When I was a kid, I had all kinds of crazy dreams.
Well, that’s kinda true.
In reality, I had my eyes on a few things.
I wanted to be an astronomer. I wanted to be a rock star. But most of all, I wanted to be an astronaut.
I’m part of the Star Wars generation. I was nine years old when the first film came out. Back in those days, in the mid seventies, a really big cineplex had 3-4 screens, and most had only one. This meant that when a big film came out – and Star Wars was one of the biggest – lines routinely ran out the front door, down the block, along the side of the next block, and around the back of the building.
Nevertheless, I was undaunted. I convinced various family members to see the movie seven times in the theater, and I’m glad I did. It would be five long years before it came out on VHS tape.
There were no two-week turn-arounds from theater to streaming in those days.
My big takeaway from the film? I wanted to be OUT THERE, doing THAT.
I was never a very athletic person, and it quickly became clear that there was a hell of a lot of physical work that would go into being an astronaut. So after a couple years, I discarded that dream.
I wasn’t feeling the whole rock star thing, so that left astronomy. If I couldn’t go out and explore the planets and stars, I could study them.
This phase was sparked by another event in the mid-seventies – when my Mom took me to Planetfest for the flyby of one of the Voyager spacecraft past Saturn and her moons. It was an amazing weekend, full of fuzzy image beamed across the solar system, free planet and moon maps, a tour of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and a concert of “The Planets” by Gustav Holst. Oh, and my mom LITERALLY bumped into Carl Sagan as he was coming out of a meeting. In our household, that was like running into George Clooney in the men’s room.
But this dream too went softly into the dark night when I found out how much math was required to chart the start.
Which is when I discovered writing.
Around the same time that all of this was going on, I started reading The Lord of the Rings. I was in third grade, and read the whole thing in a couple months. Then I dove into Pern and Trantor and Rama, and soon I knew I had really found my calling. If I couldn’t go OUT THERE or map OUT THERE, I could make my own OUT THERE.
And that’s what I’ve done.
I hope you enjoy the results. And I hope you too find and follow your dream.
Check out Ithani today!
The Oberon Cycle: Book Three
Time is running out.
After saving the world twice, Xander, Jameson and friends plunge headlong into a new crisis. The ithani—the aliens who broke the world—have reawakened from their hundred millennia-long slumber. When Xander and Jameson disappear in a flash, an already fractured world is thrown into chaos.
The ithani plans, laid a hundred thousand years before, are finally coming to pass, and they threaten all life on Erro. Venin and Alix go on a desperate search for their missing and find more than they bargained for. And Quince, Robin and Jessa discover a secret as old as the skythane themselves.
Will alien technology, unexpected help from the distant past, destiny and some good old-fashioned firepower be enough to defeat an enemy with the ability to split a world? The final battle of the epic science fiction adventure that began in Skythane will decide the fate of lander and skythane alike. And in the north, the ithani rise….
J. Scott Coatsworth lives with his husband Mark in a little yellow bungalow in East Sacramento with two pink flamingos out front. He spends his time between the here and now and the what could be. Ushered into fantasy and sci-fi at the tender age of nine by his mother, he devoured her library of Asimovs, Clarkes, and McCaffreys. But as he grew up, he wondered where the gay people were in speculative fiction.
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 write them himself.
His friends say Scott’s brain works a little differently—he sees relationships between things that others miss, and often gets more done in a day than most folks manage in a week. He transforms traditional sci-fi, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something unexpected.
He and Mark also run Queer Sci Fi, QueeRomance Ink, and Other Worlds Ink, sites that bring LGBTIQA communities together to celebrate fiction that reflects queer life and love.
Scott won a Rainbow Award as one of the best new gay authors of 2017.
Scott’s Website: https://www.jscottcoatsworth.com/
Scott at QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/j-scott-coatsworth/
Queer Sci Fi: https://www.queerscifi.com