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sci fi – hopepunk

Sci fi stories that involve the pursuit of positive aims in the face of adversity. Return to general Sci Fi

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Word Count: 93300

Summary: Silya comes into her own, but will she be enough? Silya finally has everything she always wanted: She's the Hencha Queen, head of the Temple, and is mastering her newfound talents. So why does the world pick now to fall apart? Her once-nemesis Raven is off riding dragons, and their mutual friend (and her ex) Aik is nowhere to be found. Meanwhile, a new threat menaces the Heartland from the East. If she can't convince a reluctant city council to prepare for the worst, she may lose everything—and everyone—she's ever cared about. As Silya wields her abilities, dry wit, and sheer determination to save her city, she's joined by Raven and his new friends, just as a dark storm threatens to sweep them all away. Will their aid help tip the scales? And will she and Raven finally find out what happened to Aik? Forget messy. Things just got apocalyptic.

The Hencha Queen - J. Scott Coatsworth
The Hencha Queen
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Word Count: 180000

Summary: In November 2039, marine scientist Wend Taylor heaves themself aboard a zero-emissions boat skippered by elusive nature photographer Viola Yang. Guided by instinct, ocean dreams, and a shared birthday in 1972, they barter stories for passage across the Pacific. Aljon, Viola’s younger cousin, keeps a watchful eye and an innovative galley. Story by story, the trio rethink secrets, flying dreams, and how they experience their own minds. When they reach Hawaiʻi and prepare to part ways, opportunity and mystery pull them closer together. Both scientific and personal discoveries take shape as they join with ex-lovers, lost friends, and found family. Wend must navigate an ever-shifting future, complicated by bioengineered microbes and a plot to silence scientists, entangled with inexplicable dreams and a calling to Be the Sea.

Be the Sea - Clara Ward
Be the Sea
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Word Count: 38000

Summary: RISE (noun / verb) Eight definitions to inspire writers around the world, and an unlimited number of possible stories to tell: 1) An upward slope or movement 2) A beginning or origin 3) An increase in amount or number 4) An angry reaction 5) To take up arms 6) To return from death 7) To become heartened or elated 8) To exert oneself to meet a challenge Rise features 300-word speculative flash fiction stories from across the rainbow spectrum, from the minds of the writers of Queer Sci Fi.

Rise Anthology
Rise
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Genres:

Word Count: 96,000

Summary: A guard and a thief. What could go wrong? Aik has fallen hopelessly in love with his best friend. But Raven's a thief, which makes things … complicated. Oh, and Raven has just been kidnapped by a dragon. Now Aik is off on a quest of his own, to hunt down the foul beast and make them give back his … friend? Lover? Soulmate? The whole not-knowing thing just makes everything harder. Meanwhile, the world of Tharassas is falling apart, besieged by earthquakes, floods, and strange creatures no one has ever seen before. Aik's ex, Silya has gone back to Gullton to try to save her people as the Hencha Queen, and Aik's stuck in a caravan with her mother and a damnable magical gauntlet that won't let him be. He has to find Raven, before it’s too late. Things were messy before … but now they're much, much worse.

The Gauntlet Runner - J. Scott Coatsworth
The Gauntlet Runner
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Word Count: 96000

Summary: "Today I swam through MOMA. Leon says it was a waste, encasing the art, then flooding the museum—frivolous and elitist. I say it was a gesture of optimism, a triumph of technology and political will." Want to thrill to the possibilities of a hopeful future? We asked a bunch of sci-fi writers to spin tales of a better future, imagining ways in which the world might become a better place. From a swim through an underwater museum to a joyous dance at a futuristic concert, from the eco-friendly aftermath of an alien invasion and retreat to the refurbishing of an old climate-ravaged home in New Vancouver, these fourteen short sci-fi stories will to restore your faith in the future. A world transformed is a world we can all hope for. Book three in the Writers Save the World short story anthologies. If you enjoy this book, check out Fix the World and Save the World.

Transform the World - J. Scott Coatsworth
Transform the World
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Word Count: 89000

Summary: THE POWER TO DESTROY A KINGDOM. THE POWER TO HEAL A HEART. Ari’s new powers have awakened, threatening to tear apart a kingdom already on the edge. Sent back to Valon to face her father’s—and the people’s—judgement, Ari must decide how far she’ll go to reclaim her former life, if that’s even possible anymore. In the heart of the turmoil, Iata, the reigning ruler, is losing control of his increasingly unstable magics. As his secrets threaten to spill out, his brother’s wife, Haneri, draws ever closer—and he’s not sure he wants her to stop. At the border to Kidaa Space, Rhys grapples with the ominous and impossible patterns in the Kidaa attacks, and comes face to face with the Kidaa themselves in a harrowing meeting that could change the future of the kingdom. And Dressa, who secretly married an enemy prince, must now face the consequences of that marriage. Because Lesander was activated by her family. And Lesander has a choice: obey her family, or betray her wife. With enemies without and enemies within, can the Truthspoken save their kingdom, or is this kingdom doomed to fall? Court of Magickers collects episodes 94-150 of The Stars and Green Magics, previously published in serial form. Note: This book has main characters who use gender-neutral pronouns (they/them/their, fae/faer/faerself).

Court of Magickers - Novae Caelum - The Stars and Green Magics
Court of Magickers
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Word Count: 12000

Summary: If The Little Mermaid were set in the twenty-second century... In the aftermath of climate change, humans have abandoned the flooded coasts. Underwater, people of another kind struggle to rehabilitate the polluted seas. After one rescues a human engineer, she realizes he might hold the key. If she can learn how to interact with the world like a human, if she can understand them, if she can become enough like them, maybe they will help. Maybe he will help. But to reach him, she may need to sacrifice who she is...

Voice of the Sea - Siri Paulson
Voice of the Sea
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Word Count: 87000

Summary: In the interstellar kingdom of Valoris, the balance of power has changed. Dressa Rhialden has all she ever wanted—except she only wanted Lesander, gorgeous prince of an enemy high house, not the kingdom meant for her sister. Unfortunately, her betrothal came with both, and now she has a lot of catching up to do. But she’s falling hard for Lesander in the meantime, and with her kingdom on the line and Lesander maybe her enemy, is falling in love really a good idea? When alien attacks that shouldn’t be possible plague her kingdom’s distant worlds, Dressa’s new position is put to the test. Why are the pacifist Kidaa attacking now, and were the attacks made by the Kidaa at all? There’s more going on than an internal power shift, and she has far more secrets to uncover to keep her kingdom safe. Ari Rhialden had her whole life planned out: excel at being the Truthspoken Heir, controlling her kingdom with her shapeshifting powers, and then one day excel at ruling the kingdom. But when she contracts an incurable illness and loses her ability to shapeshift, those plans are derailed. Ari’s sent undercover to a resort world for treatment, but all is not right in paradise. A young gardener with a mysterious past is taking too much interest in Ari’s new persona, and a possessive duke is bent on capturing her attention for himself. Are these just the ordinary machinations of noble guests or something far more sinister? In a kingdom where subterfuge is the norm, coincidence is never just that, and now events are rapidly spinning out of control. Can Dressa and Ari find their way to truth before the kingdom comes crumbling down around them? The Shadow Rule is the second season of The Stars and Green Magics, an epic space fantasy serial set in a diverse, queernorm universe with shapeshifting royals, plotting nobles, and space magic! The Shadow Rule collects episodes 37-93, the complete second season. This book has main characters who are queer, nonbinary, trans, agender, genderfluid, ace and/or aro, lesbian, fat, POC, disabled, ND, and generally awesome. (Not all rep is stated, some is implied.) Barring the occasional burst of strong language, this book is PG-13.

The Shadow Rule - Novae Caelum - The Stars and Green Magics
The Shadow Rule
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Word Count: 67000

Summary: Androids & Aliens is Scott's third short story collection - eight sci fi and sci-fantasy shorts that run the gamut from cyborgs to (comedic) alien invasions: Rise: The rise in sea levels caused by climate change swallowed Venice beneath the lagoon half a century ago. But what if we could bring it back? Ping: I was a real estate agent by day, and a museum curator in the evening at a sci-fi museum. What I saw one night changed everything. What the Rain Brings: Miriam struggles to make a living in post-climate-change Vancouver. But her friend Catalina has it even worse in the Arizona desert. So Miri hatches a plan. High Seven: Zan dreams of making full reals - immersive live virtual reality skins - but his low score may doom him to a life of cheap coding. Full Real: Dek's given up his life of spying for the city. But one more case awaits him. Will he regret it more if he takes it, or turns it down? Shit City: The Bay Area is being walloped by a hurricane, and seventeen-year-old Jason Vasquez has been relocated to a refugee city in the Nevada Desert. Will it be temporary shelter, or change his life? Firedrake: Kerry has always wondered about his deadly powers. But a mysterious bunch of violet roses starts him on the path to discovery - even if he's not sure he's going to like what he finds. The Last Human Heart: I'm one of the Remainers, the few cyborg humans still living on this busted planet. But if my still-human heart finally gives out, I may not live to find out the truth about who I am. This is the first time all of these stories have all been collected in one place, and the first publication of the Pacific Climate Tryptich - What the Rain Brings, High Seven, and Full Real - in any form.

Androids & Aliens - J. Scott Coatsworth
Androids & Aliens
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Word Count: 117,600

Summary: The Action Packed Conclusion to the Peridot Shift Trilogy Peridot is on the edge of annihilation. Once life-giving, the world’s Trade Winds are transforming people into soulless monsters. The surviving Alchemist gods neglect their followers or take advantage of them. Even worse, a delicate peace has been wasted, and everything and everyone is at stake, especially Meran, the mistreated embodiment of the planet. Captain Talis and the crew of Fortune’s Storm must try to do some good with what’s left of Peridot in the hope that, together, they’ll reclaim the hidden pieces of Meran’s soul before the chaos seals her disastrous fate.

Cast Off - RJ Theodore - Peridot Shift
Cast Off
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Word Count: Information not available

Summary: From all the good things provided by advanced AI to the innocence of discovering new worlds, join our authors as they present uplifting stories of science fiction and fantasy.

The Future's So Bright anthology
The Future's So Bright
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Word Count: 5200

Summary: There’s something in the dark … but is Lem’s imagination worse than reality? Out in the vast emptiness of the galaxy, anything can happen. It’s a fact that Lem and her trusty companion Spock know all too well. Sometimes, the things lurking in the darkness are all in your head. Then again, maybe there really is something out there. With her talking dog and an infuriatingly literal AI by her side, Lem must rely on nothing but her strength and wits to help her.  As a humorous homage to Arthur C Clarke’s classic A Walk in the Dark, this short adventure is a not-actually-scary sci-fi horror story that’s perfect for fans of Martha Wells and John Scalzi. 

Jurassic Dark - SI Clarke
Jurassic Dark
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Word Count: 110725

Summary: 133 years. Time is up. Lead Engineer Tara and her partner Sasha face the coming end of the facility generator. For generations It has served thousands of people who have been hiding underground from the ravages of the war, and the lingering Enemy above. Up and down the Grand Elevator, though the entire facility, every resident's life will be shaken when the generator sparks its last amp. The Great Actual, the anarchistic Citizens, and all of the regressed sub-societies in between will have to face the unknowns of the surface. Old fears will pale against new circumstances beyond their imagination, and new attention brings judgment upon all.

Rubberman's Exodus - Joseph Picard
Rubberman's Exodus
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Word Count: 130000

Summary: Life after the Crash. 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 into the Moon's core, humanity must recolonize the homeworld. Twenty brave dropnauts set off on a mission to explore the empty planet. Four of them—Rai, Hera, Ghost and Tien—have trained for two-and-a-half years for the Return. They're 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.

Dropnauts - J. Scott Coatsworth
Dropnauts
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Word Count: 67000

Summary: In the interstellar kingdom of Valoris, everyone knows the royal family is watching. They can be anyone and anywhere with their shapeshifting abilities—they are Truthspoken and to be feared. Of course, that doesn't stop the high houses from trying to take them down by any means they can. Arianna is the perfect Truthspoken Heir: beautiful, intelligent, and a master of her shapeshifting craft, determined to one day rule with the same control as her father. Her dreams come crashing down, though, when she's attacked by a rogue Green Magicker at her betrothal to a rival high house prince, when it's known that magickers can't do violence. Was it treachery, was it personal, or was it something else? Arianna has been slowly getting ill for weeks, and Truthspoken don't get sick. Dressa is the second Truthspoken heir and would like to stay that way, thank you very much. She's the glittering socialite of her father's court, more loved than feared. But when her older sister falls ill and is secretly sent away from court, there's still the matter of a much needed marriage alliance with a rival high house—and an absolutely gorgeous prince, who her sister wasn't keen on marrying anyway. When her father orders her to take her sister's place until she returns—her name, her appearance, everything—can Dressa carry on the act without falling for her sister's intended bride? Paranoia around Green Magickers is growing, noble plots are closing in, and in deep space, the only aliens humans have met are showing signs of not being pacifists after all. Can the Truthspoken hold their kingdom against the coming storm when it's already crumbling from within? The Truthspoken Heir collects the first season of The Stars and Green Magics, an epic space fantasy serial set in a diverse, queernorm universe with shapeshifting royals, glittering court intrigue, and space magic! This book has main characters who are queer, nonbinary, trans, agender, genderfluid, ace and/or aro, lesbian, fat, POC, disabled, ND, and generally awesome. (Not all rep is stated, some is implied.) Barring the occasional burst of strong language, this book is PG-13.

The Truthspoken Heir - Novae Caelum - The Stars and Green Magics
The Truthspoken Heir
Published:

Word Count: 149,000

Summary: Peridot is headed for its second cataclysm. War has broken ancient alliances, sealed borders, and locked down the skies. The Five, Peridot’s alchemist gods, have seen one of their number die and another fall in their efforts to protect their world from invaders beyond the stars. Defeated and diminished, they have ceased to answer the prayers of their people and have left the rapidly unraveling world to fend for itself. Talis and the orphaned crew of the lost airship Wind Sabre have a plan to set things to rights, but they’re stranded on a rock far from the heart of the conflict. When an old enemy comes and offers them a ship and a path forward, it comes with strings that will pull them further from the home they are so desperate to save. Can Talis and her crew chart a course through hostile skies, shifting allegiances, and subverted governments before the true enemies of Peridot claim a power that can destroy the world once and for all?

Salvage - RJ Theodore - Peridot Shift
Salvage
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Word Count: 88700

Summary: Kat Wallace is on a mission. After escaping tortuous enslavement, she sets her sights on ending the human trafficking that has flourished in 24th century Earth. Adopted by the leader of the pirate nation of Bosch, Kat Wallace is determined to prove herself as a member of the Bosch Pirate Force and use her skills to avenge her enslavement and free other thralls. But unexpected love and a test of loyalty threaten to rob her of what she wants most: a home.

A Merry Life - Sarah Branson - Pirates of New Earth
A Merry Life
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Word Count: 120600

Summary: Captain Talis just wants to keep her airship crew from starving, and maybe scrape up enough cash for some badly needed repairs. When an anonymous client offers a small fortune to root through a pile of atmospheric wreckage, it seems like an easy payday. The job yields an ancient ring, a forbidden secret, and a host of deadly enemies. Now on the run from cultists with powerful allies, Talis needs to unload the ring as quickly as possible. Her desperate search for a buyer and the fallout from her discovery leads to a planetary battle between a secret society, alien forces, and even the gods themselves. Talis and her crew have just one desperate chance to make things right before their potential big score destroys them all.

Flotsam - RJ Theodore - Peridot Shift
Flotsam
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Word Count: 45000

Summary: Tangents & Tachyons is Scott's second anthology - six sci fi and sci-fantasy shorts that run the gamut from time travel to hopepunk and retro spec fic: Eventide: Tanner Black awakes to find himself in his own study, staring out the window at the end of the Universe. But who brought him there, and why? Chinatown: Deryn lives in an old San Francisco department store with his girlfriend Gracie, and scrapes by with his talent as a dreamcaster for the Chinese overlords. But what if a dream could change the world? Across the Transom: What if someone or something took over your body on an urgent mission to save your world? Pareidolia: Simon's not like other college kids. His mind can rearrange random patterns to reveal the images lurking inside. But where did his strange gift come from? And what if there are others like him out there too? Lamplighter: Fen has a crush on his friend Lewin, who's in a competing guild. But when the world goes dark, only a little illumination can save it. And only Fen, Lewin and their friend Alissa can light the spark. A Liminal Sky short. Prolepsis: Sean is the closeted twenty-five-year-old editor of an 80's sci-fi 'zine called Prolepsis. When an unabashedly queer story arrives from a mysterious writer, it blows open Sean's closet door, and offers him the chance to change the world - and the future. Plus two flash fiction stories – The System and The Frog Prince, never before published. This is the first time all of these stories have all been collected in one place.

Tangents & Tachons - J. Scott Coatsworth
Tangents & Tachyons
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Word Count: Information not available

Summary: Worlds collide and peace shatters in Book 3 of The Meaning Wars… On the way to a new wormhole-building gig, Crystal and her husband Jai fight over the future of their family. But the safe haven of their base is paradise compared to Pluto. Recovering from her imprisonment, Sarah and her cousin Toby try to scrape their lives back together and stay out of trouble on the icy planetoid. Rebel leader Patience Ngouabi's actions have triggered a growing insurrection on the colony planet of Indus, and the shock waves have reached even the Solar system's worlds. Both Crystal and Sarah will have to decide between uneasy peace and constant danger - if they get to choose at all. Content advisory: this book contains references to abuse, sexual scenes, torture, and mental health issues. Reader discretion is advised.

The Meaning Wars - Michelle Browne - Meaning Wars
The Meaning Wars
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