“Super Duper Fly” now up on Apex Magazine!

Apex 77I have a story up in the latest issue of Apex Magazine.  ”Super Duper Fly” was written for the upcoming anthology Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling, edited by Jaym Gates and Monica Valentinelli.  Here was the pitch:  Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling is an anthology inspired by the works of writers and filmmakers like Joss Whedon who have played with long-standing tropes to create something fresh and new. Each story in this anthology will reflect your unique, creative examination of a specific trope that is prevalent in science fiction, horror, and fantasy.  ”Super Duper Fly” takes on the trope of  The Magical Negro and is quietly a sequel to my story “The Cracker Trap,” which was about “the black guy who dies first in a horror movie”.

Well, the powers that be decided to publish the story as a sneak preview for the anthology.  You can read it here.

You can also read an interview of me by the head power-that-be of Apex Magazine, Jason Sizemore, here.

Here’s my author’s note which explains the Magical Negro trope for the uninitiated:

Author Introduction

THE MAGICAL NEGRO—It’s easy to believe that this trope came from a good place or at least rose out of benign neglect. After all, a white writer is “writing what they know” or appealing to their target demographic, which is typically people like them, but they want a more diverse world. So the easy solution is to put an “other” at a critical place in their hero’s journey to help them along. The Magical Negro is one such other (see also: Magical Native American, Magical Asian, etc). One sees The Magical Negro in such movies as Ghost, The Legend of Bagger Vance, The Family Man, and Bruce Almighty. Or in an unusual amount of Stephen King novels/movie adaptations such as The Stand, The Talisman (written with Peter Straub), The Shining, and the ultimate ode to The Magical Negro, The Green Mile.

The Magical Negro has several hallmarks. They have no history. They exist outside of any community of their own. Much like, if not fulfilling the role of, a fairy godmother, they arrive from somewhere that’s vague and otherworldly and returns in some manner. At their introduction, The Magical Negro has either a threatening or benign aspect: 1) appearing with an initial sense of danger, such as a Big Black Man, drug dealer, thief, or prisoner, in which case they must be quickly identified as helping and compassionate; or 2) showing up in some powerless capacity, like a janitor, homeless, or a musician, so that the hero can be approached or approach them without risk (or even demonstrate compassion by interacting with them). It doesn’t matter how great their wisdom or the extent of their magical powers, The Magical Negro’s sole purpose is to selflessly use their powers to help the white hero in their journey. Depicted as an agent of change/the one who makes amazing things happen, their role is meant to be an exalted position, though their role boils down to fitting a black person into a white person’s narrative.

Sometimes I’m grateful just to see a reflection of me included in the story. Other times I don’t think that my story is being respected and I get all stabby.

Now go read the story!

(Bonus story:  if you haven’t read my story “Pimp My Airship”, which appeared in Apex Magazine #2, you can go read it here!)


“The Iron Hut” now up on Lightspeed Magazine!

lightspeed_64_september_2015The September 2015 issue of Lightspeed Magazine, has my story “The Iron Hut“.  It’s available as a free read and as a bonus, there’s an interview with me (by Sandra Odell).  Here’s the opening:


When they unearthed the mysterious shard, a sense of excitement rippled through the archaeological camp. They were onto something staggering. Professor Leopold Watson arrived first and examined the shard with reverent care. Kilwa Kivinje had disappeared into antiquity with no clues as to its whereabouts. Despite his colleagues’ skepticism, he was certain that the forgotten city was here—not far from the Olduvai Gorge—and this shard was the first evidence he’d seen that he was on the right track. Though anxious to send a report to the Associated Press, he opted to hold off until they knew what they were dealing with.

Leopold removed his broad-rimmed hat long enough to wipe the sweat from his scalp then tucked his few gray tufts of hair back under its protection. Small-framed glasses fixed to the bridge of his nose. Leopold possessed a thin face with weary creases radiating from his deep-recessed eyes. Miskatonic University, a small—though storied—university, couldn’t finance the expedition without the aid of the Nathaniel Derby Pickman Foundation. Dealing with the Foundation meant suffering their representative, Stanley McKreager. His crooked smile, as if he never quite got the hang of it, greeted the slow approach of his colleague.



You can find the ebook edition in their ebookstore. If you click-through to the ebook page, you can see what else is in this month’s issue alongside my story.  Need some convincing?:

  • The Ninth Seduction
    by Sean McMullen (available on 9/8)
  • Estella Saves the Village
    by Theodora Goss (available on 9/15)
  • Werewolf Loves Mermaid
    by Heather Lindsley (available on 9/22)


  • Editorial, September 2015
    by John Joseph Adams
  • Movie Review: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD
    by Carrie Vaughn (available on 9/8)
  • Book Reviews, September 2015
    by Amal El-Mohtar (available on 9/15)
  • Interview: Ken Liu
    by The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy (available on 9/22)


  • NOVELLA: Milo and Sylvie
    by Eliot Fintushel
  • NOVEL EXCERPT: Walk on Earth a Stranger
    by Rae Carson
  • NOVEL EXCERPT: The Traitor Baru Cormorant
    by Seth Dickinson

This month’s issue is (or will be shortly) also available on Amazon, BN, Kobo, and Weightless Books. Links to the third-party seller editions can be found on the following page, if you click on the Purchase/Subscribe button.


By the way, in case you missed it, here’s my live chat on Dive into Worldbuilding.  Check it out if you’re interested in me going on about World Building.


In the mood for something scary?

CadenceCoverSMAnd here’s the cover for the upcoming anthology, Cadence In Decay. It reprints my story “Communication Breakdown” (which first appeared in Dark Discoveries Magazine.   Here’s a review of the issue, where my tale was called a “a cool modern-tech-horror tale”).

CADENCE IN DECAY, edited by Ty Schwamberger
Contributors include (in no particular order):

Weston Ochse, Michael West, Adam P. Lewis, Ramsey Campbell, Mike Oliveri, Chad Lutzke, Philip C. Perron, Skip Novak, Gary Braunbeck, Gabriel M. Cole, James A. Moore, Keith Minnion, Maurice Broaddus, Ian R. Faulkner, David Owain Hughes, Taylor Grant, Thomas Erb, Jeff Strand & Tim Waggoner.

Cover art by David Anthony Magitis.

The anthology will be released in TPB and eBook editions in 2016 by Ravenswood Publishing.


After a long radio silence on my end, 2016 is shaping up to be a good year.  Got a lot of things brewing that I’ll be telling you about as soon as I can.




Still in the mood for something scary?  Halloween is coming up so we need to get costumes ready for the annual Broaddus family Christmas Party (we take costuming seriously in the Broaddus household).  For Throwback Thursday, I give you a shot from our year 2000 party.

2000 group shot 2

Straight Outta Compton – A HollywoodJesus.com Review

Straight-Outta-Compton poster“The Strength of Street Knowledge”

Hip hop has grown up.  With over 30 years to its history, the music has transformed the very industry that disdained it, gone mainstream, impacts fashion and culture, and spawned nostalgia stations.  Now comes a band biopic of one of its seminal groups, N.W.A.

In the late 80s the country was in the throes of a drug epidemic, as crack cocaine had hit the streets, tearing up communities and devastating lives. It was beset by Reagan era policies which many felt were an assault on the poor.  At the time, the hip hop landscape was dominated by the East Coast rappers all vying for radio air play while trying to “legitimize” rap music:  Run-D.M.C., Big Daddy Kane, Fat Boys, L.L. Cool J, Whodini, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, etc.  The music was safe and radio friendly.  Then along came an iconoclastic group breaking all the rules.  Even their name, N.W.A. (Niggaz Wit Attitude) was a jab in the eye to the system.  When N.W.A.’s Straight Outta Compton dropped, they shifted the axis to the West Coast scene.  They created a new subgenre to the music, “gangsta rap” (though the members apparently preferred to it call “reality rap”), cussing on record, talking about their lives, all the while just looking to become hood famous.

In 1988, their most notorious song, “F— tha Police” became the controversial anthem of the streets.  It described the treatment many young black men faced, going through life as suspects; automatically assumed or profiled to be drug dealers and gang bangers (read: dangerous). It decried police brutality and nearly 30 years later, as abuse/shootings by law enforcement are every day headlines, seems just as relevant.  It spoke to a world of black youth unreported upon.  This was why Public Enemy’s Chuck D once called gangsta rap “the CNN of the streets.”

[The initials FTP became doubly important, when Public Enemy followed up their nation conscious political album “It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back” with the single “Fight the Power” (from the soundtrack of Spike Lee’s controversial 1989 film on race relations, Do the Right Thing).  Between those two groups, rap became a generation’s rage-filled protest music.]

Against a backdrop of gang violence, a rampant drug epidemic, the poor under siege, and simmering anger and discontent culminating in the 1992 riots, is the story of N.W.A.

“We’re always going to be brothers.” –Eazy-E

Directed by F. Gary Gray, who got his start directing some of Ice Cube’s early videos and then Cube’s movie Friday, the plot is a familiar one to those who have seen any VH-1 Behind the Music special or biopic about the rise and fall of a band.  At least on the surface.  What sets Straight Outta Compton apart is its personal observations; its tender, quiet moments which reveals the humanity of its players.

At the center of the group are three figures:  O’Shea Jackson a.k.a. Ice Cube (played by Ice Cube’s real life son, O’Shea Jr.), the 19 year old rapper and lyricist; Andre “Dr. Dre” Young (Corey Hawkins), DJ and master of beats who has a vision for what the music could become [for folks wondering about their significance, think of this in terms of Beatles With Attitude with these two as the Paul McCartney and John Lennon of the group]; and neighborhood drug dealer, Eric “Eazy-E” Wright (Jason Mitchell) whom Dre approaches because of his business mind to fund their endeavor.  MC Ren (Leverage’s Aldis Hodge) and DJ Yella (Neil Brown Jr.)—who steals as many scenes as he can with his wry commentary—round out the group.  The relationship between the members provides the emotional core of the movie and their onscreen chemistry is apparent and feels natural.  There’s an early scene of Eazy-E’s comical attempts at rhyming, mocked by his future bandmates, until Dre coaxes a good performance out of him.  The song would later become “Boyz N the Hood” (which John Singleton took as the title of the movie that was Ice Cube’s acting debut).

N.W.A.’s swagger and braggadocio is played as more performance to survive on the streets, market themselves, and survive in the business.   The movie paints Cube and Dre as artists just about perfecting their craft and Eazy as the engine and means to power their dreams.  Eazy-E eventually forms Ruthless Records, though his business acumen eventually becomes a two-edged sword.  While it’s simple to paint Eazy-E as a villain, Mitchell’s portrayal reveals a complex character.  The portrait of a young man who values his friends, who lets money blind him, and shares a weird father/son dynamic with his mentor/manager, Jerry Heller (Paul Giamatti).

While the specter of the caricature of the devious Jewish manager who takes advantage of young black musicians almost hovers in the background (though anti-Semitism takes center stage when Ice Cube blasts him on the track “No Vaseline”), the movie fleshes out the character and doesn’t lean on stereotypes.  The arc of Eazy with Heller provides additional emotional underpinnings to the movie.  And Heller as manipulative villain seems almost counterbalanced by the presence of R. Marcos Taylor who chews up scenery as Marion “Suge” Knight. From former body guard to Bobby Brown, he helps Dre form Death Row Records and ends up ruling it like a kingpin.  Suge becomes the lightning rod for the violence surrounding the group; with most of the ugly behavior given to him, he becomes the only unabashed monster in the movie.

Straight Outta Compton“Trust is a motherf—.” –Eazy-E

However, money and rights issues eventually divide the group.  Ice Cube leaves first, going solo with a series of hit albums and a burgeoning movie career. Then Dr. Dre goes on to form Death Row Records, later ushering in a new era of hip hop superstars from Snoop Dogg and Tupac to Eminem (when he formed Aftermath Entertainment).

So much of N.W.A.’s story was played out in the news and their public beefs played out on wax.  They became the poster children for political pundits who sought to score points by scaring their suburban constituency with the specter of young black hoods brainwashing their kids.

With Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, and Eazy-E’s widow, Tomica Woods-Wright, among the producers, Straight Outta Compton crafts sympathetic characterizations, smoothing out the rougher edges of the characters to focus on making a crowd pleasing movie.  Thus, no attention is paid to Dr. Dre’s history of abuse towards women nor does it address the misogyny and homophobia rampant in the group’s lyrics.  No women become fully formed characters.  Dre’s mom looms large, but is forgotten, as is his baby momma.  Eazy-E’s wife is woefully underwritten. Largely women exist as little more than groupie/trophies, with one encounter seeming to be a long set up for a “Bye Felicia” callback to Friday.

“I’m expressing with my full capabilities/And now I’m living in correctional facilities

Cause some don’t agree with how I do this/I get straight, meditate like a Buddhist” –N.W.A. “Express Yourself”

N.W.A.’s lyrics gave voice to a generation’s frustration, demonstrating the power of voice.  They poured their passion and anger into their work which eventuated in a form of personal expression.  The most important thing an artist brings to their art is their voice, how they come at the world.  It’s an artist’s job to ask questions, to challenge the status quo, to push boundaries.  They expose themselves, their lives, their reality, their dreams, their pain; revealing or speaking from their woundedness.  There’s a reason why so much of the Bible is made up of storytelling and poetry.

Artists are reporters covering the human condition, who share their observations.  When one hears the story of another human being—their heartbreak, their pain, their love, their sorrow, their loss—they know they’re not alone.  That they are human and belong to a community of humans.  We just need to be better listeners.


“You are now about to witness the strength of street knowledge…” –N.W.A., “Straight Outta Compton”

Straight Outta Compton, much like N.W.A.’s music, serves as political commentary.  It’s a commentary on the American Dream and how it looks and is lived out by those the dream forgot.  In a powerful scene that serves as the inspiration for “F— tha Police,” the police have the group members on the ground on the suspicion of … being black males in public.  Heller comes out and lashes out at the police in a way that no member of the group could as a matter of survival.  In one moment, the movie shows their powerlessness and Heller’s privilege.

Even at a 147 minute running time, F. Gary Gray gives Straight Outta Compton the epic treatment while moving it along at a brisk pace.  An intriguing character study, with standout performances, most notably by Mitchell, especially after Eazy-E’s diagnosis with AIDs.

Straight Outta Compton takes us back to those early days of hip hop with music that still wouldn’t get airplay today (as the nostalgia hip hop stations still carefully tip toe around gangsta tracks). With the recording sessions and concert performances providing opportunities for audience sing-a-longs, this is very much a movie for fans of N.W.A. and hip hop, reminding us of the soundtrack of our youth.

GenCon 2015: Where I’ll Be




Gen Con is the original, longest-running, best-attended, gaming convention in the world! Taking place in Indianapolis from July 30 – August 2, 2015, last year, Gen Con reached all-new attendance records with a weekend turnstile attendance of 184,699 and unique attendance of 56,614.

The Gen Con Writer’s Symposium is the best kept secret in genre. Celebrating its 20th Anniversary in 2014, the Symposium offers over 140 hours of programming and features more than 75 authors including: 2015 Author Guest of Honor Terry Brooks, Special Guest Chuck Wendig, Bill Willingham, Kameron Hurley, Patrick Rothfuss, Cat Rambo, and more!

If you want to come check me out, I’ll be participating on the following panels:


11:00 am Craft: Where to Start the Story

3:00 pm Characters: Where to Start When Creating Characters


2:00 pm Life: Breaking Writer’s Block


12:00 pm Signing in Exhibit Hall

3:00 pm Craft: Magic in the Modern World

The Last Two Weeks in the Broaddus Household

A special “yay” for those folks who “don’t see color.” We don’t have that luxury. Here is a summary of the last two weeks’ worth of discussion in the Broaddus household:
‪#‎ConfederateFlagSymbolOfHate‬ ‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬ ‪#‎BiracialNotTransracial ‬‪#‎Black ‬ 

#‎White‬ ‪#‎CouldPass‬ ‪#‎Survival‬ ‪#‎StruggleIsOurStory‬ ‪#‎ChurchShouldBeSafe‬ ‪#‎RaceIsAConstruct‬

‪#‎OneDropRule‬ ‪#‎WhitePrivelege ‬‪#‎NotAllWhitePeople‬ ‪#‎WhosCookingDinner‬ (cause … life)

So when I see friends or family waving around/defending the Confederate flag, I want them to see the faces of those they’re hurting.




*Special thanks to Michelle Pendergrass for the photo. I love how she captured my youngest son’s “I just can’t” face.

Blackhat – A Review

Blackhat_posterBlackhat couldn’t have been released at a better time.  Hot on the heels of the Sony hacks, it’s positioned to play on our collective anxieties as well as a cultural zeitgeist. Cyberterrorism, invocations of 9/11, a burgeoning xenophobia, this is exactly the kind of volatile cocktail relevant thrillers can be made from.  Expecting such a slick, noir thriller from director Michael Mann (Thief, Heat, Collateral), we instead get a clunky, slow paced, non-spectacle that strains to keep up with the times.

“It’s not about zeroes or ones.” –Hathaway

The movie opens in China, at the Chai Wan Nuclear Power Plant.  Panning from computer terminals through wires down to the level of creeping code, Mann breathes a semblance of cinematic verve into a cyber-attack. The power plant suffers a meltdown. Unfortunately, this harrowing sequence was the last visually interesting thing he accomplished in the movie.

On the plus side, Blackhat features a talented, diverse cast; on the downside, they are all but wasted.  Tasked to get to the bottom of the attack, Chinese agent Chen Dawai (Chinese music star Wang Leehom) liaises with the FBI, Carol Barrett (The Help and How to Get Away with Murder’s Viola Davis).  He has no problem enlisting his sister, Chen Lien (Lust, Caution’s Tang Wei), to be a part of the team.  And then the first move in his investigation: get his one-time MIT roommate, Nicholas Hathaway (Thor’s Chris Hemsworth) sprung from jail to help them out.

Hemsworth, no matter how many times he unbuttons his shirt, isn’t convincing as a genius computer hacker.  That’s not entirely his fault as the dialogue throughout the movie is so lifeless, it’s no wonder the cast seem to sleepwalk through their delivery.  The script goes out of its way to portray Hathaway as an honorable guy, certainly morese than the government he’s working for or the villain they’re pursuing.  His stint in prison is white-washed as his life simply taking a turn after what amounts to a bar brawl defending a lady.  Not even prison can keep him down, as he does “his time, not theirs.”  Prison life apparently gave him super powers as he’s gone from hacker to badass, able to deal with all manner of combat and weapons.

Untitled Michael Mann ProjectThe plot chases itself, meandering from location to location like a poor man’s James Bond, not giving much clue as to what’s at stake in any given scene.  One of the problems is that there is no black hat dynamic at work.  There’s the largely unexplored idea that Hathaway might be as dangerous as the person they’re looking for.  There’s the largely unexplored battle of wits between Hathaway and the shadowy villain.  There’s zero chemistry between any of the characters which makes the love interest thrown in particularly jarring.  With no emotional core, Blackhat comes across as tech porn with guns.

The movie takes a turn, solving its inability to figure out what to do with most of the characters in the most direct way.  The problem with how the characters are handled was brought home in one sequence.  A character gets shot and Hathaway runs over to him, shouting his name, then cradles him as he dies.  Yet the two never had so much as an exchange, much less the audience given a clue that they were supposed to care about that character.

But by this point, the film has buried the audience under several blankets of “just don’t think about it.”  Like how such an obvious outsider as Hathaway, in a film whose action is largely set in Malaysia, China, and Indonesia, seems to walk about with nary a glance.  Or how so many people can brandish weapons in so many crowds without notice.  Or what Hathaway brought to the table in terms of investigation skills that the FBI didn’t have covered.  Or why a villainous hacker who could make $74M in one attack would bother with any more of an intricate plan to … make money.

blackhat-image-tang-wei-wang-leehomWe live in an age of terrorism, where an attack could arrive any day from around any corner.  In classic westerns, the good guys wore white hats and the bad guys wore black hats.  Hathaway may have done some bad things, but that wasn’t the end of his story.  God chooses to work through a failed people for reasons we may never understand. We are cracked vessels, works in progress. God doesn’t give up on us … we give up on ourselves. We aren’t defined by our failings and stumbling. We’re defined by how we get back up, bruised knees and all, dust ourselves off, and keep on our journey.  We may make mistakes, but we can acknowledge them, do the work of pursuing and accepting forgiveness, and then lead lives that reflect that redemption.

Blackhat had many problems.  The danger of movies, much less thrillers, revolving around computer hacking is that they have to find ways to essentially make typing and looking at a screen interesting.  No amount of blue lighting and jittery camerawork is going to make that interesting.  And while trying to create plot twists, the movie becomes unnecessarily convoluted.  Half the time, it is unclear what’s going on or why the characters are doing anything that they’re doing.  In short, Blackhat is filled with characters not interesting enough to make a character study out of, unmemorable dialogue, and not enough tension to sustain itself.  Blackhat is ultimately sprawling and empty.  Like its stars, it’s pretty to look at, but not given much to do.

Mo*Con X: Women Destroy Mo*Con

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:


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.



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.



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.



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.




2015-01-21 03.30.54Chesya Burke is a MA student in African American Studies at Georgia State University. Burke wrote several articles for the African American National Biography in 2008 and she has written and published over a hundred fiction pieces and articles within the genres of science fiction, fantasy and horror. Her thesis is on the comic book character, Storm from the X MEN and she is the Chair of the Board of Directors of Chairs Books and More, one of the oldest feminist book stores in the country.  Burke’s story collection, Let’s Play White, is being taught in universities around the country and is recommended by Samuel Delany and Nikki Giovanni

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.



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



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:





















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.