. But when another series of explosions at the school where Maggie and Sierra work reveal that Garrett didn’t die in the accident that gave Maggie her powers and is part of a plot to reverse engineer banned alien technology with ties to her past, she finds herself pushed into the role of a reluctant Superhero.

Caught in a race against time, Maggie must master her new abilities, and use her skills as a scientist to figure out why Garrett and his accomplices want the technology – and who they intend to sell it to.

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“So, I need to ask you a favor,” Sierra said. Maggie looked up from her sandwich, suspecting she was about to find out what price she was going to be asked to pay in order to get better video game privileges.

“You need a favor from me?” Maggie asked.

“Yeah,” Sierra said, and Maggie could tell from the slightly nervous look on Sierra’s face that it was going to be a big one. “You know membership on the Safety and Ethics Committee rotates on Monday, right?”

“I do,” Maggie said, wondering what that had to do with either of them.

“They announced the committee roster this morning.”

Maggie leaned back in her chair, knowing from Sierra’s tone exactly what this had to do with them, and exactly where the conversation was headed.

“Hastings got the physics seat, didn’t he?”

“Got it in one,” Sierra said.

“Shit. I’m sorry,” Maggie said, knowing exactly how much of a disaster the news was for Sierra. Sierra’s research into quantum field modelling and imaging was brilliant. Way above the level of work a lot of full professors were doing, much less other second year post docs. Hastings’ work on quantum teleportation was good stuff, but nothing particularly original. There were other research times doing a lot of similar work. Which was why this was a disaster for Sierra. She and Hastings were competing for the same grant, and it was a forgone conclusion that Sierra was going to get it, if she could get approval for human trials from the Safety and Ethics Committee.

Approval she’d gotten earlier in the week. That should have been the end of it, but it was standard practice for the incoming committee to review all ongoing projects and reaffirm all clearances. Normally, that was just a formality, but Hastings had been making noises for months, pretty much since the day he found out that Sierra had applied for the same grant as him, that her work was still experimental, and that it was far too early to begin human trials of her quantum field imager.

“How can I help?” Maggie asked.

“Well,” Sierra said. “The issue is safety, right?”


“So, it will be a lot harder for that asshat to claim that the quantum field imager is unsafe if I have the results of a human test subject in hand,” Sierra said.

Maggie nodded. “Okay. That makes sense. But where do I…Oh. Oh, no. Sierra—”

“Come on!” Sierra said, giving a little huff and a foot stomp that made her sound like an eight-year-old who’d just been told she’d have to finish her homework before she could destroy her nine-year-old brother at Mario Kart.

“You seriously want to put me in your little quantum toaster?”

“It’s not a toaster! It’s perfectly safe.”

“Says you.”

“Please? Come on, Mags. I don’t have time to find anyone else,” she pleaded, complete with what Maggie always thought of as the ‘dreaded Sierra Gomez puppy dog eyes.’ Maggie didn’t think the devil himself could resist those eyes. In fact, she was sure if Sierra added the little lip quiver, Hades himself would throw open the gates of the underworld for her.

“Fine,” Maggie said. “When do you want to run the test?”

“Tomorrow,” she said. “No one else will be here, so there’s no chance of Hastings hearing about it and shutting us down.” She smiled at Maggie as she said it and any trace of reluctance Maggie felt disappeared. Maggie honestly wasn’t sure why she even tried to fight. She knew it was a bad choice, but she never made good choices when Sierra was involved.

Author Bio

Molly is a trans woman with a degree in Astro-physics and a love of storytelling. She loves science fiction, superheroes, and giant robots. Her hobbies include collecting transformers, watching way too many crafting videos on YouTube, and complaining bitterly about the way a certain comic book company treats her favorite superhero.

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