Archive for August, 2013

Leaving Some Professional Organizations Behind

I resigned from Indiana Horror Writers today. It’s not something I wanted to do, necessarily, but felt I had to do. It’s been a long time coming.

ihw08Three and a half months later, I (and several others) follow Bob Freeman out the door. I was one of the founding members of IHW and we’ve had our share of laughs and tears. This group was instrumental in hosting Mo*Con and has played a huge role in my life and writing career. So it’s with sadness that I had to tender my resignation, while still wondering how we got to this point.

I suspect the roots of the problem began in the inevitable growing pains as the founders of the group passed the reins over to the “next generation”, the sustainers. Even granting a learning curve on how social media is a loaded weapon, one gets tired of seeing the officers, the public face of the organization, seeming to forget that they represent the group at all times. I am reminded of John Scalzi’s tenure as SFWA president and how keenly aware he was that (disclaimers aside) his words carried the weight of the power of his office. He was always in the shadow of his authority and comported himself accordingly.

Speaking of SFWA, I’m mindful of what has recently transpired with them. When someone is being racist, misogynist, or otherwise marginalizing people, you can either leave them in place or leave that place. I can’t help but be struck by the image of writing groups/genre as a pool. Frankly, you get in the pool knowing that on occasion, someone’s going to pee in it. You know it even if you may not always be aware of every instance of it. Sometimes you encounter someone determined to do nothing but pee in the pool. It becomes a matter of how much pee you’re willing to tolerate before you leave.

Leaving that unfortunate analogy aside, it came down to, as Nora Jemison put it, picking a side. Yes, everyone has the right to their opinion, be as big of a raging a-hole as you want, but there are consequences to patterns of behavior, be it unexamined misogyny or racism. Marginalize and condescend to folks enough and they feel unwelcome, no longer feeling safe within a community, and that’s just not the kind of group I want to be in.

In the end, we started IHW so that we could forge relationships. We wanted a fellowship of kindred spirits to encourage one another, to push one another, and hold each other accountable. We got more than we expected. We were loud, we were messy, we were family. We have friendships which will last a lifetime. We started as a group, we leave as a group, still supporting one another.

I know something cool can grow from all of this and I look forward to it. I’ll just miss what was.

My WorldCon Schedule

glitter and mayhemI’ll be in the bar.

Also, I’ll be on hand for the debut of the Glitter and Mayhem anthology (Apex Books).

I’ll be participating in a special panel discussion and book signing at Viva Books San Antonio for the Saturday afternoon of WorldCon (August 31) from 12:30-2:30 pm.  Joined by Bryan Thomas Schmidt,  J.M. McDermott, and Django Wexler, here’s the overview:

Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror offer the unique opportunity to post unreal elements in the real world.  More than just adventures and entertainment, these books offer new insights into the human condition.  Three leading authors of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror will be here at Viva to talk about speculative fiction’s role in healing the world.

Other than that, see me in the bar.

Stories, Snippets, and Stuff

glitter and mayhemFirst a review of the Glitter & Mayhem anthology on the Revolution SF site:

“I just re-read “The Electric Spanking of the War Babies” [written by Maurice Broaddus and Kyle S. Johnson] for the third time. Here is why: The second page contains the following line: “He was Shakes Humphries, the baddest mofo on eight wheels.” Then someone says, “Come with me if you want to funk.” The villain is Professor Bereft of Groove.

I’m putting another link to buy Glitter and Mayhem right here. Just because of that.”

That rather made my day.  Next up, my story, “Awaiting Redemption,” is up on the Pseudopod site:

This story was bought by [Eulogies II for] the Horror World web site. “People can claim a religious faith but use it strictly as a cover for their own cruelty (that has nothing to do with their religion).”

Read by Laurice White

“Serving was her religious duty, he told her, though she was too impure to read the Qur’an for herself.  She knew his kind.  For him religion was a tool he re-shaped into his own image to vent his cruelty and hate.  He probably knew less of the Qu’ran than she did.  His dagger sliced her Arizona Cardinals Super Bowl XLIII 2009 Champions shirt, still stiff with dried blood.  Wearing only her Nike running shoes, one size too small, she lowered her head, not allowed to cover herself.  He touched her in a familiar way, but she would not taste shame no matter how he tried to force feed it to her.  She never hid her scars.  They told the story of who she was, a map to her soul.”

Transform YouHere are a couple of reviews of my novella, “I Can Transform You”:

“Where the story really excels is in its ability to set (and sustain) a mood of dark hopelessness. It’s a grim sort of tale, populated by men and women who have few aspirations beyond survival. The odds seem stacked against Mac and Ade from the start, but the two persevere as much to spite one another as anything else. Theirs is a relationship that reminds me a lot of the first Lethal Weapon movie, where a little dark humor and shared agony served to fill the void of suicidal dread and weary resignation that lay at the core of those reluctant partners.” —Beauty In Ruins

“While a novella, I CAN TRANSFORM YOU packs as much in as a full length novel. Mac and Ade are well rounded and believable characters with backstory and personality. The plot itself spans in multiple directions and comes full circle beautifully. It’s well written and wholly entertaining.” —Just a Guy Who Likes to Read

 

 

Check out more reviews at:

Horror-Web

Pink Raygun

 

Over on the Apex Books web site, I answer a few questions about my zombie apocalypse preparedness plan and there’s a snippet of my story “Being in Shadow” from the Appalachian Undead anthology.  The first question:

Do you have a zombie apocalypse emergency plan?

The Broaddus family likes to be prepared for anything.  My children have laid out the plan this way:

1)  They need to keep their mother around as she’s the nurturing one.

2)  In the event of a food shortage, I would be the first one eaten (see point #1)

3)  My children have been discouraging physical activity from me.  This serves two purposes:  it keeps me out of shape so as long as they can outrun me, they’ll be fine; and it fattens me up (see point #2)

 

My 2013 GenCon Schedule

Transform YouGenCon’s coming up (August 15th-18th) and it’s easy to dismiss it as just a “gamer’s convention,” but its Writer’s Symposium has about 110 hours worth of panels, readings, and workshops.  No matter your level of writer, they have topics for beginning writers through areas of professional interest.  Plus, many of the 30+ writers and editors can be found either in Author Alley or, well, “what do you call a gathering of writers?  A bar.”

Here’s where I’ll be when not at the Blackwyrm Books table, where copies of my novella, I Can Transform You, will be available:

THURSDAY

10:00 a.m.  What Should I Write?

Should you write to the market? For love? For money? For exposure? Advice on what to write and why.

FRIDAY

10:00 a.m.  Religions & Gods

Find your faith as we teach you to weave the power of religion and gods into your stories.

SATURDAY

11:00 a.m.  Character Motivation

Deep dive into the art of character motivation in this exclusive 8 seat, round-table style panel.

1:00 p.m.  Signing

SUNDAY

8:00 a.m.  Starting the Story

Examine how, when, and where to begin your story in this exclusive 8 seat, round-table style panel.

9:00 a.m.  Plot Mastery

Deep dive into the art of plotting in this exclusive 8 seat, round-table style panel.

10:00 a.m.  Quick Critique

Have your work critiqued by a professional author in a scheduled 10 minute one-on-one meeting.

11:00 a.m.  Quick Critique

Have your work critiqued by a professional author in a scheduled 10 minute one-on-one meeting.

Kick-Ass 2 – A Review

1371552953_kick-ass-2-posters (2)There is a simple rule of costumed vigilantes that follows Newton’s third law of motion:  that for every action, there is an equal opposite reaction.  Or, in the super-hero world, the rise of (good guy) masks triggers a rise in (bad guy) masks.  This is basically the premise of the follow up to Kick-Ass.

In 2010, adapted from Mark Millar and John Romita Jr’s comic, Kick-Ass gave us an ultra-violent, potty-mouthed romp which both took satiric aim at the boom of comic book movies and celebrated the fanboys of such movies.  Kick-Ass 2 picked up where the first ended, except more—MUCH more, to the point of excess—was the order of the day.

“Aren’t you tired of being on your own?” –Kick-Ass

Dave/Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) has inspired a legion of copy-cat do-gooders and wanted to not be alone in his fight against injustice, joins the league of amateur super-heroes, Justice Forever.  Filling the Big Daddy shoes of the first movie is Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey), who leads this merry band of misfits.

Mindy (Chloë Grace Moretz, who has grown up quickly) is on a reverse track, having promised to give up being Hit-Girl in order to try to fit in as a normal teenage girl.  Chris (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) blames Kick-Ass for the death of his father and sets down a path of becoming the first super-villain.  Going by the ever-so-subtle name of The Motherfucker, he forms his own evil crew, the even-less-subtly-named Toxic Mega Cunts.

So the movie boils down to two intertwined ideas:  figuring out who each of them really are and finding a place to belong.

“I know who I am.  I know why I’m here.” –Chris

justice foreverAll three are on the typical teenage quest of figuring out who they are, albeit, having spandex alter-egos confusing they usual journeys.  All three have had their fathers taken away from them and have to figure out their moorings in life.  Everyone has to find a way to deal with the pain, suffering, and tragedy that comes with life.  Mindy sums up the “real” lesson of what it means to be a super-hero:  “Taking that pain and turning it into something good.  Something right.”

They have a “father”-shaped hole in their lives they attempt to fill, wanting to be known and loved and operating from the secure place of being who they are.  When our faith can’t get traction in our lives, we become stuck.  We misplace our identity, things get shifted, then our priorities change.  We end up not living up to our potential like we should.

“Don’t you want to belong?” –Brooke

All three are searching for (or building) a safe community for them to be a part of:  Kick-Ass and Justice Forever; Mindy and her high school popular girls clique; and Chris and his Toxic Mega Cunts.  They are looking for a place where they can express themselves authentically, be accepted unconditionally; a place of hope, healing, belonging and redemption.  Such safe havens involve first being a community, allowing people to have a sense of belonging before believing. People need to find a place to call home, a place to belong, and people to call family.  People need a place of shared common mission (in Kick-Ass’ case, to make the world a better place; in Chris’, to destroy the world), some of whom can find their identity in that mission.

“You showed us that every man can make a difference.” –Col. Stars and Stripes

Exclusive - 'Kick-Ass 2' Film SetThe novelty/shock value of the first movie has worn off, but Kick-Ass 2 attempts to up the stakes across the board.  It manages to retain a hopeful, naïve air about it, but lacks the charm of the original.  The movie wisely chooses to tone down Mark Millar’s original material and also manages to not swerve into cynical territory.  However, Kick-Ass 2 needs a lot of tightening, with its often meandering storyline leaving long stretches of exposition.

It had difficulty maintaining a consistent tone.  With head of the popular girls, Brook, trying to recreate Mindy in her image, to their body fluids spewing comeuppance, to her hyper-violent battle with Mother Russia, the movie veers wildly from Mean Girls to Kill Bill (which could have been a fun if any real time and wit had been spent developing its observations).  The movie falls back onto the very comic book clichés (and problems*) it mocked in its first go around, from training montages to the death of a father to inspire or focus them (only Morris Chesnut’s Marcus survives, though he was never given much to do beyond stand on the sidelines and be stern).

One simply wants this movie to be more clever, or at least consistently over-the-top fun, than it is.

 

 

*By the way, acknowledging racist stereotypes (for laughs) is not the same as not feeding into them.  Naming an Asian villain Genghis Carnage and a black bad guy Black Death are one thing; every Asian being a bad guy is another.  Likewise, if the movie already needs to tread lightly as a lot of its action centers on a 15 year old girl being beat up, it’s hard to pull off the threat of rape for laughs.

Support The Midnight Diner

midnight dinerI often daydreamed about what the next iteration of my Dark Faith anthology series might look like.  To do a third volume, start a blog, maybe a podcast of some sort.  But why do all that when The Midnight Diner is making a return?

I remember The Midnight Diner from its previous run.  Definitely a progenitor to Dark Faith in that it combined the idea of faith and dark stories, without wanting proselytizing pieces.  Stories that confronted, challenged, and deepened discussion.  Kevin Lucia does a great job of tracing the magazine/anthology’s history.  They’re moving into a quarterly digital format with the possibility of a print version at year’s end (providing subscriptions generate enough income to do so.)

You should consider contributing to The Midnight Diner.  One, their funding campaign goes to maintaining professional rates for their writers.  They’ve already raised close to half of 2014’s operating budget and are close to raising the second half.  Two, they are now open for submissions.  I figure if you’re any kind of regular reader of this blog, this zine is definitely a market of interest for you.  Three, you can spread the word, sharing the link on social media platforms.  Four, for only $20, you can subscribe for a yearly subscription.  Any donation is tax deductible.

I won’t say that I’m completely neutral about this project.  Editor Michelle Pendergrass is a dear friend of mine.  As are a couple of their slush readers, whom I won’t name but are familiar names to anyone who has attended a Mo*Con.

Oh, I should probably mention that I will have a regular column in The Midnight Diner.  Considering my track record of doing absolutely nothing controversial, what could possibly go wrong?

Aunt Bell’s Funeral – Now in Tweets!

coffinMy last few weeks have been a whirlwind of preparation for our trip to Jamaica for my grandmother’s funeral.  Getting passports, bracing our kids for their first time flying much less out of the country.  Explaining the rituals of our family.  We missed Aunt Bell’s grave-digging ceremony.  All told, they went through twelve chickens, three goats, and five gallons of rum.  After a shovel full of dirt, the digger asks for some rum.  After the next shovelful, more rum.

It takes a village to bury someone where we come from.

Because she passed a month prior, her nine night was postponed until the night before the funeral and condensed to one night.  A nine night traditionally is held for the nine days after someone’s passing.  Think of it as a 24 hour, 9 day long wake. With food (imagine the grave digging menu doubled).  And music.  And rum.

And a village.

Then came there funeral.  Here’s the re-cap from my tweets:

I’m going to ask your forgiveness in advance. Some friends wanted me to live tweet my grandmother’s funeral. But we were out in the country.

8:40 a.m., passed a group of mourners already walking up to the country for the funeral. For a noon start.

If my wife lost track of what color she was, there were plenty of shocked folks who kept calling out “whitey!”

“Whitey!” is now my new pet name for my wife. #soontobekickedoutofbed

9:30 a.m. the arrival of the first walk-in drunk claiming to be family. We gave him a bottle of rum and sent him on. #nothelpful

Unofficially, I’m standing in as pallbearer for my brother, @BroaddusAnthony

STAND UP, MAN! #AuntBellhasenteredthebuilding #respect

And … a marching band showed up. #notkidding #viewing

At this point I try explaining to my youngest the correlation between spectacle and our family… #funeral #viewing

viewing11:30 a.m. Good luck finding a seat. #standingroomonly

We couldn’t wait til noon. LET THE PRAISE SERVICE BEGIN! #funeral

The only thing missing is some violin accompaniment. (Misses @SheHasNoFilter ) #funeral

The head of the Maroon tribe has come to represent. #chief #funeral

We know our Bible. We will correct you mid-speech if you don’t come correct. #funeral

When my step-dad sang “His Eyes are on the Sparrow” me and my mom lost it. #funeral

My youngest confessed that he’s a sympathy cryer. Or gives in way too easy to peer pressure. #funeral

Entering its second hour… #funeral

THAT’S MY OLDEST WHO GAVE THE SECOND LESSON. CAN I GET A WITNESS? (1 Corinthians 15:50-58) #funeral

Oh Lord…who gave my mother the microphone? #uhoh

So … that just happened. #nevergivemymomthemic #yeahshesaidthat

I love Jesus, too, but I’m gonna need pastor to wrap this up…

…entering its third hour … #funeral

And the whole island joined in the weeping. #Jamaica #thunderstorm #funeral

marching bandThe marching band led the way to the graveside. The coolest musical processional this side of New Orleans. #Jamaica #funeral

And now a mob of bodies, free food, and rum …

 

And when I say mob of bodies, I mean people came in by the busload.  Only family was allowed in the house (but go back over my grandmother’s legacy of children and such and you can figure out how packed that left the house).  And they were all fed.  I lost track of how many goats, hogs, and fish gave of themselves for that send off.  But if there’s one thing my family knows how to do, it’s throw a party.

Good-bye Aunt Bell

My grandmother passed away last month.  Born in Garlands, Jamaica, Isabel Morgan was known as Aunt Bell because she hated to be called grandma or anything like that.  This was the same lady who escaped her nursing home three times by scaling the 10 foot fence around her nursing home.  So we kind of took it for granted that she’d be around for a while longer.  She was 94 and passed away in her sleep.

Her funeral was August 1st and was something closer to something of a state funeral.

Aunt Bell and kidsAunt Bell left behind a huge legacy:  15 children, 71 grandchildren, 134 great-grandchildren, and 20 great-great-grandchildren.  One day she announced that she had to run into town for some bread.  She went into town, got on a plane, and went to England.  I guess she was tired of having children.  [My grandfather went on to have a total of 53 kids with various women.  We have a family bush, not a family tree.  It gets very complicated very quickly.  But when he passed, the women were lined up to hear the reading of the will.  Aunt Bell walked into the room and announced “we never divorced.  You can all go home now.”]

I always had a weird relationship with Aunt Bell.  She always called me “the con man” as in her saying “hide your purse, the con man’s here” whenever I entered a room.  So I made a point of calling her “grandma” and risked her notorious “heavy hand.”  I did mention her scaling walls when she was 94?

My boys loved the story of me pestering her while she was watching wrestling.  She was a huge fan and I harassed her about it being fake.  She sat at the foot of the bed while I jumped on it behind her imitating the fakeness of their moves.  Without looking back, she reached around, grabbed by my shirt, and threw me over her shoulder into the wall.  I was 14.

When I got married in 2000, we had a family reunion in Jamaica (where that pic was taken) that same summer.  I was explaining to Aunt Bell how we had plans to wait a few years before having children.  She looked me in the eye and said “I want a grandchild from you.  Now.”  I walked back to my room, looked my wife in the eye and said “we need to try having a kid.  Now.”  She asked “Are you sure?”

“Aunt Bell said so.”

The next week we were pregnant with my oldest.

Aunt Bell was feared, respected, and loved.  A force of nature who leaves a huge hole in our hearts and a lot to live up to.

I’m a hobbyist, too!

professional_writer_buttonOver on an ancillary HWA (Horror Writers Association, an organization for professional horror writers) site, vice president Lisa Morton opines on what it means to be a professional writer.  This reads more like an arbitrary list of how her writing life looks like, born from a frustration of wanting there to be some measuring stick to separate “professionals” from “hobbyists.”  I understand the frustration, you hear someone spending more time talking about writing or hanging out with writers than actually writing; someone talks about seeing a horror movie then deciding they can write a book because it’s obviously so easy; or have someone call themselves an editor when all they’re doing is advertising for writers to send them stories, slapping together stories and throwing them up on CreateSpace.

However, it’s hard not to sound like Douchey McSnobbypuss when you say “don’t confuse what I do with what you do” (I know, I’ve said it … usually to someone getting on my nerves).  Brian Keene, Matt Wallace, and John Scalzi already took Lisa to task, but I wanted to take the test anyway.  “Ideally, you should be answering ‘yes’ to all ten, but I’ll cut you a little slack and say you can get off with 80% and still call yourself professional” (hoo boy, this is gonna end well!):

1. Is your home/work place messy because that time you’d put into cleaning it is better spent writing?

No, quite the opposite in fact.  For one thing, I have a wife and two rambunctious boys.   I WISH I could just abdicate my responsibilities around the house with the “I’m writing” excuse, but I pretty much burn through that card when I’m actually on deadline.  Besides, my wife loves it when I’m writing.  When I have writer’s block, I clean.  It’s how I clear my head.  I also when I just need to procrastinate, I straighten before I can “settle down to write.”

2. Do you routinely turn down evenings out with friends because you need to be home writing instead?

No.  When I look back on my life, stories I’ve written will be a nice memorial, however, memories of time spent with friends and family will be what I will cherish.  Besides, I write mostly in the early morning or late at night, mostly to maximize the amount of time I can spend with friends and family.  I was in Jamaica when friends were passing around links to this foolishness, but I didn’t exactly tear myself from the beach to rush to my blog.

3. Do you turn off the television in order to write?

No, AND DAMN YOU FOR EVEN MAKING THE SUGGESTION!!!  I binge watch television.  I arrange my writing day around my television watching.  I write long hand.  Part of the joy of writing longhand is that at some point I get to type in everything I’ve written … which means I get to watch television to type.

4. Would you rather receive useful criticism than praise?

Yes, since useful praise is off the table.  I’m just happy to be able to bask in a yes!

5. Do you plan vacations around writing opportunities (either research or networking potential)?

No.  Yes.  Sometimes.  Look, if we’ve already copped to being writers, chances are, we’re not independently wealthy.  So there are times when my family will tag along to conventions with me.  But that’s not the same as a vacation.  It’s more like salvaging some quality time when they can since I’m at work.  On the flip side, when we’re on vacation (did I mention being in Jamaica?), we’re vacationing.  That being said, next year I’m trying to arrange a visit with my sisters that coincides with Scares that Cares.  And while on vacation in Jamaica, my obeah-practicing family gave me enough material for a novel.

6. Would you rather be chatting about the business of writing with another writer than exchanging small talk with a good friend?

No, but these are two separate activities.  I don’t value one over the other.

7. Have you ever taken a day job that paid less money because it would give you more time/energy/material to write?

No.  One time I took an ADDITIONAL job for those reasons.  My career path has been science, writing, teaching, and ministry work.  I don’t think you CAN go to much less paying jobs.

8. Are you willing to give up the nice home you know you could have if you devoted that time you spend writing to a more lucrative career?

I’m not sure this question makes any sense.  I guess I’ll miss that mansion I could have gotten had I been a professional football player?

9. Have you done all these things for at least five years?

No?  Then again, I like being around people and cleaning up after myself.

10. Are you willing to live knowing that you will likely never meet your ambitions, but you hold to those ambitions nonetheless?

No.  I make goals and hold onto them until I meet them.  But if she’s asking if I’m willing to chase my dreams, then yes.

Any guild of writers aims to fight for professional rates, to foster and maintain standards of professionalism.   By most accounts, that’s their raison d’etre.  For a while I had to support my family solely through writing which was my dad’s definition of what it meant to be a professional anything.  We can argue about what it means to be a professional writer, though a lot of the time my working definition of “professional” boils down to “do you receive pay for your writing?” I’ve had to deal far too often with folks who have tried to define me or tell me where I rank on some imaginary industry ladder.

Whatever.

I take my writing seriously and try to comport myself in a manner that respect others.  That, for me, is professional behavior (along with things like making your deadlines and other benchmarks we could argue about).  But I’ve never been the “I must sacrifice everything for my art” sorts.

We all make choices in our careers and sacrifices for our process.  I’m making a choice right now:  in my few available writing minutes, I’m writing this blog not working on this short story and/or novel.  Nick Mamatas offers this alternative quiz.

 

Now Out!

I have a few projects now available:

Eulogies II - Tales from the CellarEulogies II:  Tales From the Cellar (edited by Christopher Jones, Nanci Kalanta, and Tony Tremblay – HW Press)

Tom Piccirilli – The Thing With Nothing To Give And Nothing To Lose
Gerard Houarner – Touch
Gary Braunbeck – What Once Was Bone
The Great James A. Moore – No Title Announced
Maurice Broaddus – Awaiting Redemption
Lucy Snyder – Spare The rod
Matthew Warner – Muralistic
Steve Vernon: Captain Nothing Story – Neck Bolt Lynch Pin
Keith Minnion – On The Hooks
Gary McMahon – Kitty
Eric Dimbleby – Chuck
Rose Blackthorn: The Lilac Hedge
Michael Boatman: Born Again
Thad Linson: Writers Block
Janet Joyce Holden: Song In Absentia
Wesley Southard: By The Throat
Nicole Cushing: The Cat In The Cage
T. T. Zuma: Chiyoung and Dongsun’s Song
Brent Jenkins: Meepy
Theresa C. Newbill: Three poems
Abra Staffin-Wiebe – The Miracle Material
David Schembri – The Black Father Of The Night
Magda Knight – Footnotes
Malcolm Laughton – Puttyskin
Jonathan Templar – The Second Carriage
Mary Madewell – A Mean Piece of Water
Eric Guignard – A Serving of Nomu Sashimi
Arthur Crow – Three Poems
Rebecca Brown – Jasmine and Opium
V. M. Zito – No Title Announced
John McIlveen – The Bore
Sean Logan – Dissolution

“Awaiting Redemption” explores how one man appropriates a religion, using it to spread his cruelty.  This story will be up on the Pseudopod site in a few weeks.

Beyond Sun Cover.inddBeyond the Sun (Edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt – Fairwood Press)

10 Introduction • Bryan Thomas Schmidt
13 Migration • Nancy Kress
30 The Hanging Judge • Kristine Kathryn Rusch
45 Flipping the Switch • Jamie Todd Rubin
61 The Bricks of Eta Cassiopeiae • Brad R. Torgersen
77 The Far Side of the Wilderness • Alex Shvartsman
85 Respite • Autumn Rachel Dryden
97 Parker’s Paradise • Jean Johnson
111 Rumspringa • Jason Sanford
132 Elsewhere, Within, Elsewhen • Cat Rambo
146 Inner Sphere Blues • Simon C. Larter
161 Dust Angels • Jennifer Brozek
169 Voice of the Martyrs • Maurice Broaddus
185 One Way Ticket • Jaleta Clegg
200 The Gambrels of the Sky • Erin Hoffman
206 Chasing Satellites • Anthony R. Cardno
219 A Soaring Pillar of Brightness • Nancy Fulda
236 The Dybbyk of Mazel Tov IV • Robert Silverberg
253 Observation Post • Mike Resnick

You can’t have an anthology about space colonies without examining the repercussions of colonialism.  With “Voice of the Martyrs,” imagine the church future takes its “army of the Lord” mandate to a military conclusion.  And its mission trips become armed incursions.

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Vampires Don’t Sparkle (Edited by Michael West – Seventh Star Press)

Vampires Don't Sparkle“A New Life” by J. F. Gonzalez
“What Once was Flesh” by Tim Waggoner
“The Darkton Circus Mystery” by Elizabeth Massie
“Robot Vampire” by R. J. Sullivan
“Beneath a Templar Cross” by Gord Rollo
“The Weapon of Memory” by Kyle S. Johnson
“The Excavation” by Stephen Zimmer
“Skraeling” by Joel A. Sutherland
“Dreams of Winter” by Bob Freeman
“Dracula’s Winkee: Bloodsucker Blues” by Gregory L. Hall
“I F*** Your Sunshine” by Lucy A. Snyder
“A Soldier’s Story” by Maurice Broaddus
“Rattenkönig” by Douglas F. Warrick
“Vampire Nation” by Jerry Gordon
“Curtain Call” by Gary A. Braunbeck

Sometimes no matter how bloodthirsty vampires can be, they have nothing on the cruelty man has for his fellow man.  At least that’s what’s at the heart of “A Soldier’s Story.”

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Leverage - CompanionThis long-awaited sourcebook for the LEVERAGE Roleplaying Game includes expanded rules for staging heists, planning capers, breaking in, busting heads, bypassing firewalls, and putting one over on the Mark. It’s the ultimate resource for both players and Fixers, including more cons, new twists, a host of cover identities, criminal masterminds, cutting edge technology, high-powered weapons, fighting styles, and expanded rules for overcoming security measures and handling tech-heavy jobs.

Designed by Cam Banks, Bill Bodden, Maurice Broaddus, David Hill, Jimmy McMichael, Aaron Pavao, Andrew Peregrine and Elizabeth Sampat.  Foreword by Mark “Jim Sterling” Sheppard. Based on TNT’s hit show, LEVERAGE.

Publisher’s Note: This is the combined volume of the previously released LEVERAGE: GRIFTERS AND MASTERMINDS and LEVERAGE: HITTERS, HACKERS AND THIEVES.