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Skythane Paperback – February 17, 2017
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About the Author
J. Scott Coatsworth has been writing fiction since elementary school, but after his first novel was rejected by ten publishers in his midtwenties, he quit writing for a while. Now he is back with a vengeance and has sold thirteen short stories and novellas to a several publishers and journals. He just finished his second sci-fi novel and is thrilled to be working with Dreamspinner. He writes mainly LGBT sci-fi, fantasy, and magical realism. He also runs the Queer Sci-Fi group.
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Top customer reviews
You can tell J.Scott Coatsworth is an epic sci-fi reader by this book. Having been a science fiction reader for most of my life, I feel like I just finished reading my first book by one of the greats, THAT is how amazing this book is. How original his world split was. How original his Skythane and Landers were. How original that there are gay MC's that don't get lost in all the sex. (don't get me wrong, sex is VERY nice), but this story was more about the world, characters, their pursuits and the story more than sex. I really hope there is going to be more of this world, as it truly is amazing!!
What an engaging novel! Skythane is more sci-fi and adventure than romance, but that does not affect the charm of the story. The world it is set is a planet divided in two, Oberon and Titania, which as their mythological counterparts, are in open conflict even though most people do not know about it. Oberon is highly technological, while Titania is mostly natural and spiritual. Both worlds are in different dimensions, separated by the Split. We learn all this little by little, through the explanations and flashbacks of the three main characters, Jameson, Xander and Quince. Jameson is a psych who thinks he is in Oberon to work, but in fact has been called by Quince to fulfil his role in an ancient prophecy. Xander is an Oberon street boy who does not have any idea who he really is at the other side of the world, Titania. Quince is a key figure in the story, because she holds all the answers to the young men's questions. As they progress in their trip from Oberon to Titania, answers are found and links are created, and the attraction between Xander and Jameson grows steadily. They find new and mysterious allies, and face dangers in a desperate attempt to prevent a global catastrophe…
Cleverly designed, the book pace is unrelenting, and after a somehow slow and disconcerting beginning, it gains tempo and drags you in inexorably. It happens the same with the main characters. Though I did not like them that much in the first chapters, finding Quince somehow distant and secretive, Xander too aggressive and bitter, and Jameson whiny and spoiled, I soon fell for them completely. So good!
Oberon and Titania…Shakespeare’s king and queen of fairies in A Midsummer Night’s Dream…are two sides of one complex world. Both facets are splitting, gnashing and crashing into the sure destruction of all who live there. Who will save an entire race?
Xander is a “thane,” a handsome and cocky black-winged man who represents the original founders of Oberon. Jameson is a “psych,” an out-worlder, a cyncal man who’s led a sheltered life, who’s been sent to liaise with Xander for a brief assignment.
The men meet, like flint striking tinder, each rubbing the other into cranky awareness of a hidden flame. They’ve hardly exchanged hello’s before everything begins to explode around them, and they learn that they must team up to survive. They are joined by the enigmatic woman Quince, also a thane, whose own story is key to the actual history of both men; and later by Morgan, a strange boy whose secrets are also crucial to everyone’s survival.
In a word, this complex saga recounts a race to save an entire world. Somehow Xander and Jameson are fated to be the saviors, with the assistance of the older woman and the boy. It’s a heady adventure, a mythic quest, and a love story rolled into one.
Author Coatsworth says in his introduction that this was his first work. Whoa. It’s beautifully written, sensitive, complex and damn interesting. I look forward to reading more tales flowing from this writer’s fertile imagination. A sequel to SKYTHANE? That's a must.
Although set in the distant future on a far-off planet, “Skythane” is more fantasy than science fiction. It might not appeal to readers who only like ‘hard’ sci-fi. However, that said, the story features some solid world building and interesting ideas.
The characters are complex and believable within the context of the story. Xander, Jameson, and the woman who has watched over them for many years, Quince, develop quite an interesting relationship that evolves over the course of the story. The story itself unfolds at a very fast pace. Much of the book is, in effect, one prolonged chase scene.
Overall I enjoyed the story, but have one little nit to pick: The final chapter leaves a few minor loose ends; things you might be curious about, but not having them resolved really doesn't spoil the story. But, then there's an epilogue that seems to go out of it's way to open up all sorts of additional questions. It seems to be a last-minute afterthought to create an opening for a sequel, and makes for a rather disappointing end to a pleasant read.
Most recent customer reviews
It's a relatively fast read. The characters are nice and they situation is intriguing.
I like it.
I really liked this one.Read more
Jameson is sent to Oberon to see why the supply of pith has all but dried up.Read more