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!”
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