AFRICAN AMERICANS IN SPECULATIVE FICTION – A READING PRIMER

I recently spoke at the Kheprw Institute on the history of Black Spec Fic. This is the reading list I provided as a starting point:

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN SPECULATIVE FICTION – A READING PRIMER

Martin Delany
Blake, or the Huts of America (1859)

Charles W. Chesnutt
The Conjure Woman  (1899)

Frances Harper
Iola Leroy (1892)

Sutton Griggs
Imperium in Imperio (1899)

Pauline Hopkins
Of One Blood (1902)

Edward A. Johnson
Light Ahead for the Negro (1904)

W. E. B. Du Bois
“The Comet” (1920)
“Jesus Christ in Texas” (1920)

Zora Neale Hurston
Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937)
Mules and Men (1935)
Tell My Horse (1938)

George Schuyler
Black No More (1931)

Henry Dumas
Echo Tree

Amos Tutuola
The Palm Wine Drinkard (1952)
My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (1954)

Samuel R. Delany
The Jewels of Aptor (1962)
Dhalgren (1975)
“Racism and Science Fiction”

Virginia Hamilton (1934-2002)
Zeely (1967)
The Magical Adventures of Pretty Pearl (1986)
The Justice Trilogy (2012)

Ishmael Reed
Mumbo Jumbo (1972)

Toni Morrison
Song of Solomon (1977)
Beloved (1987)

Octavia E. Butler
Kindred (1979)
“Bloodchild” (1984)
Parable of the Sower (1993)
Fledgling (2005)

Charles Saunders
Imaro (1981)

Gloria Naylor
Mama Day (1988)

Charles R. Johnson
Middle Passage (1990)

Jewelle Gomez
The Gilda Stories (1991)

Tananarive Due
My Soul to Keep (1997)
The Good House (2003)
Ghost Summer (2015)

Christopher Priest (Jim Owsley)
Black Panther v.3 (1998- 2003)

Nalo Hopkinson
Brown Girl in the Ring (1998)
Midnight Robber (2000)

Sandra Jackson-Opoku
The River Where Blood Is Born (1998)

Victor LaValle
Slapboxing with Jesus (1999)
Big Machine (2009)
The Ballad of Black Tom (2016)

Colson Whitehead
The Intuitionist (1999)
Zone One (2011)
The Underground Railroad (2016)

Sheree Renée Thomas
Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora (2000)
Dark Matter: Reading the Bones (2004)

Walter Mosley
Futureland: Nine stories of an imminent future (2001)

Linda D. Addison
Consumed, Reduced to Beautiful Grey Ashes (2001)
Being Full of Light, Insubstantial (2007)
How to Recognize a Demon has Become your Friend (2011)

Steven Barnes
Lion’s Blood (2002)
Zulu Heart (2003)

L.A. Banks
The Vampire Huntress Legend series (2003-2010)
Crimson Moon series (2008- 2010)

Minister Faust
Coyote Kings of the Space- Age Bachelor Pad (2004)
From the Notebooks of Dr. Brain (2007)

Brandon Massey
Dark Dreams (2004)
Dark Corner (2004)

Andrea Hairston
Mindscape (2006)
Redwood and Wildfire (2011)

Nisi Shawl
Filter House (2008)
Stories for Chip (w/ Bill Campbell 2015)

Wrath James White
The Resurrectionist (2009)

Nnedi Okorafor
Who Fears Death (2010)
Akata Witch (2011)
Binti (2016)

Maurice Broaddus
“Pimp My Airship” (2009)
King Maker (2010)
The Voices of Martyrs (2017)

Helen Oyeyemia
White is for Witching (2010)

N.K. Jemisin
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (2010)
The Fifth Season (2015)

Chesya Burke
Let’s Play White (2011)

Mat Johnson
Pym (2011)

Milton Davis
Changa’s Safari (2011)

Balogun Ojetade
Moses: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman (2012)

Tobias Buckell
Arctic Rising (2012)
Hurricane Fever (2014)

Sofia Samatar
A Stranger in Olondria (2013)

Bill Campbell
Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond (2013)
Stories for Chip (w/ Nisi Shawl 2015)

Alaya Dawn Johnson
The Summer Prince (2013)
Love Is the Drug (2015)
“A Guide to the Fruits of Hawai’i” (2015)

Jenn Brissett
Elysium (2014)

Tade Thompson
Making Wolf (2015)

Kai Ashante Wilson
“The Devil in America” (2015)
The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps (2015)
A Taste of Honey (2016)

Walidah Imarisha and adrienne maree brown
Octavia’s Brood (2015)

Marlon James
The Dark Star trilogy (2017)

 

 

Shout Outs
John F. Allen
Paula D. Ashe
Michael Boatman
K. Tempest Bradford
Crystal Connor
Errick Dunnally
Andre Duza
Robert Fleming
Craig Laurance Gidney
LR Giles
Seressia Glass
Lawanna Holland-Moore
Valjeanne Jeffers
Jemiah Jefferson
Rhonda Jackson Joseph
John Edward Lawson
Kai Leakes
Alicia McCalla
Carl Hancock Rux
J. Malcolm Stewart
Geoffrey Thorne
K. Ceres Wright
Ibo Zoboi

 

Check out:

A Crash Course in the History of Black Science Fiction

Science Fiction by African Writers

Updates, Patreon and otherwise

1. I’ve just uploaded pics, blog posts, and stories for my Patreon supporters.

2. I was subbing for a Latin class when one of the students asked me “Mr. Broaddus, did you have to take Latin when in school?”

So I told her that when I was 9, I was so desperate to learn Latin that I wrote Santa a letter asking for a Latin book so that I could teach myself the language. To prove the point, I showed her a picture of the letter because my mom, who has jokes, just returned it to me the week before (THUS SHATTERING MY BELIEF THAT SANTA RECEIVED MY LETTER …even though she told me to mail it to our address because #SantaPowers).

In case you can’t read it:

12/16/79 [Note: Before you judge me, I was 9]
Dear Santa,
We don’t have a chimney, so you’ll have to find other means to enter our house. The only reason I underline the words I have, is because someone moves me or the table. [Note: I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that my brother was being a jerk while I was trying to write this]

Santa if possible, I would want a microscope, maybe a chemestry set, a science book (a book set on how to be a scientist) and if my teacher don’t get it, a book on foreign country langueages like Latin, Greek, Roman, etc. and plus for fun a sled.

Try to get most every present. Say hello to your wife and elves. Good-bye for now.

Sincerely,

Maurice

After a thoughtful pause, my student looked me in the eyes and said “So, when you were 9, you had no friends?”

#middleschoolersbemiddleschoolin

Two New Stories Out in Two New Anthologies!

Mixed Up: Cocktail Recipes (and Flash Fiction) for the Discerning Drinker (and Reader) is what we’ve been looking for in an anthology: drink recipes alongside stories! Co-edited by Nick Mamatas and libations editrix Molly Tanzer.

 

Includes new flash fiction by Maurice Broaddus, Selena Chambers, Gina Marie Guadagnino, Liz Hand, Cara Hoffman, Jarett Kobek, Carrie Laben, Carmen Machado, Benjamin Percy, Dominica Phetteplace, Tim Pratt, Robert Swartwood, Jeff VanderMeer, and Will Viharo.

 

MONSTER HUNTER FILES with all original stories set in Larry Correia’s weird world of monsters and heroes (cover by Alan Pollack). An all star line up featuring seven New York Times best-selling authors (and me!):

“Thistle” by Larry Correia (Owen and his team take on a new kind of monster in Arizona)

“Small Problems” by Jim Butcher (MHI’s new janitor has to deal with some small problems)

“Darkness Under The Mountain” by Mike Kupari (Cooper takes a freelance job in Afghanistan)

“A Knight Of The Enchanted Forest” by Jessica Day George (Trailer park elves versus gnomes TURF WAR!)

“The Manticore Sanction” by John C. Wright (Cold War era British espionage with monsters)

“The Dead Yard” by Maurice Broaddus (Trip goes to Jamaica on some family business)

“The Bride” by Brad R. Torgersen (Franks wasn’t the only thing Benjamin Franklin cut deals with)

“She Bitch, Killer of Kits” (a Skinwalker Crossover Tale) by Faith Hunter (Jane Yellowrock teams up with MHI)

“Mr. Natural” by Jody Lynn Nye (an STFU mission in the 70s has to deal with plant monsters and hippies!)

“Sons Of The Father” by Quincy J Allen (Two young brothers discover monsters are real, and kill a mess of them)

“The Troll Factory” by Alex Shvartsman (Heather gets some help from MHI for an STFU mission into Russia)

“Keep Kaiju Weird” by Kim May (a Kitsune may have already earned her PUFF exemption, but she’s not going to let some monster squish Portland)

“The Gift” by Steve Diamond (Two of the Vatican’s Hunters from the Blessed Order of Saint Hubert the Protector on a mission in Mexico)

“The Case of the Ghastly Specter” by John Ringo (while studying at Oxford, Chad takes a case)

“Huffman Strikes Back” by Bryan Thomas Schmidt & Julie Frost (Owen’s vacation gets interrupted for some monster revenge)

“Hunter Born” by Sarah A. Hoyt (remember how I mentioned Julie didn’t get to go to her prom because of monster problems? Here you go)

“Hitler’s Dog” by Jonathan Maberry (It is WW2 and Agent Franks really hates Nazis)

Some Video Clips of Writing Advice (by me)

Research and Organization Tips For Writing About Complex Worlds

Advice for Authors on Finding the Positive in Rejections


How Setting Goals and Writing Consistently Can Exercise Your Mind

My Learning Journey to Cluj, Romania (in pictures)

I had the opportunity to be part of a team from my church (Fountain Square Presbyterian) that went to Cluj, Romania. It was a chance to see other expressions of the church in a different cultural context. It was a learning journey that focused on cultivating and deepening relationships.

I was asked “what was the most surprising thing [I] learned?” That’s tough to answer because I’m still processing the trip. My thoughts are centering around two issues:
1. The role of tribalism/shared history and the tension created among people. There are parallels to the issues of race that plague us here in the U.S., the conflicts/issues that go back hundreds of years.
2. The issues surrounding poverty. How we see the same systems undergirding it (politics, self-interest, lack of empathy, etc.). And how hard it is to get people involved in investing in the PROCESS, that is, building relationships as the foundational piece to combating it.

Probably the most profound prayer I heard, which echoed my heart though I hadn’t put voice to it, was when a partner prayed “God, I don’t see your love in this poverty. I don’t see your justice.” But I’m going to trust You anyway and be committed to the struggle and reconciliation process.

Like I said, I’m still processing a lot (so I hope that made sense).

UNCANNY MAGAZINE ISSUE SEVENTEEN

I have a couple of features in the latest issue of Uncanny Magazine.  A new story and an interview:

The Ache of Home

The Indy Metro bus came to a shuddering halt and deposited Celeste Burroughs at her stop. A plastic shelter enclosed a bench printed with the words “Embrace Mortality.” Celeste looped the cord of her earbuds around her thumb then unwound it, careful not to pull the cord free from her pocket, where it trailed, not plugged into any device. Listening to music in public violated her sense of personal boundaries. The inserted earbuds were her shield against the catcalls and unwanted attempts at conversation both on the bus and on her walk home.

The bus stop was right across from the construction site of a new park. She jumped at the shrill drone of a drill and the metallic clatter of pieces falling to the ground. She feared the men suspected she could hear just fine. Cordoned off behind a fence, not wanting the intrusion of the neighborhood, hard scrabble men—sun-baked red and wearing fluorescent green T-shirts and hard hats—eyed her like prairie dogs catching a scent. Politicians decided that they needed to pour $5M into constructing a dog park and skate-park, though no one she knew in the neighborhood demanded either. She reminded herself that such amenities weren’t for them. They were for the future residents once the city pushed the current ones out.

Despite dressing in a smart, though unflattering, business suit which covered her from neck to knee, despite the earbuds being in plain sight, despite both a purse and a bag slung over an obviously exhausted body, the men mistook her stride for interest and the braying started. Celeste shrugged her purse higher on her shoulder and walked briskly.

Feeling the call of the Green Space, as she called it, Celeste slowed down. Her mind reached out along what she thought of as the life lines. If she tried had enough, was quiet enough, she could hear the whispers of the plants.

Continue reading over on the Uncanny Magazine site.

And in the same issue, the brilliant Julia Rios poses a few questions to me:

Uncanny Magazine: You’re a community organizer and you’ve lived most of your life in Indianapolis. “Ache of Home” touches on both of those things. How much of your personal experience comes through in the story?

Maurice Broaddus: This is my everyday. I was sitting out doing a writing exercise near my neighborhood, watching a construction crew put in a dog and skate park. I know, like the folks in the neighborhood knew, that they’d been marked for “revitalization” so it’d only be a matter of time before they’d be pushed out.

I work with a group called The Learning Tree, an organized group of neighbors. I thought about my friend Scooter, this massive dude who many would be quick to dismiss as a “thug.” Those folks miss his story of being a devoted dad, a caretaker of the neighborhood, with the soul of a poet. I think about my friend Taisha and all of the gardeners in the neighborhood, working together to fight against this massive food access situation.

Continue reading the interview over on the Uncanny Magazine site.

 

Tea and Jeopardy 66 – Maurice Broaddus visits the tea lair

“In this episode, the deeply wonderful author, Maurice Broaddus, visits Emma in the tea lair. We discuss the lessons learned from being a guest editor for Apex Magazine, childhood toys, and we also discover the reason why Maurice is one of the loveliest people in SFF (if not the world).”

Go listen to the podcast here.

NEW BOOK DEAL!!!

As reported in Publishers Weekly

 

POC take over FSI! and Straight Outta Tombstone

Nisi Shawl guest edited an issue of Fantastic Stories of the Imagination with a People of Color take over FSI special issue (cover illustration by Victo Ngai). It includes:

Fiction
What Futures by Su-Yee Lin
Shadow Animals by Stephen Graham Jones
The Sacrifice of the Hanged Monkey by Minsoo Kang
Darkout by E. Lily Yu
The Executioner by Jennifer Marie Brissett
I Understand by Jermaine McGill
Walking Around Money by Paul Miles
Serving Fish by Christopher Caldwell
Fortitude by Eliza Victoria
Maggie Doll by Alex Jennings
Glass Bottle Trick by Nalo Hopkinson
The Great Leap of Shin by Henry Lien
The Palapye White Birch by Tlotlo Tsamaase
The Ace of Knives by Tonya Liburd
Legacy by Irette Y. Patterson
Recognizing Gabe: un cuento de hadas by Alberto Yáñez

Non Fiction
Must Watch TV: Into the Badlands by S. Qiouyi Lu
Rebirth, Truth-with-a-Tea, and FIYAH by Erin Roberts
Read Me! 7 by Terence Taylor
Hopefulbright to the Rescue! by Darcie Little Badger

Star Trek’s Lt. Cmdr. Worf and his Journey of Ontological Blackness Klingon-ness by Maurice Broaddus

For this essay, Nisi dubbed me “the nerd of nerds.” BLACK NERDS RULE!

Also up for pre-order, the anthology Straight Outta Tombstone. “Come visit the Old West, the land where gang initiations, ride-by shootings and territory disputes got their start. But these tales aren’t the ones your grandpappy spun around a campfire, unless he spoke of soul-sucking ghosts, steam-powered demons and wayward aliens.”

Contributors include: David Boop, Larry Correia, Jody Lynn Nye, Sam Knight, Robert E. Vardeman, Phil Foglio, Nicole Kurtz, Michael A. Stackpole, Bryan Thomas Schmidt & Ken Scholes, Maurice Broaddus, Sarah A. Hoyt, Alan Dean Foster, David Lee Summers, Kevin J. Anderson, Naomi Brett Rourke, Peter J. Wacks, and Jim Butcher.

Sibling Rivalry Signing (a photo recap)

In an unprecedented event, my oldest brother, Maurice, and I are sharing the spotlight for a joint book signing and reading. He writes horror, fantasy, and steam punk, and I write… well… my book is about me, but I promise it’ll still be interesting! It’s a FREE event! And there will be snacks!

 

From a traditional press to an individual tapping away on a website, authorial siblings, Maurice Broaddus and Rohini Townsend will be discussing their very different writing journeys at their joint book signing, “Sibling Rivalry: Their Roads to Publishing.”

Maurice, a seasoned fantasy and horror author, will have copies of his newest and critically acclaimed books, Voices of Martyrs and Buffalo Soldier available for purchase and signing. His younger sister, Rohini Townsend, a toddler in the writing world, will be showcasing her first autobiographical work, Put Some Shoes On.

If you are a budding ink slinger, curious about the writing process, our just want to shake their hands, join them as they sign books and field questions. And there will be snacks!

Maurice Broaddus A community organizer and teacher, his work has appeared in Lightspeed Magazine, Weird Tales, Apex Magazine, Asimov’s, Cemetery Dance, Black Static, and many more. Some of his stories have been collected in The Voices of Martyrs. He is the author of the urban fantasy trilogy, The Knights of Breton Court trilogy. He co-authored the play Finding Home: Indiana at 200. His novellas include Buffalo Soldier, I Can Transform You, Orgy of Souls, Bleed with Me, and Devil’s Marionette. He is the co-editor of Dark Faith, Dark Faith: Invocations, Streets of Shadows, and People of Colo(u)r Destroy Horror. His gaming work includes writing for the Marvel Super-Heroes, Leverage, and Firefly role-playing games as well as working as a consultant on Watch Dogs 2. Learn more about him at MauriceBroaddus.com.

Rohini Townsend From playing the violin to creating new cheesecake recipes, Rohini Townsend has been donned a Jane-of-all-trades by those she serves. Her varied background in arts, ministry and a myriad of other hobbies and gifts allows her to see the world through a colorful lens. Her passions lie in bringing people together and finding ways for people to identify value in each other. Ro is the visionary and CEO of GRoE, Inc., a community advocacy nonprofit that serves the near westside of Indianapolis. Ro recently completed her first book that is currently available for purchase entitled, Put Some Shoes On. In addition to working on her second book, she does freelance writing and editing for a variety of individuals and organizations.

PUT SOME SHOES ON

Transparency is vital to the building and strengthening of every relationship and every ministry. It allows people to see you as approachable and to feel safer when talking to you. Transparency is a gateway to trust, and trustworthiness is an important quality which people seek in a good, ministerial leader. They want to know:

-Is this person trustworthy?

-Is this person honest?

-How do I know I can talk to this person without fear of condemnation?

It is with this in mind that Rohini Townsend approaches writing, friendships, ministry, and life itself. Her desire to see people healed and whole has led to a candor and openness that is sure to tug at the heartstrings of the despondent.

Put Some Shoes On, is an emotional and gripping story of one little girl’s journey through heartache, rejection, abuse, and turmoil. Chronicling her path from scared child to broken, rebellious teen to powerful, anointed woman of God, the author shares the most intimate moments of her life with refreshing transparency and soul stirring honesty. It is not only a story of past hurts, it is a story of learning, growing and seeking a deeper relationship with God — the steps and sacrifices that are required for that level of depth and connection to the Father.

Raw, poignant, and insightful, Put Some Shoes On was written to heal. It was written with your salvation in mind. This is a story of overcoming and, while on that walk, discovering who you are, and more importantly, WHOSE you are. Every step you take was conceived in the mind of the Father to guide you towards recognizing the spiritual gifts He has placed in you. Be not weary in well doing. Do not allow your circumstances to define you. Do not be consumed by trials and heartache. Take your experiences and let God use them to mold you into a powerful Kingdom citizen. Put some shoes on and walk boldly in your Godly identity.

The Road to The Horror Show with Brian Keene

Talk about epic weekends.

Me, Jerry Gordon, and my oldest son pile into a car for a road trip to Brian Keene’s secret lair deep in the hills of Pennsylvania. We have two goals: record an episode of The Horror Show and play Magic: the Gathering. Granted, the latter is the main mission of my son. He has co-opted most of my friends. Keep in mind, when we play with him, this card often gets involved:

(yes, my son is THAT player)

Anyway, we arrive Friday evening. Brian plays the consummate host and after we eat, we do what we do: drink and start telling stories. Apparently, I reach this magical point in my story telling (indicated by how loud I am getting) and Brian jumps up with the announcement “Now we’re ready to do the show!”

We enter his batcave, set a NEW bottle of Knob Creek between us, and do the show while consuming it. This episode is pretty much what happens when old friends have a few drinks and forget the microphone is on. Or, as I’ve been calling it, an exercise in the host asking questions that quickly get derailed by stories. [I love how many people are texting/inboxing me mid-listening to the podcast wanting to know if we survive the interview. Spoilers: we did, the bottle of Knob Creek, however, did not.] That’s all the context you get for this pic to make any sense whatsoever.

 

MAURICE BROADDUS – The Horror Show with Brian Keene – Ep 120

In what may be our greatest episode yet, Maurice Broaddus sits down with Brian, Dave, Mary, and Phoebe to discuss ghost-writing for celebrities, reconciling religion and faith with genre writing, being a trailblazer for writers of color, his friendships with Wrath James White and Chesya Burke, and much more. Then, his co-editor Jerry Gordon joins the discussion to talk about the art of crafting the perfect anthology, and Maurice’s son reveals an embarrassing story about his father. Also in this episode — a chance to win a complimentary pass to The Ghost Town Writers Retreat!

Saturday, Brian hosts a huge party where we hang out with old friends and make new ones. Some AWESOME new ones. Sunday, I get talked into co-hosting Brian’s interview with Jason Sizemore. Somehow, I sniff out the remaining moonshine (don’t ask) which was supposedly hidden (a secret nook behind the appliances does not count as hiding. It’s like Brian wasn’t even trying). So then this happened:

JASON SIZEMORE – The Horror Show with Brian Keene – Ep 121

Jason Sizemore of Apex Publications sits down with Brian, Mary, and guest co-host Maurice Broaddus for a fascinating discussion on publishing, editing, the importance of libraries, and advice for those wishing to start a small press. Plus: Kip Winger’s Songs From the Ocean Floor. Rick Hautala archived. A double shot of Bryan Smith. Horror writers invade DC Comics. The Twilight Zone emerges from development hell. Eli Roth’s children’s movie. Dave and Phoebe’s hospital adventure. Dungeonmaster 77.1’s new pet. And the Ghost Town Writer’s Retreat winner!

And then more Magic was played. My son … sonned all over our games. So this card got invoked:

Anyway, in short, epic weekend. I’m pretty sure my liver is still pissed at me.