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The Green Man #2

Keep the Stars Running

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Space is not always filled with adventures and glory. Not everybody goes racing off to battle evil and save the galaxy. Between the rebels, pirates, royals, and spies are the everyday people who work hard just to get by and ensure everyone gets home safe. Less Than Three Press presents a collection of tales about the ordinary folks who keep the stars running.

The Prince and the Programmer by Cassandra Pierce
The Aurora Conspiracy by Lexi Ander
About a Bot by Andrea Speed
Flight Risk by Talya Andor
Survival by Leona Carver


First published January 1, 2014

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Samantha M. Derr

21 books12 followers

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Displaying 1 - 16 of 16 reviews
Profile Image for MLE  .
Author 3 books86 followers
April 28, 2015
I received this book as an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

A very strong collection of short stories. I liked the theme a lot. It was refreshing reading about the people working in space rather than the typical hero types. I admit I always had a weakness for the Space Quest games and the not so heroic Roger Wilco.

The Prince and the Programmer by Cassandra Pierce

This was my least favorite of all of the stories. It seemed odd to me to have the first story of this collection start with a romance with a Prince especially one as spineless, dull, and whiny as this one. His only appeal seemed to be his beauty, and that was it. He was nice, but bland and uninteresting. So very uninteresting. The plot was a bit silly, and too much like a stereotypical romance novel to be all that interesting. Not for me.

About a Bot by Andrea Speed

I really like Andrea Speed, and this story was no exception. Fun interesting, and well thought out. I loved how Tahir’s kindness was the key to the story. I also loved the natural feeling to the romance. No declarations of undying love, just the start of something good.

The Aurora Conspiracy by Lexi Ander

I really enjoyed this story. I’m usually not much for a couple reunited, but this story handled it beautifully, and I love how neither man was trying to force the other into being who they used to be. They are both trying to understand what happened, and appreciate the people that they have become. The plot is engaging, and complex. A good conspiracy tale.

Flight Risk by Tayla Andor

I really liked Kiel, the mechanic. I appreciated that consideration to the toll his job took on his body was given. It reminded me of my Great-Grandfather who was nearly deaf from years of exposure to his lobster boat’s diesel engine. I liked that he was so dedicated to his job. The romance was nicely developed, and felt natural to the characters. The plot was engaging, and the resolution was well done.

Survival by Leona Carver

The least romantic of the stories, it has a creepy vibe that I really enjoyed. The plot was well done, and I liked the way the different elements came together. Sad, and bittersweet the ending fit the story well even though my heart broke a little bit.

Overall a nice compilation that explored different theme, ideas, and characters.
Profile Image for Teresa.
3,225 reviews35 followers
May 29, 2015
****Reviewed for Prism Book Alliance®****

True to the blurb, this anthology focuses on the less glamourous jobs in the realm of sci-fi. Not all the stories are romantic, though all but one had a romantic couple and story thread. Don’t look to most of these for grand sweeping declarations of love. However, the blurb never promised that. We do get a variety of action and suspense true to the gene.

The Prince and the Programmer by Cassandra Pierce 3 Stars

Jasno is a foodsynth machine repairman who would rather program the food than fix the machines. While working for a prince, he is mistaken for his client and kidnapped. Interesting twists and turns kept the plot moving forward. I liked the idea of the futuristic chef and liked the mistaken identity. I didn’t feel any chemistry between the MC’s though and felt the romance fell flat.

About a Bot by Andrea Speed 3 Stars

Tahir is the Chief Maintenance Officer on a station but feels he is just a glorified janitor with his bots. He is being interviewed by a former crush on his duties but the war with a strange alien race intrudes.

I loved the bots! They were adorable! I also like both Tahir and Jorian and felt the potential there. This was not a romance story, though there is a romantic pairing. This was really a story about Tahir and his contributions to the space station. However the story ended just as it started moving forward. There was so much more story to be told.

The Aurora Conspiracy by Lexi Ander 4.5 Stars

Regin is a crane operator on an orbital mining station suspected of blackmailing his employer. He comes face to face with an old love during the interrogation and finds out things aren’t what he thought they were.
I liked the amount of world building that was done in so short a time. I had a good feel for the place. I also liked the intrigue and mystery that was going on. I liked Danny the robot and the other secondary characters and got a good feel for our MC’s. Our MC’s had good chemistry and the romance was well balanced with the sci-fi aspects.

I would love to see more of this couple.

Flight Risk by Talya Andor 4.5 Stars

Kiel is a mechanic for a planet side station of machines called Gears. The Gear riders, called Gryphons, are dismissive and rude to him, all except the new guy, Marco. Intrigue and mystery abounds as the Gears engage a neighbouring faction intent on taking over the station and fighting for water rights on the desolate planet.

The world building was strong in this book. I loved the scene when Marco first flies out with his patrol and the landscape is described. We get a good sense of who everyone is and hints as to what may be going on. The mystery is good and I loved the romance between Marco and Kiel. I liked the way details were doled out. There weren’t info dumps, but you weren’t kept in the dark just to make you wonder. It unfolded naturally. Another plus was the tons of action.

I really enjoyed this.

Survival by Leona Carver 4.5 Stars

Valentin is a botanist on a ship heading to deep space on a colony journey. On the way there, the ships computer wakes him and five others to deal with a problem relating to the ship’s large forested park.

Wow. This was a crazy sci-fi thriller movie quality story. Suspense, drama and things that go bump in the night. It is ironic that despite being the most sexually graphic of the anthology it is also the only one without a definite romantic pairing at the end.

I enjoyed the ride. As I said, it felt like I was reading a movie. There isn’t a traditional HFN ending, but the ending is satisfying.

Prism Book Alliance®
Profile Image for Mandi.
695 reviews42 followers
June 2, 2015
Pretty solid mix of space stories. As with any anthology, some great stories and some not so great. This was still a better than average mix and I enjoyed it for the most part.

The Prince and the Programmer by Cassandra Pierce - 2 1/2 stars
The Aurora Conspiracy by Lexi Ander - 4 stars
About a Bot by Andrea Speed - 3 stars
Flight Risk by Talya Andor - 4 stars
Survival by Leona Carver - 3 stars. This one was hard for me to rate. I loved the whole creepiness about it, but I hated the ending. I want some sort of resolution in my fiction. (And romance would be nice too.)

Profile Image for Hart_D (ajibooks).
355 reviews9 followers
July 7, 2018
***On sale this weekend (7/6/18 - 7/8/18) for 99 cents!

I don't think I've reviewed an anthology before, because I rarely read all the stories. But the premise of this one interested me a lot and I wanted to read them all. I'll review them separately. But overall, this anthology delivered exactly what it promised.

All of these stories are about gay (maybe bi) cis men, which is not a good or bad thing, just unusual for LT3's anthologies. Also, two of the stories (the first and last) involve non-con or dub-con in some way, in case anyone avoids those things.

1. The Prince and the Programmer by Cassandra Pierce. 2 stars. I can't imagine why this story was chosen to be first. If I had read it as a sample or something, there's no way I would've bought the book. There's a love triangle; the MC has a crush on his love interest, who is in love with another guy, but the MC meets guy #2 first. I didn't know for sure what the main pairing even was until the very end, so I can't say it was a very romantic story. The sci-fi elements felt a little ridiculous. The MC is a maintenance worker who aspires to be a chef, sort of - he wants to program food replicators with ancient Earth recipes. Okay. Well, I was glad when the story ended and I could move on.

2. About a Bot by Andrea Speed. 4 stars. This one is super cute, but it also has a decent plot, including some very exciting moments. It's about a janitor (in space!) who restores old bots as a hobby. His teenage crush comes aboard, and they reconnect. Something threatens the station, and the MC is the only one who can save the day. I liked it a lot. The writing has a really charming, immediate style. I'd never read this author before but will definitely seek out more of her work.

3. The Aurora Conspiracy by Lexi Ander. 5 stars. Excellent story! This has alternating PoVs, and it tells a story of corporate intrigue via two characters, a detective and a miner, who were once a couple before a tragic incident in the past. There's a great android side character, who provides some needed comic relief, as both MCs are pretty gloomy dudes, and the story overall has a sort of noir-ish feel. The action was exciting, and the characters were all very heroic. I would totally read a followup in which nice things happen for Danny. I definitely liked this as much as Lexi Ander's novel Alpha Trine.

4. Flight Risk by Talya Andor. 5 stars. Another great one. This was my second time reading sci-fi by Talya Andor, and I slightly preferred this short story to her novel Signal to Noise; I liked that book a lot, but it had some contrived plot elements. Like the last one, this story has alternating PoVs. The MCs are a low-level soldier and a mechanic who services the devices (I was imagining podracers but I'm not sure if that's correct) that the military uses. The setting is a planet in conflict, in which the military patrols for rebels who are constantly attacking. So it's very exciting from the beginning. Great worldbuilding, too. The mechanic is reluctant to act on his attraction; the relationship and the rest of the plot (which also deals with intrigue) play out at a good pace.

5. Survival by Leona Carver. 4 stars. This is the most interesting story in the anthology, in my opinion, focusing on the conflict between science and nature. It really is not the usual fare I expect from LT3. I don't mean that as a criticism, but I feel this story would be more at home in a standard sci-fi anthology, not one that concentrates on romance. The MC, who is a botanist's assistant, is awoken unexpectedly from cryosleep on a long space voyage because of a malfunction with the forest the ship is carrying. He unknowingly gets involved in a really strange love triangle. I'll be mulling over this one for a while, which is the highest compliment I can pay to sci-fi. I don't give it 5 stars because the pacing felt a little off to me; the story dragged in places, giving a lot of unnecessary details about everyday things like eating. Maybe it was partly because of the plot, but it reminded me somewhat of the movie Silent Running, which is a classic of course, but so slow-paced. However, once the action started, in probably the last 25% of the story, I was riveted. I'll keep an eye out for this author's work.
Profile Image for Jennifer Lavoie.
Author 4 books59 followers
August 4, 2015
Reviewed for The Novel Approach.

I greatly appreciate the scope of this project. Though at times it dragged, the focus behind this anthology is unique and was a pleasure to read because it focused on the lesser known aspects of space adventures. As the premise states, it’s not always filled with adventures and glory, and very often those behind the scenes are unrecognized. In this anthology, however, the mechanics and other personnel get to truly shine.

It’s difficult reviewing anthologies as a whole because of the individual stories it contains, but I will do this review in two parts. First, each story as an individual, and then the anthology as a whole. Because there are only five stories in this anthology, reviewing each one isn’t too difficult, even if they could—and sometimes should¬—have been published on their own. I am presenting the stories in the order that they are published in the book. Also, please forgive my poor descriptions of the stories. I tried to write short blurbs for them, but failed a bit.

The Prince and the Programmer by Cassandra Pierce

Jasno Erys is foodsynth repair technician. When he is called to the suite of Prince Darex, he expects to get his job done and move on, but that’s not to be the case. When kidnappers enter the suite and find only Jasno, they mistake him for the prince and take him to their client. Of course the client realizes he isn’t the prince, but Jasno manages to find himself in a position he’d always dreamed of—creating new foodsynth items and becoming a chef.

I rather liked this story. Of course it has some elements where you need to suspend disbelief (just look at the title), but it was a fun story and I felt for Jasno. He’s stuck in a position he excels at, but his superiors won’t let him test his creativity. That’s just beyond the scope of his position. While he can fix the foodsynth machines, he can also create new recipes that actually taste like something. And Prince Tergus is not all he appears to be either. He’s a desperate man in love who realizes almost too late that what he really wants wasn’t what he initially thought.
As a start to an anthology, I thought this story was perfect. It kept me engaged and really set the pace. I appreciated Jasno’s position as a foodsynth repairman turned chef (think a Star Trek replicator for food only). It’s not something one would usually think of for a science fiction story, but hey, those things are going to break down at some time, right? It’s a dirty, tedious job, but someone has to do it.

In terms of the length, this story took up 18% of the book (according to my Kindle), which was a decent length for a shorter novella. Given that they are five stories, I thought it was the perfect length.

About a Bot by Andrea Speed.

Tahir is the Chief Maintenance Officer of a space station, though he refers to himself as the head janitor. His job is rather monotonous as he is the only flesh and blood member of his staff. The rest consists of various robots. His task is to make sure they perform up to their standards and tinker with them when they’re taken offline to be replaced. When a new station decides to do a report on the people “behind” the scenes, Tahir is chosen and runs into his former crush, Jorian. But unbeknownst to them, they’re about to contend with an alien enemy that humanity can barely stand up again.

This was my favorite story in the book for one reason, and I have just two words: Bagel bot.

Andrea Speed has such a unique sense of humor, and that is entirely on display in this story. Tahir has “pets” from robots no longer needed, and one of them is the aptly named Bagel bot who is shaped like, well, a bagel. There are others, but there was something just so endearing about her that made the story, even when I was wondering if mankind was about to be destroyed.

Tahir and Jorian have good chemistry, and when the enemy targets the space station, Tahir’s quick thinking and bumbling manages to buy them more time. Sadly, this story is short, and I really wanted more. I could easily see this turned into a full novel, and if I could, I would demand it. In terms of length, it’s the shortest at just 12% of the book. It ended far too soon.

The Aurora Conspiracy by Lexi Ander

Aliens and mining gone wrong. Conspiracies. Long lost loves. I don’t really know how else to describe this.

My second favorite story in this anthology because ALIENS. There’s something just so awesome about reading tales of alien species. Regin and Makari are great characters. I found Regin amusing, partially because of his small amount of feline DNA and how they drugged him with catnip to interrogate him, and Makari for his protective instincts concerning Regin, whom he loves and considers his mate, despite their years of separation.

At 20% of the book, this is a sizeable and well-paced story that starts with an interrogation and follows Regin, Makari, and friends to discover the possible conspiracy with the mining company. Add in a robot named Danny who thinks he is James Bond and, well, you have some great entertainment. Regin and Makari made me swoon, and Danny made me laugh. All of which make a great combination. The book is packed with action right until the end, and I really hoped for a good outcome for the boys since they had been torn apart years before.

Flight Risk by Talya Andor

Kiel is a hearing impaired mechanic who works on Gryphon Gears on a planet with limited water resources. He prefers to work on the gears, keeps his head down, and keep to himself, away from the pilots who like to torment him and the other mechanics. When Marco transfers in and is assigned to Bravo team, he doesn’t leave Kiel alone, even though it’s just what Kiel wants. Or is it? When a possible security breach and treason threatens their safety, it’s up to Marco and Kiel to save everyone at the base.

For me, initially, this story dragged. While I enjoyed Kiel and learning about what made him tick, and enjoyed watching Marco try to get Kiel into bed, I often put the book down. It’s only about 22% of the book, but it seemed a lot longer. At the end, however, the action picked up and I couldn’t put down the story. There were a few things that bothered me, such as the outright nastiness in Bravo team’s personalities, especially given what they were trying to do. It seemed contradictory, but I didn’t notice until after I finished the story. I liked Marco and Kiel, but they were the only characters who really got to shine, and I would have liked some other supporting characters who had more screen time.

Survival by Leona Carver

Valentin Mashir was supposed to be a colonist put in cryo for a trip to a new planet, but he’s been upgraded to work in one of the botanical labs and is given a crash course before the trip is underway. After a harrowing experience being put into cryo, Valentin is rudely awoke seventy years early when the ship sensors detect problems with the plant life in the park. Along with a skeleton crew, they’ll have to get the park back under control and figure out what’s going on or destroy the park to save the ship.

I don’t even know where to go with this review. It starts going in one direction, and I’m like oh, cool, this is nice. And then I think I know what’s going to happen and the author does a 90 degree turn into the realm of mythology and I’m staring at the book like what… the heck just happened? It’s not bad, persay, I rather enjoyed it, but it took an interesting route that I did NOT expect.

This story has very little romance. There’s sex, yes, two men blowing off steam, but that’s it. I wanted romance, but didn’t get it. Fyodor is an intriguing character as a genetically engineered being, and I rather liked his cocky attitude. Valentin is a human who is used to the slums of earth, but he loves the trees he helped plant and wants to work with them.

I really can’t give away too much without ruining the story, but I will say that after being rudely awoken from his cryo sleep, Valentin and the group discover something has caused the park to grow exponentially fast and the roots have spread and are interfering with the ship. While the story is long, the longest in the book, it read pretty quickly.

As an entire anthology, I liked this for several reasons. First, the obvious, it goes behind the scenes and really looks at the various people who form support staff. I like that they are given their moments to shine. Some end up saving lives, others don’t, but they all do their jobs well. Second is the diversity. While yes, they all have gay characters, they are also a diverse cast. They are several people of color, and I’m not talking about the alien species encountered, but humans. I loved that. Too often people of color are left out of science fiction, and I think that hurts the genre. Finally, most of the stories have characters with disabilities. They were injured in one way or another, but that doesn’t stop them from working. Some have cybernetic implants to help them, others have had new limbs attached that aren’t quite up to the task. In the case of Kiel, he and the other mechanics have lost their hearing due to the nature of their jobs. The authors really went above and beyond to show that there is no cookie cutter mold for a hero, and they created an incredibly diverse cast within their respective stories. For that I commend them and the publisher.

Do I recommend this book? Absolutely. I only hope there are more anthologies like this one in the works, because I now have soft spot for mechanics.
Profile Image for Pandora.
119 reviews
September 16, 2018
The Prince and the Programmer (19%)
It's heavily focused in the romance, very lacking in plot. And I didn't feel the romance at all. There's no chemistry between the characters, one of them is instantly (unbelievably) in love, while the other spends 99% of the story pining for somebody else and being kind of creepy and stalkery about it. The characters range between indifferent and wholly unlikable. The writter didn't manage to make the small job thing interesting either.

About a Bot (12%)
Loved this one. My only complaint is that I'm big on romance and in this case the romance barely exixted, but the story is strong enough to go without it and I liked that the writer didn't decide to force things. I'm sad because I believe this could have been an amazing novel.

The Aurora Conspiracy (22%)
Loved this one even more. Reunited couples aren't usually my thing, but this one was done to perfection. The conspiracy plot was really, really good too, not a single thing felt predictable to me. Wonderful characters, both main and secondary. Just awesome, all of it.

Flight Risk (22%)
The world building isn't the best at first. Among other things, I had trouble picturing what a "Gear" might be and made them into a lot of different things before I settled for some blurry flying winged bike with a joystik? They're sort of central to the story so this was annoying. The world bulding becomes more solid and enchanting down the line, so does the plot, so do the characters, so does their relationship. Despite my initial doubts, it turned out to be pretty great, actually.

Survival (25%)
This one's just weird erotica. Like the really weird kind. No romance whatsoever. There was a tension there that kept me reading and kept me interested, but in the end it wasn't enough to make me like what I was reading.
Profile Image for Book Gannet.
1,572 reviews18 followers
May 14, 2015
I really enjoyed this anthology of M/M sci-fi romances dealing with ordinary guys working hard out there in space and sometimes finding romance in the most unusual of places. Some were sweet, some were clever, one was really kind of weird (in a mostly good way) and I enjoyed them all.

The Prince and the Programmer is exactly what the title claims it to be with an added touch of culinary delights and a bit of kidnapping. It’s a mostly sweet story with a hard working main character who undervalues himself and a prince who is more than a little foolish about what he really wants. A cute, easy read.

About a Bot is both the shortest story in the collection and my absolute favourite. I loved this tale, not least because of the cute rehabilitated robots. Tahir is a little bit shy, has plenty of social anxieties, but he’s also awesome and I loved reading about him. I want more, though, so much more. And I want a Spider (Bagel bot is cute, but I adored Spider).

The Aurora Conspiracy is both clever and cute, with its interesting setting within the mining corporation and the numerous troubles that land Regin in so much hot water. I loved the second chance romance between Regin and Makari and adored all the little details about Brakkyn courtship. This felt like the most complete of all the stories and I really enjoyed its twists and turns and romantic moments.

Flight Risk was another intriguing tale, with elements of bullying and a warring world. I might have liked a bit more information about this one (the world, the different races, the Gears, just what made Kiel so downtrodden), but what I got I liked. This one is full of snide, nasty little characters of the sort you sadly find in many places, it also has plenty of action and a tentative romance.

Survival was a bit weird if I’m honest. It’s clever and I loved the idea of a garden being placed on a spaceship to continue growing while the human inhabitants were cryogenically frozen for the ninety-year journey. However, it’s not really a romance and much as I loved the story with the fast growing forest and the damage it was doing to the ship, it felt unfinished at the end. I was also a little worried that none of the sex scenes felt quite… right. They were consensual, but only just. In fact it was mostly just creepy. A sci-fi story, definitely, but not a romance.

Making excellent use of the theme, this anthology was really enjoyable and there wasn’t one story I didn’t like. It’s clever, romantic in places and not the least bit repetitive, with some really good world-building and introduced to me to at least one author I need to read more of. If you like space romance, enjoy getting down with the tech-guys or are just looking for some unusual M/M tales, then you will probably like this.

(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)
Profile Image for Kate.
Author 1 book32 followers
July 27, 2015
Overall: Gay scifi about the underdogs and tech workers caught my eye immediately. The concepts in these stories were intriguing, and the characters were interesting, but I found that many of the stories dragged after a while.

(3.5/5) The Prince and the Programmer: Technician and culinary genius Jasno is called to assist unfriendly Prince Darex, ends up kidnapped in his place, and so falls into the complicated relationship between Darex and Prince Tergus.
This one was fun. The characters were vivid and there was lots of minor worldbuilding in the descriptions of food-servos and zero-g wrestling. The story went on longer than I expected it to, but it was all entertaining and full of surprises.

(5/5) About a Bot: This was probably my favorite. Tahir is a minor technician on a spaceship, but he’s made a name for himself refurbishing old-model robots into friendly 'pets'. On the day he’s supposed to be interviewed by his school crush, now a reporter, the ship is attacked, and he ends up facing down a terrifying alien invader with the hope of understanding him. Tahir’s anxiety really rang true. I loved seeing non-human characters too, especially his robots and the Lharaz soldier.

(3/5) The Aurora Conspiracy: This one didn’t interest me as much, but the intrigues involved in the story of a mining station worker accused of sabotaging the company, paced alongside his reunion with the lover he thought gone after a horrific accident that left him with a prosthetic leg, will certainly gain fans.

(4/5) Flight Risk: Most of the Gryphons, the border scouts fighting rebels over water resources, treat their mechanics like dirt. Except for Marco. But Kiel isn’t ready to trust him right away, and the internal politics aren’t the only thing going on in this war. The dynamics in this story were really good: the Gryphons bully Kiel, who could report it, but doesn’t. Marco often isn’t listened to when he needs to be, but he still hides the fact that he comes from a powerful family. I loved the references to the fact that many of the mechanics are deaf and use sign language.

(3.5/5) Survival: Valentin is one of the workers in charge of the plant growth for a colony ship. But partway through the journey, he’s woken from cryosleep when the forest grows out of control. Having read the companion story Renewal, all of the buildup here felt a little slow, but I did like the descriptions of ship life. The last three chapters were more exciting and very much worth the wait.
Profile Image for Cheyenne Blue.
Author 95 books317 followers
June 5, 2015
I received this free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

There are five stories of m/m romance in this volume, all sci-fi, all about the men who keep things running behind the scenes. No pilots or explorers or captains; the men in these stories are an apprentice food replicator programmer, a maintenance technician, an engineer and more.

My favorite story was “About a Bot” by Andrea Speed, about a technician who repairs the obsolete little robots for amusement. It was cute, and funny, although it ended so abruptly that I flicked forward wondering if there was an error in the layout. But no, that was how it ended.

I was also very taken with “Survival” by Leona Carter, about a deep space mission in which the trees taken along to the new colony cause problems along the way. This was given enough tension to make it a page turner, and had depth and description to it to make it the best plotted and executed of the stories.

Of the remaining three stories, two I enjoyed but they didn’t stand out in any way for me, and one I got bored and didn’t finish.

Reading the reviews here, people’s favorite stories are varied enough that if you are a m/m sci-fi fan, you will almost certainly find something to love here.
Profile Image for Joyfully Jay.
7,383 reviews418 followers
May 15, 2015
A Joyfully Jay review.

2 stars

This review is based on the first three stories in the Keep the Stars Running anthology: The Prince and the Programmer, About a Bot, and The Aurora Conspiracy. I found I had the same thoughts and concerns about all three of these initial stories and decided not to continue on with reading the last two. The blurb for this anthology states that these are stories about the men that keep things running behind the scenes. That is exactly true and that is what the stories are about. It was like being taken for a day on the job and being at work with the characters and there was little to no relationship building or world building in the first three stories. Please note, my rating reflects only the first three stories that I read and reviewed below as I did not read the other two.

The Prince and the Programmer
About a Bot
The Aurora Conspiracy

Read Michelle's review in its entirety here.
Profile Image for Heather.
1,151 reviews11 followers
May 27, 2015
Anthologies are tricky, because having a range of stories pretty much guarantees that there’ll be at least one story that doesn’t appeal to any given reader. In the case of Keep the Stars Running (edited by Samantha M. Derr), I didn’t find much to love until the final story. There are a couple of concepts running through here. The hero of each story is an ordinary person: a chef, a gardener, a janitor. Also, each story features an M/M same-sex romance.

There’s explicit sex in here–some stories are heavier on the romance while others are heavier on the erotica. I felt most of it was done very well. The first story makes me want to give this book a three, but that last story alone made me bump it to a 4. Unlikely heroes paired with erotic romance results in some very nicely-done stories.

NOTE: Book received from publisher for review.
For a longer review including breakdowns of individual stories, visit Errant Dreams: http://www.errantdreams.com/2015/04/r...
Profile Image for Chasia Lloyd.
699 reviews56 followers
May 7, 2015
Overall, it's a solid collection of sci-fi short stories featuring m/m pairings. I wasn't impressed with the first story in the collection, but the other four are fairly remarkable. A lot of world-building for technology happens in so few words, and the protagonists in each story are unique and likable. "About a Bot" by Andrea Speed is probably my favorite story in the collection with the absurdly cute Bagel bot.

***ARC provided by NetGalley, thank you!***
Profile Image for Rachel Cotterill.
Author 7 books99 followers
December 27, 2015
This is just such a fantastic idea for an anthology. I utterly love the concept, focusing on the ordinary workers doing everyday chores behind the scenes to keep the galaxy's starships running. These five stories are also very sweet romances, featuring gay couples in jobs ranging from food synthesis technologist to spaceship-gardener. Just lovely.

(Longer review to follow.)
Profile Image for Anne Barwell.
Author 17 books93 followers
December 15, 2015
Although on a similar theme, each story took a different approach. I was hooked very early on by not just the plots, but the characters and world building. A few authors new to me who I will be reading more of. Loved it.
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