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SI CLARKE (she/her) – Author of neurodiverse, culturally diverse, gender-bendy, drunken-arguments-in-the-pub science fiction. Not bang-bang-pew-pew science fiction.

Stardust Wake


Editing and proofreading of this story were done by Nick Taylor and Hannah McCall.

The cover was designed by Book Cover Zone.

Interior illustration by Ricardo Mossini.

They’ve been friends since childhood. But can their friendship survive adult reality?

Confirmed geeks and childhood friends, Lem and Devon are looking forward to reuniting at a convention. Despite their diverging lives and their fair share of secrets, their shared love of cosplay and science fiction brings them together in ways that nothing else could.

But not all friendships are perfect. When their old schoolfriend Nerys joins them for the day, rifts soon begin to show as the three realise how far they’ve grown apart.

Struggling with Nerys’s insensitivity and her misguided approach to non-binary gender expression, the group are determined to make the most of their time together and embrace their nerdy selves. But with tensions rising, can their friendship withstand the dramatic ways their lives have changed?

A short, thought-provoking backdrop to the author’s White Hart series and her forthcoming Starship Teapot series, Stardust Wake provides an insightful glimpse at complex issues while brimming with passion for all things geek.


‘I‘d recommend this short story to anyone … but especially those, who feel like growing up takes friends and happiness away and forces you to rush things.’ Daira, Goodreads user

‘This may be a short, quick read but its look into the realistic struggles facing the LGBTQ community with its well developed characters. Highly recommended.’ Lori, Goodreads user

‘Clarke’s writing is crisp and moves along well, and as a fellow Big Nerd myself, I gladly inhaled this 35-page tale in under 20 minutes.’ Diana, Goodreads user

Fans of these other spec-fic authors may also enjoy this series: Charlie Jane Anders, Becky Chambers, Robert Rankin, Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, Lindsay Buroker, Jim C Hines, John Scalzi, John Wilker, Ethan Freckleton, J.R. Frontera, Matthew Metzger, Kaia Sønderby, Gareth Powell, Robert J Sawyer, Corinne Duyvis, Mary Robinette Kowal, Mike Chen, TJ Berry, P. Djèlí Clark, Charles Stross

File under keywords: free science fiction, sci-fi, quirky characters, misfit characters, British, short story, bumbling hero, strong female characters, dungeons & dragons, D&D, TTRPG, LitRPG, cosplay, transgender characters, agender characters, asexual, autistic characters, found family, outsiders, London, Comicon, Eastercon, dogs in fiction, geek, nerd, dork