In this series, I ask various publishing professionals (including authors, bloggers, editors, agents etc.) to recommend 2-3 authors or books they feel haven’t received the recognition they deserve.
Today’s recommendations are by Maurice Broaddus. Maurice Broaddus has written hundreds of short stories, essays, novellas, and articles. His dark fiction has been published in numerous magazines, anthologies, and web sites, including Asimov’s Science Fiction, Cemetery Dance, Apex Magazine, and Weird Tales Magazine. He is the co-editor of the Dark Faith anthology series (Apex Books) and the author of the urban fantasy trilogy, Knights of Breton Court (Angry Robot Books). Visit his site at www.MauriceBroaddus.com.
I tend to hope around in genre, from science fiction to fantasy to horror, both in what I write and what I read. So it was tough trying to narrow down a list of 2-3 impactful but overlooked works until I made my criteria books have I come back to read again and again.
- My favorite genre to read is crime fiction, so I was already a huge Walter Mosley fan. When I found out that he’d written a collection of short stories, I snatched it up immediately. Futureland: Nine Stories of an Imminent World (2001) had a huge impact on me and is one of those collections that I rarely hear anyone talk about. A series of nine interconnected tales about a dystopian future where rich technocrats rule and poverty is basically considered a crime. The world-building is dizzying and he piles idea on idea on idea while speaking to issues of race and class. This book is second only to Octavia Butler in terms of writers that have inspired me to find my unique voice.
- I was torn for my fantasy pick. There are two books that immediately leapt to mind as being under-rated. The first is Patrick O’Leary’s The Gift. Beautiful, complex, and layered, the book speaks to the power of story by nesting story within story within story to great effect. On the other side of the fantasy scale is Charles Saunders Imaro, a tale some would say is simply a “black Conan” tale, except for Saunders wonderful story telling style, world-building, and exploration of character and cultures.
- When it comes to horror, I think of Brandon Massey. I’ve been a fan of his since Thunderland, back when people were running around calling him “the black Stephen King” which was honestly what caught my attention. With his brisk plotting style and keen characterization, I quit thinking of him as a “black Stephen King” and he became “Brandon Massey.” It was his Dark Dreams anthology series that introduced the world to many up and coming African American horror writers, including Lamar “L.R.” Giles, whose debut novel, Fake ID has just been released.
Stay tuned for the next post where we get more reading recommendations!