Table of Contents

Audio Book Cover
Trigger Warnings:
past abuse, past suicidal ideation.

Book Info


The Oberon Cycle

Series Type:
Same story universe
Number In Series:
Cover Artist:
Other Worlds Ink
16 February 2023
Book Type


Jameson Havercamp, a psych from a conservative religious colony, has come to Oberon—unique among the Common Worlds—in search of a rare substance called pith. He’s guided through the wilds on his quest by Xander Kinnison, a handsome, cocky wing man with a troubled past.

Neither knows that Oberon is facing imminent destruction. Even as the world starts to fall apart around them, they have no idea what’s coming—or the bond that will develop between them as they race to avert a cataclysm.

Together, they will journey to uncover the secrets of this strange and singular world, even as it takes them beyond the bounds of reality itself to discover what truly binds them together.

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Xander’s bike flew over the crowded streets of Oberon City. It was midmorning, as far as Jameson could tell from the slanting rays of sunshine over the city.

The wind whipped through his hair, making a rat’s nest of it. He was going to look a mess when he arrived at the OberCorp Headquarters, but there was nothing to be done for it. He mollified himself with the thought that it was the company representative’s fault.

Jameson clung to Xander’s waist, uncomfortable at being so close to the other man, but terrified all the same to loosen his grip. The man’s wings settled in around him like a feathered blanket.

Xander Kinnson had wings—he was a skythane man.

Sure, the whole wings thing had been in the briefing, but reading it and seeing it in person were two very different things. They were beautiful, running up from his shoulder blades into the sky when he had them extended, and powerful. The dark feathers glimmered with an iridescent sheen in the sunlight.

Jameson didn’t think he would have the courage to fly—hoverbike flight was unnerving enough. And yet… wings.

They whipped past heavy armored transports and automated delivery trucks that rode the streets below them, mixed in with pedestrians and even some wagons and rickshaws, as strange an assortment of traffic as he had ever seen in one place.

“We’re going to Oberon Corp Headquarters, right?” he shouted at Xander over the noise. He hated shouting.

“What?” Xander shouted back.

“OberCorp Headquarters?”

“Sorry. Can’t hear you!”

Jameson gave up. He settled in to observe the city around him.

The huge arcos formed a virtual blue metallic wall ahead that began to block out the sunlight as the hoverbike moved closer. They were impressive in their uniformity, reminding him of the statues of Easter Island he’d visited during his trip to Old Earth.

From this vantage point, the city seemed much bigger than it had looked from the shuttle flying in, but outside of the impressive architecture of the arcos, the rest of Oberon City was made up of much less impressive, shorter buildings, with the tallest of these topping out around fifteen stories. They were in varied states of decay, with broken windows and rusted stanchions, some of them overrun by wild vines. The city looked like it was badly in need of an urban renewal project—a few buildings were in such bad shape that Jameson was amazed they hadn’t already collapsed under their own weight.

After about fifteen minutes, Xander’s bike slowly dipped down to the ground, coming to a landing between a couple of low buildings. They arrived at a nondescript three-story, concrete-slab structure that would have fit into almost any urban cityscape. It was made entirely out of prefab plascreet panels like all the other ugly buildings around it.

Xander palmed a sensor next to the metal roll-up door and it chugged up noisily, revealing a storage space maybe three meters wide by about three times that length deep. He pulled the bike inside and parked it, beckoning for Jameson to dismount.

Jameson did as he was told, though he was starting to get worried. When it came right down to it, he knew nothing about this man, having taken Xander at his word that he really was a representative of OberCorp.

How could he know for sure?

The idea nagged at him.

The man might be a pirate who preyed upon unsuspecting arrivals at the immigration center. He certainly fit the profile—standoffish, antisocial, certain he was always right. Jameson had seen that many times before in his practice. Then again, most sociopaths were more social.

At least he’d made it to the city now. It might be best to get out of here and find his own way to OberCorp.

Jameson started to back slowly out of the storage unit, away from Xander. He could make a run for it.

“Stay right there,” Xander said without turning, his voice sharp. “This is a bad part of town. It’s dangerous, especially for off-worlders who don’t know any better.”

Jameson looked out onto the street nervously. Oberon City was a lot grittier at ground level than it had appeared from the shuttle—the pavement looked petrochemical based, and it was uneven and black, so different from the beautiful marble streets back on Beta Tau. Some dark fluid flowed in fits and starts down the gutters, and it gave off a nasty smell: part urine, part hydrocarbons, part rotting food.

He was overdressed for such squalor. “Are there any good parts?” He stepped back inside with a sniff.

Xander snorted. He’d set aside Jameson’s suitcase, and was now rummaging around through some plas containers at the back of the storage unit. He pulled out something and threw it over the back of the bike.

It looked like the saddlebags that Jameson’s parents used with horses on their estate to carry supplies or foodstuffs for picnics or hunting trips into the Holywood.

Xander pulled out a knife and used it to pry open Jameson’s suitcase, setting off the luggage’s alarm. Xander snarled and kicked it until the sound died down to an irritated chirp.

“Hey… what are you doing?” Jameson reached out to stop him, but Xander pushed him back, knife in hand. “You can’t wear that where we’re going.” He indicated Jameson’s clothing with the same disdain Jameson himself had used for the hoverbike. He rummaged through the clothes in the suitcase. “None of this will do.” Xander turned to size Jameson up, head to toe. “I think I have something that will work.” He returned to going through the bins at the back of the unit.

“What do you mean, this won’t do? I’ve met with upper-level management in the Psych Guild on numerous occasions, dressed just like this—”

“We’re not meeting with management.” Xander returned with an armful of clothes. “Here, put these on.”

“I must insist that you take me to OberCorp Headquarters right now and—”

Xander dropped the new clothes on the dirty floor and ripped Jameson’s button-down shirt right up the middle, exposing his bare chest. His wings flared out behind him, and he gave Jameson an evil grin. “Change. Now.”

Jameson tried to stare him down, but there was an angry gleam in the man’s eyes that he decided he didn’t want to challenge. He lowered his eyes and picked up the new clothing. “Is there a place for me to change, at least?” He was not getting naked in front of this barbarian.


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Xander’s arm was outstretched toward a winged stranger as he plummeted toward the ground. His own left wing hung limp and burned as red bolts of molten lightning rained on the landscape below like hammers of God.

The arcos were crashing down to ruin, one after another, adding a terrible grinding crash to the chaos of the red afternoon. They ruptured as they collapsed, and hundreds of bodies fell out, people screaming as they plummeted toward the ground.


Xander awoke in a pool of sweat, the sunlight touching his lithe form through the thick plas, warming his face. Everything was quiet and calm, and the arco was still standing.

He glared at the sunlight; it seemed strange. Dimmer? He remembered the trick blathering on the night before. Something about sunspots. Xander hadn’t really been listening.

He stood and stumbled over to the wash stall, slipping himself inside the small cubicle with some effort. He tapped his cirq. “Bathe.” The warm ionic spray blew over him, covering his shoulders, his chest, his wings. Xander stepped out a moment later and slipped into his riding armor, a black plas-faced jumpsuit that covered his arms, chest, and legs, protecting him from Oberon’s harsh daytime glare and the knacks and wereverens who loved to bite the unprotected for a quick blood snack. He slipped fingerless black leather gloves onto each hand.

“Breakfast,” he mumbled, and a moment later a tray slipped out from behind a small hatch in his eating nook. The smell of cafflite and eggs filled the room. He downed the meal hungrily, his nerves tingling from the stim he’d taken the night before, a mix of pith and uppers.

Xander wasn’t even sure it was pith. That shit was harder to come by than an Oberon City virgin these days.

Shoving the dishes into the recycler, he grabbed the carry sack he’d packed the night before and pressed his palm up against the clear plas of the window, feeling the cold from outside. The storm had largely abated overnight, reduced to tattered clouds with some flooding down in the streets below.

The pattern recognition system matched his palm print, verifying his identity. Twin doors slid aside in the floor, and his hoverbike, a sleek, black machine all darkness and sexy lines, slid up into view. The doors sealed shut below it.

Xander slipped into his riding chaps, pulling his custom-made jacket around his wings and fastening it to keep out the cold, leaving his wings free. There were few enough skythane, or wing men, here in the city, and it was hard to find clothing made for someone like him.

In public, many people threw him dirty looks because of his wings. Wing men were a breed apart from “normal” humans. The skythane—first-wave colonists like him—were often called barbarians by the landers, the second-wave human colonists whose bodies more closely matched the galactic norm. Jealous bastards.

The company had tried to eradicate his people, once upon a time, and even now it wasn’t so uncommon for people to spit on him and call him a native bastard. Xander ignored them; he had grown a thick skin in his adolescence, after his adoptive parents had died and he’d been forced to live out on the streets. Before Alix.

He pulled on his black riding gloves. “Ravi, open the doors.”


The plas window directly in front of the cycle split apart, a straight hairline crack that spread from the base of the window up to six feet off the floor. Clear doors formed in the plas, and then they opened outward, letting in the chill. The storm had passed.

Xander climbed onto the bike and palmed the power key. The machine roared to life underneath him. He powered up the bike’s amalite drive and released the brake, soaring out of the arco into the open air. The wind whistled past him, and he spread his wings to slow his velocity, thrilling in the drag as the cool air flowed past. The breeze buffeted him as the bike descended toward the personal air transportation level a hundred meters above the ground, and he felt free for just a moment.

The whole of Oberon City was spread out before him. The streets far below were still glistening from the rain. Xander breathed in deeply, smelling the scent of the Outland forests, pulling the moisture-laden air deep into his lungs. He loved being outside after the rain. For a few hours, the air was fresh and clean, without the usual nasty, metallic tang of the city.

For all that he’d grown up here, sometimes he still felt like he didn’t belong. He loved instead the wide open spaces of the Outland, beyond the city confines.

The ground below sped toward him, a landscape dotted with factories and feeder tubes and causeways thick with traffic. Heavy supply tractors lumbered up to the base of the tower, laden with foodstuffs from the farms at the edge of the city or amalite ores from the Split.

Behind him was the row of two-mile-high arcos, anchored to each other by massive, silvery blue metallic trusses a hundred feet across. The arcos ran in an ordered row along the waterfront.

Beyond them were factories and warehouses where those prized ores of Oberon were refined and prepared for out-system shipment, and past that, the criminal warrens of the Slander began, a never-ending maze of haphazardly constructed warehouses, shantytowns, and Syndicate strongholds like a creeping blight, home to hustlers of all kinds, Dark Market dealers, and anyone who didn’t want to be found by the law, such as it was. His home in a previous life.



Scott is giving away

A signed print first edition of the trilogy

To one lucky winner


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 a full member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).

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