What I’ve Read: Trail of Lightning

Hey there everyone. I thought I’d keep on telling you about the stories I’ve been enjoying by specfic writers of color. This week, let’s talk about Rebecca Roanhorse’s debut novel Trail of Lightning! I, like so many others, loved her Hugo, Nebula and Campbell Award-winning short story “Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience™.” After I finished it, I simply said “Goddamn!” So when she came out with Trail of Lightning, I knew I had to read it.

When writers of color tell the stories of our own worlds, of our own cultures and experiences, readers are treated to something different and new because the well the author is drawing from is deep with unheard stories. The world that Rebecca Roanhorse, who identifies as Black and Pueblo, draws from for her Sixth World series is an Indigenous one filled with Diné mythology, tradition and every day life.

Protagonist Maggie Hoskie is pretty much a loner–or has preferred to be. A no-nonsense monster hunter, she is called upon to investigate the disappearance of a young girl, setting things in motion. Maggie tucks in the ends of her moccasin wraps, puts on her leather jacket, grabs her Boker knife and gets things done. She is not alone, joined by the handsome, smooth-talking, healer-in-training Kai (okay, can we talk about how damn fine Kai is supposed to be??) who, like Maggie, has clan powers that they use to their advantage.

Together, they travel through a Dinétah nation protected from the outside world by a wall constructed with help from the gods. The rest of the U.S. has been devastated by an apocalyptic flood. Who is creating the monstrosities that are running rampant? What the hell is the trickster Coyote/Ma’ii up to now? Where is Neizghání, with whom Maggie had shared so much? What is going on? There are gods and monsters, and she has to deal with them both as they figure it out.

The second book in her Sixth World series, Storm of Locusts, is coming out this April and is now available for pre-order. If you haven’t gotten into them yet, get on it!

Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse, 2018. Simon & Schuster.
Find out how to get your copy HERE.

***Getting that To Be Read List down one book at a time!***

What I’ve Read: A Ruin of Shadows

What do I know about doing reviews? Nada, as this is my first one, but I can tell you about specfic books and short stories I’ve read lately–especially ones by writers of color like me. My colleagues are putting out some great stuff that you should know about if you don’t already, so I thought I’d start something new for the new year on my blog.

Let’s get this party started with L.D. Lewis’ novella A Ruin of Shadows, which gives new meaning to the lament “I’m too old for this shit.”

Gen. Daynja Édo has been whooping ass and taking names left and right for a long time, doing what has to be done and doing it very well. She has a magical mask that adds to her fame as well as the Shadows, her team of assassins that she personally trained. With folks eyeing her position and questioning if she’s still capable, she is given an official order. Gen. Édo rejects it like “Nope!” and the hunt is on, with the Shadows and a whole army at her heels.

I love that Gen. Édo is an older protagonist. Her bones pop and creak. She runs a hand through gray hair. But the most important thing is that she knows exactly who she is, what she can do, and has the wisdom to see through BS. No wondering and angst. We don’t often get a chance to see older women being as badass as possible in specfic and she definitely is. That whole chase and ending was like “Goddamn!” and had me cheering. Pick it up for yourself and you’ll see what I mean.

Hey L., when/if you come out with its sequel…I. Am. So. THERE.

A Ruin of Shadows by L.D. Lewis, 2018. Dancing Star Press.
Find it on
Amazon, B&N, or an independent bookseller near you.

***Getting that To Be Read List down one book at a time***

So Nice It’s Out There Twice…

To start, Happy New Year everyone! Welcome to the Thunderdome…I mean, 2019!

News on my end is that my story “With These Hands: An Account of Uncommon Labour” has been reprinted in the January 2019 issue of Apex Magazine! You’ll be able to read it online on January 24, but you can get a copy of the issue at any time. You know you wanna. I mean, look at this beautiful cover by artist Tangmo Cecchini…

You can also find stories by Beth Dawkins, Lavie Tidhar, Marian Coman, Aja McCullough and an essay by Daniel M. Bensen. Check them out!

LH Moore’s 2018 Awards Eligible Stories

It’s that time of the year and I have works that are eligible for 2018 science fiction, fantasy and horror awards (such as the Nebula, Hugo, and Stoker) this year. Oooo! Ahhhh! I am hyped. I really do hope that you’ll consider them and add them to some lists!

Short Story: “With These Hands: An Account of Uncommon Labour”
FIYAH Magazine, Winter 2018 (Issue #5: “Ahistorical Blackness”)
As the symbol of a new country is constructed, all is not what it seems.

Inspired by a painting and informed by history itself, this story is currently on the Nebula Suggested Reading List and was chosen by Jason Sanford as one of the “Best SF/F Short Fiction, January through June 2018.” Here are some more reviews about it: “Weekly Fiction Rec Roundup 6” by Jeff Xilon and “Quick Sips: FIYAH #5 (Ahistorical Blackness)” by Charles Payseur. (And psst…”Labour” with a “U” in the title is intentional. It was also published like that as well as it is set in the 1790s.)

Novelette: “Peregrination” (co-written with Chesya Burke)
Chiral Mad 4 (Written Backwards), October 2018
Editors: Michael Bailey and Lucy A. Snyder
What makes us special. What we will do to protect the ones we love.

There’s dimensional plane-jumping and spending a little time in the void. Not to mention a twist on what constitutes family (especially when they aren’t quite…human) and the lengths to which they will go. All set during the Red Summer of 1919. Check it out!

And please consider Chiral Mad 4, the groundbreaking anthology that it is a part of, too: four short stories, four novelettes, four novellas and four graphic adaptations–all collaborations. It is seriously something!! More info about Chiral Mad 4 can be found at https://blog.nettirw.com/2018/10/19/chir4l-mad/ or by contacting editor Michael Bailey.

Short Story: “Here, Kitty!”
Black Magic Women: Terrifying Tales by Scary Sisters (Amazon)
(Mocha Memoirs Press)
Editor: Sumiko Saulson
What’s lost should probably not be found.

Wrong place. Wrong time. Or was it? I always enjoyed those “Take a hint, run!”-type stories and had a blast writing one myself. I hope that you will enjoy and consider it too. 

The Black Magic Women anthology is also eligible for awards as well. If you are a juror and would like a free eBook of it please email editor Sumiko Saulson at sumikoska@yahoo.com. For a hard copy, contact publisher Mocha Memoirs at mochamemoirspress@gmail.com

Thank you for considering my work!

BlerdCon 2018

I had a really nice time at BlerdCon again this year. I spoke on the “The Future of Afrofuturism” panel with my DWASF colleague Chad Eric Smith, author V.R. McCoy and moderator William Jones of the Afrofuturism Network.

Our room was full and the audience asked great questions about the genre, movement, and the writing/publishing process. I was at Blerdcon’s first one last year. Seeing the turnout and feeling the excitement was fantastic. It is a personal, inclusive-feeling con and I encourage you all to come to next year’s. I’m already looking forward to it!

Post-Panel Thoughts: Balticon 2018

balticon
Ooo, I just love going to cons. It’s always nice being surrounded by folks who love scifi, fantasy and horror as much as I do, so when our Diverse Writers and Artists of Speculative Fiction (DWASF) group was invited to participate, I was more than happy to go. Some of our members (B. Sharise Moore, K. Ceres Wright and Chad Eric Smith) were on an “Afrofuturism 101” panel (along with Stephanie Burke and Nicky Drayden) that was standing room only!2018-05-26 12.11.26We also had a readings event where DWASF members John Edward Lawson, Stafford Battle, Chad, K. Ceres & I read selections from our works. I read an excerpt of “With These Hands,” that was published in FIYAH Magazine.

2018-05-26 13.56.08We love telling others about our group and had a really fun meet and greet event. We’re talking food, trivia, giveaways and fun. I know I had a great time chatting with attendees about how to submit and where to find markets and about representation in specfic.

Lisa Adler-Golden, who is head of programming for Balticon, stopped through. She shared with us how important to her it was to have these events going forward. “It is not just about straight, white males,” she said. “Our membership is graying and the future of our organization depends upon recognizing the diversity and concerns of our younger members.”  Hearing that so many attendees were happy to know our group existed was fantastic!2018-05-26 17.35.16Thank you for having us Balticon! I know that I had a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to returning next year!

Post-Panel Thoughts: Blerdcon 2017

I had a really good time at Blerdcon! Our “Afrofuturism and Black Speculative Fiction” panel on June 30 had a really good turnout! Animator and comic artist Uraeus, author K. Ceres Wright, actor/director Chad Eric Smith, and head of the Afrofuturism Network, moderator William Johnson, and I had a great discussion.
We talked about what those terms mean to us, representation in the genre, do’s and don’ts, and our thoughts about being Afrofuturistic content creators. I’ll go more in depth about my own thoughts in future posts.

I have SO much love for Blerdcon. There were some amazing cosplayers there! Many of the panels focused on diversity and inclusion. This was its first year and there was such a laid-back vibe with everyone enjoying themselves and having fun geeking out together. I know I felt like “My peeps!”

It felt good to be there and I look forward to coming back next year! If you’re into comics, gaming, anime and speculative fiction, you should go too!

Clarion West Write-A-Thon: Journaling the Frenzy

2017-06-21 20.46.59So tonight was the first writing sprint or as I like to think of it: “My Hour Of Writing Frenzy.” I decided I’d keep a journal of my crazy thoughts…

9:00 PM: WRITING SPRINT BEGINS! Annnnd we’re off! Soexcitedsoexcitedsoexcited!

9:02 PM: Crap…what story do I want to work on? What do I want to work on? What am I feeling tonight? Goddammit…I’ve wasted two minutes already?! Planning ahead is everything? Is it really already 9:04???

9:04 PM: So I decided to go with a fantasy novel WIP called “Between the Mountains and the Sea” (working title) that I’ve been really digging lately and wanting to work on. It already has 476 words. Okaaay…I can roll with that.

9:30 PM: I’ve been kind of obsessed with this for a while and wanted to work on it. I’m at least trying to add to it? 711 words so far. Alright, alright, alright.

9:45: I need a bio break SO BAD. No, no…I don’t yet. Peeing is for the weak! I can power through this. I NEED TO WRITE.

10: And that’s a wrap! Went from 479 words to 1150. My fingers were flying. I’m going to look at a lot of it tomorrow like “WTF?!” but it felt good to get words down like that.

Wanna sponsor me? You can if you want. You can also find out more about Clarion West and the Write-A-thon and how it helps authors to be their best.

 

Clarion Write-a-Thon: Day One

So, last month I signed up for the Clarion West Write-a-Thon, a month-long writing spree that kicks off today. I thought “Why not?” thinking it’d be a good way to hold me accountable writing-wise.

It is also the well-known writing workshop’s annual fundraiser, so you can sponsor authors (like me!) as they try to meet their writing goals.

Me? I’m going to use it to bang out some short stories and add to a novel in progress.

Computer? Check. Imagination? Check.

Let’s do this!