Hiya guys! I've got a Sci-Fi Sunday post for you today, perfect for anyone who enjoys alien invasion books!
~Released: April 9th, 2011
~Publisher: Dragon Moon Press
~Genres: Sci Fi, Time Travel, Alien Invasion
IN THE NEAR FUTURE, humankind has mastered the arts of peace, tolerance, and acceptance. At least, that's what we claim.
But then they arrive. Aliens--the last of a dead race. Suffering culture shock of the worst kind, they must take refuge on a world they cannot understand; one which cannot comprehend the scope of their loss.
Taciturn Gwen Pierson and super-geek Basil Grey are Specialists for the Institute--an organization set up to help alien integration into our societies. They take in Kalp, a widower who escaped his dying world with nothing but his own life and the unfinished toy he was making for a child that will never be born.
But on the aliens' world, family units come in threes, and when Kalp turns to them for comfort, they unintentionally, but happily, find themselves Kalp's lovers.
And then, aliens--and the Specialists who have been most accepting of them--start dying, picked off by assassins. The people of Earth, it seems, are not quite as tolerant as they proclaim.
J.M. is an actor, voice actor, and SF/F author, fanthropologist and professional geek. She’s appeared in podcasts, documentaries, and on television to discuss all things geeky through the lens of academia. She also has an addiction to scarves, Doctor Who, and tea, which may or may not all be related. Her life’s ambitions are to have stepped foot on every continent (only 3 left!), and to perform a duet with John Barrowman.
Her debut novel Triptych was nominated for two Lambda Literary Awards, won the San Francisco Book Festival award for SF/F, was nominated for a 2011 CBC Bookie, was named one of The Advocate’s Best Overlooked Books of 2011, and garnered both a starred review and a place among the Best Books of 2011 from Publishers Weekly.
Her sophomore novel, an epic-length feminist meta-fantasy titled The Untold Tale, (book one of the Accidental Turn Series), debuts December 2015, followed by two more in 2016. The Skylark’s Song, book one of The Skylark’s Saga, a steampunk action novel about a girl vigilante and her mysterious rocketpack, will be published in summer 2017.
|Art by Reapersun|
Born in the Ontario countryside, Gwen is the only daughter of Mark and Evelyn Pierson. She grew up a tomboy on the farm, the kind who wore jeans as the fall fair queen, and loved languages. Her parents wanted her to stay on the farm, marry safe, and inherit their way of life and values, but Gwen rebelled against their coddling and moved to England to study Linguistics.
Partway through her university degree, the aliens arrived. She secretly applied for, and was accepted, to the Languages sector of the Institute, and international governing body that was hastily assembled to help with the massive refugee intake of the otherworldly people.
By turns sarcastic, taciturn, and mistrustful, Gwen nevertheless met the love of her life Basil Grey while working on a translation together at the Institute. Basil’s big heart and love of silly fun balances out Gwen’s tendency towards being a grump.
Gwen understands what it means to always feel like the odd one out, and that things that are easy for other people are incomprehensible to you, and so when she first is introduced to the aliens, she uses that pity and her ability to relate to them to find ways to make their new homes on Earth as comfortable and familiar as possible. Her interest in their culture and food goes beyond language and idle curiosity, and so when Kalp is added to her Engineering Translation team, she does her best to be welcoming and sensitive to his needs. Not realizing, of course, that this was exactly what Kalp needed and craved, and that he would fall in love with her and Basil both.
At first Gwen was reluctant to enter into a three-way romance with the alien Kalp, not understanding what the alien could see in the two of them, but his kindness, his willingness to take things slow, and his sweet, gentle nature all worm their way into her heart.
A geek everyman now, and an utter nerd as a kid, Basil Grey grew up idolizing his miner father. The only boy, and the youngest of four, Basil and his Dad had “man time” in the back garden shed together, watching Doctor Who and taking apart and repairing broken hamm radios. When his father passed away in a mining accident, Basil briefly rejected all things geeky because it hurt too much to do it without his Da. But eventually the lure of SF/F and tinkering was too great, and he found solace from his grief in in worlds he and his father had loved together. Basil decided to attend university for electrical engineering, simply because all his tinkering had given him a fantastic understanding of the science.
Basil had just graduated when the aliens landed, and he immediately volunteered at the Institute. Perhaps he thought it would be a little more like Star Fleet and a little less like the junkyard on Alderaan, but he still loved every moment of it. When he was paired with a Linguistics Agent, Gwen Pierson, he found her Canadian accent cute and tried to find ways to woo her. He first made her laugh by asking an alien to write him a dirty limerick, and left it for Gwen to translate.
Gwen’s cautiousness and mindfulness balances out Basil’s tendency to let his mouth run without thinking about what he’s saying. He is always filled with an overwhelming joy at life, and his sunshine banishes Gwen’s clouds.
Basil was delighted when Kalp was added to their team, and wanted to become the alien’s best friend. He was nearly puppyish about it, which both Gwen and Kalp found endearing.
Basil was more worried for Gwen than himself when Kalp proposed they make theer romantic relationship three-way, and he was concerned with both his own reaction to a physical relationship with an alien as well as his desire not to loose Kalp as a friend should the romance turn sour. Luckily, Kalp was patient and willing to go slow, and Basil found himself as ridiculously head-over-heels for Kalp as he was with Gwen.
Born the only child of a Aglunate consisting of the human equivalent of one male and two females, Kalp grew up coddled and cosseted and very well loved, indeed. His male parent stayed home with his birth mother, while his other mother worked as an engineer for the city planning board. Kalp grew up a bit of a sweet homebody, and cooking became his favourite hobby. His favourite fruit is osap. Kalp met Maru, the first of his own Aglunated, shortly after he came of age and began his education as an engineer (he decided to keep the culinary arts as a favoured hobby instead of a career, in case he began to resent cookery.) Maru was studying in the same school, and had taken employment in the cafeteria. Maru made the best flat cakes and gave excellent massages. Maru and Kalp met Trus - an artist - several years later, introduced by the friend of a friend at a house party.
The three were wed a little while later, and Trus fell pregnant. The day the asteroid came, Maru was outside of the city on business, and Trus had gone to a check-up apointment with the doctor. Kalp had decided to sleep late, reslishing having the nest to himself. He had planned to carve a toy for the impending child all afternoon. Instead, he found himself scrambling through the thick ash-fog to get to the clinic to find his Aglunate. The building had been obliterated by the tremours, with no survivors. And the asteroid had vaporized the region that Maru had been visiting. Even his parents had not survived.
In a few short hours, Kalp had been widowed and orphaned both.
Numb and heartsick, and knowing that the capsules that the government was hastily constructing to act as lifeboats for the survivors would never hold everyone, Kalp decided to let himself die with the planet. However, he was found by colleagues sent by the government to round up all the engineers, mechanics, and others with useful occupations, and dragged onto the final capsule.
His people knew there was at least one other occupied planet out there, for they had found their communications signals. It seemed that the other beings had no idea that there was other life in the universe; they were about to be surprised.
When Kalp first landed on Earth (what a boring name for a planet. They might as well have named in Dirt), he had felt resentful for being saved. But eventually his natural curiosity and his joy of cooking took over and he threw himself into learning about his new home’s cuisine. His Engineering skills had served well on the voyage to Earth as he kept the ship in good repair, and it would serve him now again on this planet, where his people could share their knowledge with the humans.
Kalp never expected to fall in love again, and he had certainly never expected to fall for humans. But Gwen and Basil’s kind attention, their compassion, and their willingness to explain things that confused or frightened him (instead of just sneering at him as many humans had) touched his heart. He will never forget Maru and Trus, but he has made room in his heart for Gwen and Basil. He can love all of his Aglunates, each in their own way.
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