Archive for May, 2017

Buffalo Soldier Reviews (ETA: New York Times Review!)

SO HERE’S SOME MORE!

Broaddus shows little interest in predictable adventure narratives. Instead he packs this slim novella with alternate American history, fantastic technology and father-son bonding, for a far more surprising and satisfying result.

[Continue to read in THE NEW YORK-FREAKING- TIMES!]

 

“Black Steampunk. Yeah!!! I was so bummed I didn’t get a chance to review Nisi Shawl’s Congelese steampunk novel Everfair, so when I learned that Maurice Broaddus had also written a steampunk novella, I snatched it up. And oh, did it not disappoint. It’s not just steampunk, it’s western steampunk!”

[Continue to read LaShawn Wanak’s review over at Lightspeed Magazine]

 

Buffalo Soldier is a story about stories. The stories we tell ourselves, the stories we tell others, stories that hold our history and culture, stories that help us find our place in the world. Just as Desmond uses Maroon mythology to keep Lij grounded in his past, so too does Broaddus in using the science fiction genre as a tool for exploring the philosophies and social mores of the real world. It’s not just a steampunk novella with a majority Black and brown cast. Through the genre lens, Broaddus comments on the real world. Racism, white privilege, the uniquely white American form of conquest and domination (i.e.: Manifest Destiny), and intersectional feminism all get play. Power – who has it, who doesn’t, those who use it to exploit and abuse others, and those who fight back against it – is the name of the game.”

[Read the full analysis over on Tor.com]

 

But it is clear Broaddus’ world-building for Buffalo Soldier is complete and massively detailed. The reader gets just enough historical detail to glean that the American Revolution failed while Jamaican independence was successful, and that what we know as the United States is divided into three main regions: Albion, ruled over by Regents of the British government; Tejas (Texas and environs); and the Six Civilized Nations (various native tribes, occupying fortified holdings in the west after being forced out of the east).  The novella is set in what feels like the present day, or close to it…But it’s the characters that draw the readers into this world and keep us there; Desmond Coke, Lij Tafari, and the mysterious Cayt Siringo. Coke’s world-weariness is palpable in the early pages and deepens as the story progresses: he knows he’s doing the right thing for Lij, even though it has meant leaving behind everything he knows, and yet he still questions whether he’s doing the right thing.

[Continue to read Anthony Cardno’s review]

 

 

WisCon 41 (May 26-29th): Where I’ll be

WisCon 41

Saturday, May 27th, 1:00–2:15 pm
From Airships to Elder Gods
Tor.com authors and friends deconstruct steampunk, Lovecraftian monsters, and other richly deserving genre tropes. Ruthanna Emrys will read from her new novel Winter Tide. Maurice Broaddus will read from the recently released Buffalo Soldier. Anne M. Pillsworth will read from Redemption’s Heir, her Neo-Lovecraftian YA series. Samantha Lynn, a Long Hidden contributor, will read from her suburban Chicago dystopia-in-progress.
Maurice Broaddus, Ruthanna Emrys, S Lynn, Anne M. Pillsworth

Saturday, May 27th, 7:30-8:45 pm
Gaming (The Craft and Business of Writing)
People from a wide variety of career paths collaborate to make video games, including producers, programmers, directors, artists, and writers. However, the mythic ‘Ideas Guy’—the lone visionary genius at the center of a project—simply doesn’t exist. In this panel, video game developers will discuss their jobs and other jobs in the industry—and offer an inside look at how games are made.
M: Ann Lemay. Maurice Broaddus, Tanya D., Ceri Young

Saturday, May 27th, 9:00-10:15 pm
Power, Privilege, and Oppression (Gaming)
A recent Beyond Good & Evil 2 trailer featuring a picture of a rhinoceros with prominent dreadlocs. Black hairstyles offered as accessories for nonhuman characters. Nonhuman characters standing in for POC in otherwise white games. Let’s talk about the various ways that video games treat POC as other, and why the games industry needs to cut it out.
M: Tanya D., Kenzie Woodbridge. Maurice Broaddus, Na’amen Gobert Tilahun

 

Help Me get to Romania

This summer I have an opportunity to be part of a team from my church (Fountain Square Presbyterian) that will be going to Cluj, Romania. It’s a chance to see other expressions of the church in a different cultural context. It’s about fostering relationships and joining in the work already going on.

 

In a lot of ways, its an extension of the work that I’ve been doing, going back to my days with Outreach Inc, Cities of Refuge Inc, up to now with The Learning Tree: using art to impact community and working with marginalized youth. The group in Cluj are connected to an art studio and do work with local artists, so I look forward to possible collaborations. I plan on sharing how I use art to do community organizing. They also have an arts ministry that works with Roma children, which is close to my heart.

 

I am proud to be joined in this endeavor by my youngest son, Malcolm. He has such a big and tender heart. This will be a great experience for him. (This pic is from a couple years ago, but I love it. He’s much bigger now and his hair much longer.)

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You can support me in a couple of ways:

1. I have launched a campaign to raise the support necessary to go. I will need about $5,000 to cover the cost of the trip for me and Malcolm. If you’d like to give toward it (tax deductible), the Harrision Center for the Arts is acting as my fiscal agent. You can donate online through their website or call in (317-396-3886) with a credit card. You can even drop a check in the mail (1505 North Delaware, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202). Just make sure you include a note that your donation is for this project.

 

2. You could pray for us. I’m not going to lie: I’m a horrible traveler (especially by plane). But you could also pray that people’s hearts would be receptive (mine included for what I may learn and be challenged by).

 

I thank you in advance for your support and look forward to reporting back.

Builder of Worlds – Talking With Authors – Episode 14

Today on, “Talking With Authors”, we speak to the innovative author Maurice Broaddus about his new book “Buffalo Soldier”, his short story collection “The Voices of Martyrs” and his love for world building. We learn the origins of the world he built for “Buffalo Soldier”. A world where half of North America remains under colonial control, Jamaica has fought off colonization and is now a leading technological power and the western portion of the North  American continent is under Native American control with a technology founded in nature.

[From Talking with Authors]

Which you can listen to here.

Wrestling with Writer’s Block

Maurice Broaddus is a rare treasure — the writer who is both nice as cookies in person and who is an authorial bad-ass on the page. His newest is Buffalo Soldier, and here he pops by to talk about the dreaded hell-beast known as writer’s block.

* * *

Like many writers, I’ve had to wrestle with the idea of writer’s block. Honestly, every time I sit down in front of a blank page, I have a flutter of anxiety, as if I may have forgotten how to string words together to form a sentence. At this point, I usually recall a comment my wife made early in my career:”we can’t pay bills with your writer’s angst.” Bills don’t wait on inspiration or the comings and goings of “my Muse.” To me, most times “writer’s block” is a romantic way to describe a story not being done yet, that the creative mind still had work to do on a project. Still, I’d say that I’ve had three occasions when I’ve experienced something close to true “writer’s block:”

[Continue reading on Chuck Wendig’s site]

No*Con Redux

“No*Con started (this year) because we took a 1 year break from Mo*Con which is a writing/artist convention Maurice put on here in town for 10 years. After we announced the end of Mo*Con, people complained that there were no more Mo*Con (which is short for Maurice Convention) and so we created No*Con (which is short for no convention, so no convention, which means no planning and hard work for us this year, it’s just hang out time at our house) which hangout at our house always happened at Mo*Con but it was always after the convention part was over and everyone would come to the after party at our house each night. So I guess this No*Con is just the after party part, oh and the great food part of Mo*Con. ” –Sally Broaddus


I love it when people are befuddled by Mo*Con. They want to know the same sort of things:
-“what’s the agenda?” (dinner, drinking, and dialogue)
-“what do we do?” (eat, drink, and talk)
-“do we bring books?” (sure, if you want)
-“will there be panels?” (there will be constant conversations, rooms full with some of the most intelligent creatives I know)

It’s a gathering of people who care about similar things–writing, reading, stories–who share meals together and talk. It’s strictly about building relationships. If you have an agenda to sell or make deals or basically anything other than building relationship, you will be frustrated.

Luckily, no one was frustrated this year.

This week we welcome back author Maurice Broaddus to tell us what inspired him to write his new steampunk novella from Tor.com, Buffalo Soldier! Not only does this book have a fantastic cover, but it has some very interesting origins. Read on!

In the alt-history novella, Buffalo Soldier, former espionage agent, Desmond Coke, stumbles onto a plot within his homeland of Jamaica and gets caught between warring religious and political factions. All parties vied for control of a mysterious boy named Lij Tafari. Wanting the boy to have a chance to live a free life, Desmond assumes responsibility for him and flees to the United States of Albion. Hijinks ensue…in the form of assassins and giant steam-powered robots. Here are five things that helped inspire the story:

[continue reading on Geek Speaks!]