Book Smugglers Publishing First Contact Smugglerific Cover

A Smugglerific Cover: Luminous by A.E. Ash

In which we reveal the cover for Luminous by A.E. Ash!

Today we are most delighted to unveil the second official cover of Book Smugglers Publishing’s First Contact season of short stories.

Without further ado, BEHOLD! The smugglerific cover!


About the Story

Entry number 3333. Vanguard Station Reckoning. All systems stable. Nothing new to report.

It’s been nine years since the war started; nine years since she has received acknowledgement or contact from anyone. Marooned alone on proto-colony planet Hestia, aging xeno-geologist Jyothi Agarwal still continues her routine transmissions in the hopes that someone, somewhere, is listening.

Then one day, out of nowhere, a brilliant light illuminates Hestia and something falls from the sky.

In the west, he wakes up in pain and alone. There is light everywhere. A new sense of weight. A broken body. Words. Knowing. And he realizes that against all odds, he is inexplicably alive.

On a planet far removed from everything, the last human and a fallen star find companionship in each other–and perhaps something more. Something beautiful, shining, lasting. Something luminous.


A Word From Your Friendly Neighborhood Editors (and Book Smugglers)

A fact that might not be as well known today as it was a few years ago is that when we started The Book Smugglers, we reviewed a lot of romance. Historical romance, science fiction romance, urban fantasy/paranormal romance, YA romance – you name it, we reviewed it. And science fiction romance – SFR, that is – has always been near and dear to our hearts. When we received Luminous, we were instantly enamored with A.E. Ash’s writing style, the amazing atmospheric sense of isolation (and defiance in the face of the hopelessness of routine), and its powerful romance. Jyothi is an older heroine, well into late middle age, which we loved very much – and West, the fallen star who becomes her companion, is… well, luminous.

The science fiction is tightly written and the world of Hestia comes alive under A.E. Ash’s thoughtful writing; the romance that blossoms between the two protagonists (who are quite possibly the last man and woman alive) is sweet, subtle, and poignant.

We hope you fall in love with Jyothi and West, just as we did.


About the Author: A.E. Ash

AE_Ash.jpg (1)

A.E. Ash is a human citizen of the third planet from Sol and is a lifelong nerd, a friend to all felines, a sometimes-gamer, a squee-prone blogger, a mooncalf, but not a baker or candlestick maker. And nobody said anything—ANYTHING—about butcher. She writes weird poetry and miscellaneous speculative fiction: sci-fi, fantasy, space opera, even urban fantasy and romancy things are all mixed up in her writerly brain. Her abode is allegedly located in the United States where she lives with her superhero husband and their completely NOT nefarious kittycats who do nothing at all to help them achieve world domination. You can find her on Twitter as @dogmycatzindeed or check out her blog here:

About the Artist: Yasmin Khudari

Luminous (no text)

I’m drawing and sculpting so that I may contribute to the worlds of Science Fiction and Fantasy that have inspired me all along.

I’ve had the pleasure of working on these projects: sculpting collectibles for The Hobbit and The Lord Of the Rings, and also practical effects on The Hobbit for Weta Workshop. Digitally modeling characters and props for projects such as Avatar, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Tintin, and The Hobbit for Weta Digital, and before that, character modeling for Tippett Studio and Massive Black.

Follow Yasmin Khudari on her website and on Instagram (ExecuteYK)


How to Get the Story

Luminous will be published officially on July 21, 2015. You’ll be able to read the short story in full for free here on The Book Smugglers, but we’ll also have a DRM-free ebook (EPUB, MOBI, AZK) that contains the story as well as a Q&A, essays from the author and the artist, available for purchase on all major ebook retail sites.

Need a copy *right* now? Want to read it *today*?

Get your copy on Amazon exclusively for a week! Next week, we’ll open up the orders to all other retailers (including yours truly).

Add the book on Goodreads, and read Luminous for free online on July 21, 2015.

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    July 13, 2015 at 4:04 am

    […] write this–Luminous is now available for purchase on Amazon. WOO! IT’S ALIIIIIIIIIIIVE! Click here for the Book Smugglers’ official cover release post. If you want to purchase a copy–and oh please pretty please, I hope you do–it’s […]

  • Auroora Lamminlaine
    March 22, 2017 at 5:41 am

    It’s the sort of cover I’d like to see more in SFR: not stock image, actually connected to the story, not to mention stylish and restrained instead of cheesy and lurid.

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