by J. Scott Coatsworth

Alex always thought love was enough to keep him and Gio together. Why did they need wedding rings or legal certificates? But now, with Gio lost in a coma after a fire has destroyed their home, his partner’s mother banishes Alex from his side.

Locked in a gray limbo inside his head, memories are all Gio has left, and the urge to let go is getting stronger.

Nothing can keep Alex from Gio's side, even if he has to break the rules. In their stolen moments alone together, Alex fights to reach Gio, one memory at a time.

What if Alex’s voice is the only thing that can bring Gio back?

Reviews:Lee on Liminal Fiction wrote:

"Gio awakens in an empty white room, empty of self. But he returns, a piece at a time, to himself through emotional memories—feelings—derived from his loving relationship with Alex. Coatsworth has paid homage to Descartes in saying to the reader that, “The essence of the soul is a thing that feels.”

This is a brilliant device, elevating what would have otherwise been a too-straightforward, simple story. The motif, of reconstructed self, is emphasized at key points in the story, such as when Alex at first cannot make a list of the possessions that he and Gio lost. As the story progresses and Gio’s sense of self begins to return, Alex is able to populate that list...

...the ideas employed in Flames, and the clever use of metaphor, make this an excellent novella."

About the Author

Scott lives with his husband Mark in a little yellow bungalow with two pink flamingoes in Sacramento. He inhabits the space between the here and now and the what could be. Indoctrinated into fantasy and sci fi by his mother at the tender age of nine, he devoured her library. But as he grew up, he wondered where the people like him were.

He decided it was time to create the kinds of stories he couldn’t find at Waldenbooks. If there weren’t queer characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends.

His friends say Scott’s brain 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 seeks to transform traditional sci fi, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something unexpected.

A Rainbow Award winning author, he runs Queer Sci Fi, QueeRomance Ink, and Other Worlds Ink with Mark, sites that bring queer people together to promote and celebrate fiction reflecting their own reality. Scott is is the committee chair for the Indie Authors Committee at the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).

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