The Stark Divide (Liminal Sky: Book One) by J. Scott Coatsworth plus Interview and Excerpt!

Welcome J. Scott Coatsworth

and The Stark Divide

Check out the awesome interview with the author plus there's an excerpt from The Stark Divide you don't want to miss. Enjoy!

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.


Book One of Liminal Sky


  • Publisher: DSP Publications
  • Author: J. Scott Coatsworth
  • Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson
  • Length: 284 Pages
  • Format: eBook, Paperback
  • Release Date: 10/10/17
  • Pairing: MM
  • Price: 6.99, 16.99
  • Series: Liminal Sky (Book One)
  • Genre: Sci Fi, Space, Gen Ship, Apocalypse, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer




When did you write your first story and what was the inspiration for it?

My first story was actually written in fifth grade for a University of Arizona writing contest. It was loosely inspired by the Jetsons, and was gloriously illustrated in full color crayon. :P And I won! There may still be a copy banging around somewhere at the UofA library.

Do you have a writing schedule or do you just write when you can find the time?

I try to write every day from 12-1:30 PM, but when I’m on deadline, that often expands, and can include evening hours and late night wake-ups.

Briefly, describe the writing process. Do you create an outline first? Do you seek out inspirational pictures, videos or music? Do you just let the words flow and then go back and try and make some sense of it?

I used to just dive in without a plan, and I have a drawerful of unfinished stories to attest to it. In fact, some of my recent publications have come from those “story starters.”

Now I usually have a plan – an idea what the story arc will be, and a chapter by chapter basic outline. I don’t like to put too much detail into my outlines, as I find it stifles the creative process for me. I like to leave room for things to change and shift.

Where did the desire to write LGBTQIA+ stories come from?

I grew up reading sci fi and fantasy, but very rarely did it have any queer characters. A few standouts pointed me toward what I wanted to do as a writer – include people like me and my closest friends in the fiction that I love.

Now I’m doing just that, and it’s a blast. :)

How much research do you do when writing a story and what are the best sources you’ve found for giving an authentic voice to your characters?

It really depends on the story. On some of them, I have to do a lot, up to and including the trip we took to San Francisco to see how high forty feet of water would be for a future post-climate change story I was working on. More often, it involves a lot of googling and apple mapping. And for my sci-fi stuff, I have reached out to experts to verify some of the science.

What’s harder—naming your characters, creating the title for your book or the cover design process?

LOL… good question. Usually, I don’t have a problem with any of those, but I do have a particular sickness when it comes to character names. I tend to name them all after the same few letters – C and K are HUGE for me – so I often end up renaming a few before sending them off to the publisher. Which is weird, because I have gotten used to them being their old names, you know? And I still tend to use the old name for the next story.

Tell us about your current work in process and what you’ve got planned for the future.

I’m working through the beta reads of “The Rising Tide,” the sequel to “The Stark Divide.” It’s slated for an October 2018 release.

I just returned edits on “Lander,” The second book in my other trilogy, the Oberon Cycle – that will be out on 2/13/18.

I have a Christmas short coming out on 12/27 from Mischief Corner Books – “I Only Want to Be With You.” And “The River City Chronicles,” my blog serial tale, is in process to come out as a book next spring, in English and Italian.

Do you have any advice for all the aspiring writers out there?

Keep at it, write what you love, and find your community of people who will love it.

If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?

Totally Superman. I idolized him since I was a kid. He was good and kind and strong, all the kinds of things I wanted to be. Or maybe the Flash. I always wanted to be fast.

If you could sequester yourself for a week somewhere and just focus on your writing, where would you go and what would the environment be like?

Hmmm… in a cabin in the woods, very quiet, a good stack of firewood, and no other distractions for miles.

When you got your very first manuscript acceptance letter, what was your initial reaction and who was the first person you told?

I danced and jumped up and down. Then I told my husband Mark, who gave me the biggest grin and hug. He’s my support system and my everything. :)

Thank you, Scott, it's a pleasure having you and congratulations on your latest release! :)





DRESSLER, SCHEMATIC,” Colin McAvery, ship’s captain and a third of the crew, called out to the ship-mind.


A three-dimensional image of the ship appeared above the smooth console. Her five living arms, reaching out from her central core, were lit with a golden glow, and the mechanical bits of instrumentation shone in red. In real life, she was almost two hundred meters from tip to tip.


Between those arms stretched her solar wings, a ghostly green film like the sails of the Flying Dutchman.


“You’re a pretty thing,” he said softly. He loved these ships, their delicate beauty as they floated through the starry void.


“Thank you, Captain.” The ship-mind sounded happy with the compliment—his imagination running wild. Minds didn’t have real emotions, though they sometimes approximated them.


He cross-checked the heading to be sure they remained on course to deliver their payload, the man-sized seed that was being dragged on a tether behind the ship. Humanity’s ticket to the stars at a time when life on Earth was getting rapidly worse.


All of space was spread out before him, seen through the clear expanse of plasform set into the ship’s living walls. His own face, trimmed blond hair, and deep brown eyes, stared back at him, superimposed over the vivid starscape.


At thirty, Colin was in the prime of his career. He was a starship captain, and yet sometimes he felt like little more than a bus driver. After this run… well, he’d have to see what other opportunities might be awaiting him. Maybe the doc was right, and this was the start of a whole new chapter for mankind. They might need a guy like him.


The walls of the bridge emitted a faint but healthy golden glow, providing light for his work at the curved mechanical console that filled half the room. He traced out the T-Line to their destination. “Dressler, we’re looking a little wobbly.” Colin frowned. Some irregularity in the course was common—the ship was constantly adjusting its trajectory—but she usually corrected it before he noticed.


“Affirmative, Captain.” The ship-mind’s miniature chosen likeness appeared above the touch board. She was all professional today, dressed in a standard AmSplor uniform, dark hair pulled back in a bun, and about a third life-sized.


The image was nothing more than a projection of the ship-mind, a fairy tale, but Colin appreciated the effort she took to humanize her appearance. Artificial mind or not, he always treated minds with respect.


“There’s a blockage in arm four. I’ve sent out a scout to correct it.”


The Dressler was well into slowdown now, her pre-arrival phase as she bled off her speed, and they expected to reach 43 Ariadne in another fifteen hours.


Pity no one had yet cracked the whole hyperspace thing. Colin chuckled. Asimov would be disappointed. “Dressler, show me Earth, please.”


A small blue dot appeared in the middle of his screen.


Dressler, three dimensions, a bit larger, please.” The beautiful blue-green world spun before him in all its glory.


Appearances could be deceiving. Even with scrubbers working tirelessly night and day to clean the excess carbon dioxide from the air, the home world was still running dangerously warm.


He watched the image in front of him as the East Coast of the North American Union spun slowly into view. Florida was a sliver of its former self, and where New York City’s lights had once shone, there was now only blue. If it had been night, Fargo, the capital of the Northern States, would have outshone most of the other cities below. The floods that had wiped out many of the world’s coastal cities had also knocked down Earth’s population, which was only now reaching the levels it had seen in the early twenty-first century.


All those new souls had been born into a warm, arid world.


We did it to ourselves. Colin, who had known nothing besides the hot planet he called home, wondered what it had been like those many years before the Heat.






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.


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