The Voices of Martyrs
Rosarium Publishing Softcover $16.95 (250pp) 978-0-9967692-5-9
Broaddus’s stories are a roller-coaster of imaginativeness, both speculative and unique.
A fertile imagination, combined with elements of the black experience, makes Maurice Broaddus’s story collection The Voices of Martyrs a memorable one.
Broaddus, a writer whose work has appeared in publications from Asimov’s Science Fiction to Apex Magazine, brings a less-heard perspective to speculative fiction, infusing his stories with African words and concepts, Jamaican obeah (Cabibbean folk magic), and other rich cultural sources.
The Voices of Martyrs is separated into three sections, “Past,” “Present,” and “Futures”; the first includes settings such as a 1651 slave ship and 1895 Indiana, amid a period of high racial tension. Much of Broaddus’s writing skirts the boundaries of genres—science fiction, speculative fiction, fantasy, and horror—and some stories, like “Pimp My Airship,” combine so many disparate elements—steampunk and alternate history, mixed with social commentary and music references—that they can’t but stand out as unique.
“The Volunteer” is a collection highlight. It is the story of a church volunteer who meets a group of vampires. Here, the details and social significance of clothing play a central role, as