Set in the undefinably-semi-distant future at Astris Academy, the ultimate off-shoring school for the children of the wealthy, Starling is the story of Roy Calabi, the teenage clone of a man instrumental in Earth's violent victory over the planet Empyrean in an interstellar war some forty years ago. In the name of cultural exchange, Astris has just enrolled its first Empyrean student, a stellaraptor named Elliott Blue, and he's in Roy's class.
Needless to say, it's very awkward.
If the story reminds you eerily of an anti-colonial, queer Ender's Game, you'd be on the right track. The working title of Starling was Ender's Gay.
This work contains examples of:
- The Bro Code: Roy's not too happy about Kira dating Cosmo
- Casual Interstellar Travel: Astris' junior class takes a school trip to Empyrean
- Clones Are People, Too: Despite the efforts of his adoptive parents and the media, Roy is his very much his own person.
- Gender Rarity Value: The morph ratios of Stellaraptor populations seems to fluctuate in response to environmental pressures.
- Naming Your Colony World: Empyrean- "belonging to or deriving from heaven".
- Nuke 'em: Whether Jet's bomb drop was a desperate, heroic tactic that won a terrifying, deadly war or a horrific act of terrorism against the civilians of a planet just trying to defend itself is a point of serious inter-species contention.