Scierogenous: An Anthology of Erotic Science edited by Quinton Veal and Valjeanne Jeffers

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At: www.vjeffersandqveal.com

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Fantastic Books I’ve Edited Week III: N: Eternity Reclaimed

NEternityReclaimed
Buy N:Eternity Reclaimed at Amazon in print and in Kindle.

Today I continue my series of “Fantastic Books I’ve Edited” with a spotlight on Author DjaDja Medjay. DjaDja is the author of N:Eternity Reclaimed, (part of his Renpet series), which I had the immense pleasure of editing. Here’s my review of N:Eternity Reclaimed.

“’I hunger.’

A ravenous voice spoke out from an unknown place—with savage intent. Who and what was speaking? It was as if the air itself was alive with a flesh being’s consciousness..!

‘CHARGE at me!’ I shouted. ‘I want to know what fighting potential this world has!’

‘Yes, sister, I am coming…’” from N: Eternity Reclaimed, by DjaDja N-Medjay.

Author DjaDja N-Medjay deftly takes us on a journey with N a meta-human and time traveler. As N is snatched from one planet—one time to the next—as she fights to survive, she is forced to re-examine her life of conquest to discover the woman within the warrior. We meet her bloodthirsty husband, who has become more and less than a man, a murderous planet and a ruthless general…all who are ultimately searching for meaning and redemption. N is sexy, cosmic and transformative. This is Afro-futurism at its best and I give it an five enthusiastic stars!

Drumroll if you please! I now present, for your enjoyment, Author DjaDja Medjay.

DjaDja N Medjay (the D is silent) was born and raised in New York City. Over the years, he has studied many different modalities of healing and energy. At some point his passion began to take another route, seeing that he took in a lot of different modalities and digested a small percent, he know takes a different approach. Study and Application.

As a youth, he was always attracted to Sci-Fi and Fantasy films. In his adult years, he recognized that much of this genre mirrored themes in Nubian (Afrikan) Culture. He began to develop stories that reflected what he calls the ‘internal science’ of the Nubian Culture. Eventually he developed what he calls THE RENPET PHENOMENON, which is the main theme in his writings.

DjaDja N Medjay practices Martial Sciences and Internal Breathing during the course of his days. He also a Certified Ohashiatsu Instructor and Consultant as well as a LMT. He has taught several Ohashiatsu classes, has a fulfilling practice and offers his services to the community through Metta Lokka, a not-for-profit organization that provides loving kindness to community organizations.

What was the spark that gave birth to your first book Renpet?
This is an interesting question. The first book was developed as a result of reading Octavia Butler’s Pattern Master Series and later experiencing a lucid dream….of the future. Within the dream, I experienced our world after a series of world-altering solar flares which left much of the population removed from Earth. I was being chased by individuals that wanted to cause me harm. Long story short, I expressed supernatural abilities to control fields of energy….as my attackers had supernatural abilities of their own. The next morning I began to write down as much as I could remember and this was the starting of THE RENPET PHENOMENON.

What is The Renpet Phenomenon?
I am still developing this concept but here it is in a nutshell: The Renpet Phenomenon are a collection of cosmically shifting events causing changes in Solar Flare Activity resulting in Post Traumatic Stress of Cellular Activity and aggressive mutation of cellular composition….what one might call Evolution.

Renpet, the word, is an english representation of the Nubian utterance of sound to engender the energy of personified fertility, spring and youth..all elements of time. Used both by the Kemetyu (so-called Egyptians) and Nubians of AFRAKA, seen as a young woman with a palm shoot stemming from her crown (head).

RP, as documented in my Afro-Futuristic Novels, can be approached from many directions. To some degree, we can say one out of its many inceptions started with the introduction of Mitochondria (usage1901, from German, coined 1898 by microbiologist Carl Benda (1857-1933), from Greek mitos “thread” (see mitre) + khondrion “little granule,” diminutive of khondros “granule, lump of salt.”) to this planet within the bodies of certain sea-beings who were transported into the oceans of Earth.

Why is Sci-Fi important to you?
At one point I would of called myself a Sci-Fi and although I still enjoy a good sci-fi movie, my current opinion is that Sci-Fi is DEAD. Having journeyed through many spiritual sciences and practices while acknowledging each culture puts their spin on these practices, I come to the conclusion that my focus in the literary arts should lean towards the developing genre called Afrofuturism. My reasoning is that I have not seen or experienced, the science-fiction genre acknowledge its humbled beginnings…Nubian spiritual sciences and cultural stories.

In addition, I have yet to see any Science Fiction story or concept fully acknowledge the creator or omnipresent force (maybe George Lucas) that operates on the mechanism of spiritual unity and love. Most storylines illustrate man’s attempt to control nature while the Nubian culture encourages working with nature. Furthermore, I feel it is the responsibility of all Nubian writers to steer their focuses in the Afrofuturism direction. It is important to project images and ideas that you want to be reflected in years to come…there is an absence of humanity and love in Sci-Fi….but it is getting a bit better.
What can we expect from you in the future?

You can expect a strong push for mental and spiritual growth through literature as well as ‘bill-boarded’ images and concepts of Afrofuturism. I am also formulating a villainous scheme for animation and a potential film. You can also expect an interesting tie-in between my health and healing practice and my writing, as I encourage more people to become involved in natural internal sciences and practices while in-taking the life energies of the Sun…

However, until then…you can expect to see my next Afro-Futurstic Novel…Rising Depth to be released in Winter.

Rise in Excellence. DjaDja Medjay

RisingDepth

author-valjeanne-jeffers-ala
Contact Valjeanne Jeffers for editing and cover art at sister24moon@gmail.com

Valjeanne Jeffers is the author of eight science fiction/fantasy novels, and she has been published in numerous anthologies. Purchase her novels at http://www.vjeffersandqveal.com and Amazon

She is co-owner of http://qandvaffordableediting.blogspot.com with poet and artist Quinton Veal. Contact Valjeanne for editing, and/or cover art at: sister24moon@gmail.com her reasonable prices will shock and amaze you 🙂

Fantastic Books I’ve Edited Week II: Once Upon a Time in Afrika

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Purchase Once Upon a Time in Afrika here. Balogun Ojetade on Amazon.

This week I continue my blog series “Fantastic Books I’ve Edited” with a spotlight on Author and Editor Balogun Ojetade and his fantastic novel: Once Upon a Time in Afrika.

What I can I say about Once Upon a Time in Afrika? Read. This. Book. You’ll thank me later. Once Upon a Time in Afrika is a wildly imaginative ride full of rich, vibrant characters, sorcery, African mythology, and mad cool battle scenes. This is one of those novels that I wished (while editing) that I was curled upon a sofa with, instead of sitting in front of my pc. Of course that didn’t stop me from enjoying it. But then, Brother Balogun Ojetade is one of my favorite authors and he never fails to deliver.

So, without further fanfare I present an interview with Balogun Ojetade.

Q&A with Author Balogun Ojetade

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Who is Balogun Ojetade?
He is an author; a father of eight children; a husband; a Steamfunkateer; a filmmaker; a screenwriter; an actor (sometimes); a master instructor of indigenous Afrikan martial arts; a creator of role-playing games and a traditional Afrikan priest. Oh…and he always spells “Afrikan” and “Afrika” with a “k”.

When did you first get into science fiction, fantasy and speculative fiction?
When I was two years old – my sisters decided to conduct an experiment and see if they could teach their two year old brother to read by getting him hooked on comic books, starting with Thor, Superman, Beetle Bailey, Archie and the Fantastic Four. Their experiment worked and I have been in love with speculative and imaginative fiction ever since.

Tell us about Once Upon A Time In Afrika
Once Upon A Time in Afrika is my Sword and Soul novel. For a definition of Sword and Soul, I will quote the subgenre’s founder, the incomparable author, friend and Jegna (“mentor”), Charles R. Saunders: “Sword-and-soul is the name I’ve given to the type of fiction I’ve been writing for nearly 40 years. The best definition I can think of for the term is ‘African-inspired heroic fantasy’. Its roots are in sword-and-sorcery, but its scope is likely to expand as time passes.”

Here’s what Once Upon A Time In Afrika is about: Desperate to marry off his beautiful but “tomboyish” daughter, Esuseeke, the Emperor of the powerful empire of Oyo consults the Oracle, which tells him that Esuseeke must marry the greatest warrior in all Onile (Afrika). To determine who the greatest warrior is, the Emperor hosts a grand martial arts tournament, inviting warriors from all over the continent. Just a few of the warriors chosen are her lover, Akin, who enters the tournament in disguise, a wizard seeking to avenge the death of a loved one and a vicious dwarf with shark-like, iron teeth. Unknown to the warriors and spectators of the tournament, a powerful evil is headed their way and they will be forced to decide if they will band together against the evil, flee, or confront the evil as individuals.

Why are Science Fiction and Fantasy important to you?
I learned just how important Science Fiction and Fantasy is after spending several years as an English and Creative Writing teacher in the public and private sectors. In conversing with other English teachers, I often asked them if they taught creative writing in their classes. Most did not. One teacher told me that she tried “that creative writing stuff” with her students, but quickly gave up on it and returned to a more“practical syllabus.” Upon further investigation, I discovered that she believed creative writing – particularly Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy – to be something outside – and, indeed, beneath – the instruction of English.

Most educators of English / Language Arts focus on the mechanics of the subject – how to read and write, rules of grammar, use of verbs, adverbs, adjectives, pronouns and nouns and sentence comprehension – without the context of why and how those mechanics are used by students to express themselves.

Yes, we need to teach the mechanics – how to hold a pen; how to read; how words work – but we should not confuse use of a thing with understanding of it. Training in the mechanics of writing produces writing technicians; however, it does not make you a writer. So, you know how to spell; you can answer questions on grammar; you can repeat someone else’s literary criticism of a text – you are a technician. You can fix my text as a garage mechanic can fix my car. The garage mechanic can’t design a car. They can’t improve a car. They can’t build one from scratch. They can only ever work on someone else’s car. This is why we – and our children – need to read and to write Science Fiction and Fantasy – so that our children do not only work on other people’s texts; they create and build their own. So they are not limited to just reading a story written by someone else and providing a report on it – they are out there in the field, experimenting with new stories and questioning old ones…if only for the reason that they can.

We need to teach our children to go out into the world to add to the pantheon of human creation and endeavor, not to dissect the words of long dead men. Science Fiction and Fantasy are best suited for that.

What type of research goes into bringing one of your stories to life?
Tons of research…on the history; on the setting; on the culture and belief system of the people I write about. If we are going to write Steampunk and our story is set during the Victorian Era (between 1837 and 1901) and we want to avoid the cultural appropriation so prevalent in Steampunk, then it is necessary that we know history; that we understand how the Age of Steam was, so that we can determine how it should have been.

If we cosplay a “Steampunk Squaw,” we should research how First Nation women lived during the Age of Steam; we should study First Nation cultures and choose in which nation we are going to gain historical and sociological expertise; we should research the word “squaw”, understand it is an offensive term to First Nation women and change the name…if you give a damn.

And that is what research is: giving a damn. So I do it…a lot.

Contact Valjeanne Jeffers for editing and cover art at sister24moon@gmail.com

Valjeanne Jeffers is the author of eight science fiction/fantasy novels, and she has been published in numerous anthologies. Purchase her novels at www.vjeffersandqveal.com and Amazon

She is co-owner of http://qandvaffordableediting.blogspot.com with poet and artist Quinton Veal. Contact Valjeanne for editing, and/or cover art at: sister24moon@gmail.com her reasonable prices will shock and amaze you 🙂

Valjeanne Jeffers

Voyage of Dreams

BookCoverPreviewvoyage of dreams
. . .A Collection of Otherwordly Short Stories
Cover art and design by Quinton Veal

Table of Contents
Immortal (excerpt)
Mona Livelong: Paranormal Detective (excerpt)
Awakening
Colony Ascension (excerpt)
The Switch (book I of The Switch II: Clockwork)
Mocha Faeryland
Stealer of Souls (Immortal III excerpt)
Outcasts
Grandmere’s Secret

Immortal

“The caretakers’ offices are on the ground floor.” Karla pointed to each of the four cubicles, two on both sides of the shuttered kitchen. Silver’s application had been accepted with only one dissenting vote. Hung Wai said he didn’t trust him. Now, Karla was giving Silver a tour of his new home.

She gestured to the flat screen mounted to a post in the center of the room. “On this console you can listen to music or watch net shows. If it’s after 11:00 o’clock, just keep the volume settings low.” The youth trudged alongside her, dragging a green knapsack.

Karla pointed to the bag. “Is that your stuff?”

Silver grinned, his teeth were surprising white and even. “Yeah. . .”

Boy, he’s got great looking teeth for a junkie. “Is it heavy?”

“Little bit, but I’m okay.”

She returned his smile. “We don’t have far to go.” They boarded the elevator and got off on the sixth floor. “Seventy-five residents share floors two through six. Every floor with living quarters has a pool table and a weight room, and there’s a library on the third floor.”

“CLEAN doesn’t have an in-house medical staff, but if you have an emergency we’ve got a 24 hour hotline that can be accessed using any console; and a panic button on every floor.” Karla pointed to the red button next to the elevator.

“Or you can tell one of our enforcers. They’re here round the clock.” She waved at the two golden-skinned Telphranes flanking the left wall and they nodded their bald heads in greeting.

“Come on, I’ll show you to your room.” Karla walked him to his cubicle: one among the fifteen, rectangular stalls that lined the floor; followed him inside and settled in one of the two armchairs, while he sat on the bed

She grinned, “Believe it or not, I’m almost finished. Breakfast is served between 9:00 and 10:00; lunch between 12:00 and 1:00. Meditation is at 10:30, and living sessions are from 2:30 to 4:30. Matt’s been assigned as your personal caretaker. During your first week, he’s available to you 24 hours a day.”

“The house rules are posted on every floor, but I’ll go over them because you can be evicted for breaking just one. No drugs allowed unless they’re prescribed. No visits to a resident’s cubicle unless you’re invited—this one’s really important because we’ve got male and female residents living here. You’re adults, we don’t care what you do, so long as it’s consensual and it’s not group sex. No rapes or orgies allowed.”

“No physical violence allowed either. If you’ve got a problem with one of your housemates, see your caretaker. That’s it,” Karla stood, “any questions?”

Silver shook his head. “Naw, I’m cool.”

“So you think you’re gonna like it here?”

He smiled shyly. “I think I’m gonna love it.”

Karla leaned down and hugged him. “Welcome to the family.”

****

Tehotep sprawled on the cushioned divan, one leg thrown over the couch arm, Red and black hued carpets were scattered over the hardwood floors. Black marble columns supported the ceilings. The warehouse was lit by oil burning lamps and scented candles, the walls, decorated with paintings of mortals coupling with daemons.

He eyed the six addicts lounging about the room: four sucking greedily on rush pipes, two others making love in the corner. For weeks, he’d been luring them here. They preferred his house to the dormitories —and even the nightspots. There were no rules here, no credits to worry about. They only had to remember that his commands were law.

Now they numbered 60. Soon, he would have hundreds. For a moment, he gazed feverishly at the two slaves and was sorely tempted to join them. No, it’s time for the ceremony.

Tehotep rose from the chair and spread his arms. Come to me. . .In moments, he was surrounded by his acolytes; surviving for weeks on a diet of little more than drugs, his slaves were emaciated. He wondered if they would all survive the transmogrification.

“Take off your clothing and go to the basement.” They glanced at each another fearfully. He’d threatened to kill them if they ever went into the basement. Now he was ordering them to break his own edict?

“Obey me now.” His voice would brook no refusal. They disrobed and in twos and threes began to board the elevator. When they’d all reached the ground floor, Tehotep appeared in the center of the room. The acolytes jumped then stared at him fearfully.

Yet another sorcerer’s trick to prove he wasn’t human.

But once they got a good look at the room, they were ready to bolt.

The cellar was bereft of furniture or windows and lit by four candles, one in each corner of the room. A huge, half circle had been etched into the floor and painted with a crimson substance that glowed eerily in the dim light. Those standing near the door started to back away, mumbling under their breath.

“If you try to leave, I will kill you where you stand!” His voice held them immobile.

“You!” He called a thin, trembling woman to him, and directed her to mold her body to the design. He ordered a second slave to lie beneath her, so that his fingertips touched her toes. One by one, at his command, they fitted their bodies to the diagram.

Tehotep stepped inside the fractured circle, raised his hands and began to chant: “Transformai edivai, transformai edivai…That which is whole, let it be broken, that which is pure, let it be defiled
. . .”

Ghostly shadows appeared along the walls, their voices merging with his. The chant grew to a roar. His acolytes began to scream. . .

Now available at: www.vjeffersandqveal.com

And smashwords: Voyage of Dreams

October is Black Speculative Fiction Month…Y’all Ready for This?

Annabelle04Imaro
watch the shadowsadventures of fortune mccall pic
RetrokmOnce Upon a Time

Cover art by Quinton Veal. Copyright 2013 all rights reserved.
Cover art by Quinton Veal. Copyright 2013 all rights reserved.
immortalnewveiw
Mona Livelong (in progress) art by Quinton Veal Copyright 2013 all rights reserved.
Mona Livelong (in progress) art by Quinton Veal Copyright 2013 all rights reserved.
Short Story. Cover art by Quinton Veal. Copyright 2013 all rights reserved.
Short Story. Cover art by Quinton Veal. Copyright 2013 all rights reserved.
Novel Sneak Peek. Cover Art by Quinton Veal. Copyright 2013 all rights reserved.
Novel Sneak Peek. Cover Art by Quinton Veal. Copyright 2013 all rights reserved.
immortal 2
Steamfunk Short Story. Cover Art by Quinton Veal.
Steamfunk Short Story. Cover Art by Quinton Veal.

October is Black Speculative Fiction Month. Right on! What, you ask, is Speculative Fiction? Speculative Fiction is an umbrella term for the broad genres of horror, science fiction, pulp fiction, and fantasy (for example, the sub-genre Sword and Sorcery). Black Speculative Fiction is also an umbrella term but with one important difference.

Black Speculative Fiction encompasses stories of horror, fantasy and science fiction which come out of the Black and/or African experience. So now we may add the very young sub-genre of Sword and Soul which was created by Charles Saunders. These are tales told, for the most part, by African American authors— stories of African sheiks, aliens in the hood, of Haitian witches and warlocks (for example, my story, Outcasts) of Native American and Black vampires and werewolves (such as in, for example, my Immortal series).

Once, as my friend and mentor Charles Saunders said, I could barely find a novel written by an author of color. Now, I can’t keep up with those that are emerging each year, each week, each day. We stand on the cusp of an era. An era which, if I may be so bold, may be likened to the Harlem Renaissance. Indeed we have come far, but with miles to go before we sleep. We must continue this journey with you, our readers.

October is BSFM month. How should you celebrate? Here’s an idea: why not hug an author by visiting their sites. Here’s my site: Pick up an ebook (or if you’re old school like me) a print copy of a book by your favorite author.

You don’t have a favorite author? Don’t sweat it honey, have one of mine 🙂 Here’s a list of some of my favorite writers.

Octavia Butler: Wild Seed, Clay’s Ark, Imago, Kindred. Purchase Queen Octavia’s novels here.

Charles Saunders: The Imaro Series, Damballa, The Dossouye Series, Griots: A Sword and Souls Anthology (editor with Milton Davis).

Valjeanne Jeffers: the Immortal series, The Switch II: Clockwork (includes books I and II)

Quinton Veal: Cover artist for Immortal III and The Switch II: Clockwork
(and numerous other covers). Check him out here.

Edward Uzzle: Retro KM: Lord of the Landlords, NETERS. Check him out here.

Howard Night: The Serpent Cult, Race War (The Reckoning). Check him out here.

D.K. Gaston: The Friday House, Pantheon. Check him out here.

DjaDja Medjay: N:Eternity Reclaimed check it out here
Renpet coming soon!

A.J. Jarrell: Detecting Magic With Dick Hunter, The Good King Saga. Check him out here.

TK McEachin: The Elements Series (in press)

Carole McDonnell: Wind Follower, The Constant Tower, Spirit Fruit. Check her out here.

B. Sharise Moore: Taste: An Erotic Fantasy Series. Check her out here.

Derrick Ferguson: Dillion and The Voice of Odin, Four Bullets For Odin,
The Adventure of Fortune McCall. Check him out here.

Ronald Jones: Warriors of the Four Worlds, Subject 82-42. Check him out here.

Milton Davis: the Meji Series, The Changa Safari Series, Steamfunk! (as co-editor). Check him out here.

Balogun Ojatade: The Chronicles of Harriet, Once Upon a Time in Afrika Steamfunk! (as co-editor). Check him here.

Nalo Hopkinson: Midnight Robber, Sister Mine. Check her out here.

Tananarive Due: The Good House, My Soul to Keep. Check her out here.

Steven Barnes: The Lions Blood, Shadow Valley, Zulu Heart. Check her out here.

Alicia McCalla: Breaking Free, Iniko (African Elementals), Possibilities (edited with L.M. Davis). Check her out here.

Melvin Carter: Leopard’s Moon. Check him out here.

John F. Allen The God Killers. Check him out here.

And here are more some super-cool sites:

Authors Valjeanne Jeffers and Quinton Veal

Daathrekh.com

Black Speculative Fiction Reviews

To Lands Far and Afield

The AfroFuturist Affair

Black Lit Magazine

Invisible Universe

Black Science Fiction Society

Mocha Memoirs Press

I’ll be adding links for everyone so be sure to check in with me. This list is not exhaustive. But it should get you started. Now go forth and celebrate! And Happy Black Speculative Fiction Month!

Wither the Evil and the Fantastic?

FROM THE TRAVELING ROUND TABLE OF FANTASY BLOGGERS

immortalnewveiw

Cover art by Quinton Veal. Copyright 2013 all rights reserved.
Cover art by Quinton Veal. Copyright 2013 all rights reserved.

I have often contemplated the nature of evil. What is it that drives men and women to commit evil deeds? I have concluded that evil folks are made, not born. And there are many reasons that evil doers continue on their path. The quest for power. Selfishness. An abiding hatred of everyone― including themselves.

Thus, as a writer, I have found that villains with myriad layers are more interesting, realistic and more fun than one dimensional evil doers—the villain tormented by love or guilt over his own deeds. The man or woman obsessed with material gain or power. This is the stuff of which great villains are made; such as the antagonists of my Immortal series, “Tehotep” and “Z100,” the villainess of The Switch II: Clockwork. Art, after all, should imitate life.

Then too, some evil acts may be committed by folks who are not necessarily evil but who have simply made the wrong choices (whatever their motivation). I recently had an inner dialogue about one of my newest characters. I concluded that the character was not evil. But she does make choices that result in mayhem. Who among us has not made bad decisions? And in my Immortal saga and The Switch II: Clockwork (which includes books I and II), I explore these questions through my characters—none of whom are perfect—and plots.

Yet what would a science/fantasy novel be without the fantastical?

Fantastic is described as wondrous and wild; to quote a few definitions. These are perfect metaphors for a SF/fantasy villain: an evil doer with preternatural powers and with dark foreboding or evil intentions. A villain can, and should, wreck havoc with the lives of one’s heroines and heroes.

In my novels my evil doers are imbued with fantastic powers―supernatural or man-made. Of course, I’ve given fantastical gifts to my heroines and heroes, too. Thank goodness for this! For how could they complete their life-changing quests without them? How could the plot twists and turns take place? How could the glorious battles I envisioned, happen? The fantastic too, is a perfect metaphor for speculative fiction. For as writers we don᾿t want the ordinary. We don᾿t want the humdrum.

We want the fantastik. This is stuff of which SF/fantasy worlds are made.

In my newest novels, which I’ll release later this year, Mona Livelong: Paranormal and Colony: Ascension, I’ve used both the evil and the fantastic to build my worlds. Take a gander below at the excerpt from Mona Livelong: Paranormal Detective.

Mona Livelong (in progress) art by Quinton Veal Copyright 2013 all rights reserved.
Mona Livelong (in progress) art by Quinton Veal Copyright 2013 all rights reserved.

Sally looked closer, stretching his mouth further open with a gloved hand. She reached inside. “It looks like a key. . .How did I miss this?” Probing with her fingertips, she pulled the metal from where it was sticking just under his tongue. All at once, she jerked spasmodically.
“Sally—Sally!”
“Yes. . . I. . .” The laboratory waved before her eyes. . .
Light from a single, gas streetlamp pooled upon the empty street. Footfalls echoed behind her, unhurried, yet unrelenting in their step.
She whirled around His big, tattooed body blocked the dim light.
He was a swarthy man, with dimpled cheeks and full lips, handsome, except for his glistening gray eyes; and his smile. . . a terrible cold grin, the grimace of a killer: a sadist. . .

I hope I’ve done justice to my characters. I hope my readers will be pleased.

Valjeanne is the author of the SF/fantasy novels: Immortal, Immortal II: The Time of Legend, Immortal III: Stealer of Souls, and the steampunk novelsImmortal IV: Collision of Worlds and The Switch II: Clockwork (includes books I and II).

She is a graduate of Spelman College, NCCU and a member of the Carolina African American Writers’ Collective. She has been published under both Valjeanne Jeffers and Valjeanne Jeffers-Thompson. Her writing has appeared in: The Obamas: Portrait of America’s New First Family, from the Editors of Essence, The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South, Pembroke Magazine, Revelry, Drumvoices Revue 20th Anniversary, and Liberated Muse: How I Freed My Soul Vol. I. She was also semi-finalist for the 2007 Rita Dove Poetry Award.

Valjeanne’s fiction has appeared in Steamfunk! Genesis: An Anthology of Black Science Fiction, Griots: A Sword and Soul Anthology, LuneWing, PurpleMag, Genesis Science Fiction Magazine, Pembroke Magazine, Possibilities, 31 Days of Steamy Mocha, and Griots II: Sisters of the Spear (in press). She works as an editor for Mocha Memoirs Press and is also co-owner of Q& V Affordable editing. Preview or purchase her novels at: http://www.vjeffersandqveal.com

A Harvest of Native American Fantasy

From: The Great Travelling Round Table of Fantasy Bloggers

green grassWay of Horn and Thunderbilly badass

The month of November is reminiscent of orange-ringed harvest moons, piles of flying leaves and succulent dishes… For some it calls to mind the Norman Rockwell moment frozen in time when Pilgrims and “Indians” sat down to dinner in a picture-perfect afternoon of brotherly love, peace and thanksgiving.

I instead envision Native American writers moving through the stacks of speculative fiction. So I thought it would be particularly apt in November to showcase the harvest of Native American SF/fantasy that I recently became acquainted with: The Ballad of Billy Badass and the Rose of Turkestan, written by Cherokee author William Sanders, Green Grass, Running Water by Cherokee author Albert King, and The Way of Thorn and Thunder by Cherokee author Daniel Heath Justice.

The Ballad of Billy Badass is a literary protest of the crimes against Native American peoples woven into a tale of a battle against preternatural evil. In Green Grass, Running Water fantasy and myth are humorously used to explore the middle ground between the modern and the traditional. And The Way of Thorn and Thunder is a high fantasy journey that address the destruction of Indigenous magic and culture by conquest– a journey which has been described as just as epic as J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.

Thus, Sanders, King and Justice use science fiction and fantasy quite brilliantly to create a dialogue between past and present… sociopolitical dialogue which is perhaps even more effective because it is spoken through the mouths of their characters.

Writing is transformative. We transform the past and present through the power of written words whether through our characters’ raucous laughter, cries of rage, lonely voices in the wilderness, or sobs of melancholy. In doing so we inform the future. This is just as true of science fiction/fantasy authors as of any other genre. As writers, we give birth to ourselves and our experiences–often making statements about the world around us whether we intend to or not. This, I believe, is our greatest harvest. Our gift, our offering to the world.

Unquestionably it is something to be thankful for.

Valjeanne Jeffers is a SF/fantasy writer and a graduate of Spelman College. She is the author of the Immortal series and The Switch II: Clockwork (this volume includes The Switch I and The Switch II). Valjeanne has been published in numerous anthologies including: Genesis: An Anthology of Black Science Fiction, Griots: A Sword and Soul Anthology, and Steamfunk! (in press). She is also co-owner of Q &V Affordable Editing.

Contact Valjeanne Jeffers at these sites: http://www.vjeffersandqveal.com

and http://qandvaffordableediting.blogspot.com