Saturday, May 31, 2008

Marvelous World Book One: Marvelous Effect

Troy CLE, winner of the 2008 Essence Literary Award for Children’s Literature and author of the Marvelous World series. His YA fantasy novel Marvelous World is published by Simon and Schuster. Marvelous World is being called The Black Harry Potter.

All of this started because when I was nine I wanted to be a Goonie,” Troy explained. “But none of the Goonies looked like me. I never wanted to be a director, but I vowed that I would be instrumental in creating a movie where all kids, but especially ones that looked and lived like me, could see themselves on the big screen in an action packed fantasy adventure. The book is the first step to realizing that dream.”

Here is the trailer:

Here is the synopsis:
He loves listening to hip-hop, racing radio-controlled cars, and hanging out with his best friend, Brandon. Then a mysterious letter invites him to visit the local junkyard. There he finds a secret, underground amusement park like no other in existence. This is the best day of Louis's life. The park even has the most amazing race course for radio-controlled cars. Louis starts racing right away. It's a close contest; he's about to activate his nitro boost to take the lead, when...

This is the worst day of Louis's life. Without warning or reason, thirteen-year-old Louis Proof falls into a coma due to a virus of a mysterious, celestial origin. When he awakens three months later, the world that he once knew and loved is totally out of control. He will learn that his illness is connected to everything that is wrong, and that it's not only his responsibility but his destiny to set things right.

This story is a megadramatic, remarkably true, super action fantasy. Get ready!

Review is here at the

Here is an interview at Dark Fantasy
Here is his myspace page
And this is his website
Here is his blog

Afro-Future Females: Black Writers Chart Science Fiction's Newest New-Wave Trajectory

Edited by, Marleen S. Barr
304 pages
Ohio State University Press; 2 edition (May 8, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0814210783

Here's the Blurb
Afro-Future Females: Black Writers Chart Science Fiction's Newest New-Wave Trajectory, edited by Marleen S. Barr, is the first combined science fiction critical anthology and short story collection to focus upon black women via written and visual texts. The volume creates a dialogue with existing theories of Afro-
Futurism in order to generate fresh ideas about how to apply race to science fiction studies in terms of gender. The contributors, including Hortense Spillers, Samuel R. Delany, Octavia E. Butler, and Steven Barnes, formulate a woman-centered Afro-Futurism by repositioning previously excluded fiction to redefine science fiction as a broader fantastic endeavor. They articulate a platform for scholars to mount a vigorous argument in favor of redefining science fiction to encompass varieties of fantastic writing and, therefore, to include a range of black women's writing that would otherwise be excluded. Afro-Future Females builds upon Barr's previous work in black science fiction and fills a gap in the literature. It is the first critical anthology to address the "blackness" of outer space fiction in terms of feminism,
emphasizing that it is necessary to revise the very nature of a genre that has been constructed in such a way as to exclude its new black participants. Black science fiction writers alter genre conventions to change how we read and define science fiction itself. The work's main point: black science fiction is the most exciting
literature of the nascent twenty-first century.

Marleen S. Barr is a science fiction pioneer who broke new ground in feminist science fiction criticism with her book Alien to Femininity: Speculative Fiction and Feminist Theory. She won the Science Fiction Research Association Pilgrim Award for Lifetime Achievement in science fiction criticism.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Weigh In On Whether Or Not White Men Can Jump

Hi All,

Stop by my blog when you get a chance and check out my post: Searching for Dan B. - Part One of the "Can White Men Jump?" Two-Part Saga. I'm sort of seeking absolution, but do I deserve it? Let me hear from you! Click on the title or click here: See you there...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Smoke Signals - Rwanda - Amahoro-Africa Report

I received the latest wiconi email newsletter from Native American pastor, Richard Twiss. Usually, I snip a bit here and there and post info on my blog but this last report was so powerful, I figured I'd include everything in this post.

Hau Kola’s

Greetings from Kigali, Rwanda. Here’s a short first report. Hope you are well by the way.

The Amahoro-Africa Gathering was a beautiful time of friendship making with some really fun and amazing people from around the world. Many of them are deeply engaged in local and global endeavors addressing situations of injustice, human rights, AIDS, micro-financing and community development as followers of Jesus. I now have friends who are actively involved in peace-making efforts in the conflicts in Kenya, Mozambique and South Africa. The story of the past twenty years of Rwanda was heartbreaking, tragic beyond comprehension, confusing and inspiring.

Many of you saw the movie Hotel Rwanda a few years ago that told the story of the horrific genocide that took place in Rwanda in 1994. In 90 days more than 1 million people were brutally/inhumanely murdered. It was people from the Tutsi tribe who carried out the genocide against the Hutu tribe. It is a long story that ultimately happened as the direct result of social engineering attempts on the part of the Belgian regime to scientifically classify the Tutsi tribe as being superior to the Hutu (size of head, wideness of nose, set of eyes, height, etc.) and thus preferring them in assigning roles of power in the colonial system of government established. This created the environment which led to animosity between these tribes who share the same language and have a long-standing history of shared living and relationship between them.

I listened to horrifying stories of Tutsi women tell of their brutalization in every way conceivable. I visited a mass grave site where 200,000 people were buried. I visited 2 catholic churches that were massacre sites. 5000 murdered in one and 20,000 in another. In the buildings the blood stained and dirt covered clothes from all the victims had been hung from the rafters and left to cover every inch of the floor space. In each of these places there were hundreds of unclaimed skeletal remains; skulls were carefully lined up in rows and the rest piled on shelves. At another site thousands of exhumed mummified bodies in distorted positions lay inside the school building on the desks and tables. These sites, and many others, are part of a national genocide memorial to keep the memories of loved ones alive and to remember that human beings are capable of great evil unless we learn to forgive and love one another.

I had taken tobacco ties with me so at the first site, I felt deeply compelled to sing a song of remembrance and put tobacco on the shelf with the bones. The skeletal remains were not enclosed in any way. If you wanted you could touch them. I asked two men from Africa to stand with me as our group had moved away from this spot. I sang a traditional style native song of mourning and remembrance for these people. Many in the building began to weep as the Spirit of the Lord visited with us. After I finished I wept too.

I then listened to Hutu believers confess their stories of shame, guilt and sorrow for what they had done and saw the forgiveness that was exhibited by the Tutsi believers toward them. I was completely blown away! I cannot relate to that depth of forgiveness. Listening to Freda tell how the attackers lined her (she was 14 then) entire family up in a pit and chopped off her mothers head with a machete, caved her brothers and sisters heads in with clubs and finally clubbed her and buried them all, then to see her so clothed in the love and mercy of God was beyond my ability to “get.”

One fact worth noting about the context of the genocide is that prior to April 1994, the western church generally regarded Rwanda as one of the most "Christian" countries in Africa and the world, one of the real "successes" of Christian missions in Africa! Statistically speaking some 80% to 90% of the population regard themselves as Christians. An absolute majority are Roman Catholics, and a strong minority Protestants. Much of this Christianity is of a strong evangelical persuasion (Patrick E. Johnstone, 1993. Operation World. Carlisle, UK: OM Publishing, P. 472: there are many sources available about this fact). “And yet all of this Christianity did not prevent genocide, a genocide which leading church officials did little to resist, in which a large number of Christians participated, and in which, according to African Rights, more people "died in churches and parishes than anywhere else." – (David P Gushee, The Christian Century, April 20, 2004, pp. 28-31)

While it is a very complex situation in Rwanda, with no clear conclusions, this one fact is cause for some reflection. What was meant by “Christian.” While many God-fearing people lost their lives as they resisted the slaughter, the Christian church was also complicit in many instances. Many times I heard the question, “where was the church when it was most needed?” Even more compelling is where is the church today in light of the global AID’s crisis, the new conflicts in Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa and many more areas. I was encouraged because it was African nationals asking the question among themselves.

However, what about us, you and me? Does injustice only exist in Africa? As we face the compelling questions of our day, the answers will not arise from whether or not someone is a Christian, republican, democrat, evangelical, Pentecostal – it will found in whether or not we following Jesus in community with others of differing cultures, expressions of our one faith, economic status and power or privilege.

Have you hugged an “Indian” lately? How about a white republican? How about a black democrat? How about a white democratic Pentecostal pro-life orthodox liberal emerging post-modern evangelical? Or how about a justice doing, mercy loving, humbly walking follower of Jesus …Hmmmm? Okay then, go ahead and hug yourself.

Hohecetuwe yelo – “and that’s the way it is”

Jesus is amazing! His love for us in the midst of our brokenness is way too good to be true! I am reminded of the Father’s grace and goodness in my life and challenged again to love and walk as Jesus walked among his followers, critiques, opponents and enemies.

Peace, as you walk in the Jesus Way!

Wiconi International

For those Christians who are Native American or for those interested in indigenous Christianity, you can subscribe to smoke signals by sending an email to
wiconi-subscribe (at)

Monday, May 26, 2008


Tribal peoples from around the world are making preparations to attend this historic, 7th WCGIP in Jerusalem, Israel this September 9-19. Delegations from many lands including Indonesia, Iryan Jaya, Brazil, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Taiwan, Northern India, and many more are coming. EVERYONE is invited to join together with us as “the one new person” in Christ! For eight days we will worship together with the many sights and sounds of indigenous cultures from around the world. There will be various cultural presentations, panels/forums addressing critical concerns of Indigenous populations and biblical dialogue to envision a new and hopeful future of a post-colonial Christianity among tribal peoples globally. Visit the newly designed and informative website for all the details concerning registration and the gathering itself at


Help Defend Preditors & Editors

Preditor & Editors needs our help! Please donate to their legal fund as they are being sued!

Here's what they said,
Unfortunately, there are those who do not like P&E or its editor because we give out information that they would prefer remain hidden from writers. Usually, they slink away, but not this time. P&E is being sued and we are asking for donations to mount a legal defense in court. Please click on the link below and give if you can to help protect P&E so it can continue to defend writers as it has for the past eleven years.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Into the (virtual) future

There's no doubt that our ways of communicating is ever changing. The internet has made it possible to chat across nations thanks to chat programs. With the growing popularity of the virtual world called Second Life (which reached nearly 60,000 users since I last checked), communication is opening up a whole new world of exploration. A few months ago, a friend of mine introduced me to this world and I found myself immersed in a world where you can visit various exotic beaches, walk the runway as a model, shop at Paris & UK inspired boutiques, fly a Nasa funded trip to the moon while learning about JPL, dance at jazz clubs and meet new upcoming muscians, even immerse myself in a world like Battlestar Galactica where I got to join the colonial navy and learn to fly Vipers and Raptors (it was awesome!). Among these really cool experiences, I got to meet a nice network of friends and book lovers.

Second Life (or SL) even has it's own library located on Info Island which sponsors book related events from author talks to monthly book club discussions. Many professionals have used SL to reach their readers & audiences in 3D virtual auditoriums. It's amazing world for so much creativity which is literally built on the backs of its residents.

This February, the SL library spotlighted it's ongoing display for the Black Authors of Speculative Fiction (see main image of this post) which included clickable books for residents to read reviews of works by Nalo Hopkinson, Octavia Butler, Samuel Delany and Walter Mosley. According to the Metropolitan Library System, the SL Library Genealogy Group is currently featuring resources to aid in researching African American genealogy.

If you're a resident, the exhibit is currently at the TALIS SciFi & Fantasy Portal on Info Island on the upstairs floor. Downstairs there's also an exhibit of Asian American Speculative authors.

Of note in the main SL Library, the first floor current events exhibit is gearing up to celebrate Towel Day on May 25th. All you ever wanted to know about Douglas Adams and the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (including film versions) is available at the click of a mouse.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Nicole Givens Kurtz is the author of four published novels; three as Nicole Givens Kurtz and ten other titles under various pen names. Her science fiction works have been named as finalist in the 2006 Fresh Voices in Science Fiction (Zephyr Unfolding), EPPIE Finalist in Science Fiction (Browne Candidate) and DREAM REALM Finalist in Science Fiction (Browne Candidate). Nicole is a founding member of the Carl Brandon Society and a member of the National Association of Women Writers. Her new book, Silenced, is due on Amazon on June 1st.

Nicole Kurtz be at ConCarolina on May 30th-June 1st. If you want to know more about Concarolina, head over to

Monday, May 19, 2008

Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Native American Pastor Richard Twiss of Wiconi International

has given a Guarded BOOK RECOMMENDATION for this YA book; PG-13

This is what he wrote:

Knowing I won’t get a lot of love from of few people for recommending it, for people who want to get an insiders view of the typical life of a reservation young person, I nonetheless highly suggest you get a copy of
Sherman Alexie’s new book The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.

It won the 2007 National Book Award for Young People's Literature, is currently #1 on the Book Sense Best Sellers List for children, and is #3 on the New York Times Best Sellers List in chapter books for children. The book has also been selected by Publishers Weekly (11/5/07) as one of the "Best Books of the Year."

Told in a typical Alexie humorous way, it paints an honest, all too real (the PG-13 part) and painful picture of the challenges faced by kids on the Rez everyday. Because I grew up with very similar circumstances as a young boy on the Rosebud Lakota/Sioux Reservation and later, I laughed out loud many times and cried quietly while reading it. If you like it let me know what you think; if not, just pray for me.

So, if you're looking for a kid's book on Native American or Minority Issues...and if your child can handle the PG-13 aspects of life on a reservation, here's a great Christmas present idea.

A Conversation with new Sci-Fi Author, Valjeanne Jeffers-Thompson

For many writers, the path to writing begins with a love of books. The unfolding of a parable, the unlocking of a mystery, the ability to be transported to another place. The same things that compel us to read, for some evolve into a need, almost a calling to tell their own stories.

For Valjeanne Jeffers-Thompson, her path to writing is much the same. Raised is a creative and academic environment (her parents are writers and her mother, a college professor), she was surrounded by books and quite easily became an avid reader. “Reading was a way of transforming what was going on around you,” she says. Valjeanne developed a special love for Black literature, including the likes of Ralph Ellison and Richard Wright. Full Story

Being Seen

This is something I wrote not too long ago, and with Wiscon coming up, and at the gentle urging of a dear friend, I'm sharing this and the artcile that went with it (coming in a few days).


I’ve had a great number of interesting conversations lately as the panel suggestions closed for Wiscon this year and we spoke about needing a place at the convention for PoC to gather. This got me thinking about my experiences at Wiscon and other places like it over the past decade or so.

Now, to begin with, I identify as a woman of color. I acknowledge that because of my pale skin there are elements of white privilege I benefit from, whether or not I want to. To the untrained eye my Cherokee features do nothing but simply confuse them. I’ve spent my life on the edge of a blade, someplace between the world of my white father and the heritage of my Cherokee mother. Raised in nearly all white neighborhoods in West Virginia, I was brought up in a family where acting white was an element of survival. In the end I still stood on the outside as the girl that was “just not like the rest of us.”

The assumption that I’m white comes more often than not from women and men of color, while many folks who identify as white look at me and seem to know that whatever I am, I’m certainly not like them. These truths have led into a lifetime of tears, and frustration. This fact, however, is not exactly what I want to speak of today, though it does play its part. The reason I mention any of this is that rarely are these experiences more painfully true for me than in a small setting like a woman’s event or a fannish convention like Wiscon.

Being a feminist at Wiscon is a given. It’s assumed that everyone coming to Wiscon is a fan of specific and a feminist, but for some people the feeling standing on the outside looking in goes much further. When issues of race and self-identity come to play, often they are treated as minor issues in the face of feminist topics, as if the hardships we face as women somehow trumps those we’ve experiences as PoC. That is why I’m so vocal about the need to find a place for PoC to gather together, to share our concerns and frustrations. I often times wonder how many others there are like me at place like Wiscon and even around the world. People of mixed heritage walking in a sea of faces, and knowing the ones that look most like them would never understand who they are inside, or what they’ve suffered in being true to who they are.

I’m so tired of explaining and educating when so often the facts do nothing but fall on deaf ears. There’s often assumption that I will stand with the white feminists on all feminist issues, or applaud the liberal who stand there publicly patting themselves on the back for being so racially enlightened and proactive. I’m weary from having whites look at me to back them up when they are unknowingly doing the waltz of racism, complaining about how the PoC is just being touchy or unreasonable. At least now when they are shocked when I stand against their ignorance they are simply angry, as apposed to the violence I faced growing up when I made these same stands.

My own dance is to the heartbeat of my ancestors as it pulses in the earth beneath me, not to the demanding whine of unspoken expectations that so often fills my ears. It took until my late teens to find my way to my first Wiscon, and though I enjoyed the panels and the new things I learned, it wasn’t until the past few years I really felt a shifting presence at the convention where people of color came together to talk about what was important to them. It was then, in the moment of change and awareness, that I opened my spirit and began to write the stories of strong women of color I believe have been inside me all that time.

But as the years pass, there are more places like Wiscon where people of color come together in fandom to speak, to tell their stories, to be heard. Stories they’ve never had space to tell before. This means that each time I step into a place where I may be seen, it’s at a risk. Each time I reveal who I am rather than hide within assumptions and solitude, I’m rolling the dice. Win or lose, without the wholeness of the truths and standing in the light I cannot stand as an advocate of my children, of my people, or even of myself.

I cannot say I walk into the light without fear. Each time I open my mouth in a panel and speak as a woman of color, as a Cherokee woman, there is fear. Years of facing violence and ridicule because I wasn’t Indian enough, because I wasn’t white enough, do not fade even in the span of a lifetime. Each year I will return to Wiscon, and each year I will stand within my fear to take my place among other people of color. Hurts must be healed, stories told, tears cried, if we are ever to be able to stand together in strength and determination.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

See, I get to take credit for that

"See, I get to take credit for that."

That's one of my favorite author quotes.

In order for you to understand it, I guess I should tell you about the circumstances in which Edward Albee came to say it.

He was being interviewed by someone about one of his plays. The interviewer said, "Oh I love the way you brought in this myth and this religious allusion and this societal issue."

Sorry, I don't remember the specifics but you know what I mean. There are times when you write a book or a story and reviewers find such lovely things in it...things you had never consciously put into it. When I wrote Wind Follower I was aware of a few of the myths, social history, historical and political events I was addressing. But when the reviewers and critical text analysts got to it, wow!!!!! They saw such glories in my book.

Well, I suppose when notified of all the wonderful subtexts happening in my novel I remembered Edward Albee's words and said, "Actually, I wasn't even aware that that was in there, and I had no conscious plan to put it in the book. Thanks. I get to take credit for that."

I don't know about other folks but I was a lit major. I like analyzing stories in the larger context and I like being analyzed. Makes me feel valid. Some of my stories are thin, mind you and they have no resonance. But it's so wonderful when a story has all these layers and readers can see such interesting cultural, religious, and social issues in them.

Most writers tend to be pleased to see that their stories are rich enough to carry so many subtexts. When a reader finds stuff in a story that the writer didn't consciously put into the story, it shows the writer is A) listening to the universal unconscious B) allowing true creativity to flow through him and through his own experience of life C) taking part in the great creative communal conversation of his time, D) well-read and E) downright deep.

It is that odd writer who says, "no, my work is not that rich. My work doesn't connect to these primal, or cultural, or social issues. My work only goes to this area and I refuse to see in it what I myself did not put into it."

Who wants to write stories that don't resonate? Who wants to write stories that echo only what one consciously puts into them? What is the glory of a story that is utterly man-made and lacking the true spirit of the universal subconscious?

My Book, Wind Follower, is a story about a quest, a vendetta, and a spiritual battle. It is a multicultural Christian fantasy about the relationship between race and religion." marginheight="0" marginwidth="0"></iframe>

Here's an example with Wind Follower:

Here's the book trailer on youtube


Saturday, May 17, 2008

Darrell Awards Recognizes SF Stories in Memphis

As a child of Tennessee, it is a pleasure to see works that promote science fiction, fantasy, and speculative writing in general. Mid-South Science Fiction & Fantasy Association (MSSFFA) offers the Darrell Awards. These awards "promotes literacy in the Mid-South by Recognizing the Best Published SF, Fantasy and Horror."

For details about nominating Mid-South speculative works, visit their website for more information.

Nicole Givens Kurtz

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Clark Atlanta Professor Releases Afro-Latin Journal, Negritud

African studies in Latin America and the Caribbean found its headquarters for American academia in Atlanta with the launch of the scholarly journal, Negritud," writes Redding News Review's International Editor Bruno Gaston.

"Luis Miletti, an Afro-Puerto Rican and assistant professor of Spanish at Clark Atlanta University, released the journal in March after an overwhelming global response to his announcement last year to start the publication. Negritud is published in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese. Some academic fields of study will include literature, history, anthropology and archeology.
" 'This is the only journal that accepts all writing styles within American academia,' Miletti said. 'That is unheard of because in the US, they tend to be very uniform.' "

Negritud could indeed be setting a new precedent for the academic medium. In addition to the Web edition, a weekly public radio program for the annually published journal is also under development. The radio show will showcase lectures, panel discussions, and current events regarding Afro-Latinos in the US and abroad."

Asian Children's Writers and Illustrators Conference 2008

Asian Children's Writers and Illustrators Conference 2008.
Held in Singapore June 5-7, this major event features authors and publishing professionals from throughout the region.
Full details at

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Great books by Minorities in The United States

Here, for your perusing pleasure are a few of the great books written by American Minorities:

One Church, Many Tribes : Following Jesus the Way God Made You by Richard Twiss and John Dawson

Amazing Grace (Reading Rainbow Book) by Mary Hoffman
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
Peiling and the Chicken-Fried Christmas by Pauline Chen
Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters (Reading Rainbow Book) by John Steptoe
Looking For Bapu by Anjali Banerjee
Girls for Breakfast by David Yoo
Seeing Emily by Joyce Lee Wong
Somebody's Daughter by Marie Myung-Ok Lee
Wait for Me by An Na
When I Was Puerto Rican ~ Esmeralda Santiago
How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
American Chica: Two Worlds, One Childhood by Marie Arana
The Fold by An Na
The Water Of Possibility by Hiromi Goto
Half and Half by Lensey Namioka
The Year of the Rat by Grace Lin
Carlotta's Secret by Patricia Canterbury
The Woman Who Outshone the Sun/La Mujer Que Brillaba Aun Mas Que El Sol by Alejandro Cruz Martinez and Fernando Olivera

Fever in the Blood by Robert Fleming
Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Moseley

Wind Follower by Carole McDonnell
Acacia: Book One: The War With the Mein (Acacia) by David Anthony Durham
Zahrah the Windseeker by Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu
When Fox Is a Thousand by Larissa Lai
Matters Of The Blood by Maria Lima
The Bone Whistle by Eva Swan
Kindred by Octavia Butler
My Soul to Keep by Tananarive Due
Imaro by Charles Saunders
Shadow Speaker, The by Nnedi Okorafor-mbachu
Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson
Sleeping Helena by Erzebet YellowBoy
Slave to Sensation (Psy-Changelings, Book 1) by Nalini Singh

So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Science Fiction & Fantasy by Nalo Hopkinson
Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora by Sheree R. Thomas
Crystal Rain by Tobias S. Buckell
Warchild by Karin Lowachee
Mindscape by Andrea Hairston
Monkey Beach: A Novel by Eden Robinson
Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
Edinburgh: A Novel by Alexander Chee
Nova by Samuel R Delaney
Ragamuffin (Sci Fi Essential Books) by Tobias S. Buckell
Cimmerian City by Rae Lindley

Havoc After Dark: Tales of Terror: Tales of Terror by Robert Fleming
Whispers in the Night: Dark Dreams III by Tananarive Due
Thunderland by Brandon Massey
Dark Dreams: A Collection of Horror and Suspense by Black Writers by Brandon Massey
The Cursed (Vampire Huntress Legends) by L. A. Banks

Lion's Blood by Steven Barnes

Plenty Good Room by Cheri Paris Edwards
In the Name of Salome by Julia Alvarez
Woman Hollering Creek: And Other Stories by Sandra Cisneros
Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros
Native Son by Richard A. Wright
The Magic of Blood by Dagoberto Gilb
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Empress of the Splendid Season by Oscar Hijuelos
Black Boy by Richard A. Wright
The Lamentable Journey of Omaha Bigelow Into The Impenetrable Loisaida Jungle by Edgardo Vega Yunque
Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina Garcia
The Women of Brewster Place by Gloria Naylor
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
A Lesson Before Dying (by Ernest J. Gaines
Bodega Dreams: A Novel by Ernesto Quinonez
Puerto Rican Writers at Home in the USA: An Anthology by Faythe Turner
Reclaiming Medusa: Short Stories by Contemporary Puerto Rican Women by Diana Lourdes Velez
72 Hour Hold by Bebe Moore Campbell
The Interruption of Everything by Terry McMillan
The Namesake: A Novel by Jhumpa Lahiri

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West by Dee Brown
Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance by Leonard Peltier
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
Roots by Alex Haley
Always Running: La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L.A. by Luis J. Rodriguez
Hunger of Memory : The Education of Richard Rodriguez by Richard Rodriguez
Drown by Junot Diaz
Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin

Sushi for One? (The Sushi Series, Book 1) by Camy Tang
Business Unusual by Linda F. Beed
Guilty of Love (Urban Christian) by Pat Simmons
If The Shoe Fits by Marilynn Griffith

Saturday, May 10, 2008

One Church, Many Tribes by Native American Pastor Richard Twiss

One Church Many Tribes - Following Jesus The Way God Made You by Richard Twiss
Our Price: $11.75
On Sale: $9.99

Here's his statement on the website

Our Vision:

To live meaningful lives as followers of Jesus and encourage others in their journey toward healthy relationships with God, community, other ethnic groups, and creation.
Our Aspirations:

In the spirit of Jesus to assist indigenous peoples in walking with Creator that results in wholeness and health in every sphere of human activity.

To network with Native and non-Native leaders to develop culturally appropriate approaches to living out a biblical faith while honoring the cultural expressions of First Nations peoples.

To see Indigenous traditions and worldview values embraced as a vital influence in shaping Christendom throughout the Americas.

To serve the global community of God as a bridge builder and consulting resource for developing genuine community, unity, consciousness of social justice, creation stewardship and mutuality among diverse peoples.
Our Intentions:

To develop biblical education models, materials, national seminars and learning centers to provide indigenous people with a biblical framework that resonates with the global conversation around discovering a post-colonial theology that incorporate the values and structures of Native people throughout North, Central South America and beyond.

To organize and lead international Native Dance and Performing Arts Team(s), to share the beauty of our cultures, tribal and personal stories to build bridges of peace and understanding in the global community.

To encourage, promote, and facilitate the producing of praise & worship music that utilizes traditional Native sounds and styles.
Our Biblical Values:

We believe that Creator exists within himself as community; God-the-Father, God-the-the Son, and God-the-Holy Spirit. God is Author, Creator, and Sustainer of all human and non-human creation.

We believe the Biblical story is God's self-revelation to humankind and that it is for all peoples and all languages everywhere as the sacred writings of God.

We believe that humankind was created in the image of God, but because of pride and rebellion, rejected the Creator’s path of beauty, wandering in darkness and alienation from God. Jesus performed the "once and for all ceremony" through His death on a cross, and resurrection from the dead. By this He defeated the power of death and made a way for all tribes and nations to return to a loving relationship within the community of Heaven.
Wiconi International
PO Box 5246 Vancouver, WA 98668


"we-cho-nee" Lakota/Sioux language meaning "Life"


The thief comes only to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10

These words of Jesus, the Waymaker, convey the heart and passion of Katherine and I, and the entire staff of Wiconi International. Our First Nations people know what it means to suffer the loss of land, dignity, self-respect, life and a way of living. Though this has sadly become the normal every day reality for our people, our aim is help make a positive difference for future generations of Native people.

Jesus brings power and hope for a better tomorrow. He does not bring religion, legalism, shame, oppression or paternalism, though sadly, Christianity often does. Our prayer is that people may live, and live in abundance, spirit, soul and body!

In the spirit of Jesus we want to assist people in experiencing ultimate freedom, and deliverance from the powers of darkness that still prevail in our lands and communities; this evil is seen in the alcohol and drug abuse, incest, suicide, poverty and despair. There are dark and evil spirits that are stealing, killing and destroying our people every day. In addition, there are oppressive and unjust economic and political systems that continue to prolong dependency and control.

At Wiconi International, we are working and praying to find better ways to support and empower people to find true genuine, hope and confidence for a better tomorrow. It is a freedom that affirms, embraces and respects the unique and God-given cultural realities of our people, not rejecting or demonizing them.

We hope to inspire people with a fresh vision about the possibilities that exist to make a dynamic positive contribution for Christ by walking among our people “in a good way.”

We can proudly say that on our site you will find some of the best resources available for those interested in walking among Native people in a good way that reflects the life of Jesus in a culturally relevant and contextual way. At our "Resources" page you can read descriptions of each book, cassette tape, video, CD, VBS curriculum workbook and children's books.

Pilamaya yelo - thank you –
Richard & Katherine Twiss, Rosebud Lakota/Sioux
President & Vice-president, Wiconi International

Bryan Thao Worra Laotian-American Writer of speculative poetry

Bryan Thao Worra is a Laotian-American Writer of speculative poetry. He is a member of the Carl Brandon Society and an advisor to AsianAmericanPoetry.Com . Bryan Thao Worra is an internationally known poet, playwright, and short story writer. His work appears in many acclaimed Asian poetry anthologies. He is the author of The Tuk-Tuk Diaries: My Dinner With Cluster Bombs and Touching Detonations.

His book of speculative fiction, On the other side of the eye, has been recommended by the Carl Brandon Society for Asian Pacific Islander month. Here is my mini-review (I'll be adding more stuff to it later and will submit the final version of this blog to the carnival around May 15th.)

Rodan, Ghidrah, Mothra. Porky’s, American Idol. Herodotus, Cerberus. Jack the Ripper, Hanibal Lecter. In Monstro, one of the poems in On the Other side of the Eye, Bryan Thao Worra has created a poetic world of cosmopolitan allusions. From Pop culture to ancient texts, from the east to the west, from Scripture to pop sound bytes, all are used to question his world, to face fears ancient, modern, near, far and multicultural.

In addition to roaming mental, spiritual and cultural lands, Worra also roams historical and geographical lands. From Laos to St. Paul.

The title is On the other side of the eye. But, one may ask, "What eye? Does it refer to the physical or the cultural human eye? Or does it refer to the eye of a cultural and emotional hurricane?" Probably all of the above. His poems invite you into many worlds as he questions and explores them.

Consider, New Myths of The Northern Land

“Dream,” I said,
“Aren’t you tired of making new legends
That no one but I ever hears?”
“Bones,” she said,
“Aren’t you ever tired of asking questions
That only I can answer?”
I went back to bed,
Waiting for the new king to arrive,
His talking mirror filled
With dire pronouncements of flame.

You can learn more about Bryan at his blog and check out the blog carnival for Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

What kind of eye, one is tempted to ask, sees with equality and clarity concepts and symbols from art, religion, and history? An eye that is aware of what it sees but judges it with the eye of a skeptical mind?

In the first stanza of his poem, The Big G., Worra states,
We don't say his name aloud in serious poetry.
We close our eyes and say he doesn't exist.
I am a modern eastern Peter with a mouth of denials
While the cocks crow at the rising sun.

In this one stanza he brings together several of his contradictions, he is a skeptical believer in the face of an evident challenge to his own denials. He is aware of the requirements. In order to be considered a serious and important poet, one must close the eye -- a self-blinding-- but one must also consciously lie. As I began reading I wasn't sure if the rising sun of the St Peter story is supposed to also echo the rising sun of the east. Worra might be saying he is an eastern believer of a western religion and that also requires a kind of complicated "hiding" of himself. I didn't want to analyze. But the joy of Worra's poetry is how honest it is, and how transparent the poet attempts to be -- even through the allusions. The allusions to external mythic things only brings us closer to what's behind the author's eye.

The critical and intellectual problem that accompanies a work full of allusions is that many of the allusions are not accessible to the reader. Hey, I'm smart enough. Those days of watching Discovery TV, perusing Sci-fi channel, indulging in Pop Culture, reading the Bible and going to church have helped me understand much of the poems. But I am still at a loss with some of the allusions in these poems. And Worra doesn't help me out either. The poems are rich enough without me understand why a particular eastern God, writer, or politician is important. But there is no doubt I would have understood the poems even more if I had gone googling. On the other hand, Eastern readers who have not dived into American culture might not understand aspects of the poem that I readily understood. And, if culture doesn't block the reader's understanding, other things might. It is not only ethnicity that makes the poems comprehesive or incomprehensive. Someone who doesn't understand popular speculative movies won't understand the references to Rodan, Mothrah and Godzilla. Heck, (she smiles to herself) my soul has always understood that there IS a spiritual, cultural, and gender difference between Mothrah and Godzilla.

The experience of the immigrant is vast and it is always difficult to put all that one is into a work of art. Worra puts all that he is -- American, Lutheran-raised, Easterner, child of the media generation, intellectual-- into his works. In a world of expedience and easy generalizations, that is a brave thing to do. The poems in this volume challenge his first estimation of himself: No St Peter he.

Here's the link to an earlier draft of On The Other Side Of The Eye. Right-click on the link and choose Save target as. An earlier e-chapbook prepared for Diversicon in 2006 is located here Again, because it's a pdf, right-click then choose the save-target-as option.

writers of color blog tour

Hi guys:

We're trying to create a blog for writers of color. The blog will showcase things literary and creative. There are many blogs out there for Black folks, or for Hispanic folks, or for Native American folks, or Asian folks. There are blogs out there for writers. We see a need for a blog which keeps people up to date on books by people of color who happen to be writers. A truly multicultural blog that celebrates the creativity of people of color. Of course we'll put other stuff on the blog also. Politics, media, health issues etc. But the MAIN purpose is literacy and to showcase books that people of color may want to read. I'd appreciate it if you would post this information to your blog and tell others about us. Thanks.

If you're a writer (or know a writer), or if you have a blog and want to join our communal blog, please email your information to me at strongarmstudios (at) and we'll add you to our blog.

Here's our URL for you to bookmark. We hope to become one of your favorites:

Genocide Of The Mind: An Anthology Of New American Indian Writing

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Nation Books (September 18, 2003)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1560255110
ISBN-13: 978-1560255116
Marijo Moore (Editor),

Genocide Of The Mind: An Anthology Of New American Indian Writing

After five centuries of Eurocentrism, many people have little idea that Native American tribes still exist, or which traditions belong to what tribes. However over the past decade there has been a rising movement to accurately describe Native cultures and histories. In particular, people have begun to explore the experience of urban Indians—individuals who live in two worlds struggling to preserve traditional Native values within the context of an ever-changing modern society. In Genocide of the Mind, the experience and determination of these people is recorded in a revealing and compelling collection of essays that brings the Native American experience into the twenty-first century. Contributors include: Paula Gunn Allen, Simon Ortiz, Sherman Alexie, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Maurice Kenny, as well as emerging writers from different Indian nations.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Carl Brandon Society's Asian and Pacific Islander blog carnival

Welcome to the Carl Brandon Society's Asian and Pacific Islander
specfic blog carnival. This carnival is presented as an end-of-the-
month celebration of API contributions to the speculative fiction

The CARL BRANDON SOCIETY also recommended the following
speculative fiction books for Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage

Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang
A collection of stories from one of American speculative fiction's
most precise and beautiful writers.

Atomik Aztek by Sesshu Foster
An Aztec prince or a Los Angeles meatpacker? The protagonist travels
back and forth between two alternative realities, never sure which is

Hopeful Monsters by Hiromi Goto
Wonderful stories by the author of The Kappa Child.

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
In a dystopian England, three children discover that they are clones
produced to provide organs to the sick.

Salt Fish Girl by Larissa Lai
Science fiction set in a dystopian near future in which corporate
enclaves house lucky employees, leaving most of humanity to deal with
increasingly strange ecological developments.

The Poet's Journey by Amirthi Mohanraj (illustrated by
Kat Beyer)
A young poet sets out into the wide world on a journey to find
poetry; with the help of a few magical creatures, she finds more than
she ever expected.

Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki
Mad experiments with the unleashed potential of the dreaming brain.

Of Love and Other Monsters by Vandana Singh
The main character wakes up from a fire and doesn't know who he is,
but can sense and manipulate the minds of others. He is not alone in
this ability. Singh takes us on a metamind ride.

The Arrival by Shaun Tan
A wordless graphic novel about immigration and displacement.

On the Other Side of the Eye by Bryan Thao Worra
Speculative poems that take us from the secret wars of the CIA in
Laos to the secret edges of the human soul and the universe.

Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Carole McDonnell presents href="
worra-laotian-american.html">Bryan Thao Worra: Laotian-American Speculative Fiction Writer posted at >Dark Parables - Reviews from a Christian Sister.

Claire Light presentshref="
-haiku.html">Starship & Haiku posted at SeeLight.

Gene van Troyer presents href="
-of-eighth-national.html">Proceedings of `Eighth national conference for science fictionwriters ' posted at >Science Fiction in India.

speculative fiction

Gene van Troyer presents Philippine Speculative Fiction » 2007 Philippine Speculative Fiction Lists posted at href="">Philippine Speculative Fiction, saying, "Excerpt: "Sorry, the Philippines has neither the Hugos nor the Nebulas (or even the Stoker) so instead, four SF&F fans posts their lists of favorite local speculative fiction short stories that was published in the previous year ... From the usual suspects (Philippine Speculative Fiction, Philippine Genre Stories and Story Philippines), 2007 saw new doors open which included a lifestyle magazine (Rogue) and off-shore e-zines which published Filipino Authors (Town Drunk, Serendipity and Clarkesworld).""


Gene van Troyer presents green blood posted at notes from the peanut gallery, saying, "Excerpt: "Manila Prints Sydney and Manila releases 'Green Blood and Other Stories', a collection of short stories by a talented
new author Erwin Cabucos.

Fifteen short stories exploring a range of themes, including
intercultural marriage, racism, social justice, bullying, religious
beliefs and growing up Filipino are packed in this new literary

Camille M. Picott presents camillemulan: How Raggedy Chan Got Out of Jail posted at Camille M. Picott, saying, "Specfic Author Camille M. Picott"

Gene van Troyer presents href="">Running to Neverland posted at Twelve Hours Later, saying, "Excerpt: "Pan Haitian's Run, Dajiao! Run, - Pan's most
recent work has been in the realm of fantasy, and he's been involved
with Jin He Zai in the Novoland project, an attempt to build an
indigenous fantasy universe.""

ng for cbs presents First Impressions: Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World posted at href="">Nancy O. Greene, saying, "Initial thoughts on Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami."

That concludes this edition. Past posts and future hosts can be
found on our
title="Blog Carnival index for “asian and pacific islander
blog carnival index page

Technorati tags:

rel="tag">asian and pacific islander specfic, href="" rel="tag">blog

Native American Christian CD's

Saw this in the wiconi newsletter.

A little over ten years ago there was virtually no Native-style music honoring Jesus that incorporated traditional drumming, chanting and other tribal styles and sounds. Today there are many dozens of such recordings. This reality is a refection of the spirit of Jesus at work in the lives of men and women who have been inspired to write new songs of prayer, celebration and honor to Jesus, born out of their identity as Native people. Accompanying every move of the spirit in a generation or people has been a “new sound” of celebration, or indigenous hymnody; from John Wesley, William Booth, The Jesus People Movement, to this current global Indigenous Jesus Movement. These new songs are helping bear the message of freedom in Jesus that you can be fully Native and fully embraced by God in your cultural world to people everywhere.

I want to recommend three new CD releases. They are Jonathan Maracle and Broken Walls “The Father’s Dance,” Michael Jacobs’, “Mystery,” and Cheryl Bear’s “The Good Road.” Jonathan is Mohawk, Michael is Cherokee and Cheryl is Nadleh Whut'en and while their music is different in style and sound, each share a message of freedom and hope in Jesus as native worshippers of Creator.

You can listen to sound-bytes of many of their songs on our website along with a few dozen more CD’s of powwow drumming music, flute music, praise music, instrumental stuff, etc., and then purchase them from wiconi's store shopping cart feature.

wind follower

wind follower