Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Stark Divide (Liminal Sky, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Stark Divide (Liminal Sky, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Stark Divide

(Liminal Sky #1)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  137 ratings  ·  51 reviews
Some stories are epic.

The Earth is in a state of collapse, with wars breaking out over resources and an environment pushed to the edge by human greed.

Three living generation ships have been built with a combination of genetic mastery, artificial intelligence, technology, and raw materials harvested from the asteroid belt. This is the story of one of them—43 Ariadne, or For
ebook, 284 pages
Published October 10th 2017 by DSP Publications
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Stark Divide, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Stark Divide

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  137 ratings  ·  51 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Stark Divide (Liminal Sky, #1)
Lilyn G. | Sci-Fi & Scary |

The Stark Divide was a nice quick read. It was definitely a book that I didn't want to put down unless I absolutely had to. It plays with some familiar ideas, but does so in such a way that it doesn't feel 'been there, done that'. In it, we've basically destroyed Earth, but we don't have FTL travel yet, so we can't quickly get to another planet. Naturally, that means we have to turn to colony spaceships in the meantime. And that leads me into what I liked most about the book. From the initial sh

A.M. Leibowitz
I’ve read a number of books by the author, and I’ve enjoyed them. This one blows them all away. It is a phenomenal piece of writing that had my undivided attention from the first page.

There is so much in here that hits all my personal hot spots: World-building that slowly unfolds without a ton of expository text; flawed but likable characters; both subtle and overt references to favorite speculative fiction; action that’s low on both sex and violence; social themes; and a what-will-happen-next p
Anna Butler
Oct 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a very interesting read. The premise of sentient spaceships isn't new, of course, nor is the idea of a space ark as the refuge of the remains of humanity. But when the 'ark' is a created world, Forever, complete with mountains, rivers and farms, all held within a space ship grown from a seed and inhabited with sentient, aware, intelligent AI with ambivalent motivation... that's a little different.

This is essentially a trilogy of interconnected novellas, with some reasonably large timesh
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was provided by J. Scott Coatsworth and read on behalf of Thorns & Ink.

Mr. Coatsworth continues to delight me with each book he writes. I am whisked off to reaches unknown, or reminded of places I’s like to see. He spins tales of longing, despair, faith (not always in the religious sense), and hope. Hope being the key feature of all of his stories. Hope keeps you young. Faith keeps you believing in hope. These are lessons we forget or we become too cynical to carry.

The research that we
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews
4 1/2 Hearts, Reviewed by Pixie for MM Good Book Reviews

The Stark Divide throws you into the stars as Earth races towards extinction. Humanity takes one last grasping chance to save themselves even as the world dies around them because of their stupidity, and even in the dying last breaths they continue throwing nuclear missiles at each other and condemning the entire species.

J. Scott Coatsworth has written an amazing science fiction novel that sends shivers down your spine because of the ring
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The author gifted an ARC of this novel for an honest and fair review. Publication date October 2017.

Sci-fi can be a little po-faced at times, or quirky to the point of artifice. It can be difficult to strike the balance between intelligent story-telling and dumbing down the science-y bits for the masses. This author has been on my radar for a while. I’ve read some of his short stories, but never a full-blown novel.

Basically, this is a story split into three parts, threaded together by three gene
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an absolute joy to read. The writing was clean and easy. The characters were fun and interesting and I loved the setting. I also enjoyed the mix of mostly Sci Fi with the touches of fantasy, that was great fun (in fact I kind of wanted to see more of that, especially in Part 3 with Andy). My only issue with this book (and it's not a bad thing) is the ending didn't feel like an ending. I wanted more. I knew going in this was a prequel for a larger story that will be coming out, but I did ...more
Pallavi Sareen
Jul 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
The one thing I absolutely love reading about is a dystopian world that is equal parts hope and equal parts depressing. During the Pandemic, I came across The Stark Divide which written in three parts. The book's premise is a dying earth which has been destroyed through wars, climate change and all other man-made factors which threaten our survival even today. 

What happens when humankind heads towards the stars with its own selfish interests, without learning a lesson from the consequences of it
Serena Yates
Written in three parts – set in 2135, 2145, and 2165 – this novel is a sweeping vision of a future where humankind has no choice but to leave the dying Earth behind and look for a new home among the stars. Self-destruction through climate change, war, and the effects of human greed are the cause of this step, but as this series of three stories shows, humans have learned nothing even over a century from now and end up taking all their problems with them. While scientific advances make the invent ...more
E.M. Hamill
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Stark Divide is a space opera on the level of David Brin's Heart of the Comet.

Coatsworth has assembled a cast of characters- human and AI- who leap from the page and make you care for them.

The world building is phenomenal. Living ships created to travel the stars with sustainable resources are the center of the story. Colin McAvery is the common thread throughout this book, and he is a compelling character who propels many of the events.

The story is told in a series of vignettes with signifi
This writing isn’t working for me. Not enough time spent on meaningful character development so I didn't care enough about any of them. And there’s too much head hopping. If you’re going to do multiple POVs, don’t switch so frequently. DNF@35%
Stephanie   GooglyEyes
While this book is interesting and intense, its also very slow (for me, at least)
I may come back to it, but for now, it is a DNF around 43%.
Review rounded up to 3.5 stars.

The book is divided into three parts. Part One is the discovery of sentient AI’s and the birth of the generation ship. Part Two is the growth and development of the generation ship and the Cities therin, and Part Three is end/beginning of a new era. Each part advances the time line by decades, which kept the entire plot moving forward without getting bogged down in minutia.

Overall premise is Earth is on the brink of disaster – climate change has irrevocably alter
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
I would rate this 4.75 stars.

First off, this was a really well done science fiction novel. I think if you buy into the ideas of: AI becoming a sentient autonomous being, bio mechanical technology becoming something that a human (or potentially AI) could be born with, and the idea of terraforming within a starship, then there is everything to enjoy and delight in within this book. The story carried me along and I went willingly. This book takes place over a thirty year span of time, skipping over
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was something very different for me to read and I really enjoyed it. It took a chapter or so to draw me in but the way in which the author has written the POV’s brings you right into the story from three different people’s perspectives along with their own thoughts and dramas. That’s not even including the creation of a new world for humanity to escape to as earth clicks on self destruction with war and extreme climate change. There is a lot going on across three parts that the book is spli ...more
Erica Metcalf
The Stark Divide by J. Scott Coatsworth was a wonderfully written space adventure filled with suspense! I fell in love with the characters immediately and could not wait to see what was going to happen next.

When I logged on to Goodreads to mark this as finished, I was thrilled to see that it was labeled as book number one! I NEED to get my hands on a copy of The Rising Tide soon! I cannot wait to see where this story goes next!

Full disclosure: I was given a free copy of this book from the author
5 out of 5 stars

Description ~

Some stories are epic.

The Earth is in a state of collapse, with wars breaking out over resources and an environment pushed to the edge by human greed.

Three living generation ships have been built with a combination of genetic mastery, artificial intelligence, technology, and raw materials harvested from the asteroid belt. This is the story of one of them—43 Ariadne, or Forever, as her inhabitants call her—a living world that carries the remaining hopes of humanity, a
May 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
Oh, how to review this book. I will first say that I was truly delighted to see a gay author blending science fiction and fantasy (two of my favourite genres, and an excellent combination.) So I bought this immediately upon finding it. The Author's Note at the beginning of the book further raised my hopes.

The book itself had a phenomenal concept, and the execution was largely well-done. Some of the sentences, particularly towards the beginning, were awkwardly written and threw me out of the stor
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: blog, arc-from-author
Fantastic world-building, dynamic and enthralling story.

The Stark Divide is the type of book I never thought I'd read. I usually only read books with some type of romantic component. The romance doesn't have to be the center of the story but there must be a romance. Well, back in November 2017 J. Scott Coatsworth asked me if I'd review The Stark Divide for Xtreme Delusions. At the time I was just too busy to accept but he asked if I could do it in January and I said yes.

I was really nervous to
Anne Barwell
Oct 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebook, lgbtq
When I read a book by J. Scott Coatsworth I know I’m going to be treated to a story with fabulous world building, and interesting characters. The Stark Divide has all of that and more. One thing I really loved about this story is that although there are romances, they don’t drive it. Also it is populated by diverse characters with differing sexualities IE gay, straight, bi, and trans, which is accepted by this society in the future. The issues here aren’t that, but how mankind has ruined the Ear ...more
Helena Stone
Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a treat to end the year with such a phenomenal book.

Some stories are epic indeed. And some stories just keep on getting better and more intriguing with each subsequent chapter and the introduction of every new character. The Stark Divide is such a book.

I’m not entirely sure how useful my review is going to be for dedicated readers of science fiction. I don’t read enough of it to be able to compare and am too flimsy on everything science to give a trustworthy opinion about that aspect for t
Daniel Mitton
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
(Originally reviewed for Love Bytes Reviews. Rated 4.5 out of 5.0 stars.)

Have you ever finished reading a book, gone on to do a bunch of projects during the day, and wanted to go back then to find out what happened next in that great story you read…only to remember you finished it already? Well, that’s what happened to me today. I just now was thinking that since I finished my ‘to do’ list, I had time to jump back into the story. But I can’t. It isn’t out yet!

As you’ve probably guessed by those
Colin Hardy
Dec 31, 2019 rated it liked it
This was a reasonably easy read; the writing style is approachable and not overly complex. There is one major thread, but it is not really clear what the plot is. There is a core of characters which the reader follows along with two generations of offspring, but the focus is not on them, as they merely facilitate the forward movement of the story. Similarly, the development of the living planet offers frequent interesting asides but adds little to the plot. Without a clear purpose to the story t ...more
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Title: The Stark Divide
Author: J. Scott Coatsworth
Publisher: DSP Publications
ISBN: 978-1-63533-833-1
Buy Link:
Reviewer: Teresa Fallen Angel
Liminal Sky 1
Some stories are epic.
The Earth is in a state of collapse, with wars breaking out over resources and an environment pushed to the edge by human greed.
Three living generation ships have been built with a combination of genetic mastery, artificial intelligence, technology, and raw materials harvested f
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction, lgbt
This sci-fi tightrope walks between dystopia and solarpunk as humans look to the stars to colonize as climate change and global wars over diminishing resources have all but ruined earth. It's also a generational tale told in three parts.

It opens with Colin, the captain of a ship that's half alive, half machine, his a little too Catholic to be comfortable with this sort of ship with its living brain, engineer Jackson Hammond and Ana, the doctor whose father invented the ship-minds and the ships.
Aug 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Review

A truly engaging, emotional, and heartfelt sci-fi epic that does a phenomenal job of setting up the saga the author has laid out before readers. The way the author is able to take a universally used concept of Earth on the verge of destruction and humanity’s last hope and blend this theme into wholly original mythology and sci-fi goodness was a real work of art.

The defining drive behind this novel was the amazing character development. These characters quickly became the heart of the
Patrick Hayes
Nov 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a science fiction novel that focuses on the classic theme of colonization. I enjoyed it immensely.

Split into three sections (Seedling, Colony, and Refugee) and spanning thirty years, the book covers man's exodus into space as things on Earth are making the homeworld unfit for human life (global warming, war, etc.). Without spoiling the story, three characters' actions chart the course of human history.

There's a good bit of tense action in Seedling that would rival the best of any stori
S. Thomas
Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In a near-future possible Earth, humanity has ruined the environment and our last hope as a species is an intelligent seedling planet, one we’ll live within while traveling through space to its permanent orbital home, or perhaps as a rogue drifting planet. The story was too captivating, so I’ve forgotten or overlooked that detail! A small ensemble of characters guides us through the new world’s infancy and childhood and into humanity’s future.

I really liked that technology relied upon bioenginee
Nancy (The Avid Reader)
Three people, two men, Jackson Hammon, Colin McAvery and a woman, Dr. Anastasia Anatov are sent out into the universe on ship called the Dressler or Lex for short, a living ship to find a place to build a new Earth on as the people are destroying the old Earth.

Over the years more and more people come to live and help to create this new Earth that is called Forever. Dr. Anatov returns after many years on Earth hoping to get some closure or maybe to set things right for what happened all those yea
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
World-building at its best!

This novel is is pure, outstanding science fiction/fantasy. Like James Blish a few generations ago, J Scott Coatsworth gives us a new understanding of "seedling stars."

I cannot begin to describe the lush detail, the mind-blowing invention, the beauty and uniqueness of Coatsworth’s world. Every paragraph is rich and delicious as red velvet cake, hard and believable as “Ship’s Bone.” From the interplanetary ships that eat and breathe solar wind and space the Dr
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Brain Wave
  • Animated Architecture: Modern Magick Collected Volume 1 (Modern Magick, #1-3)
  • Into Twilight (Stefan Mendoza #1)
  • The Concordia Deception - A Space Colonization Epic Adventure (Space Colony One Book 1)
  • Relic
  • The Eden Paradox
  • The Nothing Within
  • Factoring Humanity
  • The Cruel Stars (The Cruel Stars, #1)
  • Mission One
  • Killing Adam
  • The Sea (The Knight and the Necromancer #3)
  • Bishop's Honor (Surrender The Sun #1)
  • The Border (The Knight and the Necromancer #2)
  • The Mysterious and Amazing Blue Billings (Black and Blue #1)
  • The Capital (The Knight and the Necromancer #1)
  • First Gear (Sadie Hawkins Mystery, #1)
  • Colony Mars Ultimate Edition: Books 1-5 of the Highly Entertaining Hard Sci-Fi Thriller.
See similar books…
Scott lives with his husband in a leafy Sacramento, California suburb, in a cute yellow house with a pair of pink flamingoes in the front yard.

He has always been in the place between the here and now and the what could be. He started reading science fiction and fantasy at the tender age of nine, encouraged by his mother. But as he read the golden age classics and more modern works too, he started

Other books in the series

Liminal Sky (3 books)
  • The Rising Tide (Liminal Sky, #2)
  • The Shoreless Sea

Related Articles

This June, as we observe LGBTQ Pride—the annual celebration of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning communities—we wa...
177 likes · 70 comments