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Cover: A Distant Sun

A Distant Sun is a novella set in the Paradox universe.


"Ethical Perspectives on History" seemed like an innocuous enough elective... until the teens taking it discovered that the genetic engineering that created the Alliance's alien races wasn't as sanitized and perfect as they were told as children... and that their new teacher, Kellen Grove, might have his own reasons for his passions. This is a senior year they'll never forget.

Author's Comments[]

Folks, this novella has biology—and its influence on culture. It's got aliens and furries and humans. It's got interpersonal character stuff, it's got culture clashes, it's got shiny science. It has hope, humor, sadness. It's like reading all my themes in a 74-page nutshell, with an added dash of teenage crush. I love "His Neuter Face" and "Second," but if you can only afford one novella, this is the one I'd suggest. Despite its near unsaleable length, it got some of my first personal letters: a rejection from Hugo-award-winning editor Ellen Datlow, then buying for the SciFi Channel's webzine (at 25 cents a word!), and one from Gordon Van Gelder at F&SF Magazine from before he had an assistant.

Funny story about that Datlow letter... she had added a postscript that read, "Why do all your characters drink hot chocolate?" Puzzling over this note, I re-read the novella only to discover she was right: every time any character was drinking, they were drinking hot chocolate. I did a facepalm and fixed it before sending it out again. A year or so later I was at a convention on a panel (I think it was for e-zines and electronic publishing? very avant garde topic back then!) and she was in the audience when I told the story about the letter, and she called out, "I REMEMBER THAT!" And added, "I remembered thinking that I'd be wanting something much stronger than hot chocolate at some points in that story."

I was delighted that she'd remembered one single manuscript out of the thousands she must have been getting for what was the highest paying genre magazine at the time.

Notable Characters[]

Minor Characters[]

  • Specialist Dr. Cloudtouch, female (referenced, off stage)
  • find list of other students and that teacher and put them here:
  • Richard, human
  • Derrick Lombard, gray wolfine, looks mostly human, find covering of wolf
  • Valarie Carsen, Seersa, singer
  • Rachel Myers, human
  • Moderia, Russet Aera, Clan Fliat, Vulpine
  • Donegan Unfound, species not specified
  • Cyalone, male pheonix

Background characters[]

School name[]


Cusses used[]

Iley Everlasting

An and Bast


Jazeen's Mortal Coil, might be psychoactive?

Art, Pictures[]

None other than cover picture and pictures of Kellen and Margeaux. 

Kellen showing Margeaux the ear bumps produced by genetic engineering's patchwork solution

Kellen Grove in his classroom. A very relaxed and informal teacher

Songs and Poems[]

Holly's Song by Kellen Grove location 450 to location 472

Lessons learned by the students[]

70% passengers of the generation ships were sterile.

65% were bred as sex toys.

It was real hard to start the process that led to the Pelted, most were failures. 

Where Earth's sun is in the sky, what it looks like. 

The students enjoyed a festival that happened on another planet.

Emergency kits need updating and upgrades.

Mr. Grove can do amazing things.

Diseases discussed, 143 max noted, Spoilers?[]


Auregh-Rosen Syndrone, hearing defects and ear formation problems


Berrits Disease



Kerriwith's Disease, both a genetic and non genetic blood borne disease

Yuvett's Syndrome, one of the original diseases

Purchase Details[]

A Distant Sun is available for purchase a stand-alone e-book, and is also included in the collection Claws and Starships.

Format Pgs/Size Cost ISBN/ASIN
E-book (SW/Amazon) 146kb $1.99 B0049H9FD8