The Midwest Spec-Fic Book Box -- Limited Availability

By Jason Sizemore
on November 05, 2020

The Midwest Spec-Fic Book Box -- Limited Availability

The Box includes Pimp My Airship by Maurice Broaddus, as well as the first anthology of speculative fiction and poetry by Africans and the African Diaspora, - both published in Kentucky USA - and two exciting, queer, adventures published in Detroit and Minneapolis.

Read more »

Social Distance and Read! 5 Apex titles for 99 cents each.

By Jason Sizemore
on April 01, 2020

Social Distance and Read! 5 Apex titles for 99 cents each.

April looks to be a long month for most of us. So we'd like to help you pass the time by temporarily offering the following five Apex eBooks for 99 cents each.

These books are available at the discounted price at Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Google Play, DriveThruFiction, and Apex.

We encourage you to purchase via DriveThruFiction or Apex as a way of supporting independent businesses. It's a tough world out there for us right now.

MARS GIRLS by Mary Turzillo (YA science fiction novel)
DriveThruFiction | Apex | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Google

I CAN TRANSFORM YOU by Maurice Broaddus (dark SF novella)
DriveThruFiction | Apex | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Google

AETHERCHRIST by Kirk Jones (dark SF novella)
DriveThruFiction | Apex | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Google

THE LOST LEVEL by Brian Keene (lost world fantasy novel)
DriveThruFiction | Apex | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Google

DARK FAITH ed. by Maurice Broaddus & Jerry Gordon (dark fantasy & horror anthology)
DriveThruFiction | Apex | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Google

Pimp My Airship: Steampunk as Afrofuturism

By Lesley Conner
on September 04, 2019

Guest post by Maurice Broaddus, author of Pimp My Airship, I Can Transform You, and Orgy of Souls (with Wrath James White), editor of Dark Faith and Dark Faith: Invocations (with Jerry Gordon).

Afrofuturism is hot right now. Ever since Black Panther made its seismic splash, the term has been bandied about and suddenly folks are “discovering” black writers who have been out there doing the thing for years. The original “Pimp My Airship” steampunk short story was published in Apex Magazine in 2009, the beginning of what would be termed “steamfunk” (steampunk through the black cultural lens). Steamfunk and Afrofuturism do very similar work.

The term ‘Afrofuturism’ was coined in 1994 by cultural critic, Mark Dery in his essay “Black to the Future.” He defines it as “speculative fiction that treats African-American themes and addresses African-American concerns in the context of 20th century technoculture — and more generally, African-American signification that appropriates images of technology and a prosthetically enhanced future.” Ytasha Womack defines Afrofuturism as “an intersection of imagination, technology, the future, and liberation.” Similarly, steampunk is speculative fiction that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century steam-powered industrial age. They are often set in an alternative history of the 19th century British Victorian era or the American “Wild West,” in a future whose technology revolves around steam power.

Afrofuturism has a larger aesthetic mode, encompassing visual art, music, film, literature, and fashion to create a framework to critique our present, that’s rooted in history and looks to the future derived from Afrodiasporic experiences. Afrofuturism mixes science fiction and social justice, imagines the future through art and the lens of black experience, and is rooted in black people’s pursuit of a better future for ourselves on our terms.

Steampunk, with its emphasis on Victorian era ethos, features an aesthetic rooted in the era's perspective on fashion, culture, architectural style, and art. Historically, steampunk ignored the “darker” aspects of the Victorian Era, such as colonialism, sexism, classism, racism, and chattel slavery; its Make Literature Great Again mindset erasing POC. [In recent years this has been examined with works such as Steamfunk! by Milton J. Davis, The Sea Is Ours: Tales from Steampunk Southeast Asia by Jaymee Goh, Steampunk World/Steampunk Universe by Sarah Hans, Everfair by Nisi Shawl, Steeplejack by A.J. Hartley, and The Black God's Drums by P. Djèlí Clark.]

In my novel Pimp My Airship, 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 agitator known as (120 Degrees of) Knowledge Allah. Beneath the comic romp, there’s some serious business that gets done, which coincides with the work that defines Afrofuturism.

Rooted in history. In my steampunk world—from “Pimp My Airship” to “Steppin’ Razor” to Buffalo Soldier to the nearly dozen other short stories set here—America lost the Revolutionary War and remains a colony of Albion. The legacy of slavery and colonialism have sown the seeds of racialism. Oppressive societal control systems have been built. And in this cauldron of racist systems, the city of Indianapolis—and the people who live there—struggles to figure out what it wants to be.

A framework to critique our present. Sleepy and Knowledge Allah have grown up in communities isolated by redlining, forgotten and abandoned in the undercity known as The Tombs. As their adventures escalate, these accidental revolutionaries have to navigate systems of an over-policed state, mass incarceration, and run up against the industrial-military complex arrayed against them.

Eye to the future. To overcome the way society remains unequal, there has to be visions of a future where the problems are solved. Revolution takes many forms. To paraphrase Tananarive Due, even imagining ourselves with a better future is an act of revolution. Each person has a simple question to answer: have you had enough? When that answer becomes yes, you have to leverage your gifts—be you poet, artist, or writer—to act where you are and lend your voice to The Cause.

Afrofuturist art is the intersection of a black cultural lens, technology, liberation, and imagination. It bridges the past and future to critique the present. Afrofuturism is about: Remembering, Resilience, and Resistance. It creates awareness, raising consciousness, and maps potential futures; beginning with a journey of self-discovery, exploring black identity; and involving a radical imagining as systemic baggage gets deconstructed. Afrofuturism allows conversations about race and oppression that people don’t know how to have. Pimp My Airship, with steampunk trappings as its backdrop, constantly asks the Afrofuturist question “What future do you want to see?” as it imagines alternative visions of tomorrow. Maybe with steamfunk meeting Afrofuturism, it’s time for a new genre label. Perhaps, as editor Bill Campbell suggests, “Funktrofuturism.”

All month long you can save 25% on Pimp My Airship and everything else in the Apex store! Use discount code SEPTEMBER to save!

Pimp My Airship (Novel Excerpt)

By Jason Sizemore
on April 10, 2019

Pimp My Airship (Novel Excerpt)

Read the first chapter of the exciting new steamfunk novel PIMP MY AIRSHIP by Maurice Broaddus!

Read more »

Apex Magazine issue 95 is LIVE

By Lesley Conner
on April 04, 2017

Happy Tuesday! Enjoy a new issue of Apex Magazine!

This month we bring you Maurice Broaddus’s guest-edited, highly anticipated issue. Maurice starts the issue off with a wonderful editorial called “Not Here to Check Boxes.” He brings us original fiction by Sheree Renée Thomas, Kendra Fortmeyer, Chesya Burke, and Walter Mosley. The poetry in this issue is by Linda D. Addison and LH Moore. Tanya C. DePass brings us our nonfiction with a fabulous essay titled “Time to Get Serious About Diversity and Inclusion.” Our cover art this month comes from Angelique Shelley. Angelique was kind enough to sit down with our artist interviewer Russell Dickerson to talk about influences and inspiration and more. Andrea Johnson interviewed the lovely Sheree Renée Thomas about her story “Aunt Dissy’s Policy Dream Book.”

You can read the entire issue now online at the Apex Magazine website.

We are currently in the middle of our Revive the Drive campaign, with the goal of raising $10,000 to fund Apex Magazine for the rest of 2017. If you enjoy reading this and each issue, please consider subscribing at this time. Subscriptions are only $17 during the drive. You save a little money, and that total goes toward our final goal.
 

Subscribe to Apex Magazine now for only $17!


Also, please check out our Revive the Drive store! We have lots of goodies--everything from signed books, to coffee, to story critiques, to the original proofed manuscripts of The Lost Level and Return to the Lost Level signed by author Brian Keene! All sales from the Revive the Drive store go toward our goal.

Table of Contents

EDITORIAL
Not Here to Check Boxes—Maurice Broaddus

FICTION
Cut, Cut, Cut—Walter Mosley
Aunt Dissy's Policy Dream Book—Sheree Renee Thomas
Say, She Toy—Chesya Burke
The Selkie Wives—Kendra Fortmeyer

NONFICTION
Interview with Author Sheree Renee Thomas—Andrea Johnson
Time to Get Serious About Diversity and Inclusion—Tanya C. DePass
Interview with Cover Artist Angelique Shelley—Russell Dickerson

POETRY
VOX—LH  Moore
Things That Earth No Longer Bears—Linda D. Addison

Maurice Broaddus to guest edit an issue of Apex Magazine

By Lesley Conner
on September 15, 2016

We are thrilled to announce that Maurice Broaddus will be guest editing an issue of Apex Magazine in 2017. Maurice and Apex have a long standing working relationship. He co-edited both Dark Faith and Dark Faith: Invocations with Jerry Gordon, co-wrote Orgy of Souls with Wrath James White, and is the author I Can Transform You. He has also had stories appear in Glitter & Mayhem, Appalachian Undead, and the upcoming Upside Down, among other Apex anthologies.  With upcoming projects coming out early in 2017 with other publishers, we thought this would be the perfect time to hand the reins of Apex Magazine over to Maurice and let him show us all just how amazing he is.

Below is Maurice's announcement of the project, as well as details of how he will handle submissions. If you have ever wanted to write a story for Maurice Broaddus, now is the time!

***

I’m pleased to announce that I’ve been tapped to guest edit an issue of Apex Magazine (launching in April 2017). I’ll be soliciting a few stories, but I also wanted to open up the slush pile for potential stories. Normally Apex Magazine brings you 12,000 words of original fiction. My special issue will deliver 20,000 words.

I’m looking for the story only you could write. Something deeply personal and at the same time universal. Smart, literate stories—be they horror or dark fantasy or science fiction—with depth. Stories that make me think, that comment on the human condition and the social order. Stories that are rich in their language use. However, as much as I love social commentary, don’t forget to entertain me.

Submissions will go through the Apex submission page which will open from 12/01/2016 until 12/16/2016. Unsolicited stories received outside this time frame will be deleted unread.

Please send no more than one submission at a time. Simultaneous submissions will be accepted as long as you tell us up front (and immediately withdraw the story if you sell it elsewhere). If you have any questions, reach out to me through my web site contact page.

I look forward to seeing your stories.

Apex Magazine Issue 65 is LIVE!

By Lesley Conner
on October 07, 2014

It's the first Tuesday of the month, which means we have a new issue of Apex Magazine ready for your consumption. This month we have beautiful stories by Mary McMyne, Kris Millering, Jessica Sirkin, and Tom Piccirilli. Our poetry is by Chris Lynch, Neile Graham, and Sonya Taaffe. Loraine Sammy brings us a nonfiction article titled "Fandom Activism for Change in Visual Entertainment Media: We Have the Power." Kris Millering talks with Andrea Johnson in our author interview, and artist Catherine Denvir discusses the differences between being an illustrator and painter in our artist interview. Exclusive to our eBook editions, we have an excerpt from King's War: The Knight's of Briton Court 3 by Maurice Broaddus.

As always, all the original short fiction, poetry, and nonfiction can be found for free at the Apex Magazine website. Or help support Apex Magazine and our authors by purchasing a nicely formatted eBook edition for only $2.99, and enjoy exclusive content. Individual issues are sold direct through Apex, or through Amazon (US), Amazon (UK), Barnes & Noble, and Weightless Books.

Want to read all the exclusive content from the convenience of your eReader and never miss an issue, plus get the best price? Subscriptions are available. For $19.95, get 12-months of Apex Magazine in PDF, mobi, or ePub formats direct from Apex or through Weightless Books. Or Amazon has month-to-month subscriptions available for only $1.99 an issue!

 

Table of Contents

Fiction

“Primrose or Return to Il’maril” by Mary McMyne

“Coins for the Eyes” by Kris Millering

“The House in Winter” by Jessica Sirkin

“What I Am” by Tom Piccirilli

Excerpt from King’s War: The Knights of Breton Court 3 by Maurice Broaddus (eBook/subscriber exclusive)

Poetry

“Half Wives” by Chris Lynch

“The Excavation of Troy” by Sonya Taaffe

“On the Excarnations of the Gods” by Neile Graham

Nonfiction

“Resolute: Notes from the Editor-in-Chief” by Sigrid Ellis

“Interview with Kris Millering” by Andrea Johnson

“Fandom Activism for Change in Visual Entertainment Media: We Have the Power” by Loraine Sammy

“Clavis Aurea: A Review of Short Fiction” by Charlotte Ashley

“Interview with Catherine Denvir” by Loraine Sammy

Podcast Fiction

“The House in Winter” by Jessica Sirkin

Enjoy Apex Magazine? Help spread the news. Tell a friend, leave a review, or send us a Tweet.

Ten Books to Give for All Hallow's Read

By Lesley Conner
on October 06, 2014
1 comment

October is here and with it comes all things fall. The leaves are painting the skyline orange, yellow, and red, pumpkins are creeping into everything from coffee to Oreos, and horror movies and novels are finding their way to the top of to-watch and to-read piles.

Another cool thing that’s going on is All Hallow’s Read. If you aren’t sure what I’m talking about, go here. Neil Gaiman does a wonderful job explaining it. I can wait.

Back? Okay. Isn’t that the coolest thing ever? A new holiday tradition where we give our family and friends scary books. The horror geek and book nerd in me are squealing with joy! But then of course, the question becomes what to give. To help you make the best decisions of which scary titles to share with your friends, I’ve scanned my bookshelves and the internet for suggestions.

Ten Books to Give for All Hallow’s Read.

  1. October Dreams (AKA October Dreams: A Celebration of Halloween) edited by Richard Chizmar and Robert Morrish – Suggested by Maurice Broaddus, author of Orgy of Souls and I Can Transform You and editor of Dark Faith and Dark Faith: Invocations.
  2. Survivor by J. F. Gonzalez – Suggested by my bookcase. Honestly, anything by J. F. Gonzalez would be a good pick, but this book scared the crap out of me when I read it, and he’s currently working on two novellas that tie into the storyline from this novel.
  3. Alabaster Pale Horse by Caitlin R. Kiernan – Suggested on Twitter by @djerfisherite.
  4. The Night Country by Stuart O’Nan – Suggested by Douglas F. Warrick, author of Plow the Bones.
  5. Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill – Suggested on Twitter by @ElioSchmie.
  6. The Mist by Stephen King – Suggested by, well, I want to say my bookcase, but as I’m scanning my Stephen King titles, I realize I don’t own Skeleton Crew, which is where I first read The Mist as a young girl. Recently a friend and I were talking about how frightening this novella is - we both read it around the age of 13 - which is why it made this list. And now I must buy myself an All Hallow’s Read gift to fill the hole in my Stephen King library.
  7. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury – Suggested by Jerry Gordon, editor of Dark Faith and Dark Faith: Invocations.
  8. The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson – Suggested on Twitter by @Stephenspower.
  9. Urban Gothic by Brian Keene – Suggested by my bookcase. As with J.F. Gonzalez, you could basically give any Brian Keene title for All Hallow’s Read and be good, but I picked Urban Gothic because it’s my favorite of his novels. The entire book reads like a 80s horror movie, with teenagers who end up places they shouldn’t, wild chases, violence, and death, and as a girl who grew up loving those movies, this book was a blast to read.
  10. Salem’s Lot by Stephen King – Suggested by Elizabeth Massie, author of Desper Hollow.
And that's it. Ten scary reads to give to your family and friends for All Hallow's Read. What books would you suggest people give? Leave a comment to let us know.

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From the Blog

The Midwest Spec-Fic Book Box -- Limited Availability

The Midwest Spec-Fic Book Box -- Limited Availability

November 05, 2020

The Box includes Pimp My Airship by Maurice Broaddus, as well as the first anthology of speculative fiction and poetry by Africans and the African Diaspora, - both published in Kentucky USA - and two exciting, queer, adventures published in Detroit and Minneapolis.

Read more →