Today I am so pleased to welcome J. Scott Coatsworth to Joyfully Jay. Scott has come to talk to us about the Transform the World anthology. He has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving Scott a big welcome!
Transform the World has twenty stories about ways in which we might change the way society, politics, or culture works – or maybe even all three – to make this a better world.
My own story, ReHome Inc, has an interesting history. It’s part of a larger set of shorts – my Northwest Climate Cycle – that tell interconnected stories in Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver after climate change has ravaged the world.
But this is hope punk, so don’t despair.
I wrote the first of these on a prompt from a friend, who suggested I do a story based on the words Rain and Tomato. I penned a short story about a woman—Miri—who lived in Vancouver and who specialized in household climate system repair. Her girlfriend creates a hybrid tomato cactus, which promises to help feed people in rain-starved areas.
Several other stories followed, including High Seven, about a kid named Zan in Seattle, graduating from a virtual arts school, who ends up heading for Vancouver.
When I needed a story for this new anthology, Transform the World, I glanced back over my old ones, and decided it would be fun to write a new short that was a follow-up on both of those previous ones.
And so ReHome Inc. was born, about an idea for reclaiming old climate degraded houses in Vancouver. It features Zan’s husband Devyn, and he’s working on… wait for it… Miri’s old home.
It was fun to go back to this world again, and I hope you enjoy the creative synthesis that emerged.
ReHome Inc by J Scott Coatsworth
Devyn Miller-Hill pulled the heavy iron mallet back, and swung it full force against the old drywall, producing another satisfying shattering sound as the hardened surface began to give way under his determined assault.
The surface buckled.
A third time, and a large hole appeared in the middle of the old wall. The place had good bones, as they used to say, including the raccoon skeleton he’d found up in the attic. There hadn’t been a live raccoon in these parts for decades, though this one had clearly become a permanent resident at some point. Devyn grinned at his own weird sense of humor. That’s why Zan married me, after all.
The Miller-Hills… MillHills, to their closest friends. They’d done it the traditional way, rings and flowers and a walk down the aisle. Old fashioned was kind of Zan’s thing, after all, and Devyn had gone all in hardcore the last few years.
He wished, for just a second, that his brother Elwyn was here to see this. They hadn’t spoken in years, and Devyn had given up on ever reconciling their differences. Zan was his family now.
He grabbed his bottle of Killzitall and sprayed it into the opening, and then sealed it with a patch. The mist would work its way through that section of the wall and neutralize any mold that might be lurking inside.
“Might have been easier to just drill a hole.” Abby Koss, Devyn’s sidekick in their new ReHome Incorporated venture, was shaking their head and tugging on their long black braid in annoyance.
If there’s an easy way to do something and a hard way to do it, leave it to Devyn to find the latter. One of the things Zan said about him regularly.
But there was usually a right way and a wrong way, and the wrong way often costs you more in the long run. “The bigger hole lets in more air, and makes the remediator work faster.”
They rolled their eyes. “Whatever you say, boss. Just came to tell you that the guys from Trentovation are here with the reprocessor unit you rented. Wanna come down and sign for it?”
He snorted at the name. Trent Cachegee was a scrappy Vancouver entrepreneur pushing the edges of province corporate law with the size of his business, which had reached the maximum of ten employees. “I’m surprised he didn’t call it a Trentiprocessor.”
“Or a Cachegachine.”
He snorted. “Better.” Still, Trent ran a good business and had always treated Devyn well. “Go ahead and sign for it. I want to get this room done.”
Their eyes widened. “Are you sure?”
“You’re a partner in this thing. Time to start acting like it.” Abby was Sylvie Koss’s spawn—their word—the child of Zan’s old provost from Seattle.
“Thanks, boss!” They scampered off.
“Not your boss!” he called after them, but they were already gone.
They might be just twenty-two—half his own age—but they had a good head for business. They’d started their first one when they were fifteen and had sold it to generate the capital to buy into their new partnership in ReHome.
Devyn shook his head and moved on to the next section of drywall.
Crack, crack, crack.
That’s when he found the journal.
FOURTEEN WAYS TO CHANGE THE PLANET
Income inequality is worse than it was in the Roaring Twenties. Corporations are moving fast and breaking things, and the social contract seems to be falling apart, aided by social media disruption and division on steroids.
There has to be a better way.
We asked fourteen sci-fi writers to come up with innovative ways the world could work better. Universal basic income, smaller communities, AI voting, and learning to live in harmony with nature are just a few of the ideas explored inside these pages. So buckle up and settle in for a look at the world of the future.
The world’s not going to transform itself.
“A satisfyingly diverse set of visions of the future that come from a single question: how could the world work better?… these short stories encourage dialogue and discussion about what elements could work better for the planet and its people. Libraries and readers looking for especially diverse, thought-provoking sci-fi forays into not only what works, but why, will find Transform the World a potent gathering of forces that juxtapose tales of hope, social inspection, and a feeling of peaceful opportunity into the sci-fi short story world.” — D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
Series Blurb: Every year, we ask science fiction writers to tackle a “save the world” theme with an ultimately hopeful story about how the world might be changed for the better.
- Universal Buy Link: https://www.otherworldsink.com/book/transform-the-world/
- Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/196739869-transform-the-world
- Liminal Fiction (LimFic.com) Link: https://www.limfic.com/book/transform-the-world/
Scott lives with his husband Mark in a yellow bungalow in Sacramento. He was 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 all the people like him were. He decided that if there weren’t queer characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends. A Rainbow Award winning author, he runs Queer Sci Fi, QueeRomance Ink, and Other Worlds Ink with Mark, sites that celebrate fiction reflecting queer reality, and is the committee chair for the Indie Authors Committee at the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).
Additional anthology authors include Morris Allen, Beth Gaydon, Derek Des Anges, Gustavo Bodoni, Holly Schofield, Jana Denardo, Jaymie Heilman, JoeAnn Hart, O.E. Tearmann, Stephen B. Pearl, Stephen Sottong, Stephanie N. Greene, and Xauri’EL Zwaan.
Other Worlds Ink is giving away a $20 Bookshop.org gift card with this tour. Enter for a chance to win:
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