Cailleadhama: Through the Veil Audiobook

by J. Scott Coatsworth

Caileadhama Audiobook cover - J. Scott Coatsworth
Editions:Audiobook - First Edition: $ 5.99
Pages: 100

Colton is a trans man living in a climate-changed world. He plies the canals that used to be city streets, earning a living taking tourists on illicit journeys through San Francisco's flooded edges beneath the imposing bulk of the Wall.

Tris is an elf who comes through the veil to the City by the Bay - the Caille - on a coming of age pilgrimage called the Cailleadhama. He is searching for his brother Laris, who went missing after crossing through the Caille years before.

The two men find they have common cause, and together they set off to find Laris in a world transformed by the twin forces of greed and climate change. And in the end, they find out more than they ever expected, both about the warming world and their own selves.

This book is on:
  • 1 To Be Read list
Excerpt:

Audio:

Text:

Colton sat at the old, salvaged mirror in his wreck of an apartment, high above the Main Street Canal on San Francisco's drowned waterfront. Not that San Francisco didn’t have its pride. As the Capital of Pacifica, she was still a center of commerce and politics.

But canal rats like Colton didn’t matter much anymore.

The bed behind him, salvaged from another abandoned apartment, was a mess of sheets, a reminder of the trick he'd brought home the night before, someone who'd been paid enough to overlook Colton's shortcomings.

READ MORE

Colton took out a vial of testosterone—his last one, bought at a dear price from the Pharmacist. He pulled out a clean syringe and took off the plastic top, pulling out the stopper to 5 milliliters. He inserted the needle into the bottle, and pushed the air in, an act familiar to him from long practice. Then he pulled out the last of the drug, flicking the syringe twice and pushing out all the air bubbles.

He replaced the needle with a smaller gauge, dumping the larger one into an old caramel corn can he kept for his medical waste.

He used a piece of cotton and a bottle of cheap liquor to wipe down the injection site on his thigh, sterilizing it as best he could. Once it was dry, he took a deep breath, pinching his muscle and pulling his skin to the side. He inserted the needle into his leg, drawing the syringe back a bit to make sure there was no blood. He had to be careful to avoid injecting the hormone directly into his bloodstream.

It hurt a little, but he was used to it.

He dumped the used syringe and the empty vial into the can. He had friends who weren’t so careful to use clean needles, for their hormones or recreational drugs. Some of those friends were now dead, or worse.

Next, he took the medical bandages that he carefully washed every day, and wrapped them around his chest, binding his breasts tightly.

He didn’t look at them. He hated those reminders of his female body—he'd been running from that accident of birth for years.

He wrapped the bandages around himself three or four times, holding in his breath. Once he had his breasts secured, he adjusted them to the side to make his chest as flat as possible.

He looked at the results in the mirror. It would have to do.

He wished he could afford to be re-sequenced. To truly make his body match his gender, to not feel counterfeit in his own form.

Colton glanced out through the broken window. The lights of the City were starting to come on over there as dusk approached. He lived in a no man’s land, the part of the City where the water encroaching from the Bay had reached the old first and second floors. Toward the heart of the City, on the other side of the Wall, the rich still carried on as if nothing had changed.

Those with money called the drowned parts of the city the Canal District. It ran from the old Levis Plaza down to China Basin along the City’s Bay side. There were a number of tony restaurants on the roofs and higher floors of the City behind the Wall that offered views of this supposedly "romantic" neighborhood. For a fee, you could even take a ride through the ruins on a gondola.

That was Colton's “day job”. It brought in enough money to afford food, hormones, and little else, at least, when he was able to pay Mason his overdue boat storage fees.

So at night, he haunted the drowned streets, looking for those he could help, or sometimes relieve of their excess cash.

COLLAPSE
Reviews:Mari F. on Goodreads wrote:

Why did I wait this long to read this little gem? I absolutely loved this story - it's a mix of several genres seamlessly blending into each other. 5 stars.


About the Author

Scott lives with his husband of twenty five years in a Sacramento suburb, in a cute little yellow house with a brick fireplace and two pink flamingoes out front.

He inhabits in the space between the here and now and the what could be. Indoctrinated into science fiction and fantasy by his mom at the tender age of nine, he quickly finished her entire library. But he soon began to wonder where all the queer people were.

After coming out at twenty three, he started writing the kinds of stories he couldn't find at Crown Books. If there weren't many queer characters in his favorite genres, he would will them into existence, subverting them to his own ends. And if he was lucky enough, someone else would want to read them.

His friends say Scott's mind works a little differently than most - he makes connections between ideas that others don't, and somehow does more in a day than most people manage in a week. Although born an introvert, he forced himself to reach outside himself, and learned to connect with others like him.

Scott's stories subvert expectations that transform traditional science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something different and unexpected. He runs both Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband Mark, and is an associate member of the Science Fiction Writer's Association (SFWA).

His romance and genre fiction writing brings a queer energy to his stories, filling them with love, beauty and power. He imagines how the world could be - in the process, he hopes to change the world, just a little.

Scott was recognized as one of the top new gay authors in the 2017 Rainbow Awards, and his debut novel "Skythane" received two awards and an honorable mention.

You can find him at Dreamspinner here, Goodreads here, on Amazon here, on QueeRomance Ink here, and on Facebook here.


Leave a Comment