I just finished the first draft of Ad Astra Road Trip, volume 1 (and 2, probably) of The Galactic Adventures of Jack and Stella, a present-day YA SF novel. It's a story of friendship, othering, and chosen family. After being forced from home, Jack and Stella try to evade capture on a road-trip across Kansas that leads them to the Moon and beyond. Along the way, they learn the value of love and acceptance - and the danger of fears handed down from older generations. When a brother and sister reach adolescence, they begin to "remember" things they never studied - ancient, secret keys to the universe buried in their DNA. To protect them from capture and perhaps save their lives, their mother sends them on a road-trip to danger and discovery, where they learn they were born into an interstellar game of politics where worlds stand in the balance. This revelation drops them into the middle of a millennia-long galactic conflict that threatens not only to destroy humankind, but throw all of galactic society back into devastating war! While on the run from a secret government agency and alien police determined to eliminate humankind, they must discover whom they can trust: their parents, their friends, their alien allies, the vast galactic AI network, or just each other. Along the way, they must also evade powerful forces, build a stardrive, and save Earth's population from a winnowing plague unleashed upon our people - and meet new friends. By the end of the first book, they have become capable of reprogramming the human body, traveling to the stars, destroying entire planets - and surviving on their own. Their actions toss all of galactic society into turmoil, and Earth becomes the symbol of danger to many intelligent species, and a symbol of hope and change for others - but only if they can survive. This trilogy follows our heroes across first Kansas and then out into the galaxy. As they travel to alien worlds - some inhabited by strange and wondrous beings, and some ruined by the last war - they face crises they can only solve by building alliances, mastering their new-found talents, controlling the vast powers they're beginning to sense within, relying on friends and allies, and especially learning to understand and trust one other.
Check out the CSSF website I built and manage. Dennis M. Kratz, in his book, Anatomy of Wonder, says about it, "The best current site, without question, is that sponsored by the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas. It contains a treasure of information and links to other resources. It is the one place to start for anyone seeking information about teaching science fiction." You'll find tons of information about SF, about teaching it, our educational programs and conference, links to important SF sites, and much more. On a related note, check out our AboutSF site.
Here's my personal website, which has poetry and novel downloads, sub-sites about various old-car restorations and build-ups, astronomy photos, a gallery of monkeys, and much more.