Read a Preview of Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling

Hello dear Readers! Jaym Gates and I are hard at work wrapping up the cover design, initial Table of Contents, and the submission guidelines for our upcoming anthology titled Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling for Apex Book Company. We’ll be launching a Kickstarter for this anthology, and I’ll be sharing more details about that soon.

Today, I wanted to share with you a preview of what this anthology is all about. Maurice Broaddus has written a story titled “Super Duper Fly” which appears in the October 2015 issue of Apex Magazine. Follow the link and you can read it on the company website!

In his own words, Maurice talks about the trope he wanted to tackle and why.

THE MAGICAL NEGRO—It’s easy to believe that this trope came from a good place or at least rose out of benign neglect. After all, a white writer is “writing what they know” or appealing to their target demographic, which is typically people like them, but they want a more diverse world. So the easy solution is to put an “other” at a critical place in their hero’s journey to help them along. The Magical Negro is one such other (see also: Magical Native American, Magical Asian, etc). One sees The Magical Negro in such movies as Ghost, The Legend of Bagger Vance, The Family Man, and Bruce Almighty. Or in an unusual amount of Stephen King novels/movie adaptations such as The Stand, The Talisman (written with Peter Straub), The Shining, and the ultimate ode to The Magical Negro, The Green Mile.- Maurice Broaddus

In the upcoming Upside Down, you will find tropes and clichés that writers chose to tackle and examine through the lends of their stories. These range from race-based tropes like the Magical Negro to others grounded in genre, like the City Planet. Our submission guidelines, which will be posted shortly, will include a wish list of the types of tropes and clichés we’d like to see. This will help us ensure we’ve got a good mix of stories that’ll cover a broad range of tropes for the reader.

Hope you’re as excited about this collection as I am!

Revised Cover and Title for the Firefly Dictionary

Firefly Dictionary_CVR front new copy

The Gorramn Shiniest Dictionary and Phrasebook in the ‘Verse has a revised cover and a fabulous new title! I’m happy to share this with you today. Huge thanks to my editor at Titan Books for giving me the chance to update you with the revised cover. Spring 2016 can’t come soon enough!

My Departure from the Conan RPG, Update on Apps, and a Thank You

Today, I wanted to let you know that I’ve decided to take a step back from the Conan RPG as project manager. The extremely talented Jason Durall will be taking my place, and he’s working with our REH experts and systems team to finish up the corebook. I did contribute some setting-related material to the corebook as a writer, and I’ve been invited back for the supplements. I wish the team well, and am lucky to have worked with such wonderful people.

In the past few weeks, I’ve been overwhelmed with the receipt of over 400 applications for new writers, 95% of which were women, that wish to contribute to the line. I can assure you that there is plenty of work to be done, and there are a lot of supplements planned for this line. Before I depart completely, I will finish sorting through those e-mails and provide a long list of recommendations to the rest of the team. I have also had three requests from other game publishers for the list of applicants and, pending approval from the applicants themselves, I’ll be sharing their names with other companies who also which to expand their creative teams, too. Please know that this [e.g. sorting through the applicants] is a responsibility that I do take very seriously, and no one has been forgotten. Everyone will be sorted via e-mail, and my plan is to finish those efforts by the end of next week.

With all that said, I have a few “Thank you’s!” to mention. First, I want to thank Chris and the rest of the team at Modiphius Entertainment for being so welcoming and supportive. You’ve all been fantastic to work with, and it’s my pleasure to know such talented people. Second, I’d also like to express my gratitude to everyone who applied, and I’m very appreciative of your patience as I sort through your e-mails on top of trying to get projects out the door. Last but not least, thanks to you, Dear Reader, for continuing to be supportive of my work and my efforts.

Should you have any specific questions about the game itself or Chris’s plans going forward, I’d like to direct you back to the company website and its contact page.

Signed with Red Sofa Literary

Red Sofa Literary

Happy to announce today that I have signed with Red Sofa Literary.

Jennie Goloboy and I are fine-tuning my proposal for a nonfiction book filled with worldbuilding games geared for writers. I couldn’t be happier about this development, and I’m looking forward to working with Jennie on this. More news as I get it.

Happy reading!

Gods, Memes, and Monsters Preview


Popping in today to give you a quick preview of my story titled “Three of a Kind.” I designed this pastiche about internet furies based on three programming languages, and I’m including the first couple of paragraphs for each one. They get progressively stronger, language-wise, as the pieces go on to represent the fury and how they feed off of our rage. The structure also ties into the language in some fashion, which is clearer to readers familiar with those languages once you see the whole piece.

The anthology, called Gods, Memes, and Monsters: A 21st Century Bestiary, has been published by Stone Skin Press and is available from their store directly or wherever books are sold. Please do check this out as there are dozens of amazing and very fine authors in this collection including: Chad Fifer, Charlene Challenger, Chris Lackey, Dave Gross, David Barnes, Dennis Bolen, Dennis Detwiller, Ed Greenwood, Ekaterina Sedia, Emily Care Boss, Gareth Hanrahan, Greg Stafford, Greg Stolze, James Wallis, Jean-Francois Chenier, Jerry Schaefer, Jim Webster, JM Frey, John Tynes, Jonathan Blum, Jonathan Howard, Julia Ellingboe, Kathryn Kuitenbrower, Kenneth Hite, Kurt Zubatiuk, Kyla Ward, Laura Lush, Molly Tanzer, Monica Valentinelli, Myna Wallin, Nancy Kilpatrick, Nick Mamatas, Patrick O’Duffy, Peter Ball, Peter Chiykowski, Peter Dubé, Peter Freeman, Richard Dansky, Robin Laws, Rupert Booth, Sam Agro, Sandra Kasturi, Silvia Moreno-Garcia…and many, many more.

If you’d like an eBook, please consider picking up a digital bundle of PDF, ePub, and Mobi formats for Gods, Memes, and Monsters: A 21st Century Bestiary from

Three of a Kind
by Monica Valentinelli

(Base 64)

“…shots fired at yet another elementary school in Virginia just days after…”
“…though he’s a veteran political commentator, his surprising set of remarks have forced women’s organizations to withdraw funding from…”

“…when asked how should we get young people to care about major issues, she answered: Do what I did. Cast a little-known actress into the role of an iconic super heroine…”
I am one of three entities, sisters of spirit and flesh. When you first meet me, you won’t recognize me when you do, for I will be invisible. Yet, I am everywhere. Nowhere.
I am online on a website, in the comments, on forums and in chat rooms. I am lurking on your phone, spying on you while you talk to your friends, send your lover naked pics, bitch about your mom or your whiny best friend.
Can you see me now? My form becomes more solid each time you get angry; each time you get pissed off, each time you vent about something someone else said online.


We are valkyries, succubi, poltergeists, imps, harpies, serpents and sinners who live on in bytes and pixels, feeding off your melting-cheese-on-the-asphalt rage, your hours wasted worrying about stupid bullshit, and your regret for diving into yet another flame war.
You’ve already met my sister, Ignite.
Thanks to the demon on your shoulder, the fires of your personal hell have been raging on in your mind.
I attack after Ignite, hit you hard every time you lash out and type a pissy comment, forcing you to stick around and wait for a response.
I can smell your fury burning through forum after blog after website. Burn, baby burn.


(I feed off of your guilt.)
When you were with my sister, Burn, your eyes were bloodshot, flames were shooting out of your nostrils, and your fingers flew across your keyboard. You posted hundreds of comments that’ll get lost in a matter of hours…
(And still completely searchable to anyone who cares.)
…which is the equivalent of thousands of Calories.

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