J. Scott Coatsworth has a new queer sci fi collection out: Tangents & Tachyons. And there’s a giveaway!
Tangents & Tachyons is Scott’s second anthology – six sci fi and sci-fantasy shorts that run the gamut from time travel to hopepunk and retro spec fic:
Eventide: Tanner Black awakes to find himself in his own study, staring out the window at the end of the Universe. But who brought him there, and why?
Chinatown: Deryn lives in an old San Francisco department store with his girlfriend Gracie, and scrapes by with his talent as a dreamcaster for the Chinese overlords. But what if a dream could change the world?
Across the Transom: What if someone or something took over your body on an urgent mission to save your world?
Pareidolia: Simon’s not like other college kids. His mind can rearrange random patterns to reveal the images lurking inside. But where did his strange gift come from? And what if there are others like him out there too?
Lamplighter: Fen has a crush on his friend Lewin, who’s in a competing guild. But when the world goes dark, only a little illumination can save it. And only Fen, Lewin and their friend Alissa can light the spark. A Liminal Sky short.
Prolepsis: Sean is the closeted twenty-five-year-old editor of an 80’s sci-fi ‘zine called Prolepsis. When an unabashedly queer story arrives from a mysterious writer, it blows open Sean’s closet door, and offers him the chance to change the world – and the future.
Plus two flash fiction stories – The System and The Frog Prince, never before published.
This is the first time all of these stories have all been collected in one place.
Scott is giving away a full set of his previously self-published eBooks to one lucky winner:
From Pareidolia (Never Before Published)
(Never Before Published)
Simon slammed the lid on his sugar-free, two-pump, pulse-heated vanilla latte, before he might accidentally get a good look at the pattern on the coffee’s surface.
Ethan, the barista, usually covered it for him, but he’d forgotten this time. Simon, distracted by the coffee shop’s textured wall, had almost missed it.
He’d jerked his gaze away when the whorls and lines in the plaster had shifted into a mountain landscape. He looked around as casually as he could manage, hoping no one had noticed the wall moving.
Simon put his prescription glasses back on. They blurred his vision just enough to block his curse from shifting any other patterns. If anyone ever found out what he could do, they’d stick him in a cage like a lab rat.
Fooling the optometrist had been easy enough—he’d just pretended that the clear letters were fuzzy and vice versa. Unfortunately, they made the handsome barista fuzzy too.
Simon sighed under his breath. An imperfect solution to an unwanted gift. He waved. “Have a good one.”
“You too.” Ethan winked at him.
Simon hurried out of the Student Union, keeping his eyes pointed forward, avoiding the patterns that flocked to him like birds to seed—clouds in the sky, the grains of wood on a table… even the swirls on Tracey Martin’s designer bag in class. He emerged into the fresh morning air, ducking as a drone zipped past overhead carrying a pizza to someone’s dorm.
He’d learned to control his curse in elementary school. Mostly. The glasses helped, and if he blurred his vision when the patterns started to become actual things, they stopped. Usually. Still, he’d gone to detention more than once for, “whatever you just did to your desk.”
There was a name for seeing things in random patterns—pareidolia. But most people didn’t seem to do it so literally.
“Ally, what’s the time?”
His PA responded in his ear in her usual chipper Italian accent. -It’s eleven-fifty-seven, Simon. You have a class in three minutes.-
“Crap.” He ran down the steps, knocking the wallet out of a woman’s hands. He grabbed it and tossed it to her. “Sorry!”
Then he bolted down the sidewalk, dodging a group of students flicking data over their wrists, and leapt like a track star over a short hedge to shave off fifteen seconds.
One of the Sac State professors shouted after him, “Slow down!”
“Sorry! Late for a lecture!” He hated being late—it drew attention to himself, and he liked to blend in. Plus, it’s a damned good course.
Professor Dandrich’s course—Finding Meaning in Interstellar Noise—was one of his favorites. If he could just find a job like that where he could use his strange ability…
Simon slipped into the hall and slammed into his seat in the front row of the lecture hall at a minute past noon, splashing his latte all over his arm. “Dammit.”
Everyone turned to look at him, and heat rushed to his face. So much for blending in.
Scott lives with his husband Mark in a yellow bungalow in Sacramento. He was indoctrinated into fantasy and sci fi by his mother at the tender age of nine. He devoured her library, but as he grew up, he wondered where all the people like him were.
He decided that if there weren’t queer characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends.
A Rainbow Award winning author, he runs Queer Sci Fi, QueeRomance Ink, and Other Worlds Ink with Mark, sites that celebrate fiction reflecting queer reality, and is a full member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).
Author Website: https://www.jscottcoatsworth.com
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