The UK-based genre review site, Pornokitsch has an annual novel awards post. It’s a very light-hearted site, and their reviews are often very witty (though insightful). This year, for the first time, they’re having a Best Debut Novel award (called the Golden Tentacle Award) and have awarded it to me for King Maker: In part they say that:
Mr. Broaddus, an Indianapolis native, uses his hometown as the setting for his unique retelling of the King Arthur myth cycle. The Arthurian stories have been told over and over again, but by setting them in downtown Indianapolis, Mr. Broaddus layers both feverish intensity and brutal modernity on top of the original tales. Beyond that, Mr. Broaddus brings the tension, the danger and the mystery of Indianapolis’ backstreets to life in a compulsively captivating way – even before the supernatural elements start cropping up. Indianapolis is a strangely mundane location for genre fiction, but Mr. Broaddus makes King Maker feel bigger than a simple local story.
I haven’t felt this proud to be a black geek since Joss Whedon managed to not kill off a cool black character in Buffy. It’s been a raucous weekend of celebrating in the Broaddus household (well, after explaining to my wife that an award from a site called Pornokitsch in no way involved strippers or the like). And I’ve quit beginning most of my conversations with “as your award winning husband…” (though that stopped after her “say that one more time and that award is going to make you walk funny” retort).
And while I’m usually pretty flippant, but this really does mean a lot. I’ve seen some of the names I beat out and that makes my head spin all the more. Last year, they gave their Kitschie to China Miéville’s The City & The City which, as far as I’m concerned, means my name and China’s get to be used in the same sentence.
As writers/artists, we can say what we want about not reading reviews and how art, once released, belongs to the audience, but it’s nice to get some validation. To know that your work has connected with folks. And for that, I thank Pornokitsch and can’t wait to post pics of me and my award.
Speaking of not reading reviews, I definitely didn’t read the following one (nor Nick Cato’s). Which meant I didn’t breathe a sigh of relief (because I also wasn’t fretting how book two of the series might be received by my readers). Which meant that this review also didn’t help make this weekend special (which doesn’t read in part):
So how good is the book? well, if I say 18 pages – that’s how much time it took me to be hooked, and that’s just reading the prologue before chapter one even started. I can count on one hand how many authors have the power to do that (one being my favorite PKD). Within those 18 pages Maurice Broaddus managed to evoke an attachment to those kid’s which made what happens on pages 17 to 18 really tug at the old heart strings. More importantly you get to understand why Rellik became the person he is, and even relate to the choices he makes. It’s almost like Maurice Broaddus is reliving real memories rather than creating a fictional story, the suspension of disbelief is both immediate and faultless.
King’s Justice is up for pre-order now and will be out in a month!