Maurice Broaddus - Tor/Forge Blog



Our Ongoing Series of 2024

2024 is a big year with a lot of big books! Many of them take place in big worlds established in books that came before. Here’s all of our series that are getting a new entry this year, right here.

the atlas complex by olivie blakeThe Atlas Complex by Olivie Blake

The Atlas Complex marks the much-anticipated, heart-shattering conclusion in Olivie Blake’s trilogy that began with the New York Times bestselling phenomenon, The Atlas Six.

Only the extraordinary are chosen.

Only the cunning survive.

An explosive return to the library leaves the six Alexandrians vulnerable to the lethal terms of their recruitment.

Old alliances quickly fracture as the initiates take opposing strategies as to how to deal with the deadly bargain they have so far failed to uphold. Those who remain with the archives wrestle with the ethics of their astronomical abilities, while elsewhere, an unlikely pair from the Society cohort partner to influence politics on a global stage.

And still the outside world mobilizes to destroy them, while the Caretaker himself, Atlas Blakely, may yet succeed with a plan foreseen to have world-ending stakes. It’s a race to survive as the six Society recruits are faced with the question of what they’re willing to betray for limitless power—and who will be destroyed along the way.

On Sale 1/7/24

kinning by nisi shawlKinning by Nisi Shawl

Kinning, the sequel to Nisi Shawl’s acclaimed debut novel Everfair, continues the stunning alternate history where barkcloth airships soar through the sky, varied peoples build a new society together, and colonies claim their freedom from imperialist tyrants.

The Great War is over. Everfair has found peace within its borders. But our heroes’ stories are far from done.

Tink and his sister Bee-Lung are traveling the world via aircanoe, spreading the spores of a mysterious empathy-generating fungus. Through these spores, they seek to build bonds between people and help spread revolutionary sentiments of socialism and equality—the very ideals that led to Everfair’s founding.

Meanwhile, Everfair’s Princess Mwadi and Prince Ilunga return home from a sojourn in Egypt to vie for their country’s rule following the abdication of their father King Mwenda. But their mother, Queen Josina, manipulates them both from behind the scenes, while also pitting Europe’s influenza-weakened political powers against one another as these countries fight to regain control of their rebellious colonies.

Will Everfair continue to serve as a symbol of hope, freedom, and equality to anticolonial movements around the world, or will it fall to forces inside and out?

On Sale 1/23/24

from the forest by l.e. modesitt, jr.From the Forest by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.

L. E. Modesitt, Jr. continues the Saga of Recluce, the long-running, best-selling epic fantasy series. In a new story arc, From the Forest follows the early life of a man known by many names depending on who you ask—hero, tyrant, emperor.

Alayiakal, who will one day be known by many names —not all of them flattering—has to climb the ranks of Cyador’s Mirror Lancers, fighting against unforeseen weapons and ancient technology.

Alayiakal, however, has secrets of his own to protect: his ties to the Great Forest and his magus abilities. He must silently pretend to be a conventional soldier favored by fate—until that very same fate forces him to choose.

On Sale 1/23/24

heartsong by tj kluneHeartsong by TJ Klune

The Bennett family has a secret: they’re not just a family, they’re a pack. Heartsong is Robbie Fontaine’s story.

All Robbie Fontaine ever wanted was a place to belong. After the death of his mother, he bounces around from pack to pack, forming temporary bonds to keep from turning feral. It’s enough—until he receives a summons from the wolf stronghold in Caswell, Maine. Life as the trusted second to Michelle Hughes—the Alpha of all—and the cherished friend of a gentle old witch teaches Robbie what it means to be pack, to have a home. But when a mission from Michelle sends Robbie into the field, he finds himself questioning where he belongs and everything he’s been told.

Whispers of traitorous wolves and wild magic abound—but who are the traitors and who the betrayed? More than anything, Robbie hungers for answers, because one of those alleged traitors is Kelly Bennett—the wolf who may be his mate.

The truth has a way of coming out. And when it does, everything will shatter.

On Sale 1/30/24

the bezzle by cory doctorowThe Bezzle by Cory Doctorow

New York Times bestseller Cory Doctorow’s The Bezzle is a high stakes thriller where the lives of the hundreds of thousands of inmates in California’s prisons are traded like stock shares.

The year is 2006. Martin Hench is at the top of his game as a self-employed forensic accountant, a veteran of the long guerrilla war between people who want to hide money, and people who want to find it. He spends his downtime on Catalina Island, where scenic, imported bison wander the bluffs and frozen, reheated fast food burgers cost $25. Wait, what? When Marty disrupts a seemingly innocuous scheme during a vacation on Catalina Island, he has no idea he’s kicked off a chain of events that will overtake the next decade of his life.

Martin has made his most dangerous mistake yet: trespassed into the playgrounds of the ultra-wealthy and spoiled their fun. To them, money is a tool, a game, and a way to keep score, and they’ve found their newest mark—California’s Department of Corrections. Secure in the knowledge that they’re living behind far too many firewalls of shell companies and investors ever to be identified, they are interested not in the lives they ruin, but only in how much money they can extract from the government and the hundreds of thousands of prisoners they have at their mercy.

A seething rebuke of the privatized prison system that delves deeply into the arcane and baroque financial chicanery involved in the 2008 financial crash, The Bezzle is a sizzling follow-up to Red Team Blues.

On Sale 2/20/24

lyorn by steven brustLyorn by Steven Brust

All The World’s A Happy Stage. Until the knives come out… Lyorn is the next adventure in Steven Brust’s bestselling Vlad Taltos series

Another Opening…Another Cataclysm?

Vlad Taltos is on the run. Again. This time from one of the most powerful forces in his world, the Left Hand, who are intent on ending his very lucrative career. Permanently.

He finds a hidey-hole in a theatre where the players are putting on a show that was banned centuries ago…and is trying to be shut down by the House that once literally killed to keep it from being played.

Vlad will take on a number of roles to save his own skin. And the skins of those he loves.

And along the way, he might find a part that was tailor-made for him.

One that he might not want…but was always his destiny.

On Sale 4/9/24

forge of the high mage by ian c. esslemontForge of the High Mage by Ian C. Esslemont

A riotous new novel takes readers deeper into the politics and intrigue of the New York Times bestselling Malazan Empire.

After decades of warfare, Malazan forces are poised to consolidate the Quon Tali mainland. Yet it is at this moment that Emperor Kellanved orders a new, some believe foolhardy campaign: the invasion of Falar that lies far to the north . . .

And to fight on this new front, a rag-tag army raised from orphaned units and broken squads is been brought together under Fist Dujek, and joined by a similarly motley fleet under the command of the Emperor himself.

So the Malazans head north, only to encounter an unlooked-for and most unwelcome threat. Something unspeakable and born of legend has awoken and will destroy all who stand in its way. Most appalled by this is the Empire’s untested High Mage, Tayschrenn. All too aware of the true nature of this ancient horror, he fears his own inadequacies when the time comes to confront it. Yet confront it he must.

Falar itself is far from defenseless. Its priests possess a weapon rumored to be a gift from the sea god, Mael—a weapon so terrifying it has not been unleashed for centuries. But two can play at that game, for the Emperor’s flagship is also believed to be not entirely of this world.

These are turbulent, treacherous and bloody times for all caught up in the forging of an Empire and so, amongst the Ice Wastes and in the archipelago of Falar, the Malazans must face two seemingly insurmountable tests, each one potentially the origin of their destruction . . .

On Sale 4/9/24

necrobane by daniel m. fordNecrobane by Daniel M. Ford

Aelis de Lenti, Lone Pine’s newly assigned Warden, is in deep trouble. She has just opened the crypts of Mahlgren, releasing an army of the undead into the unprotected backwoods of Ystain.

To protect her village, she must unearth a source of immense Necromantic power at the heart of Mahlgren. The journey will wind through waves of undead, untamed wilderness, and curses far older than anything Aelis has ever encountered. But as strong as Aelis is, this is one quest she cannot face alone.

Along with the brilliant mercenary she’s fallen for, her half-orc friend, and a dwarven merchant, Aelis must race the clock to unravel mysteries, slay dread creatures, and stop what she has set in motion before the flames of a bloody war are re-ignited.

On Sale 4/23/24

the daughters war by christopher buehlmanThe Daughter’s War by Christopher Buehlman

Enter the fray in this luminous new adventure from Christopher Buehlman, set during the war-torn, goblin-infested years just before The Blacktongue Thief.

The goblins have killed all of our horses and most of our men.

They have enslaved our cities, burned our fields, and still they wage war.

Now, our daughters take up arms.

Galva — Galvicha to her three brothers, two of whom the goblins will kill — has defied her family’s wishes and joined the army’s untested new unit, the Raven Knights. They march toward a once-beautiful city overrun by the goblin horde, accompanied by scores of giant war corvids. Made with the darkest magics, these fearsome black birds may hold the key to stopping the goblins in their war to make cattle of mankind.

The road to victory is bloody, and goblins are clever and merciless. The Raven Knights can take nothing for granted — not the bonds of family, nor the wisdom of their leaders, nor their own safety against the dangerous war birds at their side. But some hopes are worth any risk.

On Sale 6/25/2024

blood jade by julia vee & ken bebelleBlood Jade by Julia Vee & Ken Bebelle

The follow-up to Ebony Gate, the critically acclaimed debut of Vee and Bebelle’s Phoenix Hoard series.


Emiko Soong, newly minted Sentinel of San Francisco, just can’t catch a break. Just after she becomes the guardian for a sentient city, a murder strikes close to home. Called by the city and one of the most powerful clans to investigate, she traces the killer whose scent signature bears a haunting similarity to her mother’s talent.

The trail will lead her back to Tokyo where the thread she pulls threatens to unravel her whole world and bring dark family secrets to light.

Meanwhile, the General rises in the East and Emiko must fight the hidden enemies of his growing army who are amped up on Blood Jade, while keeping her promises to her brother Tatsuya as he prepares for his tourney.

Her duties as Sentinel and her loyalties collide when she must choose between hiding her deepest shame or stopping the General’s relentless march.

On Sale 7/16/24

gravity lost by l m sagasGravity Lost by L. M. Sagas

L. M. Sagas follows her fast-paced sci-fi adventure Cascade Failure with an equally explosive sequel, Gravity Lost. Everyone’s favorite fierce, messy, chaotic space fam is back with more vibrant worlds, and the wildest crew since Guardians of the Galaxy.

After thwarting a space station disaster and planetary destruction, the Ambit crew thought turning Isaiah Drestyn over to the Union would be the end of their troubles. Turns out, it’s only the start.

Drestyn is a walking encyclopedia of dirty secrets, and everyone wants a piece of him—the Trust, the Union, even the Guild. Someone wants him bad enough to kill, and with the life of one of their own on the line, the Ambit crew must jail-break the very man they helped capture and expose some of the secrets he’s been keeping before it’s too late.

In the Spiral, everything has a price. In their fight to protect what they love, Eoan, Nash, Saint, and Jal will confront some ugly truths about their enemies, and even uglier truths about their friends. But nothing will come close to the truths they’ll learn about themselves.

You can’t always fix what’s broken … and sometimes, it’s better that way.

On Sale 7/23/24

brothersong by tj kluneBrothersong by TJ Klune

The Bennett family has a secret: They’re not just a family, they’re a pack. Brothersong is Carter Bennett’s story.

In the ruins of Caswell, Maine, Carter Bennett learned the truth of what had been right in front of him the entire time. And then it—he—was gone. Desperate for answers, Carter takes to the road, leaving family and the safety of his pack behind, all in the name of a man he only knows as a feral wolf. But therein lies the danger: wolves are pack animals, and the longer Carter is on his own, the more his mind slips toward the endless void of Omega insanity. But he pushes on, following the trail left by Gavin.

Gavin, the son of Robert Livingstone. The half-brother of Gordo Livingstone.

What Carter finds will change the course of the wolves forever. Because Gavin’s history with the Bennett pack goes back further than anyone knows, a secret kept hidden by Carter’s father, Thomas Bennett. And with this knowledge comes a price: the sins of the fathers now rest upon the shoulders of their sons.

On Sale 7/30/24

the doors of midnight by r r virdiThe Doors of Midnight by R.R. Virdi

Myths begin, and a storyteller’s tale deepens, in the essential sequel to R.R. Virdi’s breakout Silk Road-inspired epic fantasy debut, The First Binding.

Some stories are hidden for a reason. All tales have a price. And every debt must be paid.

I killed three men as a child and earned the name Bloodletter. Then I set fire to the fabled Ashram. I’ve been a bird and robbed a merchant king of a ransom of gold. And I have crossed desert sands and cutthroat alleys to repay my debt.

I’ve stood before the eyes of god, faced his judgment, and cast aside the thousand arrows that came with it. And I have passed through the Doors of Midnight and lived to tell the tale.

I have traded one hundred and one stories with a creature as old as time, and survived with only my cleverness, a candle, and a broken promise.

And most recently of all, I have killed a prince, though the stories say I have killed more than one.

My name is Ari. These are my legends.

And these are my lies.

On Sale 8/13/24

breath of oblivion by maurice broaddusBreath of Oblivion by Maurice Broaddus

Maurice Broaddus returns with Breath of Oblivion, the second book in his Astra Black trilogy, that explores the struggles of an empire. Epic in scope and intimate in voice, it follows members of the Muungano empire—a far-reaching coalition of city-states that stretches from Earth to Titan – as it faces renewed threats to their progress.

On Sale 8/27/24

somewhere beyond the sea by tj kluneSomewhere Beyond the Sea by TJ Klune

Featuring gorgeous golden yellow sprayed edges! Somewhere Beyond the Sea is the hugely anticipated sequel to TJ Klune’s The House in the Cerulean Sea, one of the best-loved and best-selling fantasy novels of the past decade.

A magical house. A secret past. A summons that could change everything.

Arthur Parnassus lives a good life built on the ashes of a bad one.

He’s the headmaster of a strange orphanage on a distant and peculiar island, and he hopes to soon be the adoptive father to the six dangerous and magical children who live there.

Arthur works hard and loves with his whole heart so none of the children ever feel the neglect and pain that he once felt as an orphan on that very same island so long ago. He is not alone: joining him is the love of his life, Linus Baker, a former caseworker in the Department in Charge of Magical Youth. And there’s the island’s sprite, Zoe Chapelwhite, and her girlfriend, Mayor Helen Webb. Together, they will do anything to protect the children.

But when Arthur is summoned to make a public statement about his dark past, he finds himself at the helm of a fight for the future that his family, and all magical people, deserve.

And when a new magical child hopes to join them on their island home—one who finds power in calling himself monster, a name that Arthur worked so hard to protect his children from—Arthur knows they’re at a breaking point: their family will either grow stronger than ever or fall apart.

Welcome back to Marsyas Island. This is Arthur’s story.

On Sale 9/10/24

rumor has it by cat ramboRumor Has It by Cat Rambo

The crew of the You Sexy Thing navigates the aftermath of facing down a pirate king and the relationships that they have created with one another in Cat Rambo’s action adventure science fiction Rumor Has It, the third book in the Disco Space Opera.

The crew of the You Sexy Thing have laid a course for Coralind Station, hoping the station’s famed gardens will provide an opportunity to regroup, recoup, and mourn their losses while while finding a way to track down their enemy, pirate king Tubal Last.

All Niko wants to do is pry their insurance money from the bank and see if an old friend might be able to help them find Last. Unfortunately, old friends and enemies aren’t the only unreliable elements awaiting her and the crew at Coralind.

Each will have to face themselves—the good and the bad—in order to come together before they lose everything

On Sale 9/24/24

monstrous nights by genoveva dimovaMonstrous Nights by Genoveva Dimova

Dive into the breakneck conclusion to the Slavic folklore-inspired Witch’s Compendium of Monsters series, which began with Foul Days.

With her magic reclaimed and her role in the community of Chernograd restored, Kosara’s life should finally be back to normal—but, of course, things can’t possibly be that simple.

She is now in possession of twelve witch’s shadows, which belonged to a series of young, magically powerful women lured into the deadly marriage with the Zmey that Kosara only narrowly escaped as a young woman. Holding them may grant her unprecedented power, but that doesn’t mean they’re always willing to do her bidding.

Across the wall in Belograd, Asen chases the only lead on his latest case, one of several unsolved witch murders, even against the orders of his direct superior and the mayor. He’s convinced the smuggling kingpin Konstantin Karaivanov is behind them, and follows his trail to an underground monster auction—which leads him right back to Chernograd.

There, sinister events follow one after another: snow falls in midsummer, a witch with two shadows is found dead, monsters that should only appear during the Foul Days have been sighted, and cracks appear in the sky that only Kosara seems able to see. The barrier between worlds thins… and Kosara can’t help but feel her actions are the cause.

On Sale 10/22/24

usurpation by sue burkeUsurpation by Sue Burke

After her rollicking standalone Dual Memory, Sue Burke returns to her Semiosis series and the world of Pax in Usurpation, which combines the thrill of M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening with the eco-empowerment of VanderMeer’s Dead Astronauts.

Steveland, the dominant sentient lifeform of Pax, has clandestinely sent some of its progeny to Earth. To explore, to spread, to report back.

Since their germination, Earth has been a powder keg. Human rebellion, robot uprisings, and global pandemics have created chaos, distrust, and deaths.

As more and more conflicts break out across Earth, Stevland’s children work in the background, in an attempt to control human behavior and perhaps, bring peace to the planet. Stevland took control of Pax. Earth shouldn’t be too difficult…

On Sale 10/29/24

the relentless legion by j s dewesThe Relentless Legion by J. S. Dewes

J. S. Dewes is back with her acclaimed and action packed Divide series (The Last Watch, The Exiled Fleet) where The Expanse meets the Night’s Watch.

The Sentinels have rallied under the leadership of Adequin Rake, and Cavalon Mercer has uncovered the horrifying genetic solution his grandfather is about to unleash on the unsuspecting outer colonies.

Both Rake and Cavalon race against time to save the universe once again. They’ll need every resource, every ally who might answer the call.

It may not be enough.

On Sale 11/12/24

witch queen of redwinter by ed mcdonaldWitch Queen of Redwinter by Ed McDonald

Witch Queen of Redwinter is the third book in Ed McDonald’s Redwinter Chronicles, full of shady politics, militant monks, ancient powers… and a young woman navigating a world in which no one is quite what they seem.

On Sale 11/12/24

overcaptain by l e modesitt, jrOvercaptain by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.

L. E. Modesitt, Jr. continues the Saga of Recluce, the long-running, best-selling epic fantasy series. Overcaptain, the sequel to From the Forest, continues to follow the early life of a man known by many names depending on who you ask—hero, tyrant, emperor.

Alyiakal, overcaptain in the Mirror Lancers of Cyador, has completed his tour of duty as officer-in-charge of a small, remote post. He just wants to finish and see his best friend consorted and assume his next post assignment. If only it were that easy.

He discovers corruption in the Merchanter Clans of Cyador, but investigating Mirror Lancer officers end up dead. Before he can go on leave, he has to replace one of these officers, close a post, dodge an attempt on his life, and an investigation from Magi-i.

At Lhaarat, Alyiakal is assigned as a deputy commander to a post that never had one, and the commander doesn’t want one—and that’s just the beginning of Alyiakal’s problems.

On Sale 11/12/24

The Fate of Silent Godsthe fate of silent gods by scott drakeford by Scott Drakeford

The Fate of Silent Gods continues Scott Drakeford’s epic Age of Ire series that began with Rise of the Mages, where a young warrior and his improbable band of allies faced impossible odds as they sought to rescue his brother from the servants of the Fallen God.

On Sale 11/19/24

wind and truth by brandon sandersonWind and Truth by Brandon Sanderson

The long-awaited explosive climax to the first arc of the #1 New York Times bestselling Stormlight Archive.

Dalinar Kholin has challenged the evil god Odium to a contest of champions, and the Knights Radiant and the nations of Roshar have a mere 10 days to prepare for the worst. The fate of the entire world—and the Cosmere at large—hangs in the balance.

On Sale 12/6/24


Quiz Alert: Get Your Booksona Here!

by a cat

Hi! You know us. We’re Tor. But who are you???

That’s what we’re wondering, and because our business is books, we want to know your booksona.

What’s a booksona? It’s you, but as a book. It’s a vibe thing.

Take this quiz and tell us what you get!

And while you’ve got books on the brain, the paperback of The Genesis of Misery by Neon Yang just released, and it’s as cool as it looks.

Buy The Genesis of Misery in Paperback Here:

Poster Placeholder of amazon- 5 Place holder  of bn- 48 Image Place holder  of booksamillion- 88 ibooks2 58 Placeholder of bookshop -19


Tor Books EPIC Holiday Gift Guide For Your Oddball Family

Hello hello, and welcome back to our annual TOR BOOKS HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE, where we give you what we think are the best gifts for the hyper specific, super chaotic individuals in your life. From your childhood BFF to your mildly traumatized game master, we have a whole slew of bookish picks for you this holiday season. Enjoy, and Happy Holidays, y’all!

By Rachel Taylor and a cat

For your long suffering GM (Game Master) who just wants a break from your party

Stranger Things' Eddie Munson hosting a session of DnD

via tenor

Anyone who acts as game master for Dungeons & Dragons (or any other TTRPG, to be frank) deserves an award for powering through all the shenanigans their party puts them through. From attempting to fight a dragon with a fork to accidentally leading your party off a cliff, your deeply stressed out GM deserves a cozy novel to help them decompress. Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree is out now and, for an extra little something, you can submit your receipt to get an adorable acrylic charm, a perfect addition to your gift!

For your cousin who remained loyal and never left Tumblr 

Books whimsically flying off a shelf to a concerned-looking guy


You remember the Tumblr exodus of 2019, and for shame—you were part of it, you fragile soul. But not your cousin. Resolute, they stood by their blog and posted through the long, long night. Three years later, Tumblr is resurging and you need a gift for the one who never lost faith. What’s more Tumblr than magic danger-nerds alternatively hooking up with and hating each other as they conduct research and mainline caffeine and/or alcohol? Redeem your past mistakes with the perfect bookly gifts for your cousin: Olivie Blake’s The Atlas Six and thrilling sequel, The Atlas Paradox.

For the enthusiastic players who got their GM Legends & Lattes

Cartoon Doge Rogue—a 'Dogue'

@lookhuman via GIPHY

You love the players at your table, but even after years of collaborative TTRPG storytelling, you’ve never once anticipated the many ways they have conspired to unravel every plot thread you’ve ever written. How then could you ever predict what they might like as a gift? Easy. Just listen to us: Daughter of Redwinter by Ed McDonald is a fantastic epic fantasy about a girl who can A) see ghosts, and B) turn people into them with an expertly placed arrow, if she takes the mind. Of course, if anyone finds out about her power, she’s dead, and circumstances have led her to become a ward in the monastery of the very warrior-magi that would execute her. Oops! What gamesplayer can resist a quick-paced and twisting tale of magic, adventure, and deceit?

For your ex-boyfriend who’s still blowing up your phone with House of the Dragon TikTok’s

Daemon Targaryen very sexily receiving troubling news that his brother Viserys loves him with the GIF ending frames before he does something evil. I'm so sorry whoever's reading this I'm not perfect


So your ex-boyfriend (who you’re still friends with, DESPITE THE ADVICE OF OTHERS) just finished House of the Dragon and he won’t stop texting you about how much it sucks to have to wait 2 years for season 2. He’s right, but you can still give him a new epic fantasy to obsess over with The First Binding by R.R. Virdi. At over 800 pages, it’ll keep him busy for quite a while AND it also doubles as a premium bludgeoning weapon for you if he doesn’t appreciate your gift. Win win!

For your chronically-online uncle who needs to stop doomscrolling for his own health

very cool neon void road this artist is so good (@dualvoidanima)

@dualvoidmania via GIPHY

He’s mister doom-and-gloom. If there’s an upsetting tweet, you’ve seen it because he’s retweeted it. You don’t quite know him well enough to be comfortable with direct intervention. You need to gift him Last Exit by Max Gladstone. It’s a book about the death of idealism and the rot that creeps through the cracks of reality like so many corrosively fecund vines. It’s about a generation who thought they would transform the world and failure’s fallout. He’ll still be very DOOM-ful, but in an artistically fun, yet still scary way.

For your brother who is OBSESSED with The Wheel of Time on Amazon Prime

Rosamund Pike casting some overpowered magic. Queen


So your brother watched The Wheel of Time on Amazon Prime and has fallen down the 14+ book-deep rabbithole that is Robert Jordan’s timeless epic fantasy series. Help him delve even further into the lore with Origins of the Wheel of Time by Michael Livingston! He’ll be able to learn even more about all the mythology and legends that inspired Robert Jordan’s universe and you’ll get some peace and quiet while he’s absorbed in his new book.

For your sister who is always has at least 5 open browser tabs of Ao3 fics

dancing, logging in to ur laptop for fanfiction time!

via Gfycat

Who among us hasn’t spent some time reading fix-it fics on Ao3? Well, no one compares to your sister, who currently has 30 tabs open on her iPhone filled with her favorite OTP falling in love 30 different ways (IF THE SHOW WON’T GIVE THEM A HAPPILY EVER AFTER, THE INTERNET WILL). You can’t buy her the perfect 100 chapter slow burn coffee shop fix-it fic of her OTP, but you CAN buy her Ocean’s Echo by Everina Maxwell! It features all the choicest tropes like mutual pining, slowburn, and fake dating and will be sure to put a smile on her face for the holidays.

For your estranged mother, to subtly let her know that your relationship still requires some Conversations

Lucille Bluth: "If you're saying I play favorites, you're wrong. I love all my children equally."

*Earlier that day* Lucille Bluth: "I don't care for Gob."

via GIPHY & tenor

Do you want to give your mother a gift that’s also a hint about how you feel about your tumultuous parental relationship? Just Like Home by Sarah Gailey is the gift for her! It’s got great thriller vibes, with a daughter coming back to her family home for the first time after her father was arrested for being a serial killer…which she kind of caused. And mom’s still holding a grudge over a DECADE later. It’s got drama, monsters, and enough parallels to make your mom go ‘Wait, is this f*cking play about US?!’

For the loved one in your life who waited 2.5 years to finally see My Chemical Romance live in Fall 2022

dark spell book with eye on the cover it's VERY cool

@KyleeConriquez via GIPHY

A million years ago (Or two and a half. Whatever. Time is meaningless mush) your loved one planned to attend the My Chemical Romance reunion. A show that would eventually be put off and off and off due to ongoing events until earlier this year. It was epic, but you know what else is? Book of Night by Holly Black. Your loved one won’t have to wait 900~ days for this literary event, and just like an MCR show, they’ll want to acquire (more) goth clothes and tattoos after.

For the childhood BFF everyone called a ‘voracious reader’ growing up / anyone who was ‘a delight to have in class’

Matilda reading. "She devoured one book after another"

via Goodreads

Did your childhood BFF simply devour every book in front of her? Is she still That Person whose TBR pile is precariously stacked in the corner of her living room, a threat to anyone who brushes too close? Give her a book to really whet her appetite for reading in The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean, where a very special family literally sustains themselves entirely by eating books. Did we bite a book while reading this to see if we were book eaters? Who’s to say.

For your college best friend with at least one historical quote tattoo

Joan of Arc look at the MET Gala


Does your college best friend have an encyclopedic knowledge of historical retellings? Do they have, at minimum, one historically linked tattoo that prompts a 20 minute lecture whenever someone asks what it means? Do they have five different editions of The Song of Achilles on their shelf? And most importantly, do they crave a new, queer retelling to sink their teeth into? Look no further! Neon Yang has a Joan of Arc inspired, post-apocalyptic sci-fi story for you. Check out The Genesis of Misery, ​​starring a queer and diverse array of pilots, princesses, and prophetic heirs.

For the ambiguously LGBTQ+ niece whose fashion sense you try to understand, but ultimately makes you feel insecure about how fast you’re aging

wildly cool psychedelic snake meets girl shadow

@yifan via GIPHY

You love them, but no one makes you feel old like your nebulously but definitely queer niece. They’re so cool, and are very helpful in keeping you up to date on the hippest trends, but every time you talk to them, you feel the pent-up years in your joints. Get your niece A. K. Larkwood’s The Serpent Gates series, including The Unspoken Name and The Thousand Eyes. It’s about a gay orc death priestess who rebrands herself as a garbage wizard’s personal assassin and picks up a gods-cursed, magi-baddie mid-adventure. There are cosmic gods, ancient ruins, devious machinations, and a lot of awesome gay stuff.

For the sibling on their third+ rewatch of The Expanse

The Expanse's incredible Naomi Nagata: "I'm using my last remaining brain cells to try and kill my last remaining brain cells."


We get it. Your sibling buddy is bummed that The Expanse has finished its TV run and is still hopelessly in love with its marriage of adrenaline-flooding action and introspective parsing of human expansion / empire. Again, we do get it, and what you need to get is Sweep of Stars by Maurice Broaddus.

For the nephew who you gifted The Way of Kings to last year

Old book leafing through pages


Your nephew reads through books at speeds generally known only to muscle cars and lightning, and he needs long fantasy books now! The time required to produce the next installment in an epic series is often as long as the books themselves, which is unfortunate since it’s time for you to gift your nephew another book. Here’s the good news: Brandon Sanderson writes as fast as your nephew reads, and his long-awaited continuation of the Mistborn series, The Lost Metal, is the perfect gift. And then next year you can get him the next Brando Sando, and the book cycle of giving goes on and on and on.

We hope you and your loves ones have a happy and safe holiday season! Did we miss a super niche friend/family member that you want to see a gift for? Let us know in the comments! 


$2.99 eBook Sale: November 2022

It might be NOvember, but just look at these hot eBook deals! You could never say NO to books like Gil’s All Fright Diner by A. Lee Martinez or The Library of the Dead by T. L. Huchu!

Anyway, check out these epic deals 😎

RedshirtsRedshirts by John Scalzi by John Scalzi

Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. It’s a prestige posting, with the chance to serve on “Away Missions” alongside the starship’s famous senior officers. Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to realize that (1) every Away Mission involves a lethal confrontation with alien forces, (2) the ship’s senior officers always survive these confrontations, and (3) sadly, at least one low-ranking crew member is invariably killed. Then Andrew stumbles on information that transforms his and his colleagues’ understanding of what the starship Intrepid really is…and offers them a crazy, high-risk chance to save their own lives.

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Gil’s All Fright DinerGil's All Fright Diner by A. Lee Martinez by A. Lee Martinez

Duke and Earl are just passing through Rockwood county in their pick-up truck when they stop at the Diner for a quick bite to eat. They aren’t planning to stick around-until Loretta, the eatery’s owner, offers them $100 to take care of her zombie problem. Given that Duke is a werewolf and Earl’s a vampire, this looks right up their alley. But the shambling dead are just the tip of a particularly spiky iceberg. Seems someone’s out to drive Loretta from the Diner, and more than willing to raise a little Hell on Earth if that’s what it takes.

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EverfairEverfair by Nisi Shawl by Nisi Shawl

Fabian Socialists from Great Britain join forces with African-American missionaries to purchase land from the Belgian Congo’s “owner,” King Leopold II. This land, named Everfair, is set aside as a safe haven, an imaginary Utopia for native populations of the Congo as well as escaped slaves returning from America and other places where African natives were being mistreated. Shawl’s speculative masterpiece manages to turn one of the worst human rights disasters on record into a marvelous and exciting exploration of the possibilities inherent in a turn of history.

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The Beautiful OnesPlace holder  of - 32 by Sylvia Moreno-Garcia

They are the Beautiful Ones, Loisail’s most notable socialites, and this spring is Nina’s chance to join their ranks, courtesy of her well-connected cousin and his calculating wife. But the Grand Season has just begun, and already Nina’s debut has gone disastrously awry. When entertainer Hector Auvray arrives to town, Nina is dazzled. A telekinetic like her, he has traveled the world performing his talents for admiring audiences. He sees Nina not as a witch, but ripe with potential to master her power under his tutelage. With Hector’s help, Nina’s talent blossoms, as does her love for him.

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Invisible PlanetsInvisible Planets, edited by Ken Liu edited by Ken Liu

Invisible Planets, edited by multi award-winning writer Ken Liu–translator of the bestselling and Hugo Award-winning novel The Three Body Problem by acclaimed Chinese author Cixin Liu—is his second thought-provoking anthology of Chinese short speculative fiction. Invisible Planets is a groundbreaking anthology of Chinese short speculative fiction.

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Trouble the SaintsTrouble the Saints by Alaya Dawn Johnson by Alaya Dawn Johnson

Amid the whir of city life, a young woman from Harlem is drawn into the glittering underworld of Manhattan, where she’s hired to use her knives to strike fear among its most dangerous denizens. Ten years later, Phyllis LeBlanc has given up everything—not just her own past, and Dev, the man she loved, but even her own dreams. Still, the ghosts from her past are always by her side—and history has appeared on her doorstep to threaten the people she keeps in her heart. And so Phyllis will have to make a harrowing choice, before it’s too late—is there ever enough blood in the world to wash clean generations of injustice?

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Sweep of StarsPlaceholder of  -76 by Maurice Broaddus

The Muungano empire strived and struggled to form a utopia when they split away from old earth. Freeing themselves from the endless wars and oppression of their home planet in order to shape their own futures and create a far-reaching coalition of city-states that stretched from Earth and Mars to Titan. With the wisdom of their ancestors, the leadership of their elders, the power and vision of their scientists and warriors they charted a course to a better future. But the old powers could not allow them to thrive and have now set in motion new plots to destroy all that they’ve built.

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The Library of the Dead by T. L. HuchuThe Library of the Dead by T. L. Huchu

Ropa dropped out of school to become a ghostalker—and they sure do love to talk. Now she speaks to Edinburgh’s dead, carrying messages to those they left behind. A girl’s gotta earn a living, and it seems harmless enough. Until, that is, the dead whisper that someone’s bewitching children—leaving them husks, empty of joy and strength. It’s on Ropa’s patch, so she feels honor-bound to investigate. But what she learns will rock her world. Ropa will dice with death as she calls on Zimbabwean magic and Scottish pragmatism to hunt down clues. And although underground Edinburgh hides a wealth of dark secrets, she also discovers an occult library, a magical mentor and some unexpected allies.

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Willful ChildWillful Child by Steven Erikson by Steven Erikson

These are the voyages of the starship A.S.F. Willful Child. Its ongoing mission: to seek out strange new worlds on which to plant the Terran flag, to subjugate and if necessary obliterate new life-forms, to boldly blow the…And so we join the not-terribly-bright but exceedingly cock-sure Captain Hadrian Sawback and his motley crew on board the Starship Willful Child for a series of devil-may-care, near-calamitous and downright chaotic adventures through ‘the infinite vastness of interstellar space.’

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Ball Lightning by Cixin LiuBall Lightning by Cixin Liu

When Chen’s parents are incinerated before his eyes by a blast of ball lightning, he devotes his life to cracking the secret of this mysterious natural phenomenon. His search takes him to stormy mountaintops, an experimental military weapons lab, and an old Soviet science station. The more he learns, the more he comes to realize that ball lightning is just the tip of an entirely new frontier. While Chen’s quest for answers gives purpose to his lonely life, it also pits him against soldiers and scientists with motives of their own: a beautiful army major with an obsession with dangerous weaponry, and a physicist who has no place for ethical considerations in his single-minded pursuit of knowledge.

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Every Book Coming From Tor in Spring 2022

Ready to build up that Spring TBR pile? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Check out everything coming from Tor Books in Spring 2022 here!

March 1

cover of The Atlas Six by Olivie BlakeThe Atlas Six by Olivie Blake

The Alexandrian Society, caretakers of lost knowledge from the greatest civilizations of antiquity, are the foremost secret society of magical academicians in the world. Those who earn a place among the Alexandrians will secure a life of wealth, power, and prestige beyond their wildest dreams, and each decade, only the six most uniquely talented magicians are selected to be considered for initiation. When the new candidates are recruited by the mysterious Atlas Blakely, they are told they will have one year to qualify for initiation. One will be eliminated. The six potential initiates will fight to survive the next year of their lives, and if they can prove themselves to be the best among their rivals, most of them will.

March 8

Image Place holder  of - 49Last Exit by Max Gladstone

When Zelda and her friends first met, in college, they believed they had all the answers. They had figured out a big secret about how the world worked and they thought that meant they could change things. They failed. One of their own fell, to darkness and rot. Ten years later, they’ve drifted apart, building lives for themselves, families, fortunes. All but Zelda. She’s still wandering the backroads of the nation. She’s still fighting monsters. She knows: the past isn’t over. It’s not even past. The road’s still there. The rot’s still waiting. They can’t hide from it any more. Because, at long last, their friend is coming home. And hell is coming with her.

March 15

Placeholder of  -90The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi

When COVID-19 sweeps through New York City, Jamie Gray is stuck as a dead-end driver for food delivery apps. That is, until Jamie makes a delivery to an old acquaintance, Tom, who works at what he calls “an animal rights organization.” Tom’s team needs a last-minute grunt to handle things on their next field visit. Jamie, eager to do anything, immediately signs on. What Tom doesn’t tell Jamie is that the animals his team cares for are not here on Earth. Not our Earth, at least.

Cover of Worlds of Exile and Illusion by Ursula K. Le GuinWorlds of Exile and Illusion by Ursula K. Le Guin, introduction by Amal El-Mohtar

These three spacefaring adventures mark the beginning of grand master Ursula K. Le Guin’s remarkable career. Set in the same universe as Le Guin’s groundbreaking classics The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed, these first three books of the celebrated Hainish Series follow travelers of many worlds and civilizations in the depths of space. The novels collected in this Tor Essentials edition are the first three ever published by Le Guin, a frequent winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards and one of the greatest science fiction and fantasy writers of all time. With a new introduction by Amal El-Mohtar, Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author.

Poster Placeholder of - 59Three Kings edited by Melinda M. Snodgrass, in the Wildcards World of George R.R. Martin

In the aftermath of World War II, the Earth’s population was devastated by an alien virus. Those who survived were changed forever. Some, known as jokers, were cursed with bizarre mental and physical mutations; others, granted superhuman abilities, became the lucky few known as aces. Queen Margaret, who came to the English throne after the death of her sister Elizabeth, now lies on her death-bed. Summoning the joker ace Alan Turing, she urges him to seek the true heir: Elizabeth’s lost son. He was rumored to have died as a baby but, having been born a joker, was sent into hiding.

March 22

Place holder  of - 92The Bone Orchard by Sara A. Mueller

Charm is a witch, and she is alone. The last of a line of conquered necromantic workers, now confined within the yard of regrown bone trees at Orchard House, and the secrets of their marrow. Charm tends the trees and their clattering fruit for the sake of her children, painstakingly grown and regrown with its fruit: Shame, Justice, Desire, Pride, and Pain. The wealthy and powerful of Borenguard come to her house to buy time with the girls who aren’t real. Except on Tuesdays, which is when the Emperor himself lays claim to his mistress, Charm herself. But now—Charm is also the only person who can keep an empire together, as the Emperor summons her to his deathbed, and charges her with choosing which of his awful, faithless sons will carry on the empire—by discovering which one is responsible for his own murder.

Image Placeholder of - 96Destiny of the Dead by Kel Kade

The God of Death is tired of dealing with the living, so he’s decided everyone should die. And he’s found allies. The Berru, an empire of dark mages, has unleashed a terrifying army of monstrous lyksvight upon everyone with a pulse. While the wealthy and powerful, the kings and queens, abandon the dying world, one group of misfits says no more. Through dogged determination and the ability to bind souls to their dead bodies, Aaslo and his friends fight on. In the mountains of the far north, another bastion of defense is opened. Cherrí, the avatar of a vengeful fire god, has united the survivors amongst her people and begun her own war on the invaders. Now, Aaslo and Cherrí must find a way to unite their powers, one divine, the other profane, to throw back the monsters of the Berru, and challenge Death itself.

March 29

Sweep of Stars by Maurice Broaddus

The Muungano empire strived and struggled to form a utopia when they split away from old earth. Freeing themselves from the endless wars and oppression of their home planet in order to shape their own futures and create a far-reaching coalition of city-states that stretched from Earth and Mars to Titan. With the wisdom of their ancestors, the leadership of their elders, the power and vision of their scientists and warriors they charted a course to a better future. But the old powers could not allow them to thrive and have now set in motion new plots to destroy all that they’ve built. In the fire to come they will face down their greatest struggle yet.

April 5

Our Lady of Mysterious Ailments by T.L. Huchu

When Ropa Moyo discovered an occult underground library, she expected great things. She’s really into Edinburgh’s secret societies – but turns out they are less into her. So instead of getting paid to work magic, she’s had to accept a crummy unpaid internship. Then her friend Priya offers her a job on the side. Priya works at Our Lady of Mysterious Maladies, a very specialized hospital, where a new illness is resisting magical and medical remedies alike. If Ropa can solve the case, she might earn as she learns – and impress her mentor, Sir Callander. Her sleuthing will lead her to a lost fortune, an avenging spirit and a secret buried deep in Scotland’s past. But how are they connected? Lives are at stake and Ropa is running out of time.

Aspects by John M. Ford

Enter the halls of Parliament with Varic, Coron of the Corvaric Coast. Visit Strange House with the Archmage Birch. Explore the mountains of Lady Longlight alongside the Palion Silvern, Sorcerer. In the years before his unexpected death, John M. Ford wrote a novel of fantasy and magic unlike any other. Politics and abdicated kings, swords and sorcerous machine guns, divination and ancient empires—finally, Aspects is here.

April 12

Shadow Fallen by Sherrilyn Kenyon

For centuries, Ariel has fought the forces of evil. Her task was to protect the souls of innocent mortals when they die. Captured by a powerful sorceress, she is transformed into a human who has no memory of her real life or calling. And is plunked into the middle of the Norman invasion of England. Cursed the moment he was born with a “demonic deformity,” Valteri wants nothing of this earth except to depart it and will do his duty to his king until then. When a strange noblewoman is brought before him, Valteri realizes he has met her before…in his dreams. When others come for her, bringing with them preternatural predators, he is faced with a destiny he had no idea was waiting. One he wants no part of.

April 19

Flint and Mirror by John Crowley

As ancient Irish clans fought to preserve their lands and their way of life, the Queen and her generals fought to tame the wild land and make it English. Hugh O’Neill, lord of the North, dubbed Earl of Tyrone by the Queen, is a divided man: the Queen gives to Hugh her love, and her commandments, through a little mirror of obsidian which he can never discard; and the ancient peoples of Ireland arise from their underworld to make Hugh their champion, the token of their vow a chip of flint.

April 26

Nettle & Bone by T. Kingfisher

Marra never wanted to be a hero. As the shy, convent-raised, third-born daughter, she escaped the traditional fate of princesses, to be married away for the sake of an uncaring throne. But her sister wasn’t so fortunate—and after years of silence, Marra is done watching her suffer at the hands of a powerful and abusive prince. Seeking help for her rescue mission, Marra is offered the tools she needs, but only if she can complete three seemingly impossible tasks. But, as is the way in tales of princes and witches, doing the impossible is only the beginning.

The Discord of Gods by Jenn Lyons

Relos Var’s final plans to enslave the universe are on the cusp of fruition. He believes there’s only one being in existence that might be able to stop him: the demon Xaltorath. As these two masterminds circle each other, neither is paying attention to the third player on the board, Kihrin. Unfortunately, keeping himself classified in the ‘pawn’ category means Kihrin must pretend to be everything the prophecies threatened he’d become: the destroyer of all, the sun eater, a mindless, remorseless plague upon the land. It also means finding an excuse to not destroy the people he loves (or any of the remaining Immortals) without arousing suspicion.

Up Against It by Laura J. Mixon

Jane Navio is the resource manager of Phoecea, an asteroid colony poised on the knife-edge of a hard vacuum of unforgiving space. A mishap has dumped megatons of water and methane out the colony’s air lock, putting the entire human population at risk. Jane discovers that the crisis may have been engineered by the Martian crime syndicate, as a means of executing a coup that will turn Phocaea into a client-state. And if that wasn’t bad enough, an AI that spawned during the emergency has gone rogue…and there’s a giant x-factor in the form of the transhumanist Viridian cult that lives in Phocaea’s bowels.

May 3

Book of Night by Holly Black

Charlie Hall has never found a lock she couldn’t pick, a book she couldn’t steal, or a bad decision she wouldn’t make. She’s spent half her life working for gloamists, magicians who manipulate shadows to peer into locked rooms, strangle people in their beds, or worse. Gloamists guard their secrets greedily, creating an underground economy of grimoires. And to rob their fellow magicians, they need Charlie Hall. Now, she’s trying to distance herself from past mistakes, but getting out isn’t easy. Bartending at a dive, she’s still entirely too close to the corrupt underbelly of the Berkshires. Not to mention that her sister Posey is desperate for magic, and that Charlie’s shadowless, and possibly soulless, boyfriend has been hiding things from her. When a terrible figure from her past returns, Charlie descends into a maelstrom of murder and lies.

May 24

cover of The Origin of Storms by Elizabeth BearOrigin of Storms by Elizabeth Bear

The Lotus Kingdoms are at war, with four claimants to the sorcerous throne of the Alchemical Emperor, fielding three armies between them. Alliances are made, and broken, many times over—but in the end, only one can sit on the throne. And that one must have not only the power, but the rightful claim. The Rajni Mrithuri stands as the chief claimant to the Alchemical throne now, but she and her empire remain a prize to be taken unless she gets an heir. She has her allies–her cousin Sayeh, a dragon, a foreign wizard, a fearsome automaton, and the Dead Man–but the throne has the final say. And if it rejects her, the price is death.

What book are you reading first? Let us know in the comments!


Writing an Afrofuturist Space Opera

Poster Placeholder of - 64Sweep of Stars, the first in a brand-new trilogy that is Black Panther meets The Expanse, hits shelves everywhere on 3/29 and we cannot wait for this book to get into your hands. To help prepare you for this epic new journey, author Maurice Broaddus joined us on the blog to talk more about the journey around writing this new series. Check it out here!

By Maurice Broaddus

Afrofuturism is the marriage of my faith, my social practice, and my writing. In addition to being a middle school teacher and librarian, I am the resident Afrofuturist at the Kheprw Institute. We are a grassroots organization that trains up young people to be community leaders using entrepreneurial experiences as labs for community wealth-building. Basically, think of an Afrofuturist as a strategic foresight planner who operates through a lens rooted in black history and culture. To me it looks like dreaming alongside community, highlighting my neighbors and their work. In other words, it’s science fiction applied to the world we live in.

Space has been the place for a lot of Black imagination and creative thought. The infinite possibilities that space represents lines up with imagining Black freedoms. Those dreams fueled W.E.B. DuBois’ scifi story, “The Comet,” to Sun Ra’s jazz career. One day I was thinking about the work we do in the community and started wondering what was the world we wanted to see? Yes, more just and equitable, but I mean if we could start fresh, what kind of institutions, practices, and world would we build?

That’s how the world of Muungano, the setting for Sweep of Stars, got started. I took a year and a half doing the world building, which looked a lot like talking to my neighbors and colleagues. I wanted to write a story not about our suffering, but about us existing on our terms, living in harmony and exploring the cosmos.

Originally, I pitched Sweep of Stars as “Black Panther meets Game of Thrones … IN SPACE!” (because everything sounds better when you add “in space!”), but we tightened it up to “Black Panther Meets The Expanse.” Besides being an epic, yet intimate, space opera, it’s also full of my usual mix of social commentary, jazz/hip hop, and jokes.

Sweep of Stars is about black people—the Diaspora as well as those from the mother continent—united as an intergalactic community. It started on the moon but has expanded to include the portion of Mars nicknamed Bronzeville, Titan, and a distant mining colony. The story follows three sets of characters:

  1.  The Dreaming City: the capital of Muungano. The voice of their community has fallen and the people must figure out who will speak for them in light of increased aggression from O.E. (Original Earth).
  2. The Cypher: a research starship, powered by jazz music, with the task of exploring the galaxy has been sent to study the wormhole within the span of the community which has been determined to have been artificially created.
  3.  The HOVA: Muungano’s defensive forces have secretly gone through the wormhole only to discover that they are not alone in the universe.

These days, I’m dreaming of the stars, imagining us existing on our terms, living in harmony and exploring the cosmos. Sometimes we get so caught up in surviving today, we can lose sight of the fact that part of what we’re to be about is creating the future we want to see. In other words, in doing this Afrofuturist work, I hope these stories allow me and my community the space to dream of what a better tomorrow could look like. The dreaming impacts the work, the work impacts the writing, the writing impacts the dreaming, and so it goes.

Thank you for going on this journey with me.

MAURICE BROADDUS is a fantasy and horror author best known for his short fiction and his Knights of Breton Court novel trilogy. He has published dozens of stories in magazines and book anthologies, including in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Black Static, and Weird Tales. Sweep of Stars releases from Tor Books on 3/29/22.

Pre-order Sweep of Stars here:

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Download a Free Digital Preview of Sweep of Stars

Placeholder of  -21Maurice Broaddus’s Sweep of Stars is the first in a trilogy that explores the struggles of an empire. Epic in scope and intimate in voice, it follows members of the Muungano empire – a far-reaching coalition of city-states that stretches from O.E. (original earth) to Titan – as it faces an escalating series of threats. Download a FREE sneak peek today!

“The beauty in blackness is its ability to transform. Like energy we are neither created nor destroyed, though many try.” – West African Proverb

The Muungano empire strived and struggled to form a utopia when they split away from old earth. Freeing themselves from the endless wars and oppression of their home planet in order to shape their own futures and create a far-reaching coalition of city-states that stretched from Earth and Mars to Titan.

With the wisdom of their ancestors, the leadership of their elders, the power and vision of their scientists and warriors they charted a course to a better future. But the old powers could not allow them to thrive and have now set in motion new plots to destroy all that they’ve built.

In the fire to come they will face down their greatest struggle yet.

Amachi Adisa and other young leaders will contend with each other for the power to galvanize their people and chart the next course for the empire.

Fela Buhari and her elite unit will take the fight to regions not seen by human eyes, but no training will be enough to bring them all home.

Stacia Chikeke, captain of the starship Cypher, will face down enemies across the stars, and within her own vessel, as she searches for the answers that could save them all.

The only way is forward.

Download Your Free Digital Preview:

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New Fantasy Series to Start in 2022!

The start of the year is an auspicious time for beginnings, be it resolutions, workout routines, or even NEW BOOK SERIES??? That’s right! We’ve got a real hot lineup of new series getting started in 2022. 

Check it out!

Image Placeholder of - 86Moon Fall series by James Rollins

#1 New York Times bestselling master of the thriller James Rollins launched his new Moon Fall series in a BIG way with The Starless Crown, an epic adventure fantasy about an alliance of outcasts on a quest to subvert the foretold apocalypse. It’s got just about everything you can ask of a fantasy series: ancient ruins, impending cataclysm, bat people(?!), and a strange, beautiful, deadly world. Oh yeah, and a quest to fight the moon. 

On sale now!

Place holder  of - 55The Age of Ire trilogy by Scott Drakeford 

A combination of gripping, personal vengeance and compelling characters, Scott Drakeford’s debut epic fantasy Rise of the Mages kicks his trilogy off with bloody insurrection and a fallen (hungry) god. This is a series for the lovers of high-octane action. If spell-wrangling, sword-slinging, complicated heroes is your thing, check out Rise of the Mages, because Scott has something special for you. 

On sale now!

Poster Placeholder of - 51Stan Lee’s The Devil’s Quintet: The Armageddon Code by Stan Lee and Jay Bonansinga

Stan Lee’s The Devil’s Quintet is a thrilling, action-packed adventure series of novels, featuring an all-new universe and set of characters, from the legendary co-creator of Spider-Man, The Avengers, The X-Men, and many other iconic heroes. The Quintet are five extraordinary individuals, granted supernatural powers by the Devil himself, but who are determined to use their hell-born gifts for the good of humanity, whether the Devil likes it or not.

On sale now!

Image Place holder  of - 97The Atlas Trilogy by Olivie Blake

Six young, ambitious magicians. Five open seats at the mysterious and powerful Alexandrian Society. Only one way to make dead sure one of those seats belongs to you….Now newly revised and edited with additional content, Olivie Blake’s The Atlas Six dark academic debut fantasy has already enraptured many during its viral stint, with millions of views on #theatlassix, and little wonder! The way these six rivals manipulate, plot against, and occasionally fall for one another makes for a salacious and exciting read. If you’re into shipping, The Atlas Six belongs at the top of your TBR!

On sale 3.1.22!

Placeholder of  -34Astra Black series by Maurice Broaddus

“The beauty in blackness is its ability to transform. Like energy we are neither created nor destroyed, though many try.” – West African Proverb

Maurice Broaddus’ new Astra Black series begins with Sweep of Stars, an expansive science fiction epic that chronicles the struggles of the Muunganjo Empire through the lives of a key few inhabitants. The Muunganjo Empire, a coalition of city-states stretching from O.E. (original earth) to as far as Titan, seeks to end the mire of endless war and build a better society from the wisdom of the Muunganjo ancestors and leadership of the elders. But the old powers of earth begrudge their progress, and would sooner see the Muunganjo’s utopia drown in flame. 

On sale 3.29.22!

Book of Night by Holly Black

Charlie Hall has never found a lock she couldn’t pick, a book she couldn’t steal, or a bad decision she wouldn’t make. She’s spent half her life working for gloamists, magicians who manipulate shadows to peer into locked rooms, strangle people in their beds, or worse. Now, she’s trying to distance herself from past mistakes, but getting out isn’t easy. Bartending at a dive, she’s still entirely too close to the corrupt underbelly of the Berkshires. When a terrible figure from her past returns, Charlie descends back into a maelstrom of murder and lies.

On sale 5.3.22!

Glass Immortals series by Brian McClellan

In an epicly fantastical world where sorcerous godglass is the foundation of an empire, what happens when the magic begins to disappear? In the first book of Brian McClellan’s new Glass Immortals series, In the Shadow of Lightning, you’ll meet Demir Grappo, an outcast who forsook duty and family. An outcast who is brought back into society by the murder of his mother, and will soon discover a perilous secret of magical scarcity: the godglass is running out

On sale 6.21.22!

The Redwinter Chronicles by Ed McDonald

Author of the critically acclaimed Blackwing trilogy Ed McDonald has a new series: the Redwinter Chronicles, and it rocks. If you spend six days out of seven looking forward to your weekly D&D session or still find yourself inexplicably drawn back to Skyrim after more than ten years, this is the new series for you. In Daughter of Redwinter, you’ll encounter a dangerous world of highlands and spirits, of crafty ploys and cursed relics. You’ll encounter a monastery of reclusive warrior-magi, and you’ll encounter Raine, a young woman who can see the dead. 

On sale 6.28.22!

Tales of Tremaine Series by R. R. Virdi

Every great story begins with a lie, and the storyteller and singer performing at the local out-of-the-way tavern are no different. They’re peddling their trade and claiming to have lost loves, suffered curses, and killed gods. They’re claiming to have unleashed the first evil. In The First Binding, R. R. Virdi’s exciting first installment to his new Tales of Tremaine series, the lies are catching up to them. Truth can be run from and obfuscated but never altered, and no matter how far they travel, their lives and enemies catch up. All stories must have an ending…

On sale 8.16.22!

Which series are you going to read first? Let us know in the comments! 


Excerpt: Sweep of Stars by Maurice Broaddus

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Poster Placeholder of - 2Maurice Broaddus’s Sweep of Stars is the first in a trilogy that explores the struggles of an empire. Epic in scope and intimate in voice, it follows members of the Muungano empire – a far-reaching coalition of city-states that stretches from O.E. (original earth) to Titan – as it faces an escalating series of threats.

“The beauty in blackness is its ability to transform. Like energy we are neither created nor destroyed, though many try.” – West African Proverb

The Muungano empire strived and struggled to form a utopia when they split away from old earth. Freeing themselves from the endless wars and oppression of their home planet in order to shape their own futures and create a far-reaching coalition of city-states that stretched from Earth and Mars to Titan.

With the wisdom of their ancestors, the leadership of their elders, the power and vision of their scientists and warriors they charted a course to a better future. But the old powers could not allow them to thrive and have now set in motion new plots to destroy all that they’ve built.

In the fire to come they will face down their greatest struggle yet.

Amachi Adisa and other young leaders will contend with each other for the power to galvanize their people and chart the next course for the empire.

Fela Buhari and her elite unit will take the fight to regions not seen by human eyes, but no training will be enough to bring them all home.

Stacia Chikeke, captain of the starship Cypher, will face down enemies across the stars, and within her own vessel, as she searches for the answers that could save them all.

The only way is forward.

Please enjoy this free excerpt of Sweep of Stars by Maurice Broaddus, on sale 03/29/22.  

Chapter 01

Amachi Adisa—Muungano, the Belts / the Dreaming City

Your name is Leah Adisa. For now.

Choosing a name for yourself is not something to be entered into lightly. It is a promise you make to the Universe. Or it to you. A name is the story of yourself you present to the world, a label to define you. That is the entire point of the Naming Ceremony: you are finally of age to interpret yourself and enter fully into the Muungano community as a full free member.

Because this is an Adisa renaming, the entire Ijo governing body travels in from all of the Muungano alliance. An excuse for the people to, as the Ugenini would say, show out. The full sovereign territory of Muungano centers around the lunar outpost and the facility that serves as its capital, the Dreaming City. Named after an old tale the Wise Ones whispered when it was time for bed. A place full of orisha and magic and the old ways. From Bronzeville on Mars, Titan, and even the distant Oyigiyigi mining outpost, members make the voyage. It’s only a couple of weeks’ travel at sublight, but many representatives wanted to make the pilgrimage. Even the fabled research ship, the Cypher, is due to dock anytime now. With its captain. Your heart twists, nearly dropping to your belly, with the weight of the complicated feelings that accompany thoughts of her.

You distract your mind from her and the ceremony—the gathering of the families, the ritual and production—by focusing on preparing yourself. You spread your clothes out on your bed. As a spiritual cleansing, you light three candles. Fearing that three undeclared open flames might set off the fire suppression system, you snuff one out. With one of the candles, you ignite a small bowl of herbs, just enough for the leaves to smolder and fill the room with their sweet, woody odor. Adding a few chiba leaves to quell your anxiety, you close your eyes. Not quite in prayer but to simply control your breath and settle your emi—your awareness—to concentrate on understanding the language of the soul, our sabhu.

You study the array of clothes scattered about. You don’t want to wear any of the kaftans favored by the Titans, because she will be wearing one, and you don’t want her to think you’re imitating her. Encroaching on her. Thinking of her. Having handwoven a print to express your family’s roots, you sift through the rest for the proper accents. In the pit of your being, you still feel every bit the imposter. One wearing the print of a family you weren’t actually born into.

The door chimes.

<Camara Xola Adisa,> Maya intones.

“What’s he doing here?” you ask.

<You could let him in and find out,> Maya said. <Though it’s a statistical likelihood that he has some words of insight or encouragement to offer you before the ceremony.>

“Let him in.” You mutter the word smart-ass under your breath even though, one, Maya’s system still likely heard you and, two, they have no feelings—as you understand them—to hurt. Your hands fidget so much you reach for your chakram to twirl.

The door loses its color until it becomes a transparent window before a low hiss signals the material dissolving into an opening.

“I see you.” Camara Xola Adisa stoops slightly to enter. His skin—papery thin, well veined with pink undertones to his complexion—light enough to pass for wazungu. Tufts of gray-tinged, black hair rings the back of his head. His wife, Selamault, must not have been up yet. She would never let him out of their kraal looking like a disheveled shepherd.

“I see you,” you return his greeting. Behind him one of the Niyabinghi waits by the door entrance. The guard doesn’t enter.

“It’s almost time.” Lean as a reed, Xola moves with a slight tremble to his limbs. You believe he plays up this affect a bit, in order to make people attend him more closely. And underestimate him. He could have synthed new organs, but he proclaimed that would be treating the symptoms, not the root of his neurological degenerative disorder. Tracking any sound, his hazel eyes remain alert and sharp as his mind. Settling into a chair, he sniffs the air with an exaggerated snuffle, noting the not-quite-successfully cloaked smell of chiba with a knowing smirk crossing his lips.

“I’m almost ready.” You turn from him so that your idiotic grin doesn’t confirm your self-medication.

“Stacia should be here, helping you with your hair.”

Busying yourself by straightening up, you wince at the sound of her name. You wonder if he’s purposely being oblivious or inconsiderate, to gauge your reaction. There were so many expectations for the pair of you. Nearly the same age, she’s a captain now, while you are only now having your Naming Ceremony. “Her ship was over two weeks away, studying the Orun Gate, when I last received a message from her. She will barely make the ceremony.”

“Are you nervous?” Camara Xola struggles to find a more comfortable position in his seat even as it adjusts to his posture. His hand flutters in front of his face, gesturing as if conducting an invisible orchestra.

“No,” you lie, but you recognize one of his probing questions when you hear them. The community is school and school is always in session, Xola enjoys repeating. The Camara always takes the measure of those around him. Constantly curious, and genuinely so, it also allows him to ferret out possible weakness. No, it was more like scouting. He was always on the lookout to welcome and develop new leaders. Ones committed to building out the Muungano infrastructure for promoting learning and achievement.

And you never want to appear weak before him. Never him.

“You sure? Lots of folks here showing up to check you out. Coming to see what name an Adisa chooses for themselves.” His wry grin widens, perfectly pleased with himself.

You can’t help but match it. “I won’t disappoint.”

“I know you won’t.” Camara Xola’s eyes dart away from yours. His tell, when he has something he wants to pass along, calculating the best way to come at you.

“What is it?” You provide him the opening. You’ve never had trouble talking with directness to each other.

“You don’t miss a trick, do you?” The grin returns.

“You taught me not to.”

“I did? Hm, I must be better than I thought.” Xola plucks a jackfruit from within the folds of his robes. His long, yellowed nails dig into the flesh of the fruit. You can’t help but watch his flicks and fumbles, the intricate dance of his fingers along the fruit’s skin. You’re pretty convinced that he grows his nails impractically long simply to annoy his caretakers.

“Don’t try to be clever by changing topics,” you say with a smile in your voice.

“It’s Selamault.” A heavy sigh ladens his words. “She won’t be at the Naming Ceremony.”

“Oh.” The disappointment seeps out of you like a poorly bandaged wound.

Camara Xola reaches for your hand, his long, spidery fingers tremulous as they wrap around yours. “She’s sick. Can barely get out of bed. You know it’s the only reason she’d miss your time.”

“Will she be all right?” You study your fingers interlaced with his, how dark your skin is, especially compared to his.

“She should be. I’m not sure she’s going to let a spell of sickness stop her.” Xola squeezes your hand. “She loves you like you were her own.”

“I know.” The words come out, but you sound not quite convinced even to your ears.

“Because you are,” he finishes. “Your place is within our family. A daughter we are so proud of. I hope you hear that. And one day, I hope you fully believe it.”

Camara Xola has been every bit the father to you ever since you lost your parents in a mining accident so long ago you can’t remember their faces outside of a holovid. He releases your hand after a brief shake of your fingers to keep you from spiraling into a gravity well of introspection.

“I know.” You slowly meet his eyes. “I really do.”

“Good. Besides, you being around keeps Wachiru on his toes.”

“He needs it. All of Muungano will be his one day.”

“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.” Camara Xola straightens, excited about an idea, and suddenly seems a few dozen years younger. “If we do this really, really well, Muungano will be everywhere. Folks raised in the Muungano way will go out into the world, the universe, and they will create other Muunganos in new spaces.”

“But Wachiru is the heir apparent.” You leave the words not me unsaid.

“Wachiru is the oldest in the work. He was born into it and raised in it, so naturally he’s a great candidate. But the role is not grounded in biology; a leader has to be selected by the community. The Camara is the voice of the community. A teacher. A consensus builder. Someone with the vision and skills to lead. Someone who represents the philosophy of the work. Now I don’t know how Wachiru would feel about any of that. At the very least, though, he recognizes the burden and sacrifice of leadership.” Camara Xola slumps, suddenly weary. When he chuckles, it’s a low, dark thing. “Maybe I’m being naive not having developed a ritual of transition.”

“Because you oldheads think you’re immortal.” Keyed to your artificial cowries encircling your wrist, you activate a wave of nanobots with a sweep of your hand. With that gesture, your funkentelechy spreads and directs them like liquid metal to fashion a curtain for you to hide behind to finish dressing. More because you hate the vulnerability of being observed enrobing than actually being seen nude. You have no shame of your body, but you do treat the ritual of dressing and applying makeup with the solemnity of a magician not wanting to reveal their secrets.

“It has been a couple of hundred years of birthdays. I’m old enough to know that we have to remain vigilant.” Xola’s voice becomes thoughtful and distant, drifting off into a dream. “There are always forces ready to attack who we are. I fear what we might become to stop them. But worst-case scenario is how my mind works.”

The two of you fall silent as you finish putting on your clothes. The weight of the day, of the community, presses on you. Your mind sifts through possibilities. You can’t escape the sensation of something impending about to drop on you. You push your anxiousness to the side as you put the final pins in your wrap.

“I’m almost ready,” you announce.

“Let me see you.” You can almost hear Xola’s anticipatory rustling, ready for a show.

You draw back the curtain. Rich blends of gold, black, and green form your full-body wrap of handmade kente weave. Your black cloak has a matching pattern for its border. Your head wrap leads into a cow-horn-shaped hat. It took you weeks to make, with thousands of curses from pricking your fingers while mastering the old ways rather than simply synthesizing the materials. The entire point of the Naming Ceremony is to connect the past to the future, so you thought this extra effort only fitting. Xola beams with pride.

“You are amazing. Want to tell me your new name?” Having risen to circle you in inspection, Xola leans toward you in a conspiratorial whisper. “I promise I won’t tell.”

You match his movement and soft voice. “You’ll have to come to the ceremony to find out.”

“I’ll see you there, then.” Beaming, Xola walks toward the door before hesitating. “I appreciate you.”

“I appreciate you.”

The members of Muungano experience two Naming Ceremonies. You don’t remember your first. It came seven days after your birth. On O.E., the Yo, as you call it. By the holo accounts, family and neighbors gathered together to celebrate and welcome you into the world; imitating the rituals they heard were carried out on Muungano. You were given the name of a distant ancestor in your family. It is only fitting that you chose Ojo Bo, the Day of Creation, for the day of your second.

As your Saqqara shuttle ship disembarks from the array, the two bisecting arms known as the Belts span the circumference of the moon in a curving perpendicular lattice looming over you. A string of kraals arranged in a long line, the series of modules gird the moon in a geosynchronous orbit over the Dreaming City, the capital of Muungano. Descending on a vector to the building—with spires radiating from its dome—the many-rayed architecture make it appear like a setting sun coming into view.

You love landing into the Dreaming City. With its giant columns, sky ports, and blur of lights, it is a gleaming bauble filling the horizon. The journey weighs your bones down and roots you until the bump of the tractor tethers lock onto your Saqqara and jolt you out of your reverie. Riding the invisible conveyor, you never feel a bit of the interstellar cold, which would chill you to the bone. Instead, the sun’s rays overhead beat down upon you, causing any exertion to make you sweat. You’ve grown up in the carefully regulated confines of the Dreaming City. By your seventh year, you knew every centimeter. By your fifteenth, you knew the entire surface of lunar Muungano. You haven’t visited many planets; a run to Titan with Stacia, a brief stay in the Bronzeville outpost on the Mars settlement. Your heart still races, just an extra beat, admiring the jeweled heart of Muungano.

Still, you yearn for more. The stars call to you. If not for the Yo or Mars, then certainly Titan or maybe even worlds beyond. You dream of truly outer space and the magic of the stars.

A team of twenty drummers strike up a beat and line up at the front of the great hall of the Dreaming City. Behind them, a storm of dancers hop in place, allowing space for the drummers to proceed, before spacing out along the pathway to twirl their scarves. Green, yellow, or black, mirroring your outfit. They synchronize their movement, a formation of limbs jerking and swaying, bobbing along the syncopated heartbeat of the pounding rhythm.

Crowds of people line either side of the walkway. You’ve never seen so many of your people assembled at once. Here in this place, in this time, they echo the old ways. Their dress a sea of kente cloth, kaftans, and head wraps. Bold colors, different patterns representing the various families. Though you know it’s not the case, it seems like all of Muungano has turned out for your renaming. Once you complete the ceremony, the next step will be for you to be formally invited to the Ijo as a ranking member of the Adisa family.

A sudden dread gnaws your stomach.

Serving as the officiating elder, Bayard Anike stands up next and follows the dancers, his every step slow and considered. An oak of a man, his white, embroidered gown—with its wide sleeves—drapes over short-sleeved, matching tunic and trousers. However, his hat echoes the colors of your wrap as do the accents on his otherwise black shoes. Bayard carries a large staff, which he raises according to his own internal rhythm, turns it on its side, as if to bar anyone from approaching.

Camara Xola marches next, alongside an empty chair held aloft by four members of the Niyabinghi. Under ordinary circumstances, he would serve as the officiating elder, but because this is your ceremony, he defers to Bayard and instead serves as Libator so that he may lead the family processional. You walk behind him with your peculiar stride, a sort of a toe-first stomp, each footfall slapping the ground to echo as loudly as possible against the fused regolith floor. As he steps onto the pathway, a holographic image flares to life. Mother Sela, despite being in her sickbed, projects an image of herself. The hologram of Selamault, unperturbed by the regulated temperature of the Dreaming City and the clear view through the dome, seems to stare toward the horizon of Muungano. She turns to look down at you, outstretching her fingers to brush yours. A ghost of light projections, they pass through your hands.

Wachiru brings up the rear. His features favor his father though his complexion is several shades darker. He hoists a large umbrella, a token meant to shield the Queen Mother during the processional. The differences between you and Wachiru betray the illusion of you being blood relations. He stands tall and thin with the delicate build of a russet-complected flower easily uprooted. Much darker skinned, your short, thick frame—a muscled, squat construction of too much behind and overcompensating chest—moves with a dancer’s confidence. Your deep, sepia eyes all but dare anyone to cross you. Wachiru turns to you and nods, his eyes warm and inviting, but distant in the way that he never quite focuses on anyone in particular. Despite the Muungano greeting, he sees in a way that defies explanation.

Four members of the Niyabinghi Order follow the processional as rear guard. When you arrive at the center dais, the entire parade pauses in remembrance of the spot where the original module touched down and construction began on the Dreaming City’s first structure as a part of the social experiment called First World. The guards disperse to the four corners of the stage.

A hush falls over the crowd without Bayard doing anything beyond taking center stage.

“To destroy the identity of a people,” he begins, “you must first strip them of their name, strip them of their sense of self. Your name joins you to your family, your history, your culture. We struggled long and hard to reclaim our birthright and control of ourselves. Today we honor our right to define ourselves on our terms. Leah Adisa, before whom do you vow?”

“Nyame. Asase Afua. The orisha. My honored ancestors. My family, Adisa. The people of Muungano.”

“What name do you choose for yourself?”

“Amachi,” you proclaim. Turning to the gathering, you define your name. “Who knows what God has brought us through this child.”

His lips broadening into a well-pleased smile, Camara Xola Adisa stifles a snort.

Not wanting the moment broken, Bayard cuts him a slight, chastening glare before continuing. “As you say, so shall it be. Beloved community of Muungano, I present to you Amachi Leah Adisa.”

“Hail! Hail! Hail!” Camara Xola cries out and steps forward to address the community. “May happiness come.”

“Ase!” the people of Muungano shout in response.

“Whenever we join to make a circle, may our chain be complete.” Camara Xola raises his hands.


“Whenever we dig a well, may we come upon water.”


“May it be darkness behind the stranger who has come”—Xola turns to you—“and light before her.”


“May her mother and father have long life.” He nods at Selamault, who returns the gesture.


“May she eat by the labor of her hands.”


“May she show respect to the world.”


“May her path be straightened for her.”


“Life and prosperity to all her children.”


“May we leave whole and may we return whole.”


“And”—Xola returns his steady gaze to you—“may happiness come.”

“Ase! Ase! Ase!” the people of Muungano erupt.

Representatives from each of the seven governing families of Muungano assemble for the gathering of the Ijo. The full ruling body rarely meets. The elder of each kraal typically organizes their represented community. There is little need for the collective elders to actually come together except on special occasions or simply to just enjoy being a community of elders delighting in one another as if they attended a family reunion. The room radiates around a large table. Symbolic more than anything else, as it couldn’t seat the entire Adisa family, much less the full Ijo. But it is the traditional gathering place for a family meeting.

You are introduced to visiting members. Ambassadors, physicists, poets, teachers, engineers, healers, none of whom use titles or honorifics (other than the Camara, who winks at you while you mingled). As they are from Ugenini, Asili, and Maroon peoples, from all reaches of Muungano, the biolink implanted in each member allows Maya to translate for you, functioning much like a site-to-site glyph. You chat, you laugh, little of it you will remember due to the heady excitement of being introduced anew to your community.

To great applause and shouts, you take the stairs and stride across the floor to take your seat next between Camara Xola and Wachiru. You can’t help but feel a pang of jealousy of Wachiru. By simple virtue of him being him, the natural-born son of Xola and Selamault, he wins any battle for people’s affections. You are left with the scraps, think about when he isn’t around. Silent and intent, he bobs his head without disdain for the proceedings, but caught up in his mental world of beats and melodies. His mind full of music, all staccato cadences, storytelling by a poet warrior. It makes your skin flush with pride and . . . something. Not quite anger, more frustration. That he squanders his position by always chasing after possibilities rather than embracing his birthright.

“You think too much,” Xola looms into your ear.

“I don’t want to miss anything,” you say.

“You’re here. Be here.” His long fingers dance along the console. The movements haphazard and jittery as if he’s playing a balafon. His eyes bother him, beginning to fail him, all the while he continues to act as if nothing is wrong. Xola slips without Selamault around, betraying the frailty of his condition. Ordinarily, she hovers over him in a constant fuss, the comfortable worry of a long-joined partner to their spouse. But buried in the interactions are her masking the severity of his symptoms. Passing food for him. Sharing his food, breaking his into portions for easy purchase and eating. Perusing files, reading them aloud in the guise of seeking his opinion on matters. A careful choreography. Without her around, his symptoms demonstrate that he is clearly worse than you thought. With your elevated position in the family, he has allowed you to see it. “You are as you have always been: among your people.”

The Ijo continue to seat themselves around the dais of the Dreaming City’s main chamber. You half rehearse what you would say to the Ijo, comforted by the fact that they are duty bound to greet and welcome you. Then you chide yourself for such cynicism. You know that the families—who have known and loved you since you first walked among them—eagerly await to rejoice in your formal induction into the community. The inchoate dread of expectation chews at you nonetheless, because you fear your ability to live up to the ghost of their dreams for you.

A mild commotion stirs near the area where the Buhari family have gathered.

Camara Xola stands, and the throng settles into a hush as he shuffles toward the dais. In a low, unwavering voice steeled with pride, he announces, “The Adisa family, governing family of the Ijo, present the newest duly appointed member of our family: Amachi Adisa.”

The full Ijo stands. Each member clasps their wrists and bows their heads in your direction. When they raise their heads, they break their grasp. They hold their fists out as they shout.


A chorus of finger snaps issue from when the Yar’adua family congregate. Bayard, head of their family, steps forward. “We see you, Amachi Adisa, daughter of Xola Adisa and Selamault Jywanza. Long may you serve.”

“I offer all in service to Muungano,” you say.

You catch sight of Maulana Buhari, gliding through the crowd, a shark among a scattering school of fish parting as he nears. Your heart skips a measure before finding itself again. You have admired the man for almost as long as you have drawn breath. You have studied his fiery words as faithfully as an agoze, holding him second only to Xola in your heart’s admiration. Marching with a quiet dignity—stiff and upright, ever overly mannered—he defers to the stateliness of the proceedings, but otherwise has no use for its symbolic pageantry. His dark eyes filled with both a devouring hunger and a protective menace. He has a way of looking at everything, constantly calculating its potential threat. His face full of intent, he whispers in his elder’s ear.

“Are there any matters to bring before the Ijo?” Camara Xola asks, both knowing and expectant.

A Buhari elder stands, his face a filigree of wrinkles, and an expression on his face as if he’d just bitten into the sourest of apples. “The Buhari name Maulana, son of Hakeem and Tiamoyo Buhari, as the duly appointed head of our family.”

A few gasps ripple among the Ijo. The Buhari elder was certainly due to step down, but an elder usually only relinquished his seat after sufficient notice for the Ijo to arrange a proper gratitude ceremony. A move this sudden, without so much as a warning whisper, portents nothing but ill.

Your stomach churns with anticipation, since you already have little room or love for such grandstanding.

“We see you, Maulana Buhari,” Bayard ordains. “Long may you serve.”

“I see you.” Usually not one to be caught up on procedural matters, Maulana remains standing. From the graveness of his face, the vague unease you experienced at his entrance begins to curdle into something solid. “Camara, I’m afraid that I come bearing sobering news.”

“What is it, Maulana?” Camara Xola bridges his fingers, his gaze leveled at the table.

“It’s Jaha.”

Copyright © 2022 from Maurice Broaddus

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