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?
And six others. This is the first time all of these stories have all been collected in one place.
This is my second collection, one of which I'm very proud of. Released in December 2021, it contains eight stories, including three that first appeared in Galaxy's Edge Magazine. My fave here is probably Prolepsis, a time-spanning trip back to the 80's, when Compuserve was the internet, and everything was neon hues and parachute pants. – J. Scott Coatsworth
I felt a little sick. Okay, a lot sick—like something had wrenched my stomach out of my gut and pulled it halfway to Mars.
Not far from the truth, as it turned out.
I reached for my stomach. My furry belly was a little thicker than I would have liked—too much processed sugar, Peter said. That and the whole no exercise thing.
What did I eat this time? My memories were a bit fuzzy.
I remembered bright lights and a sharp smell. And a keening whine.
I opened my eyes. The light above dimmed of its own accord.
That's weird. And the smell… kind of antiseptic?
I sat up, and my fingers sank into the soft blue mat beneath me, leaving an impression when I lifted them up which just as quickly disappeared.
I was naked. What the hell?
Alarmed, I looked around as my eyesight cleared.
I was alone in a plain white room. White walls curved into a white floor and ceiling, and only the "bed" had any color—a bright blue pad on a raised pedestal. There were no doors or windows.
I pushed myself up and my head spun. My stomach clenched, and I felt sick.
The room swam around me, darkening, changing.
I've been sick. I was certain of that, but the details were vague. I fell back, cushioning my fall with my left hand. "Hello? Peter?"
"Hello, Tanner Black." The reply was warm, cordial. Feminine, maybe? Hard to tell.
"Hello." My head ached. "Where am I? Who is this?" The walls continued to flow.
"I am Sera. You are in an awakening room. Welcome to the Seeker."
"Welcome to where?" None of this made any sense. Where's Peter? He must be looking for me. I tried to get up again and a searing pain clenched my gut.
"Please lie down, Mr. Black. You have not fully recovered yet, and your room is not ready."
Recovered from what? I wanted to argue, but suddenly resting seemed like an eminently sensible idea. I was tired, and my head hurt.
Maybe just a short nap.
I pulled my feet up and lay down, wishing for my comfy feather pillow.
The foam conformed to my body, hugging me. So comfortable.
That thought faded as sleep took me, and the light went out.