The City Anthology by DK Gaston

Welcome to The City by Howard Night

Welcome to… The CITY

September 22, 2015

Howard Night

 Somewhere in this universe exists The City.
It’s sprawling, cavernous, mazelike… a riot of bio-organic steel superstructure, plasticrete roadways, neon lights and digital…virtual madness.
Its streets are filled with throngs of tricked out urban adventurers, mutated, cybernetic bullies and scheming would be emperors all in a game of techno-cat and cyber-mouse.

Yet The City itself is…alive.

It moves and plays in the same game as its inhabitants. It Watches and changes the game board as it sees fit.
It maintains control.

Classic cyberpunk right?
Yet the denizens of The City are Funkateers!

Still the loners struggling against the BIG CONTROL, still the cyber hopping, data stealing hackers living as digital rats in a virtual world yet these players have steel hearts forged from the trials of the diaspora. Funkateers have found their way to cyberpunk……check that;CyberFUNK!

Cyberpunk has always had a cool, urban vibe to it. As it’s tapped into a vision of a multi-cultural future though, the African American perspective has often fallen flat. As a fan of all things science fiction I felt the gap even as I noticed the urban landscape was a familiar one.

So why not close the gap?

A little while ago the “Hardest Working Man in Spec Fiction”; Milton Davis posted a tempting writing prompt…as he’s prone to do:
‘The City. No one knows how it began or when it will end. No one knows how we came to be here, 20 millions souls, 1500 different species all crammed together in plascrete and biosteel. No one’s been in or out of the city in 20 centuries. Some have their theories why, some don’t care. But no matter who you are, or what you are, you have a story, don’t you? The trick is finding someone that cares to listen…’ –Milton Davis.

And quickly there came a rush of equally tantalizing responses. Speculative fiction authors from across the diaspora began dropping equally tantalizing dark cyber vignettes onto the pages of The State of Black Science fiction. Even better, these creators linked their techno-noir visions by referencing each other’s creations.

I couldn’t help but to join the fun…:

The Wall?
Yea…I been up the wall…up and over.
Up past the shell heads…past the tweekers…past the wild girls and past the Blue Authority.
Up through Angel Bay with the haughty golden kids and the richy riches…
Higher than the Sweepers and farther than runners go…
High enough to look down on the Sun Tower and the carrier ships…
Past the smog where even the drones don’t go.
Got to the top…the wide scarred metal and crossed the antennae fields, the dish lake and looked over beyond and up above.
You know what I saw?
…more CITY.
Kit Henson, Henson Repairs. Looking up

Soon an anthology was announced…The City…and the vignettes bloomed into the beginning of something special. There’s a good mix of veteran writers and new among the voices telling tales from The City!

The Cityzens!!

Jeff Carroll,
Gerald Coleman,
Milton Davis,
Ray Dean,
Malon Edwards,
Ashtyn Foster,
Otis Galloway,
Keith Gaston,
Chanel Harry,
Natiq Jalil,
Valjeanne Jeffers,
Alan Jones,
Brandee Laird,
Kai Leakes,
Edison Moody,
B. Sharise Moore,
Balogun Ojetade,
Ced Pharoah,
K. Ceres Wright
and of course myself; Howard Night.

The City is availible right now for pre-order in KINDLE format on AmazonHERE!

  And will be availible for print September 25th! Also on Amazon!

Here are links to blogs by other Cityzens:

Jeff Carroll

Balogun Ojetade

ZZ Clabourne

The City: A Cyberfunk Jazz Session

It began as a random thought in the middle of the day. I was sitting at my desk during lunch when words popped into my head.

‘The City. No one THE CITY - COVER 1knows how it began or when it will end. No one knows how we came to be here, 20 millions souls, 1500 different species all crammed together in plascrete and biosteel. No one’s been in or out of the city in 20 centuries. Some have their theories why, some don’t care. But no matter who you are, or what you are, you have a story, don’t you? The trick is finding someone that cares to listen…’

As I normally do I posted the statement on The State of Black Science Fiction Facebook page. What happened next is an example of why I love writing so much. A writing improv session began, with different writers adding words to the narrative and supporting those words with artwork. At some point it was inevitable, The City would become an anthology.

Balogun Ojetade (http://chroniclesofharriet.com/) gathered the thoughts then organized them into a manifesto, creating an outline of the city and it’s wide range of characters. We shared the document with everyone then put out the call. In the beginning I worked to make the stories follow a specific path, but then I decided to drop that idea. I wanted to keep the same jazz-like improvisational vibe we experienced at SOBSF. So I took the stories as they came, accepting every story as the writer submitted them. Every story. Some writers collaborated, joining the stories of their characters, some wrote stories about the same characters. The result is an anthology containing a wide variety of interesting stories that stretch the boundaries of what some people call Afrofuturism, but what we choose to call Cyberfunk.

But it doesn’t stop there. The City is a multi-sensory experience. Edison Moody and Natiq Jalil added their amWatcherazing artistic skills to the project, creating amazing images for the anthology. Otis Galloway, a DJ from the UK inspired by the improv session, created mixtapes reflecting the moods and emotion of this mysterious urban space.  It’s a project unlike any I’ve worked on and it’s a project that you’ll enjoy experiencing. For the next week you’ll read about the development of The City from its ‘Cityzens,’ the artists that have brought this world to life. Get ready. The City will be available as an e-book via Amazon, Barnes and Noble (Nook) and Kobo on September 25th and as a paperback at MVmedia (www.mvmediaatl.com) and wherever books are sold by October 15th.  Welcome to The City. I hope you enjoy your stay.