Sunday, March 17, 2024

Happy Release Day ~ The Pheeworker’s Oath by Adam Gaylord - SciFi, Speculative Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery ~ @AuthorGaylord @MirrorWorldPub #ExclusiveExcerpt

Welcome to the -Week Virtual Book Tour Schedule for The Pheeworker’s Oath by Adam Gaylord - SciFi, Speculative Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery 
March 17-22, 2024)

About The Pheeworker’s Oath:

Humans don’t belong on this world. The refugees who crash-landed on the Atipok homeworld can’t see or touch phee, the elemental power which flows through rock and stone like living rivers of light. From the moment of his hatching, healer Takey has manipulated phee to heal, bending strands to his will to mend muscle and bone for both human and Atipok alike.

But when the Atipok queen is murdered and her death blamed on an orphaned human child capable of pheework, the first of her kind, a rift is torn between the two races that could spell the end of humanity. Anti-human factions seize power and the Atipok army is on the march. Can Takey survive long enough to unravel the strands of conspiracy, protect the child, and broker a peace to avoid genocide without betraying his own people or himself?


SciFi, Speculative Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery

Read an Exclusive Excerpt:

“Survivors.” I pointed across the debris-strewn clearing to a tangle of timber and metal where phee, the natural power that flowed over my world, the Great Egg, swirled the faintest semi-transparent blue-green. There was a subtle difference from the strands around it and only an experienced healer, such as myself, would have noticed.

Hassan whistled and a half-dozen humans converged on the pile.

“Careful.” I stepped between two females to crouch down and peer under a timber bearing deep claw marks, extending my tail for balance. While I couldn’t see the humans trapped within, I could tell by the flickering of the phee that flowed through the pile that their situation was dire. “Move slowly. They’re badly injured.”

Hassan’s people shifted the debris as gently as they could manage. Like most dwellings in the various human settlements, the structure had been cobbled together with parts of their downed spacecraft, held together with what they call adobe—bricks of dried red mud mixed with straw. This home had been small and took little time to dig through. With a grunt, the largest male tossed aside a hunk of what had been their ship’s outer hull, exposing a tangle of human bodies.

I crawled forward to kneel by the motionless forms.

Hassan crouched beside me, his brows pinched. “They’re alive?”

Humans can’t see phee. Hassan had once told me their home planet—that most planets—don’t have anything like phee. I think it is more likely humans can’t see phee and are therefore unaware of it. The thought of a phee-less world, so cold and dead, made my tail tingle. Regardless, Hassan couldn’t see how the flowing strands of semi-transparent color and light, as delicate as frost on a leaf, failed to interact with the humans atop the pile, an adult male and a female, both with dark brown skin and black hair, presumably mates.

“Help me move them,” I instructed.

Together we rolled the bodies aside, exposing two adolescent females, both unconscious. I rested my hand against the back of the oldest, the deep brown smoothness of her skin contrasting with my light blue scales. Closing my eyes, I stretched out my consciousness, coaxing a thin tendril of turquoise phee from the flow around us. With a subtle hand gesture, I willed the tendril into the small of her back, traveling with it through the alien anatomy that had grown so familiar to me. I kept the phee insubstantial to pass through bone and tissue rather than to manipulate or cut. From her tailbone, I guided the strand around the curve of her pelvis before traveling back up through the spine, minute changes in how the phee interacted with the girl’s body setting my path.

“Broken hip, broken vertebra,” I listed the girl’s injuries. I could bind the broken bones, and at her age she would heal quickly. The general anatomy of a human was curiously similar to that of an Atipok, each species composed of mostly the same organs and bones of similar shape and placement. Similar but noticeably different, like a drawing by an artist who’d been told about an animal without ever actually seeing it.

“Ruptured spleen,” I continued. That would be a bit trickier but might be survivable if addressed quickly. “Broken ribs.” I winced. “Punctured collapsed lung, massive internal bleeding.” I leaned back, withdrawing the phee and my hand. A moment of fatigue washed over me. Manipulating phee in such a precise fashion was always draining. “I’m sorry. I can’t save her.”

Hassan touched my arm and I opened my eyes. “Takey, are you sure? Can you try?”

I managed to suppress a hiss of anger. Although he was human, I considered Hassan a friend. He was a craftsman of some sort before their arrival, and many humans now looked to him for leadership. He also embraced phee as useful, even if he didn’t understand it or shrink from its use in fear like so many other humans. But friend or no, I didn’t appreciate having my judgment as a healer questioned.

“I’m sorry,” he added quickly. “I didn’t mean anything by it. I’m just frustrated. This—” His gesture took in the whole of the wreckage that had been a community only the previous day. Two men were lining up bodies next to their mechanical wagon. Like the other attacks, I suspected some remains would never be found, having been dragged away or completely consumed. His eyes settle on a row of claw marks gouged deep into the soil. “This can’t keep happening.”

Book Tour Schedule:


From Aimee Ogden, Nebula Finalist:

A compellingly alien protagonist, who also has the deeply-held and familiar belief that a better world is possible. 

In THE PHEEWORKER'S OATH, neither compassion nor cruelty are traits limited to humankind. There are no easy answers to the complexities of human refugees building a new home for themselves on a different world--but it is easy to care about the compellingly alien Takey, and about his deeply-held and familiar belief that a better world is possible. 

From Rachael Jones, WFA Finalist & Tiptree Award honoree:

The Pheeworker's Oath is a timely science fiction tale about a stranded human colony dependent upon the Atipok, aliens with near-mystical abilities that allow them to control their environment and their very bodies. It is a fascinating examination of how manipulative leaders harness fear of the other to gain power, and how the only way to break that power is to find kinship with the very beings you've been told to fear. This adventure story showcases timeless themes and intriguing worldbuilding. Come for the cool alien powers, stay for the lizardlike Atipok--but don't you dare call them Lizards!

Purchase Links:



Meet the Author:

Adam Gaylord (he/him) lives in Colorado with a wife that is smarter than him, their two monster children, and a very handsome dog. When not at work as an ecologist, he’s usually writing, baking, drawing comics, or some combination thereof. Look him up on GoodReads or find him on Twitter/BlueSky @AuthorGaylord.

Connect with Adam Gaylord :


Goodreads Author Page: 

No comments:

Post a Comment