Be the Sea

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Pub Date 05 Mar 2024 | Archive Date Not set

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Description

Change is in the seas.

In November 2039, marine scientist Wend Taylor heaves themself aboard a zero-emissions boat skippered by elusive nature photographer Viola Yang. Guided by instinct, ocean dreams, and a shared birthday in 1972, they barter stories for passage across the Pacific. Aljon, Viola’s younger cousin, keeps a watchful eye and an innovative galley. Story by story, the trio rethink secrets, flying dreams, and how they experience their own minds.

When they reach Hawaiʻi and prepare to part ways, opportunity and mystery pull them closer together. Both scientific and personal discoveries take shape as they join with ex-lovers, lost friends, and found family. Wend must navigate an ever-shifting future, complicated by bioengineered microbes and a plot to silence scientists, entangled with inexplicable dreams and a calling to Be the Sea.

Change is in the seas.

In November 2039, marine scientist Wend Taylor heaves themself aboard a zero-emissions boat skippered by elusive nature photographer Viola Yang. Guided by instinct, ocean...


A Note From the Publisher

Cover Image Description: The black silhouette of a sailboat with a bright lime outline surrounded by fluffy clouds sits atop a vibrant ocean, filled with many shades of blue, a large purple manta ray, many colorful fish and sea creatures with rainbow outlines, and tiny microbes. An aquatic robot and human diver are silhouetted in black with rainbow outlines. Title says BE THE SEA in large letters as a large jellyfish in shades of yellow, peach, and pink swims through it, with CLARA WARD near the bottom.

Cover Image Description: The black silhouette of a sailboat with a bright lime outline surrounded by fluffy clouds sits atop a vibrant ocean, filled with many shades of blue, a large purple manta...


Advance Praise

Be the Sea is a significant book in the way it talks about communication, community, and neurodiversity.” — Nebula-winning writer Cat Rambo

Be the Sea is a significant book in the way it talks about communication, community, and neurodiversity.” — Nebula-winning writer Cat Rambo


Marketing Plan

Be the Sea by Clara Ward

Cover Illustration by Matthew Spencer

This science fantasy novel releases on 05 March 2023, and as a small press who believes in this story, we welcome (and would be so grateful for) any opportunity to promote this title in advance.

Please note that this is a long novel, original and traditionally edited and published, but written in the traditions of fanfic: kind, expansively queer, and flowing. If this sounds appealing to you, we really hope that you love it.

Information about the novel, the press, and the author, is available at the Be the Sea Media Kit at https://atthisarts.com/media. You may also want to check out our recent releases: Rosalind’s Siblings: Fiction and Poetry Celebrating Scientists of Marginalized Genders, edited by Bogi Takács, Pluralities by Avi Silver, and Embroidered Worlds: Fantastic Fiction from Ukraine and the Diaspora, edited by Valya Dudycz Lupescu, Olha Brylova, and Iryna Pasko.

Content notes for all of our titles are available at https://atthisarts.com/content

We welcome blog posts and reviews. The author is available for interviews and podcasts. We encourage interested booksellers, libraries, schools, or clubs to request print ARCs.

Thank you so much for your interest and support.

Be the Sea by Clara Ward

Cover Illustration by Matthew Spencer

This science fantasy novel releases on 05 March 2023, and as a small press who believes in this story, we welcome (and would be so...


Available Editions

EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9781961654051
PRICE $24.95 (USD)
PAGES 484

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Average rating from 8 members


Featured Reviews

This was one of the rare books where I loved taking my time with it! I feel like that also fit well with the author style, taking the time to absorb the nuanced bits and hints, and not just racing over them and them getting lost in all the words.

I really loved slowly getting to know Wend more and more through their stories and emotions.
The world-building of one of our possible futures was very well done, and I definitely learned things about marine biology!

One thing that gradually stood out to me most, was how gently inclusive this whole book is. So much variety in ability levels, identities, backgrounds, neurodiversity, love styles and more. It felt like a warm bath.

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(4.5 stars)

Set in the future, humans have become more aware of the impacts we have on our environment and have finally made proper strides in sustainability. This book follows Wend, a marine biologist as they sail with Viola (a marine photographer) and Aljon (a talented cook) as they make their way to Hawai'i as well as what happens after their journey.

I loved the characters in this. Mostly. And I think that this greatly contributed to my enjoyment as this story is very character driven. Yes, plot happens to them (things get pretty intense towards the middle!) , but I felt like the focus is always on the characters. I absolutely loved Wend and found them incredibly relatable as a neurodivergent non-binary person who works in biology. I also adored Aljon (an asexual person who needs to escape from people and their drama) who I also saw a lot of myself in. Although we saw less of them as they only really appeared later, I also loved getting to get to know most of the rest of the cast. I loved the diversity and well-executed representation of the variability of human relationships. That being said, there were other characters I was less fond of. While people like her definitely exist, I very much disliked Shelley and her hostility. Most disappointingly, I feel like we never fully get to know Viola, even though she has spent so much tie with Wend. Although I do wonder how much this is due to how other closer relationships are written about.

Although the characters are delightful and there is some beautiful found family in the pages, this book does delve into some darker themes. I found myself having to put this down a couple of times. But I found it all to have been written respectfully and believably - this was definitely not the "I am mad now" kind of need to put the book down, but rather the "well this has brought up some feelings I need to process" variety. But contrasting that was a much more accepting world than the one I am familiar with. While there is some queerphobia and the like, it's so much more normalised (the fact that so few people respond to Wend's pronouns!) and the characters are largely so respectful of each other and their boundaries. This and the more eco conscious world are really so beautiful to see.

If you love well-developed queer and/or neurodivergent characters, found family, the ocean and mysterious dreams I can definitely recommend this book. Things may develop slowly, but I loved the journey that the author has taken me on.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.

(Also, I would just like to add that the author has an impressive knowledge of sea life and explored this in a very creative way!)

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