QSFer Toshi Drake has a new queer sci-fi book out, StarStation book 2: Sanctity.
Can a man in emotional turmoil find love on a space station overrun by pirates?
Commander Jax Trest is struggling with a secret pain he finds difficult to share with his friends. When his spaceship, the Padua, docks for repairs at StarStation 86, Trest is ordered to take time off and seek counselling. From his first encounter with Commander Zoagashta, Trest finds himself entranced by the empathic Asyran, and new possibilities for emotional connection open to him.
But when a stalker hints Trest is the target of a Siwu pirate attack that endangers the station, Trest must find the strength to survive a harrowing kidnapping. Trapped in a deadly scenario where he can’t trust his own thoughts, will Trest learn to reach out to the person who offers him acceptance… or will he lose himself to the darkness of an enraged ship’s heart?
Sanctity features asexual awakenings, discovery of one’s true self, sweet courtships, and grumpy/sunshine first loves, along with heart-pounding moments of courageous heroes and villainous pirates.
This book is not a standalone and is best read after Entity.
“I can contact someone from the sol system to import a few in for you. The pieces inside are tiny and fragile, so I’ll have to move them as cargo rather than use the inanimate object transporter.” Sending objects from long distances through transporters was still had a lot of kinks to work out. Priceless items and delicate technologies were sent by cargo ships between the two systems. It was cumbersome, but everything always arrived in one piece.
“Oh, that would be amazing. If you could send them to the starstation addressed to me, i would love you forever.”
Zoagashta gleefully rubbed their hands together at the idea of watches. I chuckled at their giddiness.
The large transparent wall drew my attention away from Zoagashta. I leaned against the windowsill and peered down at the bright blue gas giant. I had never seen an active planet this close before, and I admit, its power gave me shivers. Flares were bright and powerful as they lit up the room. I was in awe at how close they were. I pressed my forehead against the wall and froze as Zoagashta came around and draped themself across me. My stomach dropped, and waves of hot and cold washed over my body. Unsure of the etiquette or what they expected, I deliberately straightened, forcing Zoagashta back. They smiled guiltily at me before returning to their seat.
I kept my eyes on the ever-churning planet, drawn to the constant flare spikes. My thoughts bounced around, wanting to understand how the StarStation used the gas arcs to power their conduit and what it meant to have someone touch me in a proprietary manner.
“I love being out in space,” I said. “I can see the potential for everything. Can you imagine being on a planet where the only energy source people could harness was buried deep beneath the crust and mantle?”
Zoagashta shook their head slowly as confusion and mild disgust fought for dominance as they thought about it. “That sounds awful. Asyra, the planet, is just a cold slab of ice with scrub grass and mountains. I prefer to stay on asyras moon. It has lush vegetation and infinitely warmer weather.”
I smiled at their vehement rejection of their home planet. “It’s okay. My home is a transport vessel. I see new planets all the time. It can be fun.”
Except when my ship is being captained by a money-hungry man whos in deep with one of the most dangerous groups of pirates this side of the oort cloud. For a brief moment, thoughts of padua and the events that sent me here hadnt plagued me. I sighed heavily and turned to face the room, discouraged at my thoughts.
Silence filled the air, and I didn’t know how to bring the conversation back to its lighthearted nature. I blamed myself for bringing us down. I did it all the time. I remembered a time Padua would tap a tentacle against the tank, pulling me away from my sombre thoughts. She wasn’t here now, and she wasn’t going to be doing that again. Fuck.
“You never told me about Trest, though. What’s he like?”
Zoagashta mimicked my position, their back against the cool wall. They looked at me as though I was the most interesting person in the room. I loved their eyes, which reminded me so much of twilight on Europa, my home world.
I didn’t know how to answer the question. No one had ever singled me out or given me their full attention. I scratched the back of my neck, trying to sort out how to respond.
A Canadian author exploring the world of books, Toshi Drake has been dabbling with the idea of writing since they were a young child. An avid fan of all things speculative fiction, they began their journey of creating worlds and books just this past year. While thoroughly loving writing high science fiction, they also dabble in the speculative romance side of queer fiction.
A rabid geek, they spend their weekends playing video games or watching any of the Stars and dreaming of creating a better world for all.