Wednesday, April 30, 2014

And If

What does Afrofuturism mean? It means stories have always come from Africa...and always will. What does being a writer mean? It means Anansi has never slept, not a wink, because he might miss something fun. What does Balogun Ojetade mean when he says something is "Blacktastic?" If I may try an answer for the brother, it means history is not silent, not ephemeral, and the present is "Post-" nothing. It means welcome to new worlds.

Welcome all.

Even though, for the Butler/Banks Book Blog Tour of Afrofuturism, this is goodbye. Balogun, our point man, wraps this month-long round of literary speed-dating. You've seen works from:

 Alan D. Jones        Balogun Ojetade        Carole McDonnell         Crystal Conner        DaVaun Sanders    Colby Rice     
Jeff Carroll         K. Ceres Wright        Kai Leakes     

...and me.

A mix of genres, styles, ages, abilities, latent powers and more. All presented with deference and respect to two women whom we can only assume sit at the right and left sides of Anansi, pens in hand and somehow still feeding us inspiration. If you haven't familiarized yourself even today with Octavia Butler's work, let me help. Click a simple link. One word. GENIUS. If you're wondering where are the kick-ass, female vampire hunters, click a simple link. One word. IMAGINATION.

And if you just want to smile and quietly say goodbye, go ahead and read the final entry below in the Butler/Banks tour. "Goodbye" only for a little while though; we are not going anywhere.

Hotep.  -- ZZC

BALOGUN OJETADE:


For those who know me, I am a writer.

For those who don’t know me, I am a writer.

I write speculative fiction – mainly Steamfunk, Dieselfunk, Rococoa and Sword & Soul.

Recently, I have expanded my writing into the  Fight Fiction – aka Action / Adventure, aka Pulp – genre, which was pretty much inevitable because my novels contain lots of exciting action and fight scenes.

What, exactly, is Fight Fiction. You ask?

Fight Fiction is comprised of tales in which the fighting – whether it happens in a temple in Thailand, a boxing ring in Las Vegas, a cage in Atlanta, or in a bar in New York City – is not merely in the story to make it more exciting; or to add a different spin to it. The fighting must be an integral part of both the story and its resolution. Take the fighting out and you no longer have a story. Think Fight Club; Rocky; Blood and Bone; Kung-Fu Hustle; Million Dollar Baby; and Tai Chi Zero.

Writing fight scenes has always been something I enjoy and that I believe I do fairly well. This is probably due to the fact that I have been a student of indigenous African martial arts for over forty years and I have been an instructor of those same martial arts for nearly thirty years. I am also a lifelong fan of martial arts, boxing and Luchador films.

Recently, I joined a team of stellar authors, who all write under the pen name Jack Tunney (for e-book versions only; paperback versions are in the authors’ names), as part of the Fight Card Project.

The books in the Fight Card series are monthly 25,000 word novelettes, designed to be read in one or two sittings, and are inspired by the fight pulps of the 1930s and 1940s, such as Fight Stories Magazine and Robert E. Howard’s two-fisted boxing tales featuring Sailor Steve Costigan.

In 2013, the Fight Card series published twenty-four incredible tales of pugilistic pandemonium from some of the best New Pulp authors in the business. I am writing under the Fight Card MMA brand with my book, Fist of Africa.

Here’s a brief synopsis: 
Nigeria 2004 … Nicholas ‘New Breed’ Steed, a tough teen from the mean streets of Chicago, is sent to his mother’s homeland – a tiny village in Nigeria – to avoid trouble with the law. Unknown to Nick, the tiny village is actually a compound where some of the best fighters in the world are trained.  Nick is teased, bullied and subjected to torturous training in a culture so very different from the world where he grew up.

Atlanta 2014 … After a decade of training in Nigeria, a tragedy brings Nick back to America. Believing the disaffected youth in his home town sorely need the same self-discipline and strength of character training in the African martial arts gave him, Nick opens an Academy. While the kids are disinterested in the fighting style of the cultural heritage Nick offers, they are enamored with mixed martial arts. Nick decides to enter the world of mixed martial arts to make the world aware of the effectiveness and efficiency of the martial arts of Africa.

Pursuing a professional career in MMA, Nick moves to Atlanta, Georgia, where he runs into his old nemesis – Rico Stokes, the organized crime boss who once employed Nick’s father, wants Nick to replace his father in the Stokes’ protection racket. Will New Breed Steed claim the Light Heavyweight title … Or will the streets of Atlanta claim him?

I really enjoyed writing this book because I have always wanted to share with the world the fierceness, efficiency and effectiveness of the indigenous African martial arts for self-defense, as well as their transformative powers in the building of men and women with self-discipline, courage and good character. Fist of Africa is a perfect outlet for my unique brand of Fight Fiction, which I am sure you will enjoy reading as much as I enjoyed writing it.

In Fist of Africa, readers will experience jaw-dropping action on the mean streets of Chicago, in the sand pits of Nigeria and in cages in the “Dirty South” (Atlanta), as well as a bit of romance.

Please, enjoy this excerpt, then hop on over to my website, or to Amazon and purchase the book. You’ll thank me later.


ROUND SIX

Vee-Vee’s was packed. The line of men and women spilled out of the Nigerian restaurant and onto the hot sidewalk as the lunch crowd eagerly awaited the mouth-watering, sweet fried plantains, egusi soup with pounded yam and coconut rice.
Standing in the line, Nick and Baba Yemi still had two customers ahead of them before they were in the door. Nick rubbed his hands in excitement.
Baba Yemi raised an eyebrow. “Is the food really that good, Nicholas? You look … eager.”
“You just don’t know, grandfather,” Nick replied. “I haven’t had Vee-Vee’s in over ten years.
“You’ve had Nigerian food in Nigeria,” Baba Yemi said. “What’s so special about Vee-Vee’s?”
“It’s Vee-Vee’s,” Nick responded with a shrug.
Baba Yemi shook his head.
“Excuse me, you just jumped ahead of me,” a woman’s voice said.
Nick peered over his shoulder. A rotund woman addressed three young men who stood in front of her in the line.
“Look, lady, we just want to get some plantains up out of here,” one of the young men – a lanky teen with jeans hanging halfway off his butt – said. “You look like you’re about to order the whole damned menu.”
The young men laughed heartily and exchanged high fives.
“Teens today have no respect,” the woman said. “If you are the future, we’re in big trouble.”
“Shut up, pendeja!” Another young man spat. “That’s moron, in case you don’t know … pendeja!”
More laughter from the young men.
“Hold my place in the queue,” Baba Yemi whispered.
“Grandfather, don’t …” Nick muttered.
Baba Yemi approached the young men, stopping a few inches behind them. “You are being very rude. This young woman deserves an apology.”
The teens turned to face Baba Yemi. The largest of the trio, a tall, athletically built young man, who had not yet spoken, looked Baba Yemi up and down.
“Push on, old man, before you get yourself hurt,” he said.
Baba Yemi smiled and tapped the young man on his muscular chest. “Hurt? How?”
The lanky young man with the sagging pants placed a firm hand on Baba Yemi’s shoulder. “Get gone, old dude, before we kick your …”
The young man hit the pavement with a dull thump.
“My hand!” He screamed, clutching at his wrist and writhing in agony.
The Spanish-speaking young man launched an awkward-looking kick toward Baba Yemi’s belly.
The old wrestler side-stepped to his left, bringing his right arm up to scoop the young man’s leg. Baba Yemi shifted toward the trapped leg, grabbing it with both arms in a tight grip. He ducked under the leg, lifting his arms over his head at the same time.
The young man’s knee twisted at a sickening angle. He landed next to his friend with the dislocated wrist, who joined him in a chorus of cries, whimpers and yelps.
Baba Yemi exploded toward the remaining member of the trio.
The young man stumbled backward, then whirled on his heels and sprinted off.
The teen with the sagging pants and damaged wrist helped the young man with the dislocated knee to his feet. “Sorry, ma’am,” they said in unison.
Baba Yemi laid a hand on the shoulder of the young man with the sagging pants. The young man jerked in fear.
“Relax,” Baba Yemi said. “Let me fix it.”
The young man cautiously gave Baba Yemi his damaged hand. The old man grabbed the teen’s fingers and yanked hard. The teen winced at the pain of his wrist sliding back into its correct position.
“Thank you,” the young man said. “And I … I’m sorry.”
“What about my knee, sir?” The Spanish-speaking young man inquired, still gasping in pain.
“That is going to require more treatment than I can do here,” Baba Yemi answered. “Do either of you have a car?”
“Yes, sir, I do,” the Spanish-speaking youth said.
“What’s your name, boy?” Baba Yemi asked.
“Hector, sir,” the young man said.
“And yours?” Baba Yemi asked the young man with the sagging trousers.
“Miles,” he answered.
“Miles, take Hector to the hospital,” Baba Yemi said. “They’ll put the joint back in proper position, then you bring him to me and I’ll really heal him. Talk to my grandson over there. He’ll give you the address.”
“Yes, sir,” Miles said, approaching Nick.
“Thank you, sir,” Hector said.
Vee-Vee’s waitress, who had come outside to see what the commotion was all about, handed Nick an ink pen and an order slip. Nick wrote the address to his parent’s house on the slip.
The two young men shambled off, Hector’s arm wrapped around Miles’ shoulder for support.
“Thank you!” The pudgy woman shouted. She wrapped her arms around Baba Yemi’s torso and held him in a warm hug.
The people in line applauded as Baba Yemi returned to his place in line.
“We’re running a compound for young thugs out of my parents’ house now?” Nick said, shaking his head.
“You weren’t so different when you first came to me, Nicholas,” Baba Yemi said.
“True,” Nick said.

“So, I ask again,” Baba Yemi said. “What now?”

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Glamorous Harbinger of Blood and Death: Crystal Connor on the darker side of science fiction & fantasy

Right about here is where I'd sing the line from Prince's "International Lover" that gets folks verklempt: "Please remain awake until the aircraft comes to a complete stop." The Octavia Butler/L.A. Banks-inspired Book Blog Tour ends tomorrow. You've seen steamfunk, sword and soul, high adventure, cyber dystopia, short story collections that would do Harlan Ellison proud, things that go bump in the night, and authors representing the multi-faceted diaspora in all its creativity.

But stay awake. Stay very awake.

Horror bought a ticket and it's still on the plane.

Say hello to Crystal Connor's world:



















Click HERE to enter the Darkness

Friday, April 25, 2014

Honoring Those Who Carry The Light: Milton Davis, Charles Saunders and the Sisters of the Spear


Griots: Sisters of the Spear 

Griots: Sisters of the Spear picks up where the ground breaking Griots Anthology leaves off. Charles R. Saunders and Milton J. Davis present seventeen original and exciting Sword and Soul tales focusing on black women. Just as the Griots Anthology broke ground as the first Sword and Soul Anthology, Griots: Sisters of the Spear pays homage to the spirit, bravery and compassion of women of color. 

Seventeen authors and eight artists combine their skills to tell stories of bravery, love, danger and hope. The griots have returned to sing new songs, and what wonderful songs they are!

SPEARING STEREOTYPES

By Charles R. Saunders

The woman in Andrea Rushing’s evocative painting that graces the cover of Griots: Sisters of the Spear symbolizes the essence of the anthology. Although the painting is not a direct depiction of any of the characters in the stories, the spirit of this woman imbues all of them. She is a teller of truth, and a slayer of stereotypes.

As is the case with black men, black women have been subjected to invidious stereotyping for centuries in real life and fiction alike. For the most part, these characterizations have ranged from the condescending to the downright hostile – from the faithful “Mammy” of Gone with the Wind to the scornful “Sapphire” of Amos ‘n’ Andy to the degraded “Ho” made infamous in all-too-many rap-music lyrics. The fantasy-fiction genre is no exception. Until recently, black women have been either non-existent, or portrayed in ways that made absence the preferable alternative.

Real life defies the stereotypes. Throughout history, there has been no dearth of strong and courageous black women who have stood alongside – and sometimes in front of – their men and children during the course of a 500-year-long struggle against oppression in Africa, and the places in the rest of the world to which Africans were taken against their will to fuel economies with their forced labor.

A few examples: The Candace, or queen, of Kush defied the legions of ancient Rome. Queen Nzinga of Ndongo in central Africa fought to protect her people from the depredations of European slavers. Harriet Tubman risked her life to lead slaves to freedom in the years before the U.S. Civil War. Fannie Lou Hamer endured vicious physical abuse from the authorities in her non-violent quest to win basic civil rights for black Americans. Women such as these – and many more like them – stand as living contradictions to the misrepresentations that persist to this day.

So do the women in Sisters of the Spear. When Milton Davis came up with the idea of a woman-themed sequel to our first anthology, Griots, I co-signed immediately. Like Griots, Sisters of the Spear presents an opportunity to bring more black representation to a genre that’s still in need of more color. Thanks to Griots, we knew there were more than a few writers and artists of all racial persuasions who would embrace our theme of powerful black womanhood and create stories and illustrations that would be excellent by any standard.

Our expectations have been more than fulfilled. Our modern-day griots came through with – not to belabor the point – flying colors. The fictional warrior-women and sorceresses you will meet in the following pages can hold their own and then some against the barbarians and power-mad monarchs and magic-users of both genders who swing swords and cast spells in the mostly European-derived settings of modern fantasy and sword-and-sorcery. The reach of sword-and soul has expanded greatly with Sisters of the Spear.


It’s time now to allow the woman on the cover serve as your guide through the anthology. The light she carries will illuminate the truth that is always inherent in the best of fiction. And her spear will slay the stereotypes.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Out of the Machinery and Into the Mind: K. Ceres Wright

ceres_sm2

Ms. Wright has been watching science fiction (SF) since she was three years old. As she grew, she became less and less satisfied with the limited role minorities played in many SF books, shows, and movies, and decided to write SF that better reflected the diversity of the real world. Her first novel, Cog, was published by Raw Dog Screaming Press in July 2013. Her other work has appeared in Genesis: An Anthology of Black Science Fiction; Hazard Yet Forward; Many Genres, One Craft; The 2008 Rhysling Anthology; Far Worlds Anthology; and the upcoming Diner Stories Anthology.

Excerpt from Cog

Cog


Perim Nestor stood watch over Arlington from a curved window office in the American Hologram building. A scrim of clouds obscured most of the evening sky as commuters headed home, yet a roseate sunset tinged the underside of the grey, offering hope of a sunny tomorrow. Reflections from the streets below, clotted with the red of brake lights, danced merrily on nearby buildings.

Perim abandoned his watch and took up residence against a credenza along the opposite wall, arms folded, jaw clenched, waiting for the coming storm. He did not have to wait long.

“You’re joking, right?”

William Ryder stretched the skin between his eyebrows with his thumb and index finger, then formed a fist and slammed it on the table in front of him. He stood up, hunching over the edge of his father’s cherry wood desk. The owner sat on the opposite side, glaring. Light from a squat, burnished pewter lamp threw up blurry shadows on the metal paneling.

“Right?”

“Wills, sit down!” The stentorian voice of Geren Ryder echoed in the large office. The bones of his face set like ice, holdovers of the Last Glacial Maximum. Salt-and-pepper hair framed a mahogany canvas.

His son was a mirror image, only more muscular, with a coloring of polished sepia.

Perim Nestor remained silent. However spartan the office, it reflected more than the green and brown d├ęcor. It reflected the multi-trillion-dollar company that Geren Ryder had built from scratch. And he was used to being listened to.

Wills sat down, but the tenseness remained. He hovered on the edge of the chair, ready to spring. Geren continued, his voice now measured and calm.

“I didn’t know Perim was my son until last week. After I confirmed it, I’ve been...coming to grips with the implications.”

“Confirmed?” Wills said. “So it’s been confirmed that you whored around on my mother. As if I hadn’t already known. And what do you expect me to do? Jump up and say, ‘I’ve always wanted a brother’? Shed heartfelt tears and give him a slap on the back?”

Silence. The ether froze, like hanging mist on a December morning. Perim drew up his lips and met the flinty stare Wills leveled at him. He couldn’t blame the man. Heir apparent to a wireless hologram empire and presto change-o…a long-lost older brother appears.

“Does Nicholle know?” Wills said, eyes still riveted on Perim.

“No. She’s busy recreating the Prado in Anacostia. I didn’t want to distract her. It’s her first full-scale exhibit,” Geren said.

Wills relaxed somewhat, straightening and placing his arm on the desk. Mrs. Arthur Knowles and her Two Sons looked on the proceedings from the wall behind Geren. In the painting, Mrs. Knowles was sitting on a couch, one son clinging to her as his hand rested on a book. The other son lay wrong-way on the couch, barefoot, his hand on his chin, as if contemplating some mischief.

“I don’t want anything material…no money, no stock. I just want acknowledgment,” Perim said.

“Acknowledgment!” Wills sprang from his seat. “And why do I have a hard time believing that? On the eve of my father announcing his retirement from American Hologram, you just happen to show up.”

Wills approached Perim, jabbing a finger in the air between them.

“I’ve dealt with drug dealers, pimps, and CEOs, and I know bullshit when I hear it. It’s all the same. You want something. Something like American Hologram.”

Perim straightened. “I head my own accounting firm. What would I need with your company?”

“Why settle for a little power, when you can have a lot?”

“Is that your life’s motto?” Perim stole a glance at Geren. “In that case, you’d better watch your back, Father.”

Too late Perim noticed the oncoming blur of flesh, the carpet rising to meet the side of his face. His next view was of a sideways Potomac River through the curve of the picture window. The reflection of neon pinks and blues undulated in the invisible waves and careened like a slow-motion merry-go-round. Wills’ feet left his field of vision. Wind chimes whispered as he exited through the magfield.

“I should have told you he boxed in college,” Geren said, matter-of-factly.

“No shit,” Perim said, only it came out sounding like, “Oh ih.” His head spun, mental function a whirlpool. He edged up on one elbow, then leaned against the credenza and slid upright. The room slowed.
You’ll come to work for me. I’ll make you a vice president, but you’ll have to prove your mettle,” Geren said. “Especially to Wills. He can be a hothead, but he respects skill.”

“I have my own—”

“Company, yes. That has a quick ratio of point seven eight. How long do you expect to stay in business running those numbers?” Geren arose and began packing a briefcase that lay open on the desk.

Perim pulled himself to standing, gripping the credenza. “We just scored a large contract with the defense department.” He rubbed his jaw, hoping there would be no bruise.

Geren guffawed. “If you call forty million a large contract. Look, it’s settled. I just sent in the approval. Let your second run the company and you report here first thing in the morning. But…we will wait on the acknowledgement until after I announce my retirement.” He closed the case and hefted it off the desk. “Come prepared to learn. See you tomorrow.”

Wind chimes echoed again as Geren disappeared through the doorway. Perim smiled to himself. This is going better than expected.








Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Hum of Waking Things

Sometimes I write things that make sense. Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I’m trying to write the melody to a song I can’t quite hear but if I hum it enough it’ll connect through. This is one of those connection times. Things are moving, shifting, and swirling in the world. The lights in the sky don’t stay as still; the presences vibrating just out of eyesight are active and focused.

Even the dragons are taking notice, and they’ve suffered from apathy for untold thousands of years.

Some might say the world is becoming magical again. Those saying so often forget magic was the same as mundane. No grand awakenings.


Not unless it’s to the one song we all somewhat know…but not quite.

Woman of the Woods: Milton Davis

It the cover doesn't get you there might be a problem with your pulse.


















If this tease doesn't get you there might be a need to pump you with a few CC's of adventure:

“Fire!” She commanded. Her sisters responded seconds later, blazing bolts streaking overhead like falling stars and peppering both sides of the bank. Another bellow shook the night and their adversary emerged from the woods. It was huge, much larger that the biggest washaka, a grotesque amalgamation of beasts built by malicious hands. Its massive body suggested the mountain primates but its stance was more human than beast. A jackal-like snout protruded from its face, its head crowned by a pair of thick, curved horns. Hazeeta had no idea about the meaning behind the beast’s demeanor, but its size alone signaled caution. A volley of poison arrows followed by a gris lance charge would have been her command, but she had no time to call out the orders. Sadatina and her shumbas leaped through the flames no sooner than the arrows illuminated their way. The larger shumba leaped onto the beast’s shoulder, digging in with teeth and claws. As the beast cried out and reached for her, the other shumba lunged at its left leg, biting into its hamstring. Sadatina ran at the beast and leaped into the air, her sword raised over her head...

Get to know Sadatina, the Woman of the Woods, courtesy Milton Davis.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Kai Leakes: Fearing No Evil


Today's Butler/Banks Tour author has a major Jones for books. We like her already. Fantasy, romance, general fiction--if it's in book form she's likely already hot on its trail.

As an author, though, she travels to the elder worlds. Introduce yourself to KAI LEAKES.


Things that go bump in the night sometimes taste the best.



Monday, April 21, 2014

Seventh Heaven: The Fantasy Worlds of Carole McDonnell!

Do this for me. Click this hyperlink: CAROLE MCDONNELL. Why? Because, as part of the Butler/Banks Book Blog Tour, this will take you to author Carole McDonnell's website. She has a story for you. Or two. Or eight. She has knowledge for you. Or insight. Or wisdom. She will intrigue you with ideas. Or wordplay. Or fun.

She also has VIDEOS! Of which this is one:



Plus it's Monday and you know gosh well you're not actually doing any work right now. Order The Constant Tower (conveniently hyperlinked here for you) and consider that action a job well done.

Heck, reward yourself with another video. You, Glorious Revolutionary, have earned it.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

M.D. -- Milton Davis -- This Man Is A Doctor

Are you digging the tour? Are you digging the Butler/Banks Book Blog Tour of Speculative Fiction? If you are, make some noise, because today Milton Davis is on deck. Sword and Soul. Steamfunk. And now YA. Milton Davis laughs at Morpheus' pitiful choice of red or blue pills and comes at you with a box of crayons like throwing stars. And Milton will be back later in the month with more to intrigue!

Here's the boilerplate:

Milton is owner of MVmedia, LLC , a micro publishing company specializing in Science Fiction, Fantasy and Sword and Soul. MVmedia’s mission is to provide speculative fiction books that represent people of color in a positive manner. 

Milton is the author of eight novels; his most recent are The Woman of the Woods and Amber and the Hidden City. He is co-editor of four anthologies; Griots: A Sword and Soul Anthology and Griot: Sisters of the Spear, with Charles R. Saunders; The Ki Khanga Anthology with Balogun Ojetade and the Steamfunk! Anthology, also with Balogun Ojetade.  MVmedia has also published Once Upon A Time in Afrika by Balogun Ojetade.
                
Milton resides in Metro Atlanta with his wife Vickie and his children Brandon and Alana.

Here's the gem:

Amber and the Hidden City 

Thirteen year old Amber Robinson's life is full of changes. Her parents are sending her to a private school away from her friends, and high school looms before her. But little does she know that her biggest change awaits in a mysterious city hidden from the world for a thousand years. Why? Amber's grandmother is a princess from this magical kingdom of Marai. She's been summoned home to use her special abilities to select the new king but she no longer has the gift, and her daughter was never trained for the task. That leaves only one person with the ability to save the city: Amber! But there are those who are determined that Amber never reaches Marai and they will do anything to stop her. Prepare yourself for an exciting adventure that spans from the Atlanta suburbs to the grasslands of Mali. It's a story of a girl who discovers her hidden abilities and heritage in a way that surprises and entertains.

Purchase links: MVmedia   Amazon   Barnes & Noble


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Steamfunk Your Way To Freshness

I'm going to slide this name across the table and give you a moment to think things over: Balogun Ojetade. One of the driving forces behind the Butler/Banks Book Blog Tour. Steam/Dieselfunk pioneer. Likely a level 4 telepath.

Think on that a while.











Balogun is the author of the bestselling Afrikan Martial Arts: Discovering the Warrior Within and screenwriter / producer / director of the films, A Single Link and Rite of Passage: Initiation.
He is one of the leading authorities on Steamfunk – a philosophy or style of writing that combines the African and / or African American culture and approach to life with that of the steampunk philosophy and / or steampunk fiction – and writes about it, the craft of writing, Sword & Soul and Steampunk in general, at http://chroniclesofharriet.com/.
He is author of six novels – the Steamfunk bestseller, MOSES: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman (Books 1 & 2); the Urban Science Fiction saga, Redeemer; the Sword & Soul epic, Once Upon A Time In Afrika, two Fight Fiction, Action-Adventure novellas – A Single Link and Fist of Afrika and the two-fisted Dieselfunk tale, The Scythe. Balogun is also contributing co-editor of two anthologies: Ki: Khanga: The Anthology and Steamfunk.
Finally, Balogun is the Director and Fight Choreographer of the Steamfunk feature film, Rite of Passage, which he wrote based on the short story, Rite of Passage, by author Milton Davis.
You can reach him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Afrikan.Martial.Arts; on Twitter @Baba_Balogun and on Tumblr at www.tumblr.com/blog/blackspeculativefiction.
The Scythe Blurb (Click HERE to view the trailer)

He has been given a second chance at life. A second chance at revenge. He is the bridge between the Quick and the Dead. He is…THE SCYTHE!
Out of the tragedy of the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921, a two-fisted hero rises from the grave!
Inspired by the pulp magazines of the 1930s and 1940s, a tale of action, adventure, thrills and chills await fans of Dieselpunk, die-hard pulp fans and readers who just love a gritty story that packs a mean punch.
Enter a world in which Gangsters, Flappers, vampires, robots and the Ku Klux Klan all roam the same dark back streets; a world of grit, grime and grease; a world of hardboiled gumshoe detectives and mad scientists; a world where magic and technology compete for rule over the world.

Dieselfunk has emerged in The Scythe…and the Roaring Twenties will never seem the same!
Purchase The Scythe and other works by Balogun Ojetade at https://www.roaringlionsproductions.com/. All of his works are also available on Amazon.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Butler/Banks Book Tour: Alan Jones


Alan D. Jones: Former columnist for the Atlanta Tribune, Alan Jones has worked most of his adult life as a Business/IT consultant, working all across America from Los Angeles to Wall Street. Born in Atlanta, Alan attended GA-Tech and GA State, obtaining his MBA from Georgia State University's Robinson School of Business. In addition, Alan was a feature writer for the student newspapers at both schools. Alan also served on the board of the Atlanta chapter of the National Black MBA association.


Alan is the author of the Science Fiction novels To Wrestle with Darkness and its prequel, Sacrifices.

Sacrifices Synopsis: 
In Sacrifices, a prequel to Alan’s first book, To Wrestle with Darkness, we meet Cil, Deborah, Ruth and Sarah. They are four sisters descended from the coupling of angels and humans. And as such they’ve been embodied with fantastical abilities which they use to defend the world from those who would harm it, be they flesh or spirit. In Sacrifices, they find themselves tested, as they must contest the forces of darkness who are intent on ending all of creation. If they are to prevail, there will certainly be sacrifices.

Review:
From slavery to sacrifices to victory -- a journey worth taking February 10, 2014
By Ruth DeJauregui

This fascinating prequel to "To Wrestle With Darkness", Sacrifices, which is book two of the trilogy, follows the four sisters -- Cil, Deborah, Ruth and Sarah have a destiny to fulfill.
I'm not usually a fan of stories that leap back and forth in time, from the 1700s to the present, but in this case, Jones did a masterful job in not only keeping the story on-track through the centuries, but as the book drew to a close, it all became clear. The story really was in sequence, although at first it didn't look that way at all

From slavery to sacrifices to victory, the story of the family and their journey from the past to the future is deeply imbedded in not just Christianity, but also ancient mythology, Sacrifices tells us of both Faith and the consequences of actions and reactions, whether well-meant or knowingly stepping off the path of righteousness.

I not only thoroughly enjoyed this book, I'd read it again, and again. There's depths to the story that will only reveal themselves on rereading, and I'm looking forward to the journey.



Tomorrow, the SteamFunk locomotion that is BALOGUN OJETADE!

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Mothership Connection Is Here

It’s guest post time. Myself and a crew of authors are embarking on a journey of the imagination honoring giants in the world of science/speculative fiction: Octavia Butler and L.A. Banks.




Octavia Estelle Butler was an internationally acclaimed science fiction writer. A recipient of both the Hugo and Nebula awards (two of each), her evocative novels explored far-reaching issues of race, sex, power and, ultimately, what it means to be human. Butler was one of the best-known women and Black authors in the field. In 1995, she became the first Science Fiction writer to receive the MacArthur Fellowship. Set in time periods ranging from the historical past to the distant future, Ms. Butler’s books are known for their controlled economy of language and for their strong, believable protagonists, many of them Black women. She wrote a dozen novels, including KindredParable of the SowerParable of the Talents; and Fledgling.
Leslie Esdaile Banks – who wrote under the pen names of Leslie Esdaile, Leslie E. Banks, Leslie Banks, Leslie Esdaile Banks and L. A. Banks – wrote in various genres, including African-American Literature, Romance, Women’s Fiction, Crime, Suspense, Dark Fantasy, Horror and Non-Fiction for five publishing companies. Best known for The Vampire Huntress Legend Series, Ms. Banks won several literary awards, including the 2008 Essence Literary Awards Storyteller of the Year.
Over the next few weeks you’ll be introduced to the crew of the Butler/Banks Book Tour: The Fresh Fest of Afrofuturism, featuring some of the finest voices in science fiction, steamfunk, sword and soul, fantasy, magic realism and straight-up outstanding literature. Especially that last, because no matter what the genre, when it’s cooked right it is, was, and always will be… literature. That’s how Octavia Butler did it. That’s how L.A. Banks did it. By damn, that’s how the Butler/Banks Book Tour is doing it!
So let me put on my Sgt. Pepper gear and belt it out for our first author on the launch pad while you prepare to order and engage. Let me introduce to you COLBY R. RICE, author and shameless nerd!

Coooooooool-by… Riiiiiiiiice!

A shameless nerd and bookworm since the age of five, Colby R Rice is the author of Ghosts of Koa, the first novel in The Books of Ezekiel, a dystopian-urban fantasy decalogy. She was an Air Force BRAT born in Bitburg Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany and came to the States at the age of one.

Colby bounced around a lot, but finally settled in Los Angeles, where she could at last deal with her addictions to creative entrepreneurship, motorcycles, and traveling.

Now, armed with a mound of animal crackers and gallons of Coca-Cola, Colby takes on fiction writing in a fight to the death!

Current projects include: the second novel in The Books of Ezekiel series, the first novel in a middle grade SFF detective series, the first novel in an adult sci-fi thriller series, development of her first sci-fi thriller film, and the growth of her production house, Rebel Ragdoll. Stay tuned at her website and blog at Colby's Cove!

Her work:

Ghosts of Koa: The First Book of Ezekiel

Get it now in ebook or paperback (and audiobook coming in June)!
And coming soon on IBookstore & Google Play!

For over one hundred years the Civic Order and the Alchemic Order have held a shaky truce, peppered by violence and mistrust. But when Koa, a Civilian-born insurgency, bombs an Alchemist summit, the truce is shattered. Now, Koa is rising. War is coming. And all sixteen-year-old Zeika Anon can do is keep moving as she watches the lords of alchemy slowly overtake her home.

But when clashes between Koa and the Alchemic Order put a final, deadly squeeze on the remaining Civilian territories, Zeika finds herself in the crosshairs of fate. She must walk the line between survival and rebellion against the Alchemists. On one side of the line awaits death. On the other, the betrayal of her civilization, her loyalties, and herself.
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GHOSTS OF KOA is a fast-paced, post-apocalyptic survival tale, set in the streets of a dying city that has been crushed by alchemic law. Layered with the elements of gritty crime drama, dark urban fantasy, hard sci-fi, and horror, GHOSTS OF KOA is a wild ride to the end of a young girl's sanity as she struggles with an impossible choice: to keep one step ahead of a war... or to be consumed by it.

CONTENT WARNING - Contains coarse language, intense violence, adult / suggestive themes, and aberrant behavior. Reader discretion is advised.


A SNEAK PREVIEW OF THE COMING WEEKS. This ain't your daddy's Jupiter Two. In the coming weeks seal your gel-pods and prepare for tachyon speed with:





Alan D. Jones     Balogun Ojatade     Carole McDonnell      Crystal Conner     DaVaun Sanders   

Jeff Carroll      K. Ceres Wright     Kai Leakes     Keith (DK) Gaston     Milton Davis     Valjeanne Jeffers

...and me. Historical Inaccuracies is chock full of sci-fi, speculative goodness, or didn't you know?