Tangents & Tachyons | J. Scott Coatsworth
Release Date: December 10th, 2021
Word Count: 45,000
Six Sci-fi and Sci-fantasy shorts 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 however five of the six stories were published in magazines and/or self-published.
I felt a little sick. Okay, a lot sick—like something had wrenched my stomach out of my gut and pulled it halfway to Mars.
Not far from the truth, as it turned out.
I reached for my stomach. My furry belly was a little thicker than I would have liked—too much processed sugar, Peter said. That and the whole no exercise thing.
What did I eat this time? My memories were a bit fuzzy.
I remembered bright lights and a sharp smell. And a keening whine.
I opened my eyes. The light above dimmed of its own accord.
That’s weird. And the smell… kind of antiseptic?
I sat up, and my fingers sank into the soft blue mat beneath me, leaving an impression when I lifted them up which just as quickly disappeared.
I was naked. What the hell?
Alarmed, I looked around as my eyesight cleared.
I was alone in a plain white room. White walls curved into a white floor and ceiling, and only the “bed” had any color—a bright blue pad on a raised pedestal. There were no doors or windows.
I pushed myself up and my head spun. My stomach clenched, and I felt sick.
The room swam around me, darkening, changing.
I’ve been sick. I was certain of that, but the details were vague. I fell back, cushioning my fall with my left hand. “Hello? Peter?”
“Hello, Tanner Black.” The reply was warm, cordial. Feminine, maybe? Hard to tell.
“Hello.” My head ached. “Where am I? Who is this?” The walls continued to flow.
“I am Sera. You are in an awakening room. Welcome to the Seeker.”
“Welcome to where?” None of this made any sense. Where’s Peter? He must be looking for me. I tried to get up again and a searing pain clenched my gut.
“Please lie down, Mr. Black. You have not fully recovered yet, and your room is not ready.”
Recovered from what? I wanted to argue, but suddenly resting seemed like an eminently sensible idea. I was tired, and my head hurt.
Maybe just a short nap.
I pulled my feet up and lay down, wishing for my comfy feather pillow.
The foam conformed to my body, hugging me. So comfortable.
That thought faded as sleep took me, and the light went out.
About The Author
Scott lives with his husband Mark in a little yellow bungalow with two pink flamingos in Sacramento. He inhabits the space between the here and now and the what could be. 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 the people like him were.
He decided it was time to create the kinds of stories he couldn’t find at Waldenbooks. If there weren’t queer characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends.
His friends say Scott’s brain works a little differently – he sees relationships between things that others miss, and gets more done in a day than most folks manage in a week. He seeks to transform traditional sci fi, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something unexpected.
A Rainbow Award winning author, he runs Queer Sci Fi, QueeRomance Ink, and Other Worlds Ink with Mark, sites that bring queer people together to promote and celebrate fiction reflecting their own reality. Scott is a full member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).
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Scott is giving away a full set of his previously self-published eBooks to one lucky winner: