J. Scott Coatsworth has a new queer sci fi/fantasy anthology out: Spells & Stardust.
Spells & Stardust is Scott’s first anthology – eight sci fi and fantasy shorts that run the gamut from regeneration to redemption.
The Bear at the Bar: A gay fish out of water tale with a pinch of magic.
Tight: What happens when your lover disappears in midair?
Morgan: The year when everything changed.
Re-Life: What if you were reborn in a strange new future?
A New Year: They met every eleven years. And each time, Hank’s life changed.
Repetition: What if you wanted to go back in the closet?
Gargoyle: Sometimes you get what you deserve. Sometimes it happens on All Hallows Eve.
Avalon: A few bright moments in the sun, stolen from outside time.
Most of these stories have been previously published in various anthologies and journals. This is the first time they have all been collected in one place.
Scott is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour. Enter via Rafflecopter:
From “A New Year”
The edge of the old cement pediment crumbled away beneath Hank’s feet into the river far below, glistening in the light of the almost-full moon. The bridge railing was cold at his back—he could feel it all the way through his jacket and shirt to his skin. He could see his breath glowing in the night air.
The nearly-frozen water rushed by in the river below, flowing under the bridge behind him and on toward the ocean far away in a steady flow, silver in the moonlight and heavily laden with winter rain. As soon as he gathered his courage, Hank would let go of his grip on the railing and fall into those icy waters, to disappear forever from the world of men.
It was New Year’s Day, 1986, an hour after midnight, and it was the end of things for Hank.
Or it should have been.
It was also the night he first met Dale.
And here is a unique excerpt from the same story — “A New Year”:
Hank knocked back his second beer of the night, glancing around the club to see if anyone interesting had entered in the five minutes since he’d last looked. It was still packed, even though the New Year’s countdown had been almost an hour before.
1997 was officially here.
Another year, another chance to reflect on all he hadn’t done and all he hadn’t become. Still no boyfriend. Still working for a high-end retailer at the SF Centre for low-end wages. But thank God, still out of that small-town hell-hole where he’d grown up.
At twenty-eight, he was a gym-toned, perfected version of his former self. And he was still all alone.
A group of guys came in together, obviously drunk off their asses, and one of them gave him a once-over. Hank ignored him—he wanted something a little less… inebriated. And he could do better.
Hell, he’d done better last night, taking home twins—United Airlines pilots, no less—and they’d shared a memorable evening together. One he’d paid for in spades the next morning with the mother of all hangover headaches.
Someone slid up next to him at the bar.
Hank ignored him, nursing his beer, staring at the music videos blaring on the TV above the bar without really seeing them.
“Yeah?” He didn’t give the man a second glance. Probably a trick he’d picked up here some other night.
All of his nights had taken on a depressing sameness. He’d found he could have almost anyone he wanted in this place—his farm-boy good looks and strict Golds Gym schedule saw to that. But he never seemed to really want anyone, anymore. Not really.
“You’ve come a long way since Haven Creek.”
That got his attention. He turned to face his admirer. He was gorgeous. Slender, dark hair, golden eyes, bit of an accent…
Recognition clicked. “Shit, Dale, is it really you?” Hank almost fell off the stool. “Well I’ll be damned. After all these years—I halfway thought I’d dreamed you up.”
“It’s really me.” Dale grinned. “Can we get out of here? I can hardly hear you over the music!”
“Sure.” Hank finished the beer in one long swallow and left it on the bar with a tip. “Come on. There’s a coffee shop down on the corner.”
Dale followed him out of the bar.
Hank didn’t miss the jealous looks the two of them got, leaving together. It did his soul good.
“God, you still look amazing.” They hit the sidewalk together.
Hank’s breath turned to fog in the cold winter air. Down the street, one of the trolley cars clanged by, running late for the holiday.
Dale laughed. “You look good too. But then, you looked pretty good to me before.”
Hank shook his head, laughing ruefully. “I don’t know about that—I was a little… rough around the edges back then.” He shoved his hands in his jean pockets. Damn, it’s cold out here. “Hey, what are you doing in San Francisco? Do you live in the City now?”
“No, I’m just here for the day. I was lucky to run into you like this.”
“I’m the lucky one.” He shot Dale a sly grin.
He wanted Dale, wanted him like he hadn’t wanted someone in a very long time.
Scott lives with his husband of twenty five years in a Sacramento suburb, in a cute little yellow house with a brick fireplace and two pink flamingoes out front.
He inhabits in the space between the here and now and the what could be. Indoctrinated into science fiction and fantasy by his mom at the tender age of nine, he quickly finished her entire library. But he soon began to wonder where all the queer people were.
After coming out at twenty three, he started writing the kinds of stories he couldn’t find at Crown Books. If there weren’t many queer characters in his favorite genres, he would will them into existence, subverting them to his own ends. And if he was lucky enough, someone else would want to read them.
His friends say Scott’s mind works a little differently than most – he makes connections between ideas that others don’t, and somehow does more in a day than most people manage in a week. Although born an introvert, he forced himself to reach outside himself, and learned to connect with others like him.
Scott’s stories subvert expectations that transform traditional science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something different and unexpected. He runs both Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband Mark.
His romance and genre fiction writing brings a queer energy to his stories, filling them with love, beauty and power. He imagines how the world could be – in the process, he hopes to change the world, just a little.
Scott was recognized as one of the top new gay authors in the 2017 Rainbow Awards, and his debut novel “Skythane” received two awards and an honorable mention.
Author Website: https://www.jscottcoatsworth.com
Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworth
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Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8392709.J_Scott_Coatsworth
Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/j-scott-coatsworth/
Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/J.-Scott-Coatsworth/e/B011AFO4OQ
Thank you Scott and Other Worlds Ink Tours for letting Romance Across the Rainbow be part of the tour for this exciting release!