Afrofuture Fridays – Pimp My Airship by Maurice Broaddus

Join us for a special discussion with the Kheprw Institute’s resident Afrofuturist, Maurice Broaddus, led by Dr. Leah Milne about his novel, Pimp My Airship.

The book reimagines a retrofuture Indianapolis in a world where America lost the Revolutionary War, remains a colony of England, and has various oppressive systems in place. But art (and artists) lead the way for changing the system:

All the poet called Sleepy wants to do is spit his verses, smoke chiba, and stay off the COP’s radar—all of which becomes impossible once he encounters a professional protestor known as (120 Degrees of) Knowledge Allah. They soon find themselves on the wrong side of local authorities and have to elude the powers that be.

When young heiress Sophine Jefferson’s father is murdered, the careful life she’d been constructing for herself tumbles around her. She’s quickly drawn into a web of intrigue, politics and airships, joining with Sleepy and Knowledge Allah in a fight for their freedom. Chased from one end of a retro-fitted Indianapolis to the other, they encounter outlaws, the occasional circus, possibly a medium, and more outlaws. They find themselves in a battle much larger than they imagined: a battle for control of the country and the soul of their people.

Read the first chapter here.

Here’s what’s been said about it:

“Imagine the anarchic spirit of Sorry to Bother You given a turn away from body horror and toward steampunk.” — B&N Sci-fi & Fantasy Blog

“Broaddus has managed to create what could be considered a steampunk classic in the years to come. The contemporary relevance, prose, and characterization make this a book that cannot be missed.” — Pyles of Books

Maurice Broaddus’ essay “Steampunk as Afrofuturism”

Profile on Maurice Broaddus on “Meet the Man Behind Afrofuturist Steampunk”

Afrofuture Fridays brought to you by a partnership with folks we’d like to thank:


To quote the opening of this month’s “Goals” blog post: In the last month, the Broaddus family: decided they wanted to move (it was an open revolt), we found a house, moved into the house, and had a housewarming party; I got horrifically sick (with some alien strain of the flu virus), had jury duty, all while trying to hit a deadline for a novel due at the end of the month (spoilers: I missed that deadline). Life happens.”

And this doesn’t include the usual minefield of holiday festivities and family.

Ozy has written a profile on me (I can’t post the cover art often enough): MEET THE MAN BEHIND AFROFUTURIST STEAMPUNK

BTW, the 2020 Mo*Con: Origins lineup has been announced.

Anyway, for this month’s round-up on Patreon we have:

AWESOME PICS – Ferb determined to be cute/get my attention

AWESOME BLOG POST – “It’s a new year! Time to set goals!!!”

AWESOME PIMPING – Sneak Preview of Sweep of Stars in draft

COMMUNITY REPORT – More on what I’ve been out and about doing in the community (with pictures), covering my involvement with Indiana Homecoming, Spirit & Place, Meet the Author/Be an Author, Afrofuture Friday, and Cafe Creative. Pretty much, this is the reason you all support my Patreon and I really appreciate it. Thank you!

I launched a Patreon because some friends wanted a way to help support the work that I do in the community. If you would like to support it (and receive updates on the work that’s being done) please feel free to join. Thank you so much!
Become a Patron!


Mo*Con: Origins (POSTPONED)

Okay, I should have posted this sooner (since people are already preregistering even though the website hasn’t been updated yet but will soon), but this year’s Mo*Con lineup has been set. You should probably know in advance, this year I turn fifty. By strange coincidence, Mo*Con begins the day after that event. I’m *positive* no shenanigans will ensue. Here’s the brief run down:

Mo*Con: Origins
Day: May 1-3, 2020
Location: Café Creative (546 E. 17th Street, Indianapolis, IN)

Guests of Honor: Nisi Shawl
-Chesya Burke
-Linda Addison
-Wrath James White
-Brian Keene

Editor Guest: Scott Andrews (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)

Publisher Guest of Honor: Jason Sizemore

Special Guests:
-K. Tempest Bradford
-Jeff Strand
-Lynne Hanson

-Deonna Craig
-Rae Parker

BTW, the kickoff event (on my birthday): Mini Open Bite Night: Reads

More info (eventually though the preregistering link still works)


Nisi Shawl

Nisi Shawl, winner of the 2019 Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award, wrote the 2016 Nebula Award finalist Everfair (Tor) and the 2008 Tiptree Award-winning collection Filter House (Aqueduct). Their stories also comprise the contents of PM Press’s 2019 Talk like a Man and Dark Moon’s 2018 Primer to Nisi Shawl, and they have edited and co-edited numerous anthologies such as New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color. In 2005 they co-wrote Writing the Other: A Practical Approach. Shawl helped found the Carl Brandon Society, and serves on the board of the Clarion West Writers Workshop. They live in Seattle and take frequent walks with their cat.

Chesya Burke

Chesya Burke is a doctoral candidate in the Department of English at the University of Florida. Having written and published over a hundred fiction pieces and articles within the genres of science fiction, fantasy, comics and horror, her academic research focuses primarily on the intersections of race, gender and genre. In addition, she wrote several articles for the African American National Biography published by Harvard and Oxford University Press and she is currently working on her standalone comic. Burke’s story collection, Let’s Play White, is being taught in universities around the world. Chesya’s novel, The Strange Crimes of Little Africa has garnered critical acclaim by writers such as Tananarive Due and Kiese Laymon.

Linda D. Addison

Linda D. Addison, award-winning author of four collections, including How To Recognize A Demon Has Become Your Friend, the first African-American recipient of the HWA Bram Stoker Award®, received the 2016 HWA Mentor of the Year Award and the 2018 HWA Lifetime Achievement Award. Check out her latest poetry in: The Place of Broken Things, written with Alessandro Manzetti (Crystal Lake Publishing, 2019). She’s excited about the 2020 release of a film (inspired by my poem of same name) “Mourning Meal”, by producer and director Jamal Hodge. She has published over 350 poems, stories and articles and is a member of CITH, HWA, SFWA and SFPA.

Wrath James White

WRATH JAMES WHITE is a former World Class Heavyweight Kickboxer, a professional Kickboxing and Mixed Martial Arts trainer, distance runner, performance artist, and former street brawler, who is now known for creating some of the most disturbing works of fiction in print. He’s the author of such extreme horror classics as THE RESURRECTIONIST (now a major motion picture titled “Come Back To Me”) SUCCULENT PREY, and it’s sequel PREY DRIVE, YACCUB’S CURSE, 400 DAYS OF OPPRESSION, SACRIFICE, VORACIOUS, TO THE DEATH, THE REAPER, SKINZZ, EVERYONE DIES FAMOUS IN A SMALL TOWN, THE BOOK OF A THOUSAND SINS, HIS PAIN, POPULATION ZERO and many others. He is the co-author of TERATOLOGIST co-written with the king of extreme horror, Edward Lee, SOMETHING TERRIBLE co-written with his son Sultan Z. White, ORGY OF SOULS co-written with Maurice Broaddus, HERO and THE KILLINGS both co-written with J.F. Gonzalez, POISONING EROS co-written with Monica J. O’Rourke, MASTER OF PAIN co-written with Kristopher Rufty, and BOY’S NIGHT co-written with Matt Shaw among others.

Brian Keene

BRIAN KEENE writes novels, comic books, stories, journalism, and other words for money. He is the author of over fifty books, mostly in the horror, crime, and fantasy genres. His 2003 novel, The Rising, is credited (along with Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead comic and Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later film) with inspiring pop culture’s recurrent interest in zombies. He oversees Maelstrom, a small press publishing imprint specializing in collectible limited editions, via Thunderstorm Books. He has written for such Marvel and DC properties as Thor, Doom Patrol, Justice League, Harley Quinn, Devil-Slayer, Superman, and Masters of the Universe, as well as his own critically acclaimed creator-owned comic series The Last Zombie. Keene has also written for media properties such as Doctor Who, The X-Files, Hellboy, and Aliens. Keene also hosts the popular podcasts The Horror Show with Brian Keene and Defenders Dialogue, both of which air weekly on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, YouTube, and elsewhere.

Scott H. Andrews

Scott H. Andrews <> lives in Virginia with his wife, two cats, thirteen guitars, a dozen overflowing bookcases, and hundreds of beer bottles from all over the world. Scott is a graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop; his literary short fiction has won a $1000 prize from the /Briar Cliff Review/, and his genre short fiction has appeared in /Space & Time/, /Crossed Genres/, and Ann VanderMeer’s /Weird Tales/.Besides teaching college chemistry, he is Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of the seven-time Hugo Award finalist online fantasy magazine /Beneath Ceaseless Skies/ <>.

Jason Sizemore

Raised in the Appalachian hills of southeast Kentucky, Jason Sizemore is a three-time Hugo Award-nominated editor, writer, and publisher who operates the genre press Apex Publications. He is the author of a collection of dark science fiction and horror shorts titled Irredeemable and the tell-all creative nonfiction For Exposure: The Life and Times of a Small Press Publisher. He currently lives in Lexington, KY. For more information visit or you can find him on Twitter @apexjason.

K. Tempest Bradford

K. Tempest Bradford is a science fiction and fantasy writer, writing instructor, media critic, reviewer, and podcaster. Her short fiction has appeared in multiple anthologies and magazines including Strange Horizons, PodCastle, Sunspot Jungle, In the Shadow of the Towers, and many more. She’s the host of ORIGINality, a podcast about the roots of creative genius, and contributes to several more. Her media criticism and reviews can be found on NPR, io9, and in books about Time Lords. When not writing, she teaches classes on writing inclusive fiction through LitReactor and Writing the Visit her website at

Jeff Strand

Jeff Strand is the four-time Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of over forty books, including PRESSURE, DWELLER, MY PRETTIES, and WOLF HUNT. Cemetery Dance said “No author working today comes close to Jeff Strand’s perfect mixture of comedy and terror,” but though most of his work falls into the “horror/comedy” category, he’s also written not-so-funny horror, comedy novels for kids, a romantic comedy, a smut comedy, and various other departures from the sub-genre for which he’s best known. He emceed the Bram Stoker Awards ceremony a record ten times (previous record: two times) and several of his books have been optioned for film. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia. He’s on social media that old people use (Facebook and Twitter) but not the new-fangled ones. You can visit his Gleefully Macabre website at

Lynne Hansen

Lynne Hansen is a horror artist who specializes in book covers. She has 19 years of book marketing and promotion experience, including serving for six years as senior editor for a small press publishing company. Lynne’s clients include Cemetery Dance Publications, Thunderstorm Books, and Bloodshot Books, as well as folks like New York Times bestselling authors Christopher Golden, Rick Hautala, and Thomas E. Sniegoski. For samples of her work for them and other fantastic authors like Jeff Strand, James A. Moore, Owl Goingback, Amber Benson, Peter Atkins, Lisa Morton, and many more, browse her portfolio at

Deonna Craig

Deonna Craig is an Indianapolis based visual artist and the owner of DC’s heARTbeat. She graduated from Cathedral High School and DePauw University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Sociology. As an entrepreneur, Deonna is able to pursue her passions of community building, teaching, public speaking, and of course visual art. She has received great recognition for her work in the cultural community. She also serves as a mentor, a dance instructor, and is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated. DC’s heARTbeat provides original artwork, live painting experiences, painting classes, and art therapy. Her unique work has been featured in various galleries and trade shows over the past 10 years. To learn more about Deonna Craig be sure to connect with her: IG: deonna_heartbeat, Facebook: Deonna Craig, Website:

Rae Parker

Rae Parker is a traditional artist with a background as a graphic designer, art instructor, tattoo and digital artist from Newark, New Jersey. Rae also graduated from the Illinois Institute of Art, Chicago receiving their Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communications. Rae’s work has been shown at The Indiana Landmarks, The Murphy Arts Building, a iMOCA chapter, The Madame Walker Theater, Clowe’s Memorial Hall, IMA (now known as Newfields), The Indianapolis Central Library, The Arts Garden and Garfield Park Art Center. Art exhibits such as Flava Fresh and Meet the Artists has been the hosts of such exposure for Rae’s career. Their work has been published in the Indy Star, Indianapolis Recorder and Nuvo newspaper. Currently, Rae can be seen, creating live in a new stage production, titled “Village Voices : Notes from the Griot.” Rae has worked with non profit organizations: Classical Music Indy, Indiana Math and Science Academies, Arts for Lawrence as well as Theater at the Fort. Rae Parker Art & Design Instagram: @raeparkerart

Afrofuture Friday – An Evening with Clint Breeze and the Groove

Clint Breeze and the Groove joined us for a special panel discussion at Broadway United Methodist Church around their latest release, Arrival. With their themes of community, gentrification, and building a better future, they even blessed us with a sample.

Clint Breeze is the artistic persona of Indianapolis-based drummer and Hip Hop producer, Carrington Clinton. The Groove is a The-Roots style hip hop band with an all-star lineup of Indy-based musicians featuring Nick Tucker (bass), Joel Tucker (Guitar), Jared Thompson (Saxophone), Christopher Pitts (keys), Zachary Finnegan (trumpet), frontman Pernell from Pike (emcee, vocalist) and led by drummer and beatmaker Clint Breeze.


Clint Breeze and The Groove has shared the stage with Trombone Shorty, Durand Jones and The Indications and The Commonheart. Headlined several festivals in Indianapolis including Chreece and Indy Jazz Fest. Clint Breeze and The Groove released their debut studio album, ARRIVAL, in April 2019

Arrival Teaser Video (Facebook)

Album Purchase Link (Bandcamp)

Album Streaming Link (Spotify)

Nappy Head (2016, Bandcamp)


Brought to you by grants from Indiana Humanities and CICF

Man About Town – A Week in the Life

Besides my reading at the University of Indianapolis for their Kellogg’s Writer Series, I finished off last week having a chance to speak to the leadership of the Center for Leadership Development, a program I completed back in 1985. It’s not often that they get to hear from alumni to see the impact of their work, so it was my pleasure to talk to them about the power of presence and mentoring in young people’s lives.

Saturday was the Indianapolis Public Library’s “Meet an Author, Be an Author” event, put on in conjunction with the Indiana Writer’s Center. I had the opportunity to be on a couple of panels: one on the life of a writer and the other on children’s book publishing.

Then I wrapped up the weekend participating in a Spirit & Place event, “The Evolution of SF Fandom.” That was a lively discussion. Thanks to everyone who participated in and came out to Spirit & Place event! @StarbaseIndy @cfiindy @authorMBarron @MauriceBroaddus @LisaMeece108 @DrLeahLeach @randapandamoniu @spiritandplace

And now I officially take it easy for the rest of the year, attempting to finish up this novel due next month.


All’s Been Quiet

First off, once again I just want to say “Thank you!” to all of my Patreon backers. Your support helps the work that I do in the community, both the Indianapolis community as well as my writing community. Writers are paid on an erratic schedule and cash-flow issues are common; community organizers even moreso. Your financial support has allowed me to leverage opportunities for other creatives as well as buy me some breathing room for more time writing.

Secondly, thank you for understanding my recent slow output. I haven’t been putting stuff out on Patreon as I am still recovering from the death of my father. (For those interested in some of my comments about my father, here’s a link to the eulogy I gave at his funeral). All’s been pretty quiet as I pour myself into my writing.

Well, the lie I’ve been telling myself is that I am not running around doing a lot of community work during this season of life. Then again, I may have a different definition of “not doing much” because this profile piece in our local paper, Nuvo, came out, and even I was like “bro, you may want to take it easier.”

I will say that the Nuvo piece does highlight a lot of the work that I do in the community, which is the main thing your generous support of my Patreon allows me to do. Next up: launching Café Creative (an artist-controlled venue space) and I’m in the planning stages of next year’s Mo*Con (details coming soon).

As for this month’s round-up on Patreon we have:

AWESOME PICS – Ferb doing laundry

[Bonus Pic] Me and my nephew – quality uncle time

AWESOME BLOG POST – The Container of My Grief

AWESOME PIMPING – Wrath chapter 14 and Serpent chapter 11

[Bonus Pimping]: A sample of Bound By Sorrow

COMMUNITY REPORT – More on what I’ve been out and about doing in the community (in pictures)

I launched a Patreon because some friends wanted a way to help support the work that I do in the community. If you would like to support it (and receive updates on the work that’s being done) please feel free to join. Thank you so much!
Become a Patron!


Maurice Broaddus: Afrofuturist Author, Conversation Guy, and Mentor

A profile piece just came out from my local arts paper, Nuvo. It’s always been a dream to make the cover of it one day. So I can scratch this item off my list.

On a Saturday in late September, I sat for an hour with fantasy and horror writer Maurice Broaddus at Provider, a coffee house off East 16th Street. We sat outside with a view of the Monon Lofts apartments that popped up in early 2018, not long after Provider served its first latte.

Broaddus, who lives near Eagle Creek Reservoir on the northwest side of Indianapolis with his wife and two sons, is a busy guy. This past spring he scored a $175,000 three-book deal with TOR Books for a forthcoming fantasy series titled All the Stars. Tor Books, a subsidiary of Macmillan, is the largest publisher of science fiction and fantasy in the United States.

Broaddus, 49, also was coping with the death of his father the previous week, but this wasn’t slowing him down.

“One of the ways I tend to cope with grief,” he said, “is to go into high production mode.”

To contain that grief, he wrote a short story, figuring that the word count would be around 5,000.

“But it turned out to be 20,000 words by the time I was done,” he said. The story, “Bound by Sorrow,” will soon appear in the online sci-fi/fantasy magazine Beneath Ceaseless Skies.

He hopes to turn in the first installment of the All the Stars trilogy — Sweep of Stars — to his publisher by his December deadline.

Often his writing has a local angle…

[continue reading Maurice Broaddus: Afrofuturist Author, Conversation Guy, and Mentor]

A Day in the Life of the Broaddus Family

Oldest: Hey, can you send me some money? I have some college expenses I didn’t expect.

Us: *sends money*

Oldest: Thanks. *sends pic*

(3rd banana from the right)

Kellogg’s Writer Series Appearance (ETA pictures)

As a part of the Kellogg’s Writer Series

“Y’all been waiting for it! The one and only Maurice Broaddus will be reading from his steampunk novel Pimp My Airship at the beautiful University of Indianapolis on Wednesday, October 30th, 7:30-8:30pm, in Schwitzer Student Center’s UIndy Hall A. The event is free and open to the public. The University of Indianapolis is the last stop on the Red Line, so bus it on down here. Let’s shower Maurice with love!

**Wear a Halloween costume to the event and you will be automatically be entered in a contest to win a copy of the book.**”

ETA: Let me just say first off that the students were awesome, the faculty so welcoming, and the audience for my reading was amazing. I cannot say enough about the great time I had, the level of hospitality demonstrated, and the support I felt (especially from the friends and family that came out!) That was one first class event. Thanks so much for having me!

School Library Journal – Review of the Day: The Usual Suspects by Maurice Broaddus

Betsy Bird tweeted about her review saying “Just read a book by @MauriceBroaddus that doesn’t just tell the truth about kids & the system that fails them. This smart, witty, funny tale is basically a metaphor for America today. Hyperbole? Read it for yourself, bucko. This is my new favorite thing.” So then I clicked over to it where the review concludes that The Usual Suspects…

…  feels like the author is handing truths to the kids reading it, completely bypassing the adults of the world. It feels sneaky. I can see a kid gleaming truths from these pages that they have NEVER encountered anywhere, with the possible exception of their own brains. I can see adults becoming uncomfortable with just how much honesty is on display here. It gives away the game, this book does. It’s always a good idea to sometimes read a book that’s smarter than you are, starring a kid that’s smarter than the world around him. You know why I haven’t heard more people talking about this book? Because nobody knows how to sell it. Well, sorry folks, but the secret is out now. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read for kids, and maybe the best school rated children’s novel I’ve encountered period. This, right here, is the book of our times.

Read the entire review here. Because it’s so awesome *I* want to go read the book again!