Mo*Con 2018 (UPDATED 2/20/18)

Mo*Con is a mini-convention (in Indianapolis, Indiana) built around food, community, and conversations (typically around the topics of spirituality, art, and social justice). The dates are May 4-6th, 2018. For all of the details, including registration information, CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE MO*CON SITE (or click the Mo*Con tab on this site’s menu). Here are this year’s GOHs:

Lynne and Michael are the Publishers/Editors-in-Chief for the two-time Hugo and Parsec Award-winning Uncanny Magazine.  Five-time Hugo Award winner Lynne M. Thomas was the Editor-in-Chief of Apex Magazine (2011–2013). She co-edited the Hugo Award-winning Chicks Dig Time Lords (with Tara O’Shea) as well as Whedonistas (with Deborah Stanish) and Chicks Dig Comics (with Sigrid Ellis).

Along with being a two-time Hugo Award-winner, Michael Damian Thomas was the former Managing Editor of Apex Magazine (2012–2013), co-edited the Hugo-nominated Queers Dig Time Lords (Mad Norwegian Press, 2013) with Sigrid Ellis, and co-edited Glitter & Mayhem (Apex Publications, 2013), with John Klima and Lynne M. Thomas. Together, they solve mysteries.

Mikki Kendall aspires to be an over-educated loudmouth with deep pockets. Failing that she manages to be a periodic cyborg who masquerades as a person with a spouse, kids, and all the trappings of quasi respectability. Once gainfully employed by an unnamed agency, she now invests her time in writing, wrangling jackasses on the internet, and telling people to go straight to hell. Raised by a family of cutthroat sarcastic assassins with magic powers, her obsession with history has led to her publishing weird stories, and articles about every serious issue under the sun. Her nonfiction work has appeared in the Washington Post, Time, and a host of other outlets. Her fiction work includes comics, and short stories are available via Revelator Magazine, Torquere Press, and online.

The author of STALE REALITY, DARKWALKER, and THE CORPSE AND THE GIRL FROM MIAMI, John Urbancik’s business card proclaims: “Writer. Photographer. Adventurer. Man.” He sold his first story shortly before the end of the last millennia, and has not once, not merely twice, but three times taken on a year-long project called INKSTAINS, in which he writes a story a day every day by hand. He can be found online at Outside of the Internet, he’s been spotted on at least five coasts on three continents; he’s traveled by boat, car, motorcycle, horse, elephant, and camel; and he may be headed to your house right now.

Jennifer Udden was born in Houston, TX, and spent many of her formative years hiding books under tables while she was meant to be paying attention to something else. She has a BA from Mount Holyoke College, and graduated in 2008 with a major in Politics, a minor in Chinese, and honors thesis work on anxiety in British detective fiction of the early 20th century. She has worked in fundraising for an off-Broadway theater company and joined the publishing industry in 2010 at the Donald Maass Literary Agency. She is the co-host of the podcast Shipping & Handling ( with Bridget Smith of Dunham Literary, Inc. To query Jen, follow the directions on the submission guidelines page. She blogs at and




Being The Only White Guy In A Black Office After Black Panther

The Only White Guy In A Black Office After Black Panther

Being The Only White Guy In A Black Office After Black Panther 😂

Posted by All Def Digital on Tuesday, 20 February 2018

If you think Black Panther was just another superhero movie, then you’ll probably be thrown by our discussions on race, colonialism, the relationship between black Americans/Africans, who the real hero of the movie was, and the role of technology in our communities.

We were tempted to have the community conversation the weekend after the movie came out. Think pieces were coming out left and right. Though I’d already seen it twice opening weekend, I needed more time to digest them. Plus we wanted to give folks a chance to see it. And they have:

[From Forbes last Monday … BEFORE IT HIT $920M WORLDWIDE]

 Black Panther just snagged a jaw-dropping $65.7 million in its third weekend of domestic release. That’s the third-biggest third weekend of all time, behind only Avatar ($69m in 2010) and Star: The Force Awakens ($90m in 2016).

 Like Jurassic World, it needed just 17 days to get to $500 million domestic, which will be one day slower than The Last Jedi and seven days slower than The Force Awakens.

Whether or not Black Panther catches up to The Last Jedi’s $619 million domestic total, it has already surpassed The Dark Knight Rises ($448m in 2012) and Avengers: Age of Ultron ($459m in 2015) to become the third-biggest grossing comic book superhero movie in North America. It sits behind The Dark Knight ($534m in 2008) and The Avengers ($623m in 2012).

It has already passed Finding Dory to become the tenth-biggest U.S. grosser of all time, with a final landing spot of between seventh place and fifth place by the time it wraps up.


Stan Lee & Jack Kirby created the character in July-Aug 1966, making his debut in a two-part Fantastic Four storyline in issues 52-53 (right after the introduction of the Silver Surfer and Galactus). He goes on to join the Avengers.

His first starring role was in a comic called Jungle Action written by Don McGregor in 1973. Of additional note, the run was illustrated by Billy Graham, one of the first African American artists in comics. This highly respected run that gave us Eric Killmonger.

The 1970s brought us all manner of problematic villains, like Man-Ape (now M’Baku). [It wasn’t just him. For example, during this time Luke Cage was fighting the pimp-looking villain of the week.] After a couple mini-series, they turn to a writer named Christopher J. Priest.

Starting out as Jim Owsley, Priest became the first black editor and then first black writer at either Marvel or DC (1979). He went on to play a major role in Milestone Media. FOR ME, THIS WAS THE DEFINITIVE RUN ON BLACK PANTHER. He re-thought the approach to Black Panther: he’s not a superhero, he’s a king (Peter David mimicked this approach when he re-vamped Aquaman). So he gives a reason why a king would join a super-hero team (such as spying on a group of super-powered individuals for whom borders mean nothing) as well as the problems this causes back home for his rule. Priest is responsible for most of the world-building seen in the movie: the tribe structure (pared down to five from Priest’s 18), kimono beads, Dora Milaje, the Dogs of War; the rehabilitation of the problematic “villain” Man-Ape (M’Baku); and Everett K. Ross (brought over from Priest’s run on Ka-zar).

Black Panther has been largely in the hands of black writers since.

Reginald Hudlin, of House Party fame, took over next. It was his run that gave us Shuri and on which the BET animated series was based (you can now watch the entire run on Marvel’s YouTube channel).

[Our discussion about resources was answered by T’Chaka in the series at the 5:00 minute mark]

Ta-Nehisi Coates. Roxanne Gay. Nnedi Okorafor. Black creators have taken up the reigns of the book.

WHICH BRINGS US TO THE MOVIE – Why was this movie important to you?

There is a vision of black solidarity world wide, bridging the relationship between those in the Diaspora and Africans. It’s a beautiful celebration of blackness: excellence and art. And it continues the conversation on how best to achieve black liberation: Booker T. Washington “vs.” W.E.B. DuBois; Malcolm X “vs.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.. One of the great things about the movie is that it allows for a lot of discussion points that allows everyone to have a defensible position…

Team T’Challa – remain in isolation (elitist)

Team Nakia – Wakanda as a beacon and model for the rest of the world

Team Killmonger – use technology to initiate a worldwide black revolution

…with the caution that this is not about black liberation vs. black radicalism, but about seeing ourselves in all sides of that discussion. We’re simultaneously the African ideal and the abandoned Diaspora. The movie is more about exposing the problems present even in a utopian Black society.


T’Challa – both hero and villain: his kingdom remains untouched by colonialism, yet he is also unwilling to help black people outside of his kingdom. He saved Wakanda and stopped their technologies from being being abused in the export of war, yet he abandoned black people around the world.


Killmonger: “His royal father is killed by his uncle when he’s young, he’s stuck exiled from his homeland, and he returns there once he’s grown older to claim the throne from the person he views as a terrible king.” That’s the story of Simba from The Lion King, a hero’s journey. He was the abandoned child of Wakanda forced to fend for himself in a society dominated by white supremacy. He give voice to the idea of worldwide black liberation. He exposed the problems that existed in this utopian black society. On the flip side: he shot his girlfriend, he choked an elder woman, and he killed a member of the Dora Milaje. Ostensibly about black liberation, he seems content to do that with no regard for black women. In many ways he’s the personification of toxic masculinity (where did he learn that?).

Killmonger burned the garden of the Heart-Shaped Herb, which was his right as the king, however, it would leave a future with no Black Panthers to protect the kingdom. Thus the future he imagined wasn’t utopian for anyone but himself. Like the Joker, he’s content to watch the world burn, for Wakanda to suffer as much as he suffered. In the end, it was his bid for world domination through ruthless violence that had to be stopped (not black radicalism).

In many ways, who was the hero could be view through the lens of how each viewed women.


With its Afrofuturist lens, Black Panther with its depiction of women offers a critique of the present (speaks to a deeply patriarchal society) and offers a model for what the future could look like: with women being equal to men, T’Challa not being threatened by their power, knowledge, or wisdom. Women play an active role in every segment of society, from the Wakandan “Secret Service” known as the Dora Milaje (based on the Dahomey Amazons) to scientists to cultural leaders. In fact, Black Panther is out of second act of the film and the ladies don’t miss a beat.

[One of the things that struck me was the depiction of black on black violence. It was largely bloodless, which was probably a deliberate choice of Ryan Coogler. When violence is necessary to be depicted, there is no reveling in broken black bodies (ala slave films).]

The presence of the CIA – a friend/manipulator of Wakanda?

When Everett K. Ross was introduced in the comics, it was largely to create an access point for white readers. The book was going to be unapologetically black under Priest’s run, so there was some concern from management. In Priest’s words “I figured, and I believe rightly, that for Black Panther to succeed, it needed a white male at the center, and that white male had to give voice to the audience’s misgivings or apprehensions or assumptions about this character and this book.” With the comic largely told through his eyes, this allowed Black Panther to remain enigmatic.

Throughout the movie, similar to the comics, Agent Ross gets presented as useless, the comic foil. As M’Baku says on behalf of the audience, “Why is he even here? Why is he speaking?” His role wasn’t as “white savior” as some people feared, but he was more an extension of Shuri during the climax. She was controlling him/he took his directions from her as he learned what it meant to be an ally.


With many of the problems in African countries stemming from colonialism, mirrored by those in the Diaspora, the fact that the relationship between blacks and Africans is so fraught with -animus and competition (including the derogatory way we refer to one another) remains disheartening. African American culture is very influential in Africa (and vice versa). The movie calls for bridges to be built and unity to be had. But we continue to unpack this.

The conversation is to be continued.

For now know that there is no Wakanda, but the dream of such powers us—black people around the world—to continue to stand up and forge the reality of it for ourselves.  As T’Chaka told his son, T’Challa, “Stand up. You are a King.”

Additional reading:

‘Black Panther’: Why the relationship between Africans and black Americans is so messed up

Editorial: You Love Killmonger At The Expense Of Black Women

In Defense Of Erik Killmonger And The Forgotten Children Of Wakanda

The Most Important Moment in Black Panther No One Is Talking About


(March) Afrofuture Fridays: Replicating Wakanda

Join us on March 9th at the Kheprw Institute for Afrofuture Friday: Replicating Wakanda (in our communities).

We will:
-go over the history of Black Panther in comics
-discuss the impact and themes of the movie
-discuss the role of technology in our communities

As always, there will be food, music (the Black Panther soundtrack), and celebration of community.

Sign up via Facebook or Eventbrite.


I was on a Creating the Future panel a few weeks ago and the topic of Afrofuturism came up. A person there admitted that they thought it meant [depictions of] no white people in the future. In a lot of ways, I do see Afrofuturism as a correction of how rarely black people are portrayed in the future, for example, in the new Blade Runner movie.

Afrofuturism uses art (visual, music, film, literature, fashion) to create a framework to examine our present, that’s rooted in history and looks to the future.

-it mixes sci fi and social justice

-it imagines the future through art and the lens of black experience

-it’s rooted in black people having a better future for ourselves on our terms

Culture critic Mark Dery coined the term in 1994 in his essay “Black to the Future” where he was wondering why so few African Americans embraced sf to tell our stories. By his accounting, there was only Samuel Delany, Octavia Butler, Charles Saunders, and Steven Barnes writing in genre. (Coincidentally, 1994 marked the year I first started sending out stories).

To overcome the way society remains unequal, there has to be visions of a future where the problems are solved. Samuel Delany puts it this way: “We need images of tomorrow and out people need them more than most.”

Afrofuturism critiques the way the future looks today.

Afrofuturism provides glimpses of what this might look like.

In pop culture, Afrofuturism has been most popularly seen in music:

-Sun Ra began in the 1950s, using Afrofuture design and creating an entire cosmology for his work. He links his future self to his ancient ancestors in Egypt and believed that the future for black people could be intergalactic. His album “Space is the Place” (1973) is considered a seminal Afrofuture album.

-Parliament-Funkadelic, in the 1970s, envisioned a world where The Struggle is over and we’ve won. About their seminal album, “Mothership Connection” (1975), George Clinton said this: “We had put black people in situations nobody ever thought they would be in, like the White House. I figured another place you wouldn’t think black people would be was in outer space. I was a big fan of Star Trek, so we did a thing with a pimp sitting in a spaceship shaped like a Cadillac, and we did all these James Brown-type grooves, but with street talk and ghetto slang.”

-Outkast/Andre 3000 ruled the 1990s. One album, Aquemeni (1998), featured the song “ATLiens” (a portmanteau of ATL (short for Atlanta) and aliens). It illustrates OutKast’s feeling of disconnection with the world around them, the world they knew which had been created by the idea of race, but also their desire to celebrate their past in Atlanta. In one verse he says:

If not I’ll wait, because the future of the world depends on

If or if not the child we raise gon’ have that nigga syndrome

Or will it know to beat the odds regardless of the skin tone?

Or will it feel that if we tune it, it just might get picked on?

Or will it give a fuck about what others say and get gone?

They alienate-us cause we different keep your hands to the sky

-Janelle Monae is everything. Her albums will eventually form a seven-part concept series called Metropolis, partly inspired by the 1927 film. The storyline revolves around Cindi Mayweather, a messianic android sent back in time to free the citizens of Metropolis from The Great Divide, a secret society that uses time travel to suppress freedom and love. Her second album The ArchAndroid (2010) and features the song “Violet Stars Happy Hunting”:

I’m an alien from outer space (outer space)

I’m a cybergirl without a face a heart or a mind

(a product of the man, I’m a product of the man)

I’m a saviour without a race (without a face)

The video “Q.U.E.E.N.” from her album “The Electric Lady” (2013), plays like a mini-movie by itself.

But we see Afrofuture imagery in artists such as Missy Elliott, Beyonce, Missy Elliott, Grace Jones, Missy Elliott, Solange Knowles, Missy Elliott, Rihanna, and Missy Elliott.

As we turn to literature, Mark Dery’s lament was that Samuel Delany, Octavia Butler, Charles Saunders, and Steven Barnes writing were basically holding it down for all of us, but in actually, African Americans had been in speculative fiction for a while. Not too long ago, Kheprw Institute had a discussion about the history of African Americans in speculative fiction. Our work has always done this kind of examination. But the four were the modern giants:

*Charles Saunders – Imaro (1981), created a sub-genre that would come to be known as “sword and soul.”

*Steven Barnes – Lion’s Blood (2002) and Zulu Heart (2003) were alternative histories where an Islamic Africa conquers the world while Europe remains largely tribal and backward.

*Samuel Delany’s Dhalgren (1975) reads like the James Joyce of sf.

*Octavia Butler’s The Parable of the Sower (1993) remains a potent classic. While after the 2016 election sales for the book 1984 suddenly spiked, those in the know pointed to Butler’s novel to examine how we find ourselves where we are. Set in the 2020s where society has largely collapsed due to climate change, growing wealth inequality, and corporate greed, a young woman named Lauren Oya Olamina possesses the gift of hyperempathy. She begins to develop a new belief system, which she comes to call Earthseed. Lauren believes that humankind’s destiny is to travel beyond Earth and live on other planets.

We point so much to Butler’s canon of work it inspired the recent anthology “Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements,” a model of developing systems from themes of Afrofuturism.

We’re actually in the middle of a black speculative fiction boom:

N.K. Jemisin – The 5th Season (2015)

Nalo Hopkinson – The Brown Girl in the Ring (1998)

Nisi Shawl – Everfair (2016)

Colson Whitehead – The Underground Railroad (2016)

Nnedi Okorafor – Binti trilogy, Who Fears Death

Afrofuturist art is the intersection of a black cultural lens, technology, liberation, and imagination. It bridges the past and future to critique the present. It creates awareness, raising consciousness, and maps potential futures. It begins with a journey of self-discovery, exploring black identity. It involves a radical imagining as we break apart systemic baggage. It constantly asks “What future do you want to see?” as it imagines alternative visions of tomorrow. It allows conversations about race and oppression that people don’t know how to have.

Our goal with Afrofuturism Fridays is to create a space to imagine and dream of possible futures. We will build a better tomorrow together. And that’s why Afrofuturism represents hope.

Black Panther Countdown…

3 days to go: On the surface they see “Mr. Broaddus,” but never forget underneath I’m always…#blackityblackout18 #blackpanthercountdown

2 days to go: Less than 2% of teachers are black males. Don’t tell me representation is not important.#blackityblackout18 #blackpanthercountdown

2 days to go: Less than 2% of teachers are black males. Don’t tell me representation is not important.#blackityblackout18 #blackpanthercountdown

Wakanda Day 1: I keep thinking there’s something I need to see tonight…

Wakanda Day 2: My outfit is close, but I still think I’m missing something…

Wakanda Day 3: You know what I’m here to see.#blackityblackout18 #blackpanthercountdown

Indianapolis Peeps: Afrofuture Fridays and a Booksigning Saturday

First off, new Patreon stuff has been uploaded (with more coming tomorrow). For those wanting critiques as support levels, they’re now available. Check out my Patreon and thanks for the support!

Over at the Kheprw Institute, on the second Friday evenings of the month, I’ll be leading a discussion called Afrofuturism Fridays. Afrofuturism will be our framework to re-examine events of the past, critique the present day dilemmas of the African Diaspora, and create a space to imagine and dream of possible futures. Over a shared meal we’ll discuss such things as art (Jean-Michel Basquiat), film (Pumzi), literature (Octavia Butler, Nnedi Okorafor), and music (Parliament-Funkadelic, Sun Ra). We will build a better tomorrow together.

Then on Saturday February 10th, I will be doing a book-signing at Barnes & Noble at The Shops at River Crossing (8675 River Crossing Blvd, Indianapolis, IN) from 3-5 p.m. They’ll have copies of The Voices of Martyrs and Buffalo Soldier there. It’s an “Ask an Author” event to benefit for the Indiana Writers Center. So if people present the “code” at check out (just say you are there shopping for IWC), 10% of the purchase will be paid to IWC. This actually goes any time through the whole day, not just the book signing and includes anything available in the store (coffee, toys, truffles, etc.). Hope to see you there!


El is a Spaceship Melody – Beneath Ceaseless Skies


My #Afrofuture novelette, “El is a Spaceship Melody,” is up on Beneath Ceaseless Skies. Inspired by Sun Ra. On a starship powered by jazz music. #blacktothefuture

El is a Spaceship Melody

I. Dare to Knock at the Door of the Cosmos

The living crystals were displeased. The dissonant chords of a harried melody rocked the starship Arkestra. When Captain LeSony’ra Adisa was a young girl dreaming about one day commanding her own vessel, she had never considered it would be filled with so many day-to-day irritations. She sprang from her seat in the main bridge at the sound of the music. She was not one to be tested today.

“Overseer, we aren’t due for a command performance for another three hours.” On the verge of yelling, she opted to save her anger for the person who deserved it.

“Commander Marshall moved the performance ahead.” The timbre of the Overseer’s voice, emanating from the unseen broadcast units, vacillated somewhere between clearly male and clearly female. Its AI was integrated into every fiber along the length of the Arkestra, its calculations vital to monitoring the ship’s systems, including the harnessing energy from the kheprw crystals that powered the ship.

“On whose authority?” The crystals needed to be recharged every few solar days, depending on the mission use, but the next performance wasn’t scheduled until 1400 hours. From the way LeSony’ra felt her last nerve being worked, she knew the answer before Overseer responded.


“Of course he did.” She flung her headdress past the twists of the front part of her hair, the flat-ironed portion flaring out behind it.

Their mission was a joint venture between the Thmei Academy, where LeSony’ra headed the largest laboratories, and Outer Spaceways Inc., the private interstellar shuttle conglomeration, so the command structure of the Arkestra was fraught. Captain LeSony’ra Adisa held authority over all things related to the mission above Titan, while Commander Clifford Marshall retained jurisdiction over everything concerning the ship. Issues related to the crew fell into a gray zone. Because of the way Marshall commanded, even holding a lesser rank, he held more sway over the crew.

“Steppers, Chappel, you’re with me.” Cradling a small crystal ball in her hand, LeSony’ra nodded, and the two security officers flanked her. Breastplates covered chrome colored body suits. Each wore a gilded animal mask; Steppers an eagle, the Chappel a dog. They brandished shields, though their charged batons remained at their waist. The trio of women exited the bridge.

Their strident march from the turbo-shuttle to the engineering chamber drew everyone’s attention. Steppers and Chappel positioned themselves inside the doorway of the engine room. LeSony’ra stormed in, annoyed both by the musical cacophony in the room and the fact that the engineering crew had begun the performance without her.

Marshall led the six-person engineering crew. He had the delicate bone structure of a dancer, with his high cheekbones and fine hair. His razor-thin mustache was manicured within inches of its life. Fans billowed the heavy fabric of his shimmering command cloak like a sail in a stiff wind. His saxophone barely skipped a note at LeSony’ra’s entrance.

‘Captain Adisa’ had to be diplomatic; ‘LeSony’ra’ could be petty as hell. And she was all LeSony’ra right now.

She cast a baleful glare in his direction, withdrew opaque citrus-colored glasses, and set the crystal ball on the keyboards at her station, unlocking the vintage Clavioline. Its amplifier fed directly into the kheprw crystals’ containment unit. Her voluminous black caftan whipped about her as she took her seat behind the Clavioline, its iridescent silver overlay interfaced with the keyboards. Her gold chainmail headdress lightly jingled as she began to work the instrument. Her striped platform oxfords—“moon boots” the crew called them, since they were designed for zero gravity situations—found the foot pedals. Marshall used any opportunity to undermine her authority. Always eager to ingratiate himself to the crew, to prove who ought to be in command. He was in need of a reminder of who was in charge. It was time for a true command performance.

Her Clavioline chords strained to find a place in the jumble of sounds. All captains were trained in improvisation, a skillset based on observing, listening, and reacting. No plan, no program, no control; only the interplay of past preparedness and honed intuition. Since she had handpicked the engineering ensemble during her travels, she trusted both their muscle memory and instincts. On her mark, the music reset and the Arkestra‘s crew followed her lead. The bass rumbled in tow. The drums pounded. Marshall’s saxophone pealed in faint protest. A torrent of sound, but once LeSony’ra shifted register, the chaos harmonized. She never told them what to play next. Not the song, not the chord changes, not the key. They just had to keep up, composing and performing at the same time.

The kheprw crystals glowed with approval.


Some stories news (from Steampunk Universe to The Voices of Martyrs)

We’re starting out the new year with a new story available. My story “All God’s Chillun Got Wings” is now available in Steampunk Universe.

Brian Keene released his Top 15 Books of 2017 list. Coming in at #4 was The Voices of Martyrs. He says in part:

THE VOICES OF MARTYRS is a moving reading experience, and the culmination of centuries of storytelling. Highly recommended. As a reader, it was a pleasure to hear these voices. As a writer, I stand in awe of what Maurice has done with this collection.

[Read the entire list here]

Speaking of reviews of stuff, the Tangent Online 2017 Recommended Reading List includes my weird western tale, “Dance of Bones,” from the anthology Straight Outta Tombstone. Read the entire list here.

2017 Award Eligibility Post

It’s that time of the year when writerly types post their works that came out that year to remind voters for the different SF/F awards which categories their works are eligible for (especially for the Hugo Awards and Nebula Awards). And, frankly, what folks may have missed of mine this year:

Short Stories
The Ache of Home” (Uncanny Magazine)

“Two Americans Walk into a Pub” (Mixed Up: Cocktail Recipes (and Flash Fiction) for the Discerning Drinker (and Reader), Skyhorse Publishing)

“Vade Retro Satana” (FIYAH Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction)

“The Dead Yard” (Monster Hunter Files, Baen Books)

“Dance of Bones” (Straight Outta Tombstone, Baen Books)


Buffalo Soldier (


The Voices of Martyrs (Rosarium Publishing)

Essays (eligible for the Best Related Work Hugo Award)

Star Trek’s Lt. Cmdr. Worf and his Journey of Ontological Blackness Klingon-ness” (People of Color take over Fantastic Stories of the Imagination)  #BlackNerdsRule

Diversity Doesn’t Just Happen” (Fireside Fiction)

Editor (eligible for Best Editor – short form)

Apex Magazine Issue 95, Maurice Broaddus guest editor (Apex Publication)

Not a bad year!


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:


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.



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