Throwback Thursday | It Doesn’t Translate

I figured we could talk a little about It Doesn’t Translate. It all started with me reading that for six years in a row MAX hamburgers had been elected the best hamburgers in Sweden…that was all it took LOL.

I wrote a post about how my main character naturally became Max and that he serves burgers in space.

It Doesn’t Translate is one of my favourite stories, maybe my favourite actually…maybe. It’s hard, when in the middle of writing something I always think I have the best story idea and that my characters are the best, but then a little while after release, my focus is elsewhere and I have new favourites. Max and Noir remain favourites, though.

I like sci-fi, light sci-fi, but it’s not my go-to genre, not really. Most often my mind turns to witches and vampires, werewolves and psychics, but every now and then there is a completely ordinary human guy and sometimes there is an alien.

Here we have an everyday guy who decided to open a restaurant in space. He had no idea what he was getting into, but no matter how bad it turned out to be, there is no way he’ll head back to Earth.

Then we have an alien, a space pirate, an ice cream loving, tail swishing, humanoid cat species who decides Max is his mate – not exactly what Max was prepared for.

I had so much fun writing this story I can’t understand why haven’t written more in the same world. I intended to do so, I left a few threads hanging and planned to pick them right up, but this book is turning one this month – 1 year!

I get a little annoyed with myself, I’m too easily distracted. I get a new idea and I throw myself into the new writing adventure and completely disregard the plan I’d set up for myself. I’ll do better in the future, I promise.

Anyway, It Doesn’t Translate is a Tattooed Corpse story, which means a body will appear at some point and he’ll have a snake tattoo. That’s the only thing the Tattooed Corpse stories have in common.

Are you on the Queer Sci-Fi mailing list? If not, sign up now in August and you’ll get a free copy of It’s Doesn’t Translate.

Max walked up to the table, once again praying no one could hear his heart banging in his chest. He kept his face neutral—some species interpreted a smile as aggressive—placed the first cup in front of a purple-haired male with a large flat nose. Piercings adorned his face in more places than Max had believed possible, not that he looked directly at the guy, but he had a hard time not peeking when the gang came and went. He always treated Max like he was invisible and that was alright by him.

Moving on to the next person, he didn’t recognise the jacket, and he didn’t dare look at the man’s face. As he put the cup down the man reached for it, grazing the back of Max’s hand before he could snatch it away.

“Sorry.” The man’s voice was a low purr. Max put some distance between them, but he couldn’t look away as large hands closed around the cup, making it look ridiculously small. He hadn’t seen those hands before, they were dusted with black hair all the way out on the fingers, the pads were broader than the rest of the digit, and there were no visible nails. That didn’t mean there weren’t claws hidden in there somewhere. Max had seen sharp tips coming out after he’d convinced himself a customer was a harmless species. But, for some stupid reason, it pleased him that the creature had five digits on each hand.

The number of fingers didn’t matter though; he was one of Bair’s men—a recruit from the looks of it. He only hoped the guy wouldn’t do anything to prove his worth in here. Shaking his head ever so slightly, he placed the last cup on the tray in front of the quiet man in the corner, the only one who was as small as Max was. Not that Max had considered himself small until he’d arrived here, he was average in every way according to human standards—okay maybe a little shorter than average, but not short short.

The quiet guy always sat in the corner, he never took part in any conversation, he never ate anything other than vegetables, and never drank anything other than black coffee. Max had no idea what species he was, though unless they were Reptoid or human he wouldn’t. His skin had a soft yellow-brownish tone with some dark spots, and it looked almost human in its texture—always nice.

A quick escape took him back to the counter, and he was cursing his shaking hands as he placed Bair and the rest’s cups on the tray. He briefly met Quam’s gaze before heading towards the table again.

In slow-motion he took the few steps bringing him up to the gang. He passed Bair and served the man closest to the wall first. For each cup he put down, his pulse picked up, all too soon he only had Bair’s cup left. It wobbled slightly on the saucer and Max cursed. Bair chuckled too close to his ear, and he steeled himself for another burning onslaught.

“Excuse me?”

Max startled at the purring voice, and out of the corner of his eye, he saw Bair do the same. It was all he needed to be able to take a couple of quick steps out of Bair’s reach—not that it would stop him if he wanted to do something but at least Max could breathe a little easier.

“Yes?” He hoped the men didn’t notice the relief in his tone.

“You don’t happen to have any cream-based desserts, do you?”

Before Max could stop himself he met the man’s gaze, realised what he’d done, and quickly looked down at his worn sneakers. He had yellow eyes with vertical pupils, but the way the eyes had narrowed made Max aware of having overstepped his boundaries—or he’d probably taken more liberties than was expected of him. A flat nose, and a wide mouth…with lips—it was always nice when a face was human-looking. He was probably taller than Quam and broader too, but hey, five fingers, what more could a man wish for?

Max took a calming breath and cursed himself for spacing out.

He forced his mind to focus on what pastry he had to offer. Few species tolerated dairy products. “I…erm…I have vanilla ice cream.” Max kept it for himself. He liked eating some on those nights when he felt heartbroken, unwanted, and alone. Ice cream might not help that, but he still kept it for those nights.

“You do? Could I have some, please?”

Max was as stunned by the polite manner as he was of the request. “Of course, sir.”

He heard Bair mutter something as he hurried towards the freezer in the back of the kitchen. This was one strange day.

books2read.com/ItDoesntTranslate


It Doesn't TranslateNoir Kioko had only ever seen one human before his undercover work brought him to the diner at the Luna Terminal, and that was at a distance. Humans are rare, most of them disappear without a trace, and he hopes hanging around the restaurant will give him a lead on the smuggling ring he’s investigating. There was no way he could’ve known the human would turn out to be his mate, and no way he can let it show without putting his mate in danger and possibly jeopardising his mission.

Max Welch is the proud owner of the only restaurant within a light year’s distance. He left Earth four years ago to create a better life for himself, but he hadn’t considered the possibility of scary alien pirates making his restaurant their favourite hangout spot. As a measly human there isn’t much he can do about it, but as one of the pirates starts coming by almost every day he has to come up with something before he loses all his customers. That the giant cat man is rather nice to look at changes nothing.

When rumours of another human arriving at the space station start to circulate, Noir’s species trafficking infiltrate and observe only mission may need a revamp. But will Noir be able to protect his mate and another one of his rare species?


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My Favourite Sci-Fi Stories

Yesterday, It Doesn’t Translate was released. A sci-fi story, yes sci-fi. I never thought I’d write one, not one taking place in space at least, and you’ll never find me writing hard sci-fi, sorry. I’m not techy enough to pull that off. But everyone needs a little alien love now and then.

I wouldn’t say that I read a lot of sci-fi, but I have my periods when my iPad is filled with spaceships and aliens. Many of these stories I’ve read several times so I thought I’d share in case you’re on the lookout for a good read. I won’t do any ranking because that changes from day to day depending on what I’m in the mood for.

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Bone Rider by J. Fally. I love this book so much, I’ve read it several times, and I would say it’s one of my absolute favourite stories, sci-fi or not. It takes place here on earth. A spaceship crashes and an alien armour system that crawls into a man and connects with his being escapes. At the same time Riley Coper, super hot Texan guy, figures out his boyfriend, Misha Tokarev, is an assassin for the Russian mob and runs away. This is such a great story, you get sci-fi, the mob, love, and a great adventure. Awesome!

Blind Space by Marie Sexton.  Now, we’ve gone on board on a spaceship. Captain Tristan Kelley is taking the Prince on a luxury trip when the ship is boarded by pirates. The Pirates uses a device that makes Tristan blind for a few weeks. They keep him as a prisoner, but one of the pirate captains (yes, there are several) takes an interest and soon love is in the air, there is just this little problem of them being pirates and someone in Tristan’s crew being a traitor, and all of that. If you like space pirates and a little lace with your men, check this one out.

Freighter Flights by Drew Zachary.  Some days I just want a healing-power-of-sperm book. You know when the traumatised MC meets Mr Right, they have sex, and then all troubles are fixed…if only real life what like that. Will is a pilot on a spaceship, Tab is his mechanic, and they too run from space pirates. This book is mostly arguing and sex, it starts out with a good plot but ends up in bed LOL. And some days that’s alright.

Claimings, Tails, and Other Alien Artifacts by Lyn Gala. While we’re in space, we might as well land on a planet, right? Here we have purple aliens with tails. Liam is a trader and a linguist, and he trades with Ondry, one of the Rownt (alien race). I love this story because of the cultural differences. It’s actually a BDSM story, and that’s not my thing, but I like this one. Liam is a sub, and Ondry most certainly isn’t, but it’s about living in a D/S relationship and not about the sex, and about living with an alien in a different culture of course. I’ve read this entire series, or I thought I had, because now when I went to check that I had the title right, I saw there’s a new book. Yay!

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Rarely Pure and Never Simple by Angel Martinez. This was published back in 2013, and it says it’s #1 but there isn’t a #2, I want a #2! Okay, we’re back on Earth again. Damien and Blaze are variants, humans with special talents. Damien is a human GPS and Blaze tends to blow things up with his ability to create fire. Damien isn’t doing well around people, but he has to find several variant children that have gone missing. There is also evil scientists, always a good thing. I love this one!

Seven by Adrienne Wilder. While we’re talking about evil scientists… This is a gruesome story. Seven is on the run, has been on the run for a long time, which isn’t easy when he has people with special talents hunting him. He can’t afford to get tangled up with Chase, love is not in the cards for him…or is it? This story is funny but there is also so much cruelty it’s hard to understand how anyone can do the things they do…but then again they’re not real, because they’re just characters in a book.

Falloucaust by Quil Carter. Now we’re really taking a step into the dark and gruesome. It’s been a long time since I read this story, and it hasn’t been one that I’ve re-read, but it’s hard to forget. We’re in a dystopic world where cannibalism is the new black. It’s long and, while I’ve read it’s now been edited, I read it unedited (if you want to give this a go, get yourself an edited copy). It’s unforgettable, but not for everyone! Cruel and dark and amazing LOL.

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The Disassembled Life of Duncan Cole by S. Hart. Now we’re stepping into another subgenre – steampunk! Every time I read a steampunk story I tell myself I need to read (and write) more steampunk. This is a long read, but I love Duncan so much, and his conversations with his coffee machine. It needs to be read. There is steam, and trains, and inventions, and love, and adventure.

That’s it, people! I’ve probably forgotten a few but, at large, these are my favourite sci-fi reads. What are yours?


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Max Burgers – The Best Burgers in Space

What’s your favourite burger restaurant? For the last sixteen years, MAX Burgers AB has been appointed as the most liked hamburger restaurant in Sweden…every year for sixteen years, people! That’s something, isn’t it?

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Now you’re wondering why the hell is she talking about burgers? And yeah, I admit it might seem a little strange, but I wanted you to know that here in Sweden we have this hamburger chain – and there are actually four restaurants in Norway and two in Denmark too – that’s really popular among Swedes, and it’s called MAX.

So it only seemed natural that if I were to open a restaurant in space, at say the Luna Terminal – approximately a light year’s distance from Earth – I would, of course, have to tell all the aliens that it was a human restaurant, but I’d also want them to know that I had great burgers. And here, the name MAX is associated with quality, at least when we’re talking burgers.

And if I were to open a restaurant in space, I’d need someone to run it for me, because there is no way I’d ever set foot on a spaceship. And that’s how the main character of It Doesn’t Translate was born.

Max’s Human Hamburger Bar has the best burgers in space…or at least in a light year’s distance, Max says so himself.

Max Welch grabbed onto the counter as the sound of metal soles clinking against the titanium walkway on the arcades of The Luna Terminal reached him. They shouldn’t be here yet. It had only been two days since the last time.

With a deep breath, he forced himself to relax his shoulders. When opening the Hamburger bar, Max had figured they’d be kind to him since he was the only restaurant for at least a light year—days’ worth of travelling in the fastest high-speed ships—but of course, the fucking pirates didn’t care.

Maybe they’d only come here to fuel up… Yeah, right.

Maybe they’d come to the floating city to do some grocery shopping. Pirates probably needed to stock up on necessities too, right? They couldn’t steal everything they needed.

He held on to his hope as he glanced over to where Quam sat and sipped on his coffee. Max was proud of his coffee; not many were able to get it on their menu and Max had managed to land a deal with one of the top brands. It was the real thing, not the bland laboratory-grown kind you could pick up at any space colony.

When the hollers of men jostling and laughing came close enough to make the one customer who had been enjoying a cup hurry out of his—her?—seat, Quam sighed and put down the tablet. “They’re early.”

Max swallowed and gave him a terse nod. He hated when Bair and his crew came, but he’d be damned if he was to give them the satisfaction of showing it.


It Doesn’t Translate is a Tattooed Corpse Story, so in other words, it’s a stand-alone story where at some point a body will show up, and it’s the same body you’ll find in any of the other Tattooed Corpse Stories.

ItDoesn'tTranslateGifRelease date August 31st, but you’ll find the pre-order links here:

books2read.com/ItDoesntTranslate


* By clicking the Books2Read link you’ll be taken to an external page. Links to Smashwords, Kobo U.S and Amazon contain affiliate links that earn me a small commission at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.