Tag Archives: J. Scott Coatsworth

06May/21

Review – Dropnauts by J. Scott Coatsworth

J. Scott Coatsworth was recently interviewed on WROTE! Check out Episode 315: Oh My God We’re Gonna Die, to find out more about Scott and his work.

One thing you can expect from this author is superlative world-building, as I discovered when reading other books in the Liminal Sky series. There are a ton of them, and I’ve given up making sense of which book belongs where, but it doesn’t matter. This is a standalone novel as far as I can tell, although by the end, you may well be wishing for another in the series. The blurb does a good job of describing what to expect. Basically, the titular Dropnauts are on a quest to see if the Earth could be recolonised.

It’s an accepted belief there is no one left down there but they are wrong. The team get split up, meet a couple of Earth dwellers and get split up again into teams of two. With sinister drones and the dawning realisation that the AI designed to protect them is actually working against them, this is a familiar story to anyone who loves their sci-fi. Familiar, but not tired. There are sparky characters with history, new attractions, a diverse range of gender and sexuality, a tribe of vengeful women and two Earth-dwellers wanting to find medication for their sick mother.

There are great human stories within all the tech-speak. The hard-core sci fi nuts will love the intellectual-speak, the science-y stuff and the various AI’s doing battle inside each other’s heads. Lovers of human stories will enjoy the frisson of attraction between Hera and Ghost, Sanya and Rafe and Rai and Aidan. There’s a heart-stopping finale as everyone races to save both Luna and the Earth from doom. It’s all very exciting and intelligent and fun, with relatable characters and a thrilling denouement.

BLURB

Over a century after the end of the Earth, life goes on in Redemption, the sole remaining lunar colony, and possibly the last outpost of humankind in the Solar System. But with an existential threat burrowing its way to the Moon’s core, humanity must recolonize the homeworld.

Twenty brave dropnauts set off on a mission to explore the empty planet. After training for two and a half years, four of them—Rai, Hera, Ghost and Tien—are bound for Martinez Base, just outside the Old Earth city of San Francisco.

But what awaits them there will turn their assumptions upside down—and in the process, either save or destroy what’s left of humanity.

09Apr/21

J. Scott Coatsworth

April 9, 2021

It gives us great pleasure to welcome J. Scott Coatsworth back as the guest on Episode 315 – OH MY GOD WE’RE GONNA DIE!

J. Scott Coatsworth returns to share the many goings on in his life—his Fix the World anthology, the call for submissions to this year’s flash fiction anthology, the rollout of limfic.com, and his latest novel Dropnauts!

Follow Scott and support his work:

Mentioned in this episode:

Bio:

Scott lives with his husband Mark in a yellow bungalow in Sacramento. He was indoctrinated into fantasy and sci fi by his mother at the tender age of nine. He devoured her library, but as he grew up, he wondered where all the people like him were.

He decided that if there weren’t queer characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends.

A Rainbow Award winning author, he runs Queer Sci Fi, QueeRomance Ink, and Other Worlds Ink with Mark, sites that celebrate fiction reflecting queer reality, and is a full member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).

This Podcast episode is available on these channels (in order alphabetical):
Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayiHeartRadioSpotifyStitcherTuneIn

Or Listen Right Here:

OR Watch on YouTube:


December 21, 2018

Join us as J. Scott Coatsworth and SA “Baz” Collins discuss the business and craft of writing. Episode 195: A Writer’s Life.

This Podcast episode is available on these channels (in order alphabetical):
Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayiHeartRadioSpotifyStitcherTuneIn

Or right here:


March 9, 2018


It gives us great pleasure to welcome J. Scott Coatsworth back as the guest on Episode 154: And Then This Happened!!

This week J. Scott Coatsworth returns to talk about his latest release Lander, breaking into self-publishing, and announce the Queer SciFi Flash Fiction Contest Theme!

** NOTE: You can read Jayne Lockwood’s reviews of Skythane (here) and Lander (here)!**

Follow Scott and support his work:

Bio:

Scott lives between the here and now and the what could be. Indoctrinated into fantasy and sci fi by his mother at the tender age of nine, he devoured her library. But as he grew up, he wondered where the people like him were.

He decided it was time to create the kinds of stories he couldn’t find at Waldenbooks. If there weren’t gay characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends.

His friends say Scott’s brain 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 seeks to transform traditional sci fi, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something unexpected.

A Rainbow Award winning author, he runs Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband Mark, sites that bring queer people together to promote and celebrate fiction reflecting their own reality.

This Podcast episode is available on these channels (in order alphabetical):
Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayiHeartRadioSpotifyStitcherTuneIn

Or right here:


October 14, 2016

It gives us great pleasure to announce J Scott Coatsworth and Angel Martinez as the guests on episode 079: Flash Fiction Takes Flight!

This week J. Scott Coatsworth (Moderator of Queer SciFi) and Angel Martinez (of Mischief Corner Books) join us to talk about the art that is the Flash Fiction contest, what they looked for as judges, and to announce the release of the contest’s anthology: Flight. As a bonus, SA “Longform” Collins shares what he learned as a competitor!

Check out the Flight anthology and join the Queer SciFi community:

Connect with and support J. Scott Coatsworth:

Connect with and support Angel Martinez:

Bio:

J. Scott Coatsworth has been writing since 4th grade, when he won a University of Arizona writing contest for his first sci fi story (with illustrations!). He finished his first novel in his mid-twenties, but after seeing it rejected by ten publishers, he gave up on writing for a while.

Over the ensuing years, he came back to it periodically, but it never stuck. Then one day, he was complaining to Mark, his husband, about how he had been derailed yet again by the death of a family member. Mark said to him “the only one stopping you from writing is you.”

Since then, Scott has gone back to writing in a big way, finishing more than a dozen short stories – some new, some started years before. After seeing his first sale, he’s embarking on a new trilogy. He also runs the Queer Sci Fi (http://www.queerscifi.com) site, a support group for writers of gay sci fi, fantasy, and supernatural fiction.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Angel Martinez is the unlikely black sheep of an ivory tower, intellectual family. She has managed to make her way through life reasonably unscathed. Despite a wildly misspent youth, she snagged a degree in English Lit, married once and did it right the first time, (same husband for almost twenty-four years) gave birth to one amazing son, (now in college) and realized at some point that she could get paid for writing.

Published since 2006, Angel’s cynical heart cloaks a desperate romantic. You’ll find drama and humor given equal weight in her writing and don’t expect sad endings. Life is sad enough.

She currently lives in Delaware in a drinking town with a college problem and writes Science Fiction and Fantasy centered around gay heroes.

This Podcast episode is available on these channels (in order alphabetical):
Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayiHeartRadioSpotifyStitcherTuneIn

Or right here:



TH-Cover_sm
It gives us great pleasure to announce J. Scott Coatsworth as the guest on episode 007: Describe Yourself In One Word: “Ooooh…”!
Join us as we talk with Scott about writing Science Fiction and building communities.
You can find Scott’s most recent novel here:

Follow Scott on your favorite social site:

This Podcast episode is available on these channels (in order alphabetical):
Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayiHeartRadioSpotifyStitcherTuneIn

Or right here:

04Jun/19

Ithani (The Oberon Cycle Book 3) by J. Scott Coatsworth

The third and final part of the Oberon Cycle trilogy, the first books being Skythane (Book 1) and Lander (Book 2) The books must be read in order, the first concentrating on building the world the author has created, and the second adding more characters to those already introduced.

The worlds of Oberon and Error have been lovingly crafted right from the get-go, so I felt I knew the characters and their surroundings, the curious alien foods they eat and the commodities they treasure. There is an excellent glossary in each book too, reminding the reader of what unusual words mean if they get stuck as I did on occasions. And the size of the glossary alone is testament to how meticulous the author has been in creating these worlds.

The writing was flawless in all three books, with colourful, almost cinematic set-pieces and rounded-out, diverse characters. As with a lot of fantasy/sci-fi novels, there were a LOT of characters, which is always risky as sometimes it can be hard to connect to them all. And yes, I did have a job remembering all of them, and what their dynamics were. There were places where I had to re-read to ensure I was following the plot correctly.

But in this world, the world of Oberon, everyone had their role, and there wasn’t one character that I felt didn’t really need to be there. They were an engaging lot as well, even the bad guys. I don’t want to give too much away, to be honest, fearful of letting a spoiler loose by accident.

What I can say is by the end of the trilogy, a lot of the characters, Jameson and Xander, Quince and Robin, almost felt like friends. Their dialogue was approachable and very natural. I love the mix of pronouns, the diverse genders and sexualities; it really was a rainbow cast, and with cool tech to boot.

Also I saw echoes of our own world and warnings for the future of what we stand to lose if we aren’t responsible for our planet (but not in a heavy-duty, worthy way) but in the end it was just a really good story from start to finish. I think I said in my review of Skythane that Scott’s writing made me fall in love with sci-fi again.

And at the end of this trilogy, I’m glad to say I’m more in love with it than ever.

BLURB

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 friend 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….

16Feb/18

Lander by J. Scott Coatsworth

The scene was set in Book 1: Skythane, and the danger with second books is that the plot can fall a little flat, but that is not the case here. Wisely, the author has created another world out of the old one, with the occupants of Oberon and Titania having to get used to their new reality.

Not everyone is happy with this new world order, and conflicts from the last book rear their ugly heads. The good news is that Quince makes a discovery laced with tragedy, and Xander and Jameson’s fledging relationship suffers a knock when an old flame arrives on the scene. Amidst all the fantasy elements, there is a good old human story of love, of struggle and torn loyalties.

I loved how human these characters are. Having got to know them in the first book, I really cared about their various predicaments. There is an element of fairy tale as well as sci-fi, which stops the plot from being too tech-heavy, with panoramic scenes to enable the characters to spread their wings. And it had a very welcome dash of corporate intrigue which was a great foil to the fantasy element. It is a very visual book, as the last one was, and painted in vivid colours. I could definitely see the climax being directed by Neill Blomkamp (District 9, Elysium) It had that kind of cinematic feel.

The story lagged slightly in the middle of the book, but soon picked up again when Jessa, Jameson’s former fiancee, is thrown into the mix. She could have been given a bigger role, as she was a strong character, but I loved her kick-ass feistiness. The big message of this novel seems to be “seize the day” although it never actually says that. It was done beautifully and it’s hard to say which book I enjoyed more, the first one or this one. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to the next in the series.

BLURB

Sometimes the world needs saving twice.

Xander and Jameson thought they’d fulfilled their destiny when they brought the worlds of Oberon and Titania back together, but their short-lived moment of triumph is over.

Reunification has thrown the world into chaos. A great storm ravaged Xander’s kingdom of Gaelan, leaving the winged skythane people struggling to survive. Their old enemy, Obercorp, is biding its time, waiting to strike. And to the north, a dangerous new adversary gathers strength, while an unexpected ally awaits them.

In the midst of it all, Xander’s ex Alix returns, and Xander and Jameson discover that their love for each other may have been drug-induced.

Are they truly destined for each other, or is what they feel artificial? And can they face an even greater challenge when their world needs them most.

08Feb/18

Skythane by J. Scott Coatsworth

Having read The Stark Divide, I was already confident in this author’s world-building technique and ability to tell a rip-roaring tale. Skythane is the story of Xander and Jameson, ostensibly on a mission to find supplies of pith (a mind-altering drug) but they find themselves at the centre of a race to save the planet from destruction.

First of all, a quibble, albeit a small one. As ever, the essential and comprehensive glossary is at the back of the book, where I only discovered it at the end, where it would have been useful at the beginning.  Also, some of the names could be confusing for some. Xander is a skythane (winged being) and Jameson is a Lander (without wings.) Tander is a mining colony where Jameson used to work, and Slander refers to a city slum area.

Having said that, most of those names only appear a few times, and the important ones are Xander and his Lander companion, Jameson, who are both ADORABLE, and have such chemistry, I was willing them to get together. Also high on my love list was Quince, the capable skythane who hides the pain of a lost love behind a brusque exterior as she tries to keep the boys on track to focus on what truly matters, the prevention of Armageddon.

There are a lot of characters to get one’s head around, but whether you will enjoy this is purely down to how much you trust the author to keep everyone in check and give them enough to do. And the author does. He makes sure they all have stories of their own to tell in future books, keeps them all in check and steers the reader safely through a complex and alien environment.

I loved the way the way every creature, every fruit, plant, the technology, the weather,  food cooking methods, the weaponry, the transport, the cities, religious structure, every little thing has been carefully crafted and molded into a truly believable, fantastical, terrifying world, full of conflict but at the same time, alien and beautiful. Add in divided loyalties, a burgeoning romance and peril from sinister pursuers, and you have science fiction in its purest sense. I loved it.

BLURB

Jameson Havercamp, a psych from a conservative religious colony, has come to Oberon—unique among the Common Worlds—in search of a rare substance called pith. He’s guided through the wilds on his quest by Xander Kinnson, a handsome, cocky skythane with a troubled past.
Neither knows that Oberon is facing imminent destruction. Even as the world starts to fall apart around them, they have no idea what’s coming—or the bond that will develop between them as they race to avert a cataclysm.

Together, they will journey to uncover the secrets of this strange and singular world, even as it takes them beyond the bounds of reality itself to discover what truly binds them together.

29Aug/17

The Stark Divide (Liminal Book 1) by J. Scott Coatsworth

REVIEW

WROTE alumni J. Scott Coatsworth has recently been on our show! To hear more about his collaborations with other authors and get links to his work, check out Episode 124: Renewal – Or Handsoap for the Masses.

The author gifted an ARC of this novel for an honest and fair review. Publication date October 2017.

Sci-fi can be a little po-faced at times, or quirky to the point of artifice. It can be difficult to strike the balance between intelligent story-telling and dumbing down the science-y bits for the masses. This author has been on my radar for a while. I’ve read some of his short stories, but never a full-blown novel.

Basically, this is a story split into three parts, threaded together by three generations of the same family. In the first part, we are introduced to the mothership, Dressler (or Lex, in ship-mind form, so the humans can relate to it.) Lex is critically wounded by a fungus that may or may not have been introduced intentionally, entailing a heart-stopping race to save her cargo from destruction before she is destroyed. Her cargo is the seed which will create a new world for humans wanting to escape Earth, which is slowly being torn apart by wars, big business and human fallibility.

Each part of the book is set a few years ahead from the next, so there is a real epic quality, a sense of journey, as humans attempt to start again, having screwed up the planet they were originally put on. Inevitably, the same old problems rear their ugly heads even in this Utopian worldly (called Forever.) This is a potent tale in an era where the problems the characters are coming up against are very familiar. Namely, the refugee crisis, capitalism and politics, power play, and wars that escalate, causing mass devastation. The fate of the dying Earth is very dark indeed.

In contrast, it is wonderful to see the birth and development of Forever, borne out of the asteroid Ariadne, where the seed was planted. And whilst this could easily be a bleak tale of a dystopian future, it isn’t, due to the ingenuity, compassion and generosity of the characters the author has created. The potential villain appears near the end, and is bound to have his day further down the series.

I loved the diversity of the characters, all without the common angst over who they are, or the usual mutterings of those around them. Some are gay, some are straight, some are trans. Get over it. It’s so refreshing to have a character that just happens to be trans, and yes, it is inevitable that their personal circumstances have a bearing on how they act around other people, but it isn’t a big thing. And the gay couple are in a long term, loving relationship. Again, that’s it. Accepted. Move on. We should have more characters in mainstream novels like this, which would go a long way to aid acceptance in the wider world.

Anyway, soapbox time over. This is a great science-fiction novel, and a cracking start to a gripping series. There is also a helpful glossary at the back. I’ve said this before with books. I just wish I had known the glossary was there before reading the whole book first! This would have been helpful to either, a) have it at the front or, b) mention it at the front so I know it’s there. It isn’t as easy to flip back and forth with an e-reader, but anyway, I was grateful for the added information. Not that there are a lot of unfamiliar words, but it does help to enrich and understand the world the author has created.

Finally, there are elements of everything here. An adventure, a rescue, the creation of a new world, machines with organic elements and Artificial Intelligence. The Lex character may or may not have the humans’ best interests at heart. That’s all I’m saying. In a word, this is a great novel, with awesome world-building and a plot that satisfies the sci-fi buff in all of us.

BLURB

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.

11Aug/17

J. Scott Coatsworth, Angel Martinez, and B. A. Brock

August 11, 2017

It gives us great pleasure to announce J Scott Coatsworth, Angel Martinez, and B. A. Brock as the guests on episode 124: Renewal, or Handsoap for the Masses!

This week J. Scott Coatsworth (Moderator of Queer SciFi, founder of QueeRomance Ink), Angel Martinez (of Mischief Corner Books), and B.A. Brock (Also of Queer SciFi) join Vance to talk about the art that is the Flash Fiction contest, what they looked for as judges, and to announce the release of this year’s anthology: Renewal. Scott then shares his upcoming epic science fiction release, The Stark Divide.

Check out the Renewal anthology and join the Queer SciFi community:

Connect with and support J. Scott Coatsworth:

Connect with and support Angel Martinez:

Connect with and support B.A. Brock:

Bio:

J. Scott Coatsworth was indoctrinated into fantasy and sci fi by his mother at the tender age of nine. He devoured her library, but as he grew up, he wondered where all the people like him were.

He decided that if there weren’t gay characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends. He has published fifteen stories, including two novels.

He runs Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband Mark, sites that celebrate fiction that reflects queer reality.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Angel Martinez is the unlikely black sheep of an ivory tower, intellectual family. She has managed to make her way through life reasonably unscathed. Despite a wildly misspent youth, she snagged a degree in English Lit, married once and did it right the first time, (same husband for almost twenty-eight years) gave birth to one amazing son, (now in college) and realized at some point that she could get paid for writing.

Published since 2006, Angel’s cynical heart cloaks a desperate romantic. You’ll find drama and humor given equal weight in her writing and don’t expect sad endings. Life is sad enough.

She currently lives in Delaware in a drinking town with a college problem and writes Science Fiction and Fantasy centered around gay heroes.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

B. A. Brock has lived most of his life in the Pacific Northwest, with a couple years in Oklahoma. He graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in 2007 at Portland State University–which he mostly uses to contemplate how we can achieve a civilization more closely aligned with Star Trek.

During a round of Dungeons and Dragons, he discovered a desire to write out some scenes from his character’s story. Those scenes became an obsession, that obsession led to writing classes, and an author was born.

When not writing, Brock spends his time reading/reviewing novels, training for marathons, hanging out with his dog, and bemoaning the fact that the world has yet to make a decent gluten free doughnut.

 

This Podcast Episode is
AVAILABLE NOW!
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11Nov/16

2nd Annual GRL Roundup

November 11, 2016

It gives us great pleasure to announce J Scott Coatsworth and Angel Martinez as the guests on episode 083: The 2nd Annual GRL Roundup!

This week J. Scott Coatsworth (Moderator of Queer SciFi) and Angel Martinez (of Mischief Corner Books) join us to talk about their recent experiences at GRL!

Connect with and support J. Scott Coatsworth:

Connect with and support Angel Martinez:

Bio:

J. Scott Coatsworth has written more than a dozen short stories. He also runs the Queer Sci Fi (http://www.queerscifi.com) site, a support group for writers of gay sci fi, fantasy, and supernatural fiction.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Angel Martinez writes Science Fiction and Fantasy centered around gay heroes. She’s also one of the founders of Mischief Corner Books (http://www.mischiefcornerbooks.com), who give voice to LGBTQ fiction by publishing a diverse range of genres and topics.

 

This Podcast Episode is
AVAILABLE NOW!
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Or on Soundcloud:

14Oct/16

J. Scott Coatsworth and Angel Martinez

October 14, 2016

It gives us great pleasure to announce J Scott Coatsworth and Angel Martinez as the guests on episode 079: Flash Fiction Takes Flight!

This week J. Scott Coatsworth (Moderator of Queer SciFi) and Angel Martinez (of Mischief Corner Books) join us to talk about the art that is the Flash Fiction contest, what they looked for as judges, and to announce the release of the contest’s anthology: Flight. As a bonus, SA “Longform” Collins shares what he learned as a competitor!

Check out the Flight anthology and join the Queer SciFi community:

Connect with and support J. Scott Coatsworth:

Connect with and support Angel Martinez:

Bio:

J. Scott Coatsworth has been writing since 4th grade, when he won a University of Arizona writing contest for his first sci fi story (with illustrations!). He finished his first novel in his mid-twenties, but after seeing it rejected by ten publishers, he gave up on writing for a while.

Over the ensuing years, he came back to it periodically, but it never stuck. Then one day, he was complaining to Mark, his husband, about how he had been derailed yet again by the death of a family member. Mark said to him “the only one stopping you from writing is you.”

Since then, Scott has gone back to writing in a big way, finishing more than a dozen short stories – some new, some started years before. After seeing his first sale, he’s embarking on a new trilogy. He also runs the Queer Sci Fi (http://www.queerscifi.com) site, a support group for writers of gay sci fi, fantasy, and supernatural fiction.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Angel Martinez is the unlikely black sheep of an ivory tower, intellectual family. She has managed to make her way through life reasonably unscathed. Despite a wildly misspent youth, she snagged a degree in English Lit, married once and did it right the first time, (same husband for almost twenty-four years) gave birth to one amazing son, (now in college) and realized at some point that she could get paid for writing.

Published since 2006, Angel’s cynical heart cloaks a desperate romantic. You’ll find drama and humor given equal weight in her writing and don’t expect sad endings. Life is sad enough.

She currently lives in Delaware in a drinking town with a college problem and writes Science Fiction and Fantasy centered around gay heroes.

 

This Podcast Episode is
AVAILABLE NOW!
itunes-logo-300x112GooglePlay-logo-300x112stitcher-logo-300x112

Or on Soundcloud:

27Jul/16

A More Perfect Union (Anthology – various)

a-more-perfect-unionWe were fortunate enough to have all four authors of A More Perfect Union on the show! Listen to their interview and get links to their work on Episode 062 – Celebrating Perfect Unions

REVIEW

A delicious quartet of stories to celebrate the first anniversary of marriage equality. Poignant, tense and at times horrific, some are based on personal experience. It’s humbling to read these tales of ordinary people who just want to get married, to have legality as well as equality. It isn’t about swans and over-the-top nuptials, just the simple fact of being acknowledged and recognised as a legal married couple. That right has been denied for so long, and to hear the things that some couples have been through is shocking, though sadly all too true.

Flames – J Scott Coatsworth

What happens when your partner is involved in a terrible accident and taken to hospital in a coma, but because you are not legally “next of kin” his family are entitled to keep you from seeing him? Alex has made a terrible mistake and is desperate to be by Gio’s side and talk him out of his coma, but Gio’s mother has other ideas. Alex has always resisted the idea of marriage, thinking it’s an unnecessary formality, but now he will do anything to make sure Gio knows he really is committed to him. If he ever wakes up. A romantic tale from a terrific author who knows how to tug at the heartstrings.

Jeordi and Tom – Michael Murphy

Jeordi is also involved in an accident, and has bigoted parents who disagree with his relationship with Tom. Despite all the odds, they run away to get married in another state, only to be thwarted by a Kim Davis-like figure who won’t do her job on account of her “beliefs.” Then their luck changes, and the gay community rally round in the best way possible. A sweet, romantic tale with an undertone of despair from another accomplished author.

Destined – Jamie Fessenden

Jay and Wallace are destined to be together, but somehow, keep missing each other. When they finally do get together, it isn’t all sparkles and cupcakes. They have obstacles to overcome and have to stay strong. Their love is the tie that binds them, but this story illustrates that HEA’s do not come easily if you’re not straight. I love Jamie Fessenden’s writing, and his warmth for these characters shines through.

Someday – B G Thomas

A massive story, crammed into a shorter one. It all starts with a shoelace, and turns into a love affair that at first seems unrequited. Lucas is the boy determined to marry Dalton, from their first day at kindergarten. In less skilled hands, this might have seemed stalkerish, but it doesn’t. It works, from teenage antics to deep lasting love, Thomas has created a grand love affair between characters that deserve more than just a short story.

So in effect, all four of these tales touch on the problems that gay couples have come up again and again, even since the marriage equality bill was passed. There is a lot of work still to do, yet they are ultimately uplifting, all very different, and massively enjoyable to read. I learned a lot, but also, could not put this book down. The writing is exemplary in all cases, so it’s impossible to pick a favourite. Love against the odds, the importance of honesty in relationships, the need to be strong in order to fight for the things that others take for granted. Every Bridezilla should read this, and be bloody grateful she has never had these kind of issues to deal with.