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Triple Review: Flawless – J. Scott Coatsworth

Flawless - J. Scott Catsworth

Genre: Sci-Fi, Drag

Reviewers: Ulysses (PRG), Linda (PRG), Maryann

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About The Book

In Space, No One Can Hear You Sing …

Grayson Eck’s life is a drag, in all the best possible ways. He’s perfectly happy working in the belt alone as a wildcatter, prospecting asteroids by … well, not exactly by day.

At night, he transforms into the Inner System’s most famous Valeriana Storm — a secret identity that even his closest friends and family don’t know about.

When someone tries to steal one of Greyson’s mining scores, he has half a mind to just toss the guy off his rock and into open space. But that all changes when he discovers the stranger’s identity — and that he knows Greyson’s secret.

Now he’s being chased by a pirate, and has to decide what to do with the apparent thief while also putting on his show.

What’s a space drag queen to do?

Flawless is part of Water Dragon Publishing’s Dragin Gems short story/anthology series. More information here and they are always looking for submissions.

The Reviews


A fully developed sci-fi story, “Flawless” has everything I want in a novel except the length. It doesn’t feel skimpy, and it lacks nothing.

A lone space-prospector, mining platinum on asteroids, finds an unconscious (but alive) stranger tethered to his latest pick-up. He reluctantly rescues the young man, who may or may not have been trying to steal his ore, and discovers something that changes his life dramatically.

Leave to Scott Coatsworth to involve spaceships and drag performance in the 23rd century. There is plenty of cool sci-fi detail to make the story interesting from that perspective; but then there’s the whole drag element that I don’t want to discuss because it is both surprising and surprisingly powerful. Coatsworth has written a strong emotional thread through this story—a story of loss and loneliness that makes Grayson Eck, the central character, multi-faceted and appealing.

So, it manages to be funny and touching and weird all at the same time, a surprisingly comforting vision of a sci-fi future.

5 stars.


This was a very short story about a wildcatter and the dangers he faces that held my interest, from the first page to the last. Captain Grayson Eck is mining an asteroid for platinum and is ready to head home, when something goes wrong with his mining equipment, and he has to go back to find the problem.

What he discovers is a young man in a space suit, lying unconscious near his claim. He’s sure that the kid is a pirate, but decides to save him anyway, and manages to get him back to his ship. When he finishes fixing the mining canister, he returns to the ship to finds the young man – Ferris – in his small ship kitchen, cooking dinner. After eating, the kid reveals his big secret.

Ferris knows Grayson’s secret, too – a secret he has kept from everyone. As Grayson begins to accept the unexpected news, pirates approach the ship in a vessel far better equipped than Grayson’s. It takes all of his smarts to come out a winner.

This was a wonderful story about a man trying to decide if he is living the life he wants. He finds himself wanting to know Ferris better, and has to choose whether to continue his dangerous lifestyle or to try something more suitable for his changed circumstances.

5 stars.


Grayson Eck is a wildcatter and captain of the White Swallow. He’s fifty, and an easy going guy, but he’s all alone in space and misses his partner, Archer. He takes a lot of ribbing from the other wildcatters about his polished finger nails. But all that aside, he has a job to do. He’s making a landing on the asteroid Eros, with the aid of Rosie, the Swallow’s AI.

He’s the first to mine the asteroid, using bots to harvest platinum before his return to Ceres. Rosie is good for updating the log in the Ceres Standard synched to UTC on Earth. While approaching Eros, he sees the wreckage of the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous-Shoemaker mission and is a little surprised that no one has claimed it, but then again, wildcatters have a supernatural fear of abandoned ships.

On his way to pick up his last haul before returning to Ceres to secure a buyer, he sees the red flash. He has Rosie check into what is going on with the ore Suiting up, he makes his way into the crater where the can sits, and finds a body next to the it. Eck is sure the stranger is there to steal his stash and considers leaving him to die or send flinging him off into the void.

Instead, he decides to take the young man back with him to the Swallow. Besides his platinum haul, he figures he may be able to be compensated by someone for the man’s safe return. When he comes back to the ship after his final excursion, he finds the young man awake and cooking them both dinner. He learns more than the stranger’s name and finds himself with unexpected decisions to make.

I totally devoured Flawless, a delightful tale of space intrigue mixed with drag, space pirates, action, suspense and humor. I don’t always get “space stuff” but with his colorful words, descriptions and wonderful characters, Coatsworth more than held my interest.

Grayson Eck is a great character. Eck misses Archer and is very lonely. Eck’s enthusiasm shines through his secret alter ego in Valeriana Storm. Ferris is a delightful addition – he’s certainly a shocker, and Eck’s life is about to change because of his arrival. He’ll also have to reckon with his ex.

This is my kind of story. I highly recommend Flawless, an adventurous space tale filled with wonderful characters and a lot of humor. Well done.

The Reviewers


Ulysses Grant Dietz grew up in Syracuse, New York, where his Leave It to Beaver life was enlivened by his fascination with vampires, from Bela Lugosi to Barnabas Collins. He studied French at Yale, and was trained to be a museum curator at the University of Delaware. A curator since 1980, Ulysses has never stopped writing fiction for the sheer pleasure of it. He created the character of Desmond Beckwith in 1988 as his personal response to Anne Rice’s landmark novels. Alyson Books released his first novel, Desmond, in 1998. Vampire in Suburbia, the sequel to Desmond, is his second novel.

Ulysses lives in suburban New Jersey with his husband of over 41 years and their two almost-grown children.

By the way, the name Ulysses was not his parents’ idea of a joke: he is a great-great grandson of Ulysses S. Grant, and his mother was the President’s last living great-grandchild. Every year on April 27 he gives a speech at Grant’s Tomb in New York City.


I am an avid reader the mother of 3 sons and grandmother to seven grandchildren. Since retiring I have been doing more reading while volunteering as a CASA worker. CASA is an organization that works with the family court system to ensure that children are in the best living situation. There are way too many children that get overlooked in the foster care system and I visit homes and make visits to the parents. I was born and raised in New York and my husband of 50 years and I live in Upstate New York.


Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California.  Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018.  My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen.  New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012.  She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series.  Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book! 

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing.  I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews.  One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group.  Joining her site was such an eye opener.  I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams.

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