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The Return of Innocence.

Born into nobility, Sasha and her family must leave their beloved kingdom of Jaan. Her father, the general of King Traedon’s Hassekorps, dared to oppose the king’s sorcerer and the king’s judgment. Sasha grows up in exile, becoming an apprentice to her sword-fighting father and trying to keep the other exiles safe from dangerous creatures.

At sixteen, Sasha goes back to Jaan for seeds. The evil warlord Tay-lii recruits Sasha in his plot to kill his brother, the king’s sorcerer. What really happens quickly grows into a legend, and a statue, called “Innocence.” Tay-lii becomes much more dangerous than his brother, so the people of Jaan look to their new champion for deliverance. Just after turning seventeen, Sasha returns to a kingdom that awaits the return of Innocence.

Read for a cure!
The Acorn Gathering:
Writers Uniting Against Cancer

(Not scifi, but a good cause, and the book’s characters include a scifi freak!)

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Updated 24 June 2009. Started 1 October 1998.

Visits: since 15 May 2000.

Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure
By Duane Simolke
Winner, Pride in the Arts Award
On the planet Valchondria, no illness exists, gay marriage is legal, and everyone is a person of color. However, a group called “the Maintainers” carefully monitors everyone’s speech, actions, and weight; the Maintainers also force so-called “colorsighted” people to hide their ability to see in color.

The brilliant scientist Taldra loves her twin gay sons and thinks of them as the hope for Valchondria’s future, but one of them becomes entangled in the cult of Degranon, and the other becomes stranded on the other side of a doorway through time. Can they find their way home and help Taldra save their world?

  • “This is an incredible book about the human condition and how one person striving for the good can, in the end, be a source of change.” –Rainbow Reviews
  • “In Degranon, author Duane Simolke establishes his voice in gay genre writing by combining current concerns revolving around queer culture with a world of dimensional doorways, advanced technology, and distant planets.” –X-Factor, October 1, 2004 issue
  • “It's a very good story.” –HomoMojo.Com
  • “A must read.” – Joe Wright, for StoneWall Society
  • “A reminder of the danger of fanaticism.” –Mark Kendrick, author of Stealing Some Time
  • “Duane Simolke's latest offering is a fascinating scifi excursion into a world as unique as his singular vision.” –Ronald L. Donaghe, author of Cinátis
  • “I recommend DEGRANON for its exciting, well-constructed narrative, its often intriguing characters, and its wealth of ideas both political and philosophical.” –J. Clark
  • “DEGRANON is sci-fi that warrants the attention of any serious aficionado, gay or straight, fascinated by alien worlds that mirror our own world.” –William Maltese, author of Beyond Machu

Though it takes place on other worlds, all the characters in this book are people we might call Native American, African American, Hispanic, Asian, or Middle Eastern. Some of them are also gay. In fact, you could call it a gay science fiction novel, though it can also appeal to a wider scifi audience. For the revised, second edition, I rewrote three of the main characters as gay men, gave a larger role to a lesbian police officer (known as a “Maintainer”), and further explored the “closet” metaphor that appeared in the first edition. Degranon deals with themes of diversity, censorship, and religious violence. It takes place in an alternate dimension, with some of our prejudices and other problems looked at from unusual angles. More importantly for most scifi fans, though, it delivers fast-paced adventure and constant twists.