Apex Magazine #95 is out! Plus Revive the Drive!

apex 95 cover

It’s here, it’s here! Issue 95 of Apex Magazine, guest edited by moi, has been released.
Original fiction by Walter Mosley, Sheree Renée ThomasKendra Fortmeyer, and Chesya Burke.
Interview with Sheree Renee Thomas by Andrea Johnson. Interview with cover artist Angelique Shelley by Russell Dickerson. An essay about diversity and inclusion by Tanya DePass.
Poetry by Linda D Addison and Lawana Holland-Moore.
I hope you enjoy it!

Also, over on Apex Magazine’s Revive the Drive, I have a copy of The Voices of Martyrs and The Knights of Breton Court omnibus up for purchase. Autographed to you!

JUST ADDED: “Have some face time with Maurice Broaddus (Voices of MartyrsBuffalo SoldiersI Can Transform You), Apex eic Jason Sizemore, and managing editor Lesley Conner. This can be your opportunity to discuss your writing and editing, or whatever strikes your fancy. This reward also comes with a copy of Maurice Broaddus’s outstanding novella I Can Transform You.” Only one is available so act fast!

I’m on Fiyah! (updated with a review)

Fiyah Issue 2

If you ain’t up on Fiyah – Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction, you have no idea what you’re missing. Issue #2 is out with my story, “Vade Retro Satana.” UPDATED: A review of the issue in Quick Sips – Fiyah #2 Spilling Tea says this about my story:

This is a complex and powerful story that revolves around faith and colonization, assimilation and freedom. The piece is set on a far-off world where Christian colonizers, spearheading a vast Christian organization, has arrived on Nambra in order to “civilize” it. Macia, the main character, is a soldier in that organization, encased in a biosuit that separates her from the world of Nambra, and from the people she both protects and polices. And Macia is a person in conflict, her background very similar to what’s going on on Nambra, her parents converts who died violently, her own past since then dominated by her anger and funneling it into whatever mission the church gave her. I love the way the story tackles the complexity of colonization and religion, the way that these themes find mirrors on Earth, in our past and in our present. And I love the way the story affirms stories and the stories we tell as being foundational to who we are and where we go. That it is not a defeat to recognize that there are things in the past that cannot be reclaimed, and that moving forward is often fraught and difficult. Throw into the mix the heady violence of the story, of the setting, of the characters, and things move from bad to worse pretty quickly. At the heart of the story for me, though, is the way the story pictures faith and religion as most dangerous and damaging at their most rigid. But when more adaptable, when more catered to the needs of the people and not treated as some universal to be “equally” and brutally applied, religion can be a great tool to bring people together. Because it is a story and because stories can inform each other, can bridge distance and culture. Can make enemies into friends. But that the power of stories can also be used to harm, can be used as a weapon, can be used to corrupt and erase. It’s a difficult story at times because of the way it doesn’t look away from violence and conflict, and it also makes it a very hopeful story, in the end, which is beautifully done. An amazing read and a fantastic way to kick off the issue!

Check out the rest of the amazing TOC of issue #2:

CONTENTS:

VADE RETRO SATANA // Maurice Broaddus

Not even Macia’s thick armor can protect her from her own conscience. A story of redemption, self-determination, and discovering what faith truly means.

TALKING TO CANCER // Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali

Layla has the power to save or end a person’s life with a few words. In this story, we learn the true limits of power and responsibility.

THE HARD SHELL // Russell Nichols

The story of a hard boiled detective, a chick, and town steeped in lies. You think you know the truth behind the rhymes, but the truth is you don’t know Jack from Jill.

THE BEEKEEPER’S GARDEN // Christopher Caldwell

In this dreamy tale, a young woman is trapped in a strange house with a strange woman and no memory of her past. She must brave her captor’s garden and learn its secrets if she is to make her escape.

HOME IS WHERE MY MOTHER’S HEART IS BURIED // Wole Talabi

Arin wants to go home to Earth, and Tinu wants to let go of her Earthborn memories. In this story, we explore the true meaning of family and belonging.

WE LAUGH IN ITS FACE // Barbara L.W. Myers

What good is forever if you have no one to spend it with? In this story, we explore the true cost of life eternal.

GRAVEROBBING NEGRESS SEEKS EMPLOYMENT // Eden Royce

Wanted: one negress to find a certain lost cargo. Welcome to a Charleston of the past filled with a very necessary magic.

INDIE SPOTLIGHT : COAL // Constance Burris

 

5 Things That Inspired ‘The Voices of Martyrs’

THE VOICES OF MARTYRS-Cover1

This week we welcome author Maurice Broaddus to Geek Speaks…Fiction! Maurice has written many pieces of wonderful speculative fiction that have appeared in places such as Lightspeed MagazineWeird Tales, Asimov’s, and more. Most recently, several of his stories have been collected in The Voices of Martyrs, available now from Rosarium Publishing (Rosarium is a fabulous small press headed by Bill Cambell. I highly suggest you check out all their books!). In this article, Maurice talks about five things that inspired this new anthology!

My first love is writing short stories, so, naturally, I love short story collections. Such collections brought me into the genre (Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen King, Clive Barker) and showed me what all could be done with the genre (Walter Mosley, Kelly Link, Tananarive Due, Ted Chiang, Jeffrey Ford, Octavia Butler). Collections can be a kind of sampler platter to illustrate what all an author does. With over 50 short stories published from which to draw, what I wanted to do with The Voices of Martyrs was look at the African American experience through the lens of history. That’s the overarching idea behind the collection, though I do have five things in particular that helped inspire some of the stories.

[Continue reading over on the Geek Dad site]

Writing the Other Workshop (Signal Boost!)

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Writers often wonder and worry about if it is possible to write characters whose gender, sexual orientation, religion, racial heritage, or other aspect of identity differs from their own. Many authors are afraid to try even though it is possible to do so sensitively and convincingly. In this five-week course, authors Nisi Shawl and K. Tempest Bradford delve into this tricky skill through a combination of readings, videos, discussions, and writing exercises in a safe, supportive atmosphere. The class is appropriate for all writers (fiction, plays, comics, screenplays) from all backgrounds and any skill level.

This class will cover Language & Description, Characterization & Identity, Dialogue & Dialect, Worldbuilding Without Appropriation, Researching the Other, and MUCH more. In addition to instruction from Shawl and Bradford, students will have access to the video and resources from three Writing the Other Master Classes on writing Native American characters, Trans & Non-Binary narratives, and Deaf and Blind characters, plus exclusive access to a guest lecture on worldbuilding without appropriation by Max Gladstone.

The course does not have set meeting times. You can access class material and discussion and participate in class at any time, day or night, from anywhere in the world as long as you have an Internet connection. All class discussion will take place in an accessible private online forum and all class work done on Google Drive.

There are 20 spots available for open enrollment. The course costs $500, but we have several options for writers who wish to take the class but need financial flexibility, such as Payment Plans, Pay What You Can Afford, and full Scholarships. The scholarship deadline is April 2nd, so please click the link below to find out how to apply right away if you’re interested.

Writing Inclusive Fiction April 6 – May 14 (students may enroll in class up to April 9)

Apex Magazine #95 – Guest Edited by Maurice Broaddus (Sneak Peek)

 

apex 95 cover

Stories by Walter Mosley, Sheree Renée Thomas, Chesya Burke, and Kendra Fortmeyer.

Poems by Linda D Addison and Lawana Holland-Moore.

Essay by Tanya DePass. Interview by Andrea Johnson.

Cover art by Angelique Shelley.

Claim the Throne Photo

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I haven’t made a big deal out of this, but I wanted to at least share this pic. For context, I’m slated to receive a community award at the Claim the Throne event. “Claim the Throne is aimed at recognizing and celebrating the lives and achievements of men who have and are playing pivotal roles in the building and uplifting of the people and communities that we live in…With this knowledge, we will celebrate the hard work and dedication that our men have shown towards family, community, arts, education and more.

(For more information, go to their EventBrite page)

With that in mind, I was invited to be a part of their photo shoot. Here is the result (Chandra Lynch of ANKH Photography):

Claim the Throne

You can find my actual author pics on my Press Kit page, but I may have to add this one … just cause.

Dive into Worldbuilding – Maurice Broaddus and The Voices of Martyrs

Maurice Broaddus and The Voices of Martyrs

It was a real pleasure to have Maurice back on the show! This time we were discussing his new short story collection, which was released a couple of months ago (now) through Rosarium, and features short stories he wrote between 2006 and 2014. He said he hadn’t considered putting a collection together until someone suggested it a few years ago. Maurice told me he doesn’t think about writing in genre, just writes the piece first and figures it out later. Because some of the early stories in the collection deal unflinchingly with slavery, they were sold as horror pieces. When he was asked to put together a collection, he tried to figure out if there was a theme he could draw on because he’s written so much in so many different genres, but he arrived at “considering the African-American diaspora through the lens of history, past, present, and future.”

Q & A with Maurice Broaddus

buffalo-soldier-finalWhile Tor.com has a very full and impressive lineup of novellas coming out in the near future the one that stood out the most to me was Buffalo Soldier by Maurice Broaddus.  A secret agent escorting a mysterious young boy through a North America completely different from our own?  What is not to want?  After reading the tale, and enjoying it very much, I asked if the author would be willing to answer a few questions.  Thankfully he agreed!  But first, some information on the upcoming tale!

Having stumbled onto a plot within his homeland of Jamaica, former espionage agent, Desmond Coke, finds himself caught between warring religious and political factions, all vying 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 they flee. But a dogged enemy agent remains ever on their heels, desperate to obtain the secrets held within Lij for her employer alone.

Assassins, intrigue, and steammen stand between Desmond and Lij as they search for a place to call home in a North America that could have been.

Publication Date: April 25 – Available for pre-order NOW

First of all, thank you so much for agreeing to a Q & A.  I loved Buffalo Soldier and have a major fascination with GOOD alternative history and just had to ask a few questions.

[Continued over on BookNest]

The One Book That Taught Me How to Explore Faith in My Writing

Desperation-UK-crop

 

Issues of faith matter a lot to me and I’m always fascinated by how they are explored in fiction. It’s something that’s been a theme in some of my writing, but when I was starting out, it was something I shied away from. It took Stephen King’s Desperation to show me the light.

[continued on the Tor.com site]

 

 

 

 

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN SPECULATIVE FICTION – A READING PRIMER

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

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN SPECULATIVE FICTION – A READING PRIMER

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

Charles W. Chesnutt
The Conjure Woman (1899)

Frances Harper
Iola Leroy (1892)

Sutton Griggs
Imperium in Imperio (1899)

Pauline Hopkins
Of One Blood (1902)

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

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

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

George Schuyler
Black No More (1931)

Henry Dumas
Echo Tree

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

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

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

Ishmael Reed
Mumbo Jumbo (1972)

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

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

Charles Saunders
Imaro (1981)

Gloria Naylor
Mama Day (1988)

Charles R. Johnson
Middle Passage (1990)

Jewelle Gomez
The Gilda Stories (1991)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wrath James White
The Resurrectionist (2009)

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

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

Helen Oyeyemia
White is for Witching (2010)

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

Chesya Burke
Let’s Play White (2011)

Mat Johnson
Pym (2011)

Milton Davis
Changa’s Safari (2011)

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

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

Sofia Samatar
A Stranger in Olondria (2013)

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

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

Jenn Brissett
Elysium (2014)

Tade Thompson
Making Wolf (2015)

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

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

Marlon James
The Dark Star trilogy (2017)

 

 

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

 

Check out:

A Crash Course in the History of Black Science Fiction

Science Fiction by African Writers