When J. Scott Coatsworth got in touch about his ‘queer sci-fi novel’, The Stark Divide, I was intrigued. Given that the UK and the US are often ‘two countries divided by a common language’, I wasn’t sure if ‘queer’ referred to homosexual or unusual or both! As my TBR stands at over 900 books I couldn’t take on the review but I had to know more and luckily, Scott was willing to tell me!
The first book in the Liminal Sky series, The Stark Divide was published on 10th October 2017 and is available for purchase in e-book and paperback from your local Amazon site.
The Stark Divide
Some stories are epic.
The Earth is in a state of collapse, with wars breaking out over resources and an environment pushed to the edge by human greed.
Three living generation ships have been built with a combination of genetic mastery, artificial intelligence, technology, and raw materials harvested from the asteroid belt. This is the story of one of them—43 Ariadne, or Forever, as her inhabitants call her—a living world that carries the remaining hopes of humanity, and the three generations of scientists, engineers, and explorers working to colonize her.
From her humble beginnings as a seedling saved from disaster to the start of her journey across the void of space toward a new home for the human race, The Stark Divide tells the tales of the world, the people who made her, and the few who will become something altogether beyond human.
Humankind has just taken its first step toward the stars.
Introducing Queer Sci-Fi
A Guest Post by J. Scott Coatsworth
I’ve been writing sci fi and fantasy, on and off, for more than thirty years. But until I came back to writing seriously in 2014, I hadn’t embraced my queer roots in my writing. I’m a gay man, married to my husband since 2008 (and together since 1992). When I starting writing queer characters in my sci fi and fantasy, it really took off.
When I was growing up, I read both sci fi and fantasy voraciously. My mother was a member f the science fiction book club, and I read every book in her library, from Pern to the Foundation. I loved them, but outside of the green dragon riders in Pern, none of them reflected who I was.
I wanted to read about characters like me, guys who fell in love with other guys, and about characters like my friends across the LGBTIQA spectrum.
Sometimes queer speculative fiction is heavy on the romance. I write a bit of that. And sometimes it’s a lot more heavy on the sci fi or fantasy plot. Both have their place, but the important thing is that it is inclusive – and that people in both my community and the mainstream one can read it and see all kinds of different folks represented.
One of the first things I did when I started writing again was to create a new group and website – QueerSciFi.com. We serve as a safe space for all kinds of people to come together to talk about queer speculative fiction, and we’re dedicated to encouraging queer writers to try to push our way out of our safe spaces and into the mainstream, so that more of our voices are heard.
My own Liminal Sky series offers a glimpse at a world that mirrors our own in its diversity, and a look at where we might be going as a society if things continue the way they are.
In the process, it holds up a mirror to our society, and isn’t that what good sci fi does?
That’s what Queer Sci Fi is all about.
About J. Scott Coatsworth
Scott inhabits the space between the “here and now” and the “what could be”. He was shepherded into his love affair with fantasy and sci fi by his mother at the tender age of nine, and soon read her entire library. But as he grew up and read more, he wondered where all the gays were.
He came out as gay at 23, and decided to create the stories he couldn’t find at his local bookstore. He reimagined his favorite genres, subverting them and remaking them to his own ends. And every now and then he hopes someone finds and enjoys them.
His friends say Scott’s mind works a little differently – he sees connections between things that many people miss, and accomplishes more in a day than many people do in three.
Scott’s fiction subverts expectations and transforms traditional science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary life into something fresh and unexpected. He manages both Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband Mark to promote and celebrate fiction that reflects their worldview.
He infuses his work with love, beauty and power, making them soar, and maybe that changes the world, just a little.
Scott lives with his husband of 25 years in Sacramento, California, in a small yellow house with two pink flamingoes in front.