Mo*Con X: Save the Date!

May 1st-3rd, 2015

Mo*Con is a convention focused on conversations revolving around genre literature and social justice. Once again, we’ll be hosted by the Broad Ripple United Methodist Church, IHW, and Evoke Arts + Media.  If you enjoy writing, conversations, and food, you’ll find plenty to enjoy at our little gathering.

Some of our special guests:

EDITOR GUEST OF HONOR

Ann-VanderMeerAnn VanderMeer

The founder of the award-winning Buzzcity Press, Ann VanderMeer currently serves as an acquiring fiction editor for Tor.com, Cheeky Frawg Books, and weirdfictionreview.com. She was the editor-in-chief for Weird Tales for five years, during which time she was nominated three times for the Hugo Award, winning one. Along with multiple nominations for the Shirley Jackson Award, she also has won a World Fantasy Award and a British Fantasy Award for co-editing The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories. Other projects have included Best American Fantasy, three Steampunk anthologies, and a humor book, The Kosher Guide to Imaginary Animals. Her latest anthologies include Steampunk III: Steampunk Revolution, The Time Traveler’s Almanac, and a forthcoming anthology of feminist speculative fiction, Sisters of the Revolution.

 

WRITER GUEST OF HONOR

jody lyn nyeJody Lynn Nye

Since 1987 she has published over 45 books and more than 120 short stories. Among the novels Jody has written are her epic fantasy series, The Dreamland, beginning with Waking In Dreamland, five contemporary humorous fantasies, Mythology 101, Mythology Abroad, Higher Mythology (the three collected by Meisha Merlin Publishing as Applied Mythology), Advanced Mythology, The Magic Touch, and three medical science fiction novels, Taylor’s Ark, Medicine Show and The Lady and the Tiger. Strong Arm Tactics, a humorous military science fiction novel, the first of The Wolfe Pack series. Jody also wrote The Dragonlover’s Guide to Pern, a non-fiction-style guide to the world of internationally best-selling author Anne McCaffrey’s popular world. She also collaborated with Anne McCaffrey on four science fiction novels, The Death of Sleep, Crisis On Doona, Treaty At Doona and The Ship Who Won, and wrote a solo sequel to The Ship Who Won entitled The Ship Errant. Jody co-authored the Visual Guide to Xanth with best-selling fantasy author Piers Anthony, and edited an anthology of humorous stories about mothers in science fiction, fantasy, myth and legend, entitled Don’t Forget Your Spacesuit, Dear! She wrote eight books with the late Robert Lynn Asprin, License Invoked, a contemporary fantasy set in New Orleans, and seven set in Asprin’s Myth Adventures universe: Myth-Told Tales (anthology), Myth Alliances, Myth-Taken Identity, Class Dis-Mythed, Myth-Gotten Gains, Myth Chief, and Myth-Fortunes. Since Asprin’s passing, she has published Myth-Quoted and Dragons Deal (Ace Books), third in Asprin’s Dragons series. Her newest series is the Lord Thomas Kinago books, beginning with View From the Imperium (Baen Books), a humorous military SF novel.

 

Profile photoGAMING GUEST OF HONOR

Monica Valentinelli writes games, stories, essays, and comics for media/tie-in properties and her original concepts. Published works include “Tomorrow’s Precious Lambs” for EXTREME ZOMBIES, “The Dig” for the LOVECRAFT ZINE, Mortal Remains for HUNTER: THE VIGIL, and the FIREFLY RPG line of games from Margaret Weis Productions. Her debut anthology HAUNTED: 11 TALES OF GHOSTLY HORROR won a reader’s choice award in 2011. Born in the Midwest, Valentinelli is a former musician of 20+ years who graduated from UW-Madison with a Creative Writing degree. She has worked in many professions until striking out on her own as a full-time writer and consultant; some crazier than others. Currently, Monica’s the lead writer and developer for the Firefly RPG line based on the show by Joss Whedon. Her sanity is kept by her two cats, water frog, bettafish, and her long-time partner. When she’s not obsessing about deadlines, she designs jewelry and dabbles in other artistic endeavors. For more about Monica, visit www.mlvwrites.com.

 

SPECIAL GUESTS

K TEMPEST BRADFORDK. Tempest Bradford is a speculative fiction writer by night, a media critic and culture columnist by day, and an activist blogger in the interstices. Her fiction has appeared in award-winning magazines the likes of Strange Horizons and Electric Velocipede and best-selling anthologies Diverse EnergiesFederations, and many more.  When not writing science fiction and fantasy or engaging in Interstitial arts she contributes articles, essays, blog posts, and reviews to io9, NPR, and various other media outlets. She enjoys commenting on media as much as consuming it and prides herself on being a “harsher of squee” when it comes to television, movies, books, and other entertainment that doesn’t live up to high standards.  She’s active in the SFF fandom community and volunteers for a number of non-profit organizations. In the past she’s served as a juror for the James Tiptree Jr. Award, organized fundraising auctions and salons for the Interstitial Arts Foundation, and raised funds for Clarion West, her writing workshop alma mater. Currently she serves on the board of the Carl Brandon Society, an organization dedicated to increasing racial and ethnic diversity in the production of and audience for speculative fiction, and is programming co-chair for WisCon 39, a feminist science fiction convention.  Tempest belongs to the New York City-based writer’s group Altered Fluid. You can find her blog and every other bit of relevant information about her at KTempestBradford.com.

 

lucy-whcLucy Snyder is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of the novels Spellbent, Shotgun Sorceress, Switchblade Goddess, and the collections Orchid Carousals, Sparks and Shadows, Chimeric Machines, and Installing Linux on a Dead Badger. She will have two new books out in 2014: Shooting Yourself in the Head For Fun and Profit: A Writer’s Guide will be released by Post Mortem Press, and her story collection Soft Apocalypses will be released by Raw Dog Screaming Press. Her writing has been translated into French, Russian, and Japanese editions and has appeared in publications such as What Fates Impose, Once Upon A Curse, Strange Horizons, Weird Tales, Hellbound Hearts, Dark Faith, Chiaroscuro, GUD, and Best Horror of the Year, Vol. 5. You can learn more about her atwww.lucysnyder.com.

 

 

mary sangiovanniMary SanGiovanni is the author of 10 horror and thriller books, one of which was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award, as well as numerous short stories. She has a Masters degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, Pittsburgh and teaches English classes at her local college.  She is currently a member of The Authors Guild, The International Thriller Writers, and Penn Writers.

 

Plus plenty of other guests and surprises!

More details at the IHW site

 

Conference Registration: You can register for MoCon via Paypal.

Early registration ($50) for the three-day event ends on March 1, 2015.

After that, full registration ($75) and Saturday only registration ($50) rates will apply.

 

LOCATION:

Broad Ripple United Methodist Church

6185 Guilford Ave

Indianapolis, IN 46220

 

Hotel Registration (ask for the Mo*Con rate)

Wingate by Wyndham Northwest

6240 Intech Commons Dr.

Indianapolis, IN 46278

317-275-7000

 

Streets of Shadows … Now with New Cover Reveal

Bowing at this year’s Context Convention (Sept 26-28th) comes Streets of Shadows, the exciting crime meets urban fantasy anthology collection.  We’d already revealed the cover for those who supported our KickStarter campaign, now here’s the cover for our commercial release.  Edited by Maurice Broaddus and Jerry Gordon, it features an array of stories from great writers:

streets-of-shadows-front-cover-sneak-peek“What I Am” – Tom Piccirilli

“A Game of Cards” – A.C. Wise

“Shooting Aphrodite” – Gary Kloster

“Santa Muerte” – Lucy A. Snyder and Daniel R. Robichaud

“Morrigan’s Girls” – Gerard Brennan

“Such Faces We Wear, Such Masks We Hide” – Damien Angelica Walters

“The Man Who Has Been Killing Kittens” – Douglas F. Warrick

“The Large Man” – Paul Tremblay

“Unfilial Child” – Laurie Tom

“Street Worm” – Nisi Shawl

“Der Kommissar’s In Town” – Nick Mamatas

“The Shadow People” – Brandon Massey

streets-of-shadows-wrap-around-cover“Hand Fast” – Kristine Kathryn Rusch

“Beware of Dog” – Kevin J. Anderson

“Stay: A Tale of the Spellmason Chronicles” – Anton Strout

“God Needs Not the Future” – Jason Sizemore

“Relics” – Tim Lebbon

“Cold Fear” – Lucien Soulban

“In Vino Veritas” – Tim Waggoner and Michael West

“Best Served Cold” – Seanan McGuire

“Toby’s Closet” – Jonathan Maberry

 

Now available for pre-order here!

War Stories and Things Don’t Go Smoothly Now Available

war storiesWar Stories: New Military Science Fiction, co-edited by Jaym Gates and Andrew Liptak, is now available. Military science fiction stories fill these pages.  Here’s the back cover copy:

“War is everywhere. Not only among the firefights, in the sweat dripping from heavy armor and the clenching grip on your weapon, but also wedging itself deep into families, infiltrating our love letters, hovering in the air above our heads. It’s in our dreams and our text messages. At times it roars with adrenaline, while at others it slips in silently so it can sit beside you until you forget it’s there.

Join Joe Haldeman, Linda Nagata, Karin Lowachee, Ken Liu, Jay Posey, and more as they take you on a tour of the battlefields, from those hurtling through space in spaceships and winding along trails deep in the jungle with bullets whizzing overhead, to the ones hiding behind calm smiles, waiting patiently to reveal itself in those quiet moments when we feel safest. War Stories brings us 23 stories of the impacts of war, showcasing the systems, combat, armor, and aftermath without condemnation or glorification.”

This features my story “The Valkyrie.”  It’s the prequel to my story “Voice of the Martyrs.”  Speaking of the latter, it’s currently available on the Intergalactic Medicine Show (along with an interview with me).

You can buy the book from Apex Publications: Trade PaperbackeBook.

 

 

Things Don't Go SmoothFIREFLY:  THINGS DON’T GO SMOOTH is a supplement for the FIREFLY RPG which I was one of the writers on.  “THINGS DON’T GO SMOOTH presents a baker’s dozen of shady crews, crime bosses, megalomaniacs, and unexplainable phenomena designed to get in the way of your Crew. Each includes a wealth of story hooks, supporting characters, locations, ships, and background material to help you bring the ‘Verse to your table.”

You can buy the book at DriveThruRPG.com!

 

 

By the way, want a sample from the Streets of Shadows anthology?  Go over to Apex Magazine and read Tom Picirrili’s story “What I Am”.  Streets of Shadows is now available:

streets-of-shadows-front-cover-sneak-peekDirect from the publisher:

Print - http://alliterationink.com/ocart/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=203

eBook - http://alliterationink.com/ocart/index.php?route=product/product&path=68&product_id=201

Barnes and Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/streets-of-shadows-maurice-broaddus/1120404293?ean=9781939840219

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Streets-Shadows-Maurice-Broaddus/dp/193984021X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1412789125&sr=8-1&keywords=streets+of+shadows

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Context – Where I’ll Be!

 

September 26 – 28, 2014

Columbus, OH

 

Building Your Brand (Workshop)

(Friday, September 26th, 3pm-5pm)

You’re not just selling books — you’re selling your writing persona and your platform. Learn how to share your platform by gaining online followers without selling your soul to the devil. Maurice Broaddus gives real data on what has helped him gain readers.  ($20, 2 hours.)

 

Building a World Without Mice Helping (10:00am Saturday)

The depth of your world is essential. Whether a distant planet or a fictionalized version of your hometown, worlds should be able to be touched, smelled, seen, and heard…and make sense.  Our panelists discuss the good, bad, and just plain puzzling worldbuilding in fiction today, along with tips and advice to make your fictional world real.
Lit/Genre expectations (noon Saturday)
What’s the difference between magical realism and urban fantasy? Science fiction and literature? Genre may have been a marketing tool, but in these days it can help us find what we want to read and markets to sell our stories to.  But what makes all these genres distinct?  Our panelists look at the state of genres today and try to make sense of it all.

 

Characters vs. Characterization (3:00pm Saturday)
Simply having interesting characters isn’t enough;  it’s also how you portray and reveal them.  Our panelists give good (and bad) examples of characters and the techniques of characterization.

 

The Art of the Short Story (5:00pm Saturday)

Short stories are not just sections of a larger work.  They are different in form and function.  Our panelists will examine several examples and talk about the differences in crafting – and reading – short stories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imaginarium – Where I’ll be

imaginarium-design-finalLooks like I’ll be pretty easy to find at Imaginarium this weekend in Louisville, KY:

 

Saturday 10:00 AM Ask an Author: Urban Fantasy/Horror
Saturday 4:00 PM World Building 101
Saturday 5:00 PM Steampunk Today
Sunday 12:00 PM Imaginator Q&A

 

All other times, I’ll probably be in the bar.

To Costume or Not to Costume

famIt’s almost that time of year again.  That season of many of our family’s traditions.  Many of them started accidentally, but they’ve accumulated over time.  I knew from way back when that I wanted a few traditions or rituals that would define my family, something to know and call our own.  Something our kids could count on and remember when they reflect on their childhood later on.  I’m not afraid to admit most of them revolve around us dressing up in costumes.  The way things stand now, Halloween (and the multi-day event it has become since it is my wife’s favorite holiday) is the unofficial opening to this season.  But we may have to start earlier.

With Gencon barely a couple of weeks in my rearview mirror, I’m already feeling a bit of costume envy.  My god-daughters and their father, one of my dearest friends, showed up each day in full costume.  There’s a fine line I try to walk, between that of convention professionalism and fanboy cosplay.  Even when my own sons used to come down in costumes, since I was doing “author” Maurice stuff, I didn’t get into costume.

Broadus-61Though my friend almost had me talked into it.  I’ll admit, if he’d made the Iron Man Joker and Iron Man-Batman costumes for me and him, I would have cracked.  I’d have even done my urban fantasy panel in it.  I’d have liked to see Jim Butcher and Larry Correia debate me if I’m in full armor.

Of course we’re about to enter Halloween season and my same extended family wants to throw a steampunk party (which means I may have to re-think whether the Broaddus family Christmas part will keep its steampunk theme).  I have just over a month to get this costume assembled, but with a series of steampunk stories coming out next year, I may have a costume or two for GenCon which I can count as looking professional.

In the meantime, I guess we’re due for some updated Broaddus family photos.

Launch Party: Short Stories Edition

Dark-Discoveries-27Dark Discoveries #27 – I have always been a fan of this magazine and have been trying to get in it for quite a while now.  At long last I have finally succeeded.  “Communication Breakdown” was originally written for an anthology which never came to pass.  [There’s a lesson in there about writing for theme anthologies, or at least keeping your story not so specific to the anthology that you can’t re-sell it later.   I have a drawer with a couple other stories written for theme anthologies which are now destined for a collection.]  Anyway, this story is a foray into horror, inspired by an incident my wife related to me (she once received these mysterious texts meant for someone else … and she couldn’t help but write back).

ETA:  Here’s a review of the issue, where my tale was called a “a cool modern-tech-horror tale”

 

sword and mythosSword and Mythos (Innsmouth Free Press) – “Fifteen writers, drawing inspiration from the pulp sub-genres of sword and sorcery and the Cthulhu Mythos, seed stories of adventure, of darkness, of magic and monstrosities.”  This features one of my Sword and Soul stories, “The Iron Hut.”  The story starts one of my recurring characters, Dinga Cisse, last seen in the Griots anthology story “The Lost Son.”  These stories take place in the same world as “Warrior of the Sunrise” of The New Hero vol. 1 anthology.  “The Iron Hut” is a bit of a Robert E. Howard meets H.P. Lovecraft tale.

ETA:  Here’s a review of the anthology.

ETA:  And another.

Speaking of “Lost Son”, it is now up on the Far Fetched Fables podcast, read by Gregory Austin.

 

 

Help Fund My Robot ArmyHelp Fund My Robot Army - Has my story “I Used to Love H.E.R.” and is yet another story that takes place in my “Pimp My Airship” steampunk universe.  Here’s the premise of the anthology:  ”HELP FUND MY ROBOT ARMY!!! is an anthology of science fiction/fantasy stories told in the form of fictional crowdfunding project pitches, using the components (and restrictions) of the format to tell the story. This includes but is not limited to: Project Goals, Rewards, User Comments, Project Updates, FAQs, and more. The idea is to replicate the feel of reading a crowdfunding pitch, so that even though the projects may be preposterous in the real world, they will feel like authentic crowdfunding projects as much as possible.”  Now, imagine trying to run a Kickstarter in a steampunk world, to fund the building of a girlfriend’s robot body, and you have my story.

 

 

 

Lastly, I just wanted to mention that Alethea Kontis’ Beauty and Dynamite collection has been re-released (Alliteration Ink).  This version has been updated with new material (and may be the first in a series if we’re so lucky).

beauty and dynamite

Go forth and buy, my pretties!

Streets of Shadows – TOC Announcement

Coming soon to your favorite places to buy books … Streets of Shadows.  Edited by Maurice Broaddus and Jerry Gordon.

SoS“What I Am” – Tom Piccirilli

“A Game of Cards” – A.C. Wise

“Shooting Aphrodite” – Gary Kloster

“Santa Muerte” – Lucy A. Snyder and Daniel R. Robichaud

“Morrigan’s Girls” – Gerard Brennan

“Such Faces We Wear, Such Masks We Hide” – Damien Angelica Walters

“The Man Who Has Been Killing Kittens” – Douglas F. Warrick

“The Large Man” – Paul Tremblay

“Unfilial Child” – Laurie Tom

“Street Worm” – Nisi Shawl

“Der Kommissar’s In Town” – Nick Mamatas

“The Shadow People” – Brandon Massey

“Hand Fast” – Kristine Kathryn Rusch

“Beware of Dog” – Kevin J. Anderson

“Stay: A Tale of the Spellmason Chronicles” – Anton Strout

“God Needs Not the Future” – Jason Sizemore

“Relics” – Tim Lebbon

“Cold Fear” – Lucien Soulban

“In Vino Veritas” – Tim Waggoner and Michael West

“Best Served Cold” – Seanan McGuire

“Toby’s Closet” – Jonathan Maberry

How to Train Your Dragon 2 – A Review

how to train your dragon 2 posterLike every other studio, DreamWorks Animation felt the pressure to do a sequel of a monster hit that would at least match and hopefully outshine its original (with a gross of anything less than hitting the half billion mark being seen as a failure).  Brought to the table was writer/director Dean DeBlois to take on Cressida Cowell’s YA book series, How to Train Your Dragon 2 should easily clear any such bar.

“No task is too small when it comes to serving your people.” – Stoick

Set five years after the previous movie, with, in a rare turn for an animated movie, all of the protagonists realistically aged, our hero Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) aims to entirely skip any awkward phase and move straight to handsome young adult.  His father, Stoick (Gerard Butler) still attempts to mold him into the proper successor, well, his idea of the proper successor to run their now dragon sanctuary village, Berk.

Hiccup still follows his heart, often leaving the village to follow his fancy on his faithful dragon, Toothless.  Despite capturing the spirit of a boy and his horse, Toothless still comes across as somewhere between between a cat and a big puppy.

Hiccup still has his circle of friends–Snotlout (Jonah Hill), Fishlegs (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), Tuffnutt (T.J. Miller) and twin sister Ruffnut (Kristen Wiig)–and most notably his girlfriend Astrid (America Ferrera).  But the movie, despite the bookend sequences featuring them in a dragon race, quickly moves away from any obvious romp featuring them.

“Men who kill without reason cannot be reasoned with.” – Stoick

Instead Hiccup and Astrid are drawn into a mystery involving a heretofore unknown dragon species as well as a madman who seeks to control the alpha of the species (since he who controls the alpha controls all dragons).  Drago Bludvist (Djimon Hounsou) is a simpler brand of villain:  dragons + him = crushing all enemies.

However, complicating the story is the presence of Valka (Cate Blanchett) the dragon whisperer/Jane Goodall of the dragon set, and the polar opposite of Drago.   She protects a true dragon sanctuary, the only human allowed to know of its existence much less live among them for nearly two decades.  Thus paving the way for her role as Yoda training young Hiccup in the way of the dragon.

Between the natural tension between Hiccup and Stoick, the ease of Astrid and Hiccup, the gentle fondness among the circle of friends, the revelation of Valka, at the heart of the movie is the sense of family.  This backdrop makes the conflict and its repercussions that much more powerful.  The great thing about How to Train Your Dragon, either edition, is that it both respects and challenges its audience.  This time around, the movie commits to deeper themes allowed by its cast being older.  There is real loss and consequence to actions harkening back to any of a number of Disney movies like Bambi and The Lion King, while taking it to mythic levels.

“People are not capable of change.” – Valka

Whereas Hiccup was the moral compass in the first movie, here he is drifting in a way.  He doesn’t know who he is, part of him searching for a sense of his identity.  Even Toothless is searching for another Night Fury, rather than facing the possibility that he may be the last of his kind.  So much of our identity is grounded in the reflection of our parents.  Hiccup didn’t know his mother and can’t live up or into his father’s expectations.

We often have a distorted image of ourselves.  Like Hiccup, afraid to become his father because he never thought he could.  Believing instead various lies, like he was neither the chief his dad wanted him to be nor the peacekeeper he thought he was.  Instead, we need to remember who we are and who we were created to be, and embracing our giftings.  Only then can we echo Hiccup’s journey to his true self, and realize he has the heart of a chief and the soul of the dragon.

“This is who you are, son.” – Valka

How to Train Your Dragon 2 manages to reinvigorate the franchise by expanding the world and deepening the mythology.  To call the animation visually dazzling, majestic, and lush (with a deft use of 3-D) almost seems too obvious.  Almost like saying that this is a great sequel and a great movie.

Launch Party: KING MAKER by Maurice Broaddus

King Maker is now available as an audio book on Audible.com.  On one level, it throws me off when I hear people reading my work and repeating those words out loud.  I wrote those words that someone is reading and performing.  *I* did that.  THEY are *reading* them!  And as excited as I was when I stumbled across Mark reading the prologue from King Maker:

(by the way, here’s Mark Reads King Maker Prologue Part 2), I’m doubly excited to announce that King Maker is now available on Audible.com.

king makerI wanted to retell the legend of King Arthur in a completely new context.  Told through the eyes of homeless teens, drug dealers, and gang members, I also wanted to explore the idea that we, even cities, have shadows.  So on one level, it’s what makes it easy to “believe” that there is this magical underbelly to our everyday reality.  One that’s always there yet we never both to look for it or acknowledge it, filled with plant elementals, senile mages, trolls, fairies, and all manner of beasties.    At the same time, this magical shadow city serves as a kind of metaphor for another kind of shadow.  A very real world one:  homelessness.

With King Maker we are introduced to a world of outsiders, people who are typically “voiceless” in our society:  the homeless, drug addicts, gang members, prisoners, and the poor.  The powerless, the invisible, the “least of these” … and we peek into their world, see their faces, and hear their stories.  Sometimes through poor choices, sometimes due to circumstances beyond their control, they struggle to maintain their dignity, humanity, lives.  As they face fear, loss, spiritual hardships, and their very survival, King rises up.

So here’s King Maker.  Coming soon are King’s Justice and King’s War.  I’ll invite you to those parties, too.