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.
Book One of Liminal Sky
Colin sat on an outcropping of rock with absolutely nothing to do. It was a strange feeling, after the hectic pace of events these last twenty-four hours. The enormity of what had happened rushed in on him and threatened to crush him. He turned off his comm link, wrapped his arms around his chest, and wept unabashedly. For Hammond, for the Dressler, for his own endangered life.
The suit’s recycling systems dutifully removed the water his tears deposited within the helmet, the soft whir of the suit motor the only external sound.
After a while, he began to calm down, taking a few deep, ragged breaths. The worst was over. Jackson was in no pain, and they had escaped the wreckage of the Dressler.
Now he would witness the birth of a new world, something good come out of this otherwise unmitigated disaster. I can do this.
He turned the comm link back on.
The doc’s voice was in his ear. “—can’t seem to reach you. Are you okay? I’m coming back as quickly as I can—”
“I’m here, Doc.” Colin kept his voice steady. “Just a glitch on the comm. Don’t rush back. Just take it slow and steady.”
“Oh God, it’s so good to hear your voice, Colin.” She sounded close to losing it. “I don’t know what I would do all alone.”
“I’m okay. Just get back here so we can get this done.” He stood and stretched.
“Affirmative.” She was all business once again. “Give me about ten minutes.”
He put his hands on the seed, trying to feel the life within, wondering what it would lead to. The thing he held between his hands was destined to become a world all its own, mankind’s first interstellar ship.
What would its occupants think of the world around them? Would its strange interior be as natural to them as the Earth was to him?
He looked up at the stars as the spin of the asteroid pulled them away from the sun’s glow once again.
Where would it go, and how long would it take to get there?
It was a liminal moment in the history of mankind, the threshold of a new era, and he was here to see it.
For a moment, he forgot all about Jackson Hammond and the Dressler. He was filled with an intense longing to go along with these future star travelers, to see what was out there. It was what had fueled his passion to become a pilot, to come out here into the vast unknown. Though ultimately he’d become nothing more than a highly paid delivery boy.
There was so much more beyond where they were allowed to go.
We have such short lives in the grand scheme of things. He’d be unlikely to live long enough to see her launched into the void, let alone to see where she went and what she found there.
“I’m almost there, Captain,” Anatov called.
He acknowledged her tersely, turning back to look at Jackson’s corpse lying there in the starlight.
He just wanted to get this over with and get back to the safety and comfortable confinement of the lifeboat.
It was too big out here for one man, no matter his grand ambitions.
DSP Publications (paperback): https://www.dsppublications.com/books/the-stark-divide-by-j-scott-coatsworth-416-b
DSP Publications (eBook): https://www.dsppublications.com/books/the-stark-divide-by-j-scott-coatsworth-415-b
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-stark-divide-j-scott-coatsworth/1126901106?ean=9781635338324
QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/book/the-stark-divide/
Scott spends his time between the here and now and the what could be. Enticed into fantasy and sci fi by his mom at the tender age of nine, he devoured her Science Fiction Book Club library. But as he grew up, he wondered where all the people like him were in the books he was reading.
He decided that it was time to create the kinds of stories he couldn’t find at his local bookstore. If there weren’t gay characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends.
His friends say Scott’s mind 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 loves to transform traditional sci fi, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something unexpected.
Starting in 2014, Scott has published more than 15 works, including two novels and a number of novellas and short stories.
He runs both Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband Mark, sites that bring queer people together to promote and celebrate fiction that reflects their own lives.
Facebook (personal): https://www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworth
Facebook (author page): https://www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworthauthor/
QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/j-scott-coatsworth/