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]