The Voices of Martyrs by Maurice Broaddus
Rosarium Publishing, ISBN 9780996769259, February 2017
By Lis Carey: One of the fun things about reviewing books is that you can be offered a book for review that you might never have noticed on your own. For me, this is one such book.
It’s a collection of short stories with settings ranging from ancient Africa to the slave trade, to the Jim Crow era in the US to alternate histories and the far future. Some are clearly science fiction or fantasy, while others have the barest possible fantastic content. Even those with little to no fantastic content, though, are written from s background and viewpoint that is outside my cultural background or usual reading experience. It’s as challenging as any “unknown world” in science fiction, the more so because of the knowledge that it reflects the experience and cultural background of someone really living in the same world I do, and living that alien life here.
The protagonists here are men and women, young and old. There’s even one white viewpoint character–the captain of a slave ship, who expects to make his fortune on his one distasteful journey, and go back home to his wife and child. There’s a woman cast out from her tribe, but determined to right one terrible wrong. A woman becomes a soldier in the service of a new imperialism, and a young man who thinks he’s just out for his weekly night on the town, who discovers he’s destined for something much more momentous, and so is the music he loves. The settings feel real and palpable, and if the characters are not people I know, they certainly feel like characters Broaddus knows.
This isn’t a collection to be rushed through; it’s best savored more slowly and thoughtfully. But read it you definitely should.
Bryan Thomas Schmidt and Monster Hunter International creator Larry Correia have signed a contract with Baen to co-edit an anthology of stories set in Correia’s Monster Hunter universe.
Schmidt told his Facebook readers the anthology will feature 18-20 stories. Correia will write two of them himself, including one from a monster’s POV (never done before).
Other invited contributors include Jim Butcher, Jonathan Maberry, Jessica Day George, Faith Hunter, John Ringo, Sarah A. Hoyt, John A. Pitts, Jody Lynn Nye, Mike Kupari, Maurice Broaddus, plus Steve Diamond and John C. Wright .
From the dust of The Trying Times TM, corp-nations have risen up in place of failed governments, and twilight haze dropped down in place of the sky. The economy fell, and the Earth itself shot heavenward, transforming the very face of the planet into an alien landscape with towers punching past the new sky into one of many unknowns. Soon after, the jumper started raining from among the blue lanterns that took the place of sun and stars.
Mac Peterson left the employ of LG Security Forces and now cobbles together a life in the shadows of the great towers, filling policing needs for people too unimportant for the professional corp-national security to care about. His ex-wife, Kiersten, stayed behind on the Security Forces, working undercover. When she turns up dead alongside one of the tower jumpers, Mac pairs up with Ade Walters, a cyborg officer, to uncover who would try to hide Kiersten’s death among the suicides. Searching for the murderer of one of their own, Mac and Ade discover plans to transform the Earth and its inhabitants…plans that only started with the upheaval and The Trying Times TM.
Broaddus has written hundreds of short stories, essays, novellas, and articles. His dark fiction has been published in numerous magazines, anthologies, and web sites, including Asimov’s SF, Cemetery Dance, Apex Magazine, Black Static, and Weird Tales Magazine. He is the co-editor of the Dark Faith anthology series (Apex Books) and the author of the urban fantasy trilogy, Knights of Breton Court (Angry Robot Books). He has been a teaching artist for over five years, teaching creative writing to students of all ages.