Today J Scott Coatsworth joins us to share the long road to the publication of his new science fiction novel The Stark Divide.
The Long Road
The Stark Divide marks the end of a long road for me as a writer, one that began in the early nineties. That’s when I started on a novel called Forever, the first one I finished. It took me a few years, and I was really excited about it when I printed out ten copies of my 350 page opus (yes, it was the nineties), and mailed them (again, the nineties) to ten New York publishers.
The story was a fantasy set on a generation ship, a world that’s devolved to an agrarian society. Basically a fantasy setting in space. I’ve always loved books that mixed the two, like Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series.
Anyhow, it took a year, almost to the day, for the last of the publishers to get back to me with a “no”, and all those paper manuscripts were shredded since I hadn’t included return postage.
What I had envisioned as my great launch as a sci fi author had fizzled, and I gave up on writing for a time. A long time.
When I finally came back to it twenty years later, the story still had a draw for me. I pulled it out and looked it over again, and decided I still had a tale to tell.
I’d never given the backstory of the original tale much thought. How did the world come to be? How was it built? Powered? What was the history? So I sat down to write the origin tale, and “Seedling”, the first part of “The Stark Divide,” was born.
Things have changed a bit. In the original tale, Forever was a cylindrical generation ship where the world was on the outside. Now it’s on the inside instead.
The cast of the original tale was mostly straight. The new stories have a much more diverse cast.
And the original story, while still near and dear to my heart, was written by my twenty five year old self. The new tale adds layers of experience and complexity that the original never had.
With its publication, I’m realizing a dream from half a lifetime ago, and hoping it will stretch on through future sequels until I’m finally ready to re-tell the original tale.
I hope you’ll follow me on the journey!
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The Stark Divide Synopsis:
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.
Publisher: DSP Publications, October 2017
Length: 284 Pages, Format: eBook, Paperback
Series: Liminal Sky (Book One), Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson
Genre: Sci Fi, Space, Gen Ship, Apocalypse, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer
About the Author, J Scott Coatsworth
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. Check out his author website and connect with him on Facebook or Twitter.