As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

New Release: Farther Reefs Anthology

Farther Reefs Anthology

QSFers J.S. Fields and Heather Tracy have edited a new LGBTQ+ SFF anthology (ace, bi, demi, intersex, lesbian, non-binary, poly): Farther Reefs.

The seas spell freedom.

Pirates and kraken, boats and submarines, deadly sirens, mermaids, and the women who face them all. These are our heroes.

High seas adventure, fantasy, and magic weave together in this sapphic anthology focusing on the joy of the unbounded oceans.

If you like diverse stories with lesbian and sapphic heroines exploring oceans, battling sea monsters, and seducing pirates, buy Farther Reefs today!

With stories by: Sarah Day and Tim Pratt, Kim Pritekel, Kyoko M. Sara Codair, William C. Tracy, N.L. Bates, Robin C.M. Duncan, Vanessa Ricci-Thode, Margaret Adelle, and J.S. Fields

Warnings: PTSD, Pregnancy in danger, threatened rape (individual stories).

Get It At Amazon | Publisher


Excerpt

“Avast ye tufted puffin! Fer ye flies and dives and, you’re eating fishes like I eat fishes, and aren’t we all just great big fishes of life and stuff so have a little respect. Arr.”

The unconcerned puffin bobbed next to Lynn’s boat, a fish tail flapping from its beak. Lynn’s severed fishing line and one lone, red bobbin floated accusingly next to the puffin’s right wing. Lynn watched, and fumed, sitting cross legged on the deck of her computer-run, thirty-five-foot-long research vessel. The remains of her childhood fishing pole she gripped tightly in her hand.

“Yarr,” Lynn said to the puffin, one eye squinted shut. “Is this pirate thing convincing? You need to stop eating my fish. I’ve had people stealing my food since the grade school cafeteria. I don’t need it from uppity birds.”

The puffin continued to stare. The fish in its mouth stopped moving. The fishing line jerked under the waves and the bobbin disappeared. The puffin unapologetically swallowed and flew off. It did not shit on her as it did so, which put it ahead of ninety-nine percent of the humans Lynn had ever tried to call friends. A small victory, maybe, but she’d also really been looking forward to fish.

Lynn stood, collapsed the telescoping, My Little Pony-themed rod that she’d saved up three hundred and fifty horseshoe points for when she was ten, and grumbled all the way back to the boat’s covered compartment, and down below deck. There were enough provisions onboard to feed her for the entire six-month solo research voyage, but it was all freeze-dried garbage from whatever local camping store had been having a sale. Getting a two-point-five-million-dollar donation to Illinois State University, earmarked for “a young woman of southern Wisconsin origin with a masters-level background in tufted puffins to study light pollution in the mid-to-northern Pacific,” didn’t go as far as one might think, especially when your home university charged seventy-five percent overhead. Money aside, she had her fishing pole, and she had her puffins. She did not have to deal with humanity for the next six months and that alone was a godsend.

Lynn had only just started toward the stairs when her ears caught the blissful whirring of drone propellers. Lynn spun just in time to see her weekly supply shipment of perishables drop from the drone hovering just off her starboard bow, and into the ocean.

“No!” She raced to the stern and slammed into the guard rail. The bag sank, the green plastic strip of Ziploc seal disappearing to the lap…lap…lap of the mild waves.

“My granola,” she mumbled. Lynn made a mental note to text her lab’s principal investigator to ask for a replacement and to check the drone’s GPS.

An electric engine whined and the drone flew closer. It hovered, although now it did so smack over the center of the boat, where the entrance to the storage compartment was located. The drone sang, “LynnLYNN. LynnLYNN.” Then a woman’s voice, distorted and…wet…and from ab-solutely nowhere, repeated it. “LynnLYNN. LynnLYNN.”

“Creepy!” Lynn yelled at the drone. “You couldn’t have dropped it on my ship? What’s wrong with your audio? I thought we weren’t going to skimp on the tech? Hello? Are you connected to a feed?” She looked for a camera or audio input, but the drone didn’t look anything like the last one the university had sent, which had been uniformly black with a storage compartment roughly the size of her torso. This drone looked almost identical to her cousin Izzy’s—a hobby model Izzy had flown from one end of their cul-de-sac to the other. They’d used the drone to pass late-night notes between houses…notes that their parents pretended not to notice because Lynn had no other friends. She’d wanted other friends, obviously, but children were loud, and messy, and never sufficiently interested in the voice continuity of My Little Pony episodes, or bird migration patterns. Lynn was a lot, and she was aware of that. She had a therapist, and a handful of diagnoses, and worked under the assumption there had to be at least one other person in the world as weird as she was—but she’d never find them, because it was a lot less drama to be alone.

The drone dipped to eye height. Lynn drew closer and as she did so, a hand that looked suspiciously like a repurposed backscratcher descended from the drone’s middle. Taped to the hand was another baggie, this one sandwich-sized. This was definitely not a university drone.

“LynnLYNN,” the drone demanded. Then again came the repeat in that sloshing alto. “LynnLYNN!”

Lynn whipped around, but saw only puffins bobbing on agitated ocean waves.

She refused to be spooked by distorted audio from a vintage drone. “Okay, okay.” Lynn pulled the baggie free and removed the bundle comprised of a strip of paper, wrapped around a silver-plated compass. Written on the lined notebook paper in old fashioned cursive was: You’ll never be lost with a compass and a good woman by your side. You’ve inherited both. —Grandpa Jim.

“Grandpa Jim doesn’t know what year it is. He’d have to leave his research lab or the retirement home for that,” Lynn muttered. “What is Cousin Izzy up to?” She removed the compass next. She flipped open the pocketwatch-style cover. Then she looked at the drone dead on, because if it was sending audio it had to be receiving as well, and said, “You know we have GPS, right? It uses satellites. I’ve got three other compasses on board. So, unless this one points the way to hidden treasure instead of north, I’m not sure what to do with it.”

“LYNNLYNN!” squawked the drone.


Editor Bio

J.S. Fields (@Galactoglucoman) is a scientist who has spent too much time around organic solvents. They enjoy roller derby, woodturning, making chainmail by hand, and cultivating fungi in the backs of minivans. J.S. lives with their wife and daughter in the Pacific Northwest, along with a Flemish giant rabbit named Sir Chip Edmonton III.

Fields’ writing spans across science and science fiction / fantasy. Their Ardulum series was a Forewords INDIES finalist in science fiction, and a Gold Crown Literary Society finalist in science fiction. Their YA fantasy Foxfire in the Snow was also a Foreword INDIES finalist in YA. All of their writing, from published to drafting, is available on their Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/jsfields. You can keep up to date on their work at http://www.jsfieldsbooks.com/

close

Join Our Newsletter List, Get 4 Free Books

File Type Preferred *
Privacy *
Queer Sci Fi Newsletter Consent *
Please consider also subscribing to the newsletters of the authors who are providing these free eBooks to you.
Author Newsletter Consent *
Check your inbox to confirm your addition to the list(s)

Leave a Comment