All That Was Asked

A Patchwork Universe Novel

Vanessa MacLaren-Wray

For the wild beast … freedom, even from compassion.
For the person … all that is asked.

– from the Physician’s Oath

Varayla Ansegwe — perpetual student, aspiring poet, and scion of the (allegedly) criminal Syndicate — didn’t volunteer for this alternate-world exploration mission, and the rest of the crew have had it up to here with this pampered noof.

When a strange-looking creature dashes out of the forest, pursued by alien hunters, and desperate for help, Ansegwe insists on saving its life. He sees a kindred spirit — a courageous, imaginative intelligence — but team leaders perceive only an injured animal. He has leverage, as heir to the expedition sponsor, but problems multiply when he takes the alien home.

To prove the creature is a person, Ansegwe breaks free of his undirected youth and problematic family … shattering rules and making discoveries that will change his world.

Trade Paperback Editions
Audio Editions
Signed Editions
Download a Sample

Installation instructions are available for MOBI and EPUB formats.

Book Details

Available Editions

, , ,

About The Author

Vanessa MacLaren-Wray

Vanessa MacLaren-Wray

Vanessa MacLaren-Wray writes science fiction and fantasy exploring the challenges of communication and attachment in a diverse, complex universe. She’s the author of All That Was Asked, with a two-book sequel coming in early 2023. She’s a member of the Truck Stop at the Center of the Galaxy consortium, with “Coke Machine” and The Smugglers. Her short fiction has appeared with Dragon Gems and in the award-winning anthology Fault Zone: Reverse. She hosts regular online open mics for the California Writers Club and acts as a guest host for the podcast Small Publishing in a Big Universe. She is also an active member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).

As an energy systems engineer, she has analyzed electric power systems, studied climate-safe technology, and written extensively on energy issues. The oddball robots she builds out of kids’ toys and stray parts do not seek to destroy humans — instead, they brew tea and play music. Vanessa lives in farm country, where fields of strawberries and artichokes hold the developers at bay. When not arguing with her cats, she works on new stories, her email journal Messages from the Oort Cloud, and her website, Cometary Tales. Find all her connections at

2 reviews for All That Was Asked

  1. Nancy Wood

    “This is a billed as sci-fi, but it’s more. It’s a story of wonder and friendship, loyalty and bravery, and ultimately, love. A highly recommended read.”

    Nancy Wood, author of Due Date and The Stork

  2. Ryan Southwick

    “The characters are well-drawn and varied, the history just deep enough to whet your appetite, the relationships abstract yet rewarding, and the twists and turns plentiful. If you’re in the mood for something different and refreshing, without going off the science fiction deep-end, All That Was Asked is a sure-win.”

    Ryan Southwick, author of Angels in the Mist

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *