Title: Tales From Ardulum
Author: J.S. Fields
Genre: Sci Fi
LGBTQ+ Category: Lesbian, Ace, Queer
Publisher: NineStar Press
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About The Book
One year after saving the Neek homeworld and redefining the people’s religion, the crew of the Scarlet Lucidity returns to the Charted Systems for a much-needed break. For Nicholas and Yorden, the Systems will always be home, but for Emn and Atalant, too many memories compound with Emn’s strange new illness to provide much relaxation.
TALES FROM ARDULUM continues the journey of Atalant, Emn, Yorden, Nicholas, and Salice as they try to define their place in a galaxy that no longer needs them while battling the artifacts of Ardulan colonization. Other stories include Yorden’s acquisition of the Mercy’s Pledge (and his grudge against the galaxy), Atalant’s exile from her homeworld, Ekimet and Savath’s romance, and many others.
It’s all my fault.
J.S. Fields warned me, when I asked for a review copy of this final book in the Ardulum series, that it was NOT a stand-alone book. “Tales From Ardulum” is a collection of short stories that take place both before the main trilogy and in-between some of the books. It assumes the reader has a working knowledge of the series plot and characters, and was mainly written to fill in some of the gaps for the many fans of the series.
And yet… somehow it worked for me.
In a nutshell, the series revolves around a motley crew of humans and aliens who end up exploring one of the central mysteries of the Chartered Systems – a group of star systems policed by the Risalians and including the newly peaceful earth. Peaceful after that peace was imposed on us by the alien race.
The mystery? A planet named Ardulum that has a strange habit of appearing in unexpected places and leaving chaos in its wake.
The stories here mostly serve as origin stories for each of the main characters, showing where they came from and how they joined the crew. And they are fascinating.
Reading “Tales From Ardulum” is like looking at Field’s universe through a multi-faceted crystal. Sure, you don’t get the whole story. But you do get some enthralling pieces that make you want to go back and dive into book one to find out more. And by the end of the tales, you come to love these misfits and the chosen family they have built together.
There’s a nice bunch of fascinating sci fi nuggets here too, from starfaring technology based on tree cellulose to a group of interconnected, psychic peoples who seem to share Ardulum as their common denominator.
There’s even a map of the Chartered Systems and a timeline for the series, which made the sci fi geek in me squeal with delight.
Here’s the deal. Yes, this book is not the perfect introduction to the series.
So go buy “Ardulum: First Don” now. Just do it – click over to Amazon (or Barnes & Noble or Kobo or NineStar Press). Close your Facebook app, pull down the blinds, put on your footie pajamas, and settle in for a dip into an amazing world.
Once you finish all three books in the main series, then come back and read “Tales From Ardulum.”
But if you don’t have time to read the whole series first, grab this book instead and enjoy this amazing, queer universe in little delicious bites.
I guarantee you’ll be hooked.
Scott is the founder of Queer Sci Fi, and a fantasy and sci fi writer in his own right, with more than 30 published short stories, novellas and novels to his credit, including two trilogies.