The First Steamfunkateers Adventure Is Now Available!

The Haunting of the House of Crum, the first adventure for the Steamfunkateers Steamfunk Role Playing Game, beyond the adventure in the core manual, is available NOW!

Players send their characters into a terrifying haunted house that once belonged to the creator of the potato chip, George Crum (nee George Speck).

Will they make it out alive, or with their sanity intact? YOU decide.Choose your team, gird up your loins and prepare to be terrified… and to have a great time!

Steamfunkateers, the Steamfunk Role Playing Game, is now available!

Baas Bello, the most intelligent person on earth, races to prevent mad scientist, The Alchemist, from assassinating George Washington Carver… Harriet Tubman and John Henry team up to do battle with an army of steam-powered Confederate automatons before they turn the tides of the Civil War… Robert Charles hunts Were-Rats in New Orleans…
Mad scientists, Vampires, Air Pirates, daring Adventurers, power-hungry dictators… and YOU all populate the world of Steamfunkateers: The Steamfunk Role Playing Game.
Steamfunkateers is a world of mechanical marvels, the supernatural and the Brushed – people that possess extraordinary abilities. YOU are one of the Brushed and, as Harriet Tubman says, “You either brushed by the hand of God… or by the hand of that other one.” YOU decide which one.
Steamfunkateers: The Steamfunk RPG is a fun, complete, stand-alone role-playing game in which you play a character that goes on exciting adventures, solves deep mysteries, battles evil (or good) and develops amazing abilities. Character creation can be done as quickly as a few minutes, or expand to take up an evening; adventure design is simple and designed to deliver an evening of fun, or years of it. The choice is yours.
All you will need to play are some friends, some dice, and this book!
Available NOW in paperback and e-book formats.

A Brand New Funk: Biofunk comes to Afrofuturism!

It all started with Steamfunk – a style of writing and visual aesthetic that combines the culture and approach to life of people of African descent with that of the Steampunk aesthetic.
Next came Dieselfunk fiction, film and fashion that combine the style and mood of Dieselpunk – Steampunk’s grittier sibling – with African and African-American inspiration. It is a name I came up with in 2012, playing off of Steamfunk.
Dieselfunk tells the exciting untold stories of people of African descent during the Jazz Age.
Think the Harlem Renaissance meets Science Fiction; think Chalky White (from Boardwalk Empire) doing battle with robots run amok in his territory; think Mob bosses, Nazis, the Tuskegee Airmen, the Tulsa Race Riots and jazz… that is Dieselfunk.
Then came Rococoa – the Age of Spring Technology and Clockwork.
Think Science Fiction and Fantasy meet Three Finger’d Jack, the pirate, Black Caesar and the Haitian Revolution. Think an afroretroistic Black Count, Nat Turner, and Stono Rebellion… that is Rococoa.
Now comes Biofunk.
Biofunk was born from Biopunk (a portmanteau of “biotechnology” or “biology” and “punk”) – a subgenre of science fiction that focuses on biotechnology. It is derived from cyberpunk, but focuses on the implications of biotechnology rather than information technology.
Biopunk is concerned with synthetic biology, bio-hackers, biotech mega-corporations, and oppressive government agencies that manipulate human DNA. Most often keeping with the dark atmosphere of cyberpunk, biopunk generally examines the dark side of genetic engineering and represents the low side of biotechnology.
What is Biofunk?
Biofunk, like Biopunk is a subgenre of science fiction, but it is closely related to Cyberfunk and its subgenre, Cybertrap, which focus on the speculative chronologically futuristic narratives that exist within the intersections of Black spaces and, in the case of Cybertrap, the aesthetics of classic trap music/culture, mixed with the tropes and world building of Cyberfunk.
Biofunk explores the triumphs and struggles of individuals or groups of African descent, long the products – or victims – of human experimentation and body modification.
Individuals are usually modified and enhanced by genetic manipulation and, central to Biofunk stories, is the belief that the next revolution will be in the field of biology; that the proper study of mankind is life; that physics and chemistry are only tools to probe living matter; and that computers are merely simulators and modelers for life.
The latest (first?) novel in the Biofunk subgenre is Initiate 16. Here is a description:
“Initiate 16 lay paralyzed, face-down on a glass table. Scores of blood-stained, shiny metallic needles, attached to snake-like arms, jutted from her back, neck, arms, legs, and even the backs of her heels. Her whole back was peeled open, revealing her spine. The bright lights in the ceiling above her shone on the slick, pink sinew of her back and upon several links of bone that composed her spine. Upon each link was carved an ancient rune – ‘the Odu’, her teacher had called them.
          She didn’t know what an Odu was but she knew it gave her power… and pain.
          The nerve-blocking chemicals coursing through her blood, bones and sinew numbed the pain, but she didn’t like them inside her body. She didn’t particularly enjoy initiation either, but it was a step closer to godhood – and only a god would dare tread where she would soon have to.”
Afrofuturism meets “Into the Badlands” meets “28 Days Later” in this post-apocalyptic, Biofunk thriller.
Ikoko, a physically weak, abused and psychologically disturbed young woman is selected against her will to become the first physically-enhanced hunter of “mutes” – people infected with the horrific Midway Mutagen. If the procedures go well, Ikoko will be transformed into the first of many Ologun – human killing machines – through genetic engineering, but such a powerful creature must be controlled and she will be… via an invasive memory-implantation program.
But the plan goes awry when the products of a top-secret project gone wrong, break out of the facility where they are being held and flee into the nearby city of Atlagos.
In the ensuing panic, the scientist in charge of implanting Ikoko’s memories inserts a program of her own making and turns Ikoko into a modern-day African warrior – part Shaka Zulu, part Mino (“Dahomey Amazon”).
Ikoko must face monsters – of meat, metal and combinations of both – to save herself, those she’s tasked with protecting, and maybe even a world gone absolutely mad.
Pick up your copy of Initiate 16 NOW in e-book and paperback formats!

Afrofuturism meets Post-Apocalypse with Initiate 16!

“Initiate 16 lay paralyzed, face-down on a glass table. Scores of blood-stained, shiny metallic needles, attached to snake-like arms, jutted from her back, neck, arms, legs, and even the backs of her heels.  Her whole back was peeled open, revealing her spine.  The bright lights in the ceiling above her shone on the slick, pink sinew of her back and upon several links of bone that composed her spine. Upon each link was carved an ancient rune – “the Odu,” her teacher had called them.

She didn’t know what an Odu was but she knew it gave her power… and pain.

The nerve-blocking chemicals coursing through her blood, bones and sinew numbed the pain, but she didn’t like them inside her body.   She didn’t particularly enjoy initiation either, but it was a step closer to godhood – and only a god would dare tread where she would soon have to.”

Afrofuturism meets “Into the Badlands” meets “28 Days Later” in this post-apocalyptic, biopunk thriller.

It’s the year 2057. Ikoko, a physically weak, abused and psychologically disturbed young woman is selected against her will to become the first physically-enhanced hunter of “mutes” – people infected with the horrific Midway Mutagen. If the procedures go well, Ikoko will be transformed into the first of many Ologun – human killing machines – through genetic engineering. But such a powerful creature must be controlled and she will be… via an invasive memory-implantation program.

But the plan goes awry when the products of a top-secret project gone wrong, break out of the facility where they are being held and flee into the nearby city of Atlagos.

In the ensuing panic, the scientist in charge of implanting Ikoko’s memories inserts a program of her own making – one that teaches independence rather than obedience, and turns Ikoko into a modern-day African warrior – part Shaka Zulu, part Mino (“Dahomey Amazon”).

Ikoko must face monsters – of meat, metal and combinations of both – to save herself, those she’s tasked with protecting, and maybe even a world gone absolutely mad.

Initiate 16 is available NOW in e-book and paperback formats.

The Blacktasticon Kickstarter is LIVE!

The Blacktasticon Kickstarter is live! Support this Blacknificent gathering of the Black Fantastic today!

 

Afrofuturistic Comic Book, Jagunjagun Lewa, available NOW!

“Balogun Ojetade has created a fresh, imaginative and humorous tale in Jagunjagun Lewa. The story is filled with action and drama, a perfect display of Mr. Ojetade’s genre-blending style. I’m eager to see what happens next, and you will be, too.” —Milton Davis, Bestselling Author and Publisher
“The back story promises action and adventure…the artwork is phenomenal…and this comic actually had me laughing out loud. The action sequences are really well developed, where some comic fighting scenes can be hard to follow, this artist has done an amazing job in sequencing. Intelligent, comedic timing makes this book so much fun to read! I cannot wait for the next installment. Simply awesome!” —Jack Berberette, Founder of the DOTS RPG Project
“Beauty is power; a smile is its sword.”
The Gods of the Martial Arts gain power, prestige and wealth from the number of followers they possess. The Asian martial gods are most powerful and prosperous, as the Asian martial arts have long been marketed to humanity and are quite popular, even in the post-apocalyptic, afrofuturistic world of Jagunjagun Lewa.
The African gods of the martial arts, on the other hand, are so unpopular that they risk falling into eternal sleep. To save themselves, they pick an unlikely champion who, with his brother, Papio, a man cursed to live out his life as a mandrill, sets out to build the reputation and popularity of the African martial arts by defeating the best martial artists in the world. The problem is, no one wants to fight him – and NOT because of his extraordinary fighting skills.
Jagunjagun Lewa is set in a world of spring and gear technology, a world where the sword and spear are still kings of all weapons. It is a future much like, while also unlike, our past.
JAGUNJAGUN LEWA (“Pretty Warrior”) is a wild ride that will have you turning the pages and clamoring for more!
Issue #1 of this hilarious and action-packed comic book/manga, written and created by Balogun Ojetade and illustrated by Chris Miller, is available NOW in e-book and paperback formats!

The ATLiens TOC!

Known as the Nerdiest City in America and as the Hub of Speculative Fiction, few cities offer as much as Atlanta by way of the weird, the fantastical, the scary and the out right off the chain.

Atlanta also happens to be one of the Blackest cities in the world, so the anthology ATLiens had to happen.

Featuring fantastic and funky tales set in Atlanta by the authors from the ATL State of Black Speculative Fiction Creators Collective, ATLiens features a heavy dose of Urban Fantasy, a healthy helping of horror, with a little techno-thriller sprinkled in. All Blacktastic stories; all Blacktastic representation of the ATL.

Here is the TOC:

  1. Bomani and the Case of the Missing Monsters – Balogun Ojetade
  2. Play the Wraith – Azziza Sphinx (Jessica Hosten)
  3. Blerd and Confused – Alan Jones
  4. Piggyback – Milton Davis
  5. Not Your (Magical) Negro – Marcus Haynes
  6. Of Home and Hearth – Kortney Watkins
  7. My Dinner with Vlad – Kyoko M
  8. Another Day in the A – Violette L. Meier
  9. The Messiah Curse – Gerald L. Coleman

ATLiens releases very soon. Stay tuned!

Step Into A World: Portal Fantasy in Black Speculative Fiction

The “portal fantasy,” where somebody walks through a magical door (or wardrobe) into a fantasy world, has become a terrible cliche.
Nowadays, writers often begin describing their books by saying, “It’s not portal fantasy.” What most of them mean is that their portal fantasy stories don’t follow the old rules of the medium, such as those found in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Alice in Wonderland or Wizard of Oz, in which the youthful protagonist(s) is sucked into an amazing alternate world.
Is Gamelit or its subgenre, LitRPG, portal fantasy? Not exactly. In most portal fantasy, the protagonist spends most of the book trying to find a way home. In Gamelit / LitRPG, however, after the protagonist enters the game world – usually through a digital or virtual portal – he or she usually spends most of the book trying to achieve some task, attain some item, or level up in the game world.
While many portal fantasy stories are cliché, some of the most powerful stories have been portal fantasies, including Pan’s Labyrinth. Even science fiction has gotten in on the action, such as the hit television series Fringe, with its portal between Earth and Alternate Earth.
What’s useful about the portal scenario is that it’s a quick and often beautiful way to signify that our characters have moved from the realm of the familiar into the unfamiliar. The problem comes in when authors refuse to question the definition of “familiar,” or build fantasy worlds that are unsustainable monocultures (“all women are slaves” or “everybody is happy here”).
Our lives are full of portals, both literal and figurative. We’ve divided up the planet into nations whose conceptual boundaries are magically concretized in maps, in fences, and more dangerous barriers. We enclose museums and universities and laboratories in buildings whose doors truly lead to alternate worlds where new things become possible. Every time you walk over the threshold of a library, or through a door into a party, you open yourself up to the strange and previously unknown. That’s what makes the portal such a powerful and enduring metaphor. It’s based on our everyday experience.
And, when done right, it takes us out of that everyday experience in unpredictable ways.
In Neil Gaiman’s Coraline, the portal isn’t a doorway to a better world, but a worse one. Here, a young girl discovers a secondary world that has a home eerily similar to her own from which she must rescue herself and the souls trapped by her “other mother.” The portal between our world and the other one is literally a doorway – a locked door in a downstairs room – bricked up but still the object of young Coraline’s curiosity, despite a warning to not go through it.
In science fiction, portals tend to be ways for characters to move great distances. The idea of a portal in a scientifically plausible setting inevitably leads to the idea of a “star gate” through which ships can travel vast distances in the blink of an eye.
A science-fiction book in which the portal is not meant to move people over great distances is The Shining Girls by Lauren Buekes. Here, a serial killer discovers the portal that allows him to move through time to perpetrate his dastardly deeds. This mechanism adds tension to an already-harrowing tale; how do you stop a killer who has the perfect getaway?
In my latest novel, The Beatdown, the heroine, Remi, enters the fantasy world of Ki Khanga through the Universal Reality Engine, a video game console that allows players to experience the game with all 14 senses. Here is the synopsis:
The coolest videogame you’ll ever READ!
“A Single Link NEVER Breaks!”
Remi Korede is a martial artist and a fan of THE BEATDOWN, a popular MMORPG set in the fantasy world of Ki Khanga.
In The Beatdown, players fight each other in the circles of sand and soil to prevent full-scale wars and the wrath of a vengeful Creator who almost destroyed the world when war on earth spilled over into the Heavens.
Players experience every punch, every throw, every kiss and every sip of honey wine in The Beatdown, so the stakes of every encounter, violent or not, are high.
After suffering a brutal assault at the hands of a martial arts champion in the game, Remi decides that, to gain closure and empowerment, she must face her attacker in the first professional fight between a man and a woman.
Remi, fighting as ‘The Single Link’ – because a single link never breaks – becomes a symbol to the people of Ki Khanga – a symbol of courage; of standing against oppression and discrimination; of freedom.
Join the fight in THE BEATDOWN, the epic tale that brings together the very best in Sword and Soul and Gamelit/LitRPG!
So, what is your favorite portal fantasy story?

Sword and Soul meets Cyberfunk in the Beatdown!

The coolest videogame you’ll ever READ!

“A Single Link NEVER Breaks!”

Remi Korede is a martial artist and a fan of The Beatdown, a popular MMORPG set in the fantasy world of Ki Khanga.

In The Beatdown, players fight each other in the circles of sand and soil to prevent full-scale wars and the wrath of a vengeful Creator who almost destroyed the world when war on earth spilled over into the Heavens.

Players experience every punch, every throw, every kiss and every sip of honey wine in The Beatdown, so the stakes of every encounter, violent or not, are high.

After suffering a brutal assault at the hands of a martial arts champion in the game, Remi decides that, to gain closure and empowerment, she must face her attacker in the first professional fight between a man and a woman.

Remi, fighting as ‘The Single Link’ – because a single link never breaks – becomes a symbol to the people of Ki Khanga – a symbol of courage; of standing against oppression and discrimination; of freedom.

Join the fight in THE BEATDOWN, the epic tale that brings together the very best in Sword and Soul and Gamelit/LitRPG! Available NOW!

Dembo’s Ditty Available NOW!

You are Dembo Daji, a Maroki – a Griot. But you weren’t always. You were once a struggling DJ in the near future. Home for you was a tiny efficiency in the Pittsburgh Projects – a 50-story housing development in the crime-ridden, ultra-violent area of Pittsburgh, in southwest Atlanta, Georgia… until you finally saved up enough credits to purchase the U.R.E. – the Universal Reality Engine – the world’s most popular gaming console and you decided to play Ki Khanga – the world’s most popular MMORPG – on it.

Now, you’re stuck in the world of Ki Khanga and looking for a way out.

All isn’t bad, though. You’re in love with Joni, a beautiful and brilliant princess. But in order to win her hand in marriage, you have to first win over her father, who demands his daughter marry someone of great fame and fortune. Becoming the official Maroki of Yoro Mosa, the hero of heroes, is the best way to do it. The problem is, Yoro’s life is fraught with dangers. Hordes of evil, intelligent chimpanzees, sorcerers, gargantuan monsters are just some of the terrible things you’ll have to face if you get the gig.

This gamebook is similar to the Choose Your Own-type books, but with cool game stats, weapons, skills and funky spell-songs to choose from!

Hack, slash, talk and sing your way out of trouble and into fame and glory as you choose your path through a hilarious and dangerous LitRPG adventure!

Dembo’s Ditty is available in paperback and e-book formats.