Dust on the Wing, by Parker Foye


Captain Tam spends his life traveling through space on his beloved ship, the Paradigm Princess, and he likes nothing better than being alone with the horizon. However, when a routine stop on his favorite planet brings an unexpected new crew member, he breaks routine and agrees to take her on board—because if Tam plays this through, the powerful Marquis will owe him a favor. Surely that’s worth a detour.

I saw two science fiction books listed on NetGalley, and what interested me was that they were asexual and aromantic LGBTQIA stories. I read a lot of mainstream genres and titles, but I’d never refuse to try a book based on the fact that the author was a member of a particular group, religion, or class. I’ve tried a few LGBTQIA books in the past, and there seems to be a lot of erotic LGBTQIA stories, that, like their hetero-normative counterparts are real turn-offs for me. I was intrigued to read a sci-fi LGBTQIA story, and Dust on the Wing is a refreshing look at sci-fi and LGBTQIA.

There was a sexual encounter at the beginning of the book between the male protagonist, and another male character, but it is confined to a single chapter, and those that may be squeamish of such a scene can quickly skim the scene to the end, and continue the rest of the story. I must confess to my confusion about this scene in a book that is supposed to be aromantic, and asexual, but I’ll also admit that I’m not familiar with some portions of the LGBTQIA community. I would think that the scene would be contrary to what was expected, but I plead ignorance.

I’m not familiar with the author, Parker Foye, but with the exception of the encounter I mentioned earlier, this was an easy-to-read sci-fi story. I found the almost corporate division of the galaxy by playing card suits to be intriguing, all though I did have some difficulty following the ranks since it used terms I was unfamiliar with.

I did find the protagonist to be a good mash up of 2008-era Mal from Firefly/Serenity and the neuroses of Monk from the popular USA television series, and just a touch of Heath Ledger’s Joker. The bipolar behavior was fascinating, and without spoiling anything, there is a pivot point in the story that made me like the protagonist all the more.

The story is a short read, and although the story contains no new ideas or themes, I enjoyed the way the author told it. I would definitely consider reading another sci-fi story from Parker Foye, regardless of any sub-genres. Dust on the Wing is a 3.5-star read, but with the sexual encounter in the beginning, I’m afraid I’d rate it as three stars on sites that don’t allow fractional star ratings.

Parker started writing this biography eight times, which might go some way to explain the gap between their last publication (under a different name) and their current work. When not procrastinating, Parker writes speculative fiction and urban fantasy featuring—among other things—a combination of monsters, cities, overpriced coffee, and well-dressed people unable to articulate their feelings. Aside from enabling characters to make bad decisions, Parker spends time hogging tables in coffee shops and convincing friends to help choreograph action sequences. There is an unfortunately messy intersect between these activities, and that’s why Parker can’t go to that one coffee place anymore.

Less Than Three Press

About Mark Gardner

Mark Gardner lives in northern Arizona with his wife, three children and a pair of spoiled dogs. Mark holds a degrees in Computer Systems and Applications and Applied Human Behavior. View all posts by Mark Gardner

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