The official website of Brandon Black.

Living in New Orleans

The End

It has snowed in Louisiana. Casualty reports are not yet in but estimates are projected to be in the thousands. A once vibrant and vital ecology referred to in the past as the Sportsman’s Paradise has suffered a blow from which it will not soon recover, if ever. The frictionless sheet of pale doom blanketing the state has paralyzed local police and fire departments and the governor has declared a state of martial law. Most Louisianians remain trapped in their homes, huddling with their loved ones and awaiting the cold embrace of death. The National Guard has been mobilized but the sheer number of people needing assistance guarantees they will be swamped before the rescue attempts even begin. This is most likely our last report. May God watch over you and yours better than He has looked after the once great state of Louisiana. Remember us. Farewell.

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A new voice in the field of steampunk and gaslamp fantasy fiction, New Orleans-based fantasy and science fiction author Brandon Black has a Bachelor’s in Military and Political Journalism and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. His most recent story, “The Night Mississippi Declared War on the Moon,” was published in Dark Oak Press’ Capes and Clockwork II, edited by Alan Lewis. His short fiction has appeared in Dark Oak Press’ Dreams of Steam III and Seventh Star Press’ A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court. Brandon lives with his guardian and protector, Battle-cat Princess Kaleidoscope, in his home town of New Orleans, Louisiana. Find out more about Brandon’s work at http://www.brandonblackonline.com.
All original text copyright Brandon Black 2017.
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Gary Joseph Bourgeois (1953 – 2017)

Gary Bourgeois has passed. Gary was a fellow New Orleanian sf and fantasy writer. His work was a foundation on which I built two steampunk fiction anthologies. I had planned to ask him to write the introduction to the third. When I felt the need to step back from the role of facilitator for the New Orleans Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Group, it was Gary who took up the slack and provided focus and organization to that group.

Gary Bourgeois was particularly proficient with the long story. It was my hope that, over time, we would refine the form and format of the long story together with other New Orleans sf and fantasy writers so that one day there would a type of long story in the sixteen thousand word range that would be known as the Bourgeois.

My upcoming projects may be more focused on the novel than short or long stories for the near future but work towards a regional variant of the long story continues to be part of my dreams as a writer.

Goodbye, Gary. I hope you reached whatever afterlife you sought and that your gods continue to watch over your soul. Blessed be.

***

Gary’s obituary from the newspaper:

Gary Joseph Bourgeois, age 64, went to heaven on Thursday, October 19, 2017. He died 6 months after diagnosed with bladder cancer. He was the husband of 41 years to Deborah Campos Bourgeois. He was the son of the late Harold and Lois Bourgeois, oldest brother to Michael Bourgeois (Marilyn), Philip Bourgeois (Carlen), the late Robert Bourgeois, Ann Bourgeois Schmidt (Scott), cousin to Will Dermady (Julie), and uncle to Moira, Erin and Tommy. Treasured brother-in-law to Rhonda Campos.

He retired from Entergy Nuclear and Jefferson Parish Westwego Library. He graduated from UNO, and he led the fiction writers West Bank group at the Westwego Library, and the science fiction writers group at the East Bank regional Library. Writing and mentoring others were his passion. Every member of his group was prized. He wanted to encourage everyone to succeed. He was published in short story form and placed in a writing contest. Rescuing, loving and caring for over 100 cats in his lifetime demonstrated his endless compassion.

He leaves behind a large feline family, two in particular; Jolson and Pogo, in heaven now, will be the first to welcome him. Gary’s every day was spent centered in kindness. He was never judgmental to others, always caring for other people’s feelings. A more loving husband does not exist. Our years together will never be enough.

Relatives and friends of the family are invited to attend the Celebration of Life on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 at the Garden of Memories Funeral Home, 4900 Airline Drive, Metairie, LA from 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm. In Lieu of flowers, donations to Jefferson Parish Friends of the Library and Animal Rescue New Orleans (ARNO) may be made in his name. Online condolences may be offered at www.gardenofmemoriesmetairie.com. The family would like to express their sincere thanks to the Ochsner Oncology, Cardiology, and Chemotherapy Infusion Clinic physicians, all nursing and support staff and especially cardiology nurse Raj for the outstanding care and comfort provided.

Published in TheNewOrleansAdvocate.com from Oct. 23 to Oct. 25, 2017

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A new voice in the field of steampunk and gaslamp fantasy fiction, New Orleans-based fantasy and science fiction author Brandon Black has a Bachelor’s in Military and Political Journalism and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. His most recent story, “The Night Mississippi Declared War on the Moon,” was published in Dark Oak Press’ Capes and Clockwork II, edited by Alan Lewis. His short fiction has appeared in Dark Oak Press’ Dreams of Steam III and Seventh Star Press’ A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court. Brandon lives with his guardian and protector, Battle-cat Princess Kaleidoscope, in his home town of New Orleans, Louisiana. Find out more about Brandon’s work at http://www.brandonblackonline.com.
All original text copyright Brandon Black 2017.

CONtraflow Panels

I will be attending the CONtraflow convention this weekend, Friday, September 30th, through Sunday, October 2nd at the Airport Hilton.

My panels:

Getting Started As an Editor. Learn how to get into the profession of bringing out the best in writers’ work.
Ben Bova, Toni Weisskopf, Brandon Black (moderator)
Friday, 7pm, Panel Room 4

The Five Colors of Mana as a Philosophical System. A look at the five colors of mana in the game Magic: The Gathering as a philosophical system replacing the D&D alignment system as a means of describing a character’s personality, ideology and goals.
Brandon Black
Saturday, 11am, Panel Room 3

Making the Move from Fan Fiction to Original Fiction. Panelists discuss how to go from cover artist to writing stories based on your own ideas.
Brandon Black, Jim Gavin, Chris Hayes
Saturday, 7pm, Panel Room 1

Cultural Appropriation or Building Diversity: An Exploration Of Issues Involving Real World Cultures In Fantasy and Science Fiction. Panelists take an extended look at the challenges of promoting diversity. (80 Minutes)
Kirsten Corby, Chris Hayes, Louise Herring-Jones, Kimberly Richardson, Eris Walsh, Vas
Littlecrow Wotjanowicz, Brandon Black (moderator)
Sunday, 11am, Event One

So You’ve Written A Novel, Now What? The panelists discuss how to find to prepare your manuscript for submission, whether an agent is right for you, and how to find the right publisher.
Trisha Baker, John Hartness, Toni Weisskopf, Brandon Black (moderator)
Sunday, 3pm, Panel Room 1

Steampunk panels:

How Can Steampunk Grow As A Genre? The term “steampunk” first appeared in the late 1980’s, although of course the precursors of the sub-genre go back much further. With the steam explosion in the 21st Century, the panelists discuss where it can from here.
J L Mulvihill, Stephanie Osborn, Kimberly Richardson
Friday, 7pm, Panel Room 2

I, Steampunk. An introduction on the wide and wacky world of Steampunk involving the literary,
cinematic and cultural sources of the movement. In addition the crew of the Adventurers League of G.E.A.R.S. Will attempt to dispel many long standing rumors and myths about steampunk and the culture that surrounds it.
League of GEARS
Friday 4pm, Panel Room 4

Quack Medicine. A discussion of the continuing profession of quackery and pseudo-science in the medical field, from its early routes with snake oil salesmen to more modern issues.
League of GEARS
Saturday, 9pm, Panel Room 1

Steampunk Props and Costumes. Members of the Adventurers League of G.E.A.R.S. will regal you with tales of daring do deep within thrift shops, trash bins and strange basement shops as they inform you just how reasonably you can assemble your first Steampunk costume. Topics will include upcycling, custom fabrication and thrift store treasure mining, even if you’re not a Steampunk some of the techniques and concepts discussed here are useful to the generalized costuming trade.
League of GEARS
Saturday, 11am, Panel Room 4

Victorian Dance Class. If you’ve ever wondered what the appropriate dances would be for a Steampunk Cotillion, concert or tea dance, your curiosity will be satisfied here.
Rebecca Smith
Saturday, 8pm, Panel Room 2

* * *
New Orleans-based fantasy and science fiction author Brandon Black is the editor of the By Gaslight steampunk anthology series. He has a Bachelor’s in Military and Political Journalism and a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. His short fiction has appeared in Dark Oak Press’ Dreams of Steam III and Seventh Star Press’ A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court. Brandon has just published a short anthology of steampunk and gaslamp fiction short stories entitled Mechanical Tales and is working on completing his first novel. His most recent story “The Night Mississippi Declared War on the Moon,” has been published in Capes and Clockwork 2.
All text copyright Brandon Black 2016.

Hags can be lesbian too

Despite everyone with a webcam recording their group playing D&D, there aren’t too many groups actually worth watching. I had the great pleasure of watching such a group play live last night at +1 Gaming.
At one point, our heroes were planning on assaulting a windmill thought to be occupied by a hag covey. They listed their options:
1. “Go in guns blazing,” as they put it.
2. Use stealth and reconnoiter the place before doing anything.
3. Attempt to negotiate with the hags to see if they had any of the artifacts the players were looking for and if they would part with them willingly in trade.
I pointed out they had a fourth option: Take the male character with the highest charisma, strip him naked, cover him in honey and throw him to the hags and loot the place while they were distracted.
A female player immediately objected saying, “That’s so heterocentric!”
I lost it and died laughing — her objection was not to my plan to sacrifice one of the party — her objection was that no women were being considered for the plate!
Honestly, though, it would be hilarious for them to toss in some poor dude and for the hags to toss him right back out again and point to one of the girls in the party and say, “You can keep him! We want her!”
I guess I’ll have to try to be less heteronormative in my thinking.
* * *
New Orleans-based fantasy and science fiction author Brandon Black is the editor of the By Gaslight steampunk anthology series. He has a Bachelor’s in Military and Political Journalism and a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. His short fiction has appeared in Dark Oak Press’ Dreams of Steam III and Seventh Star Press’ A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court. Brandon has just published a short anthology of steampunk and gaslamp fiction short stories entitled Mechanical Tales and is working on completing his first novel. His most recent story “The Night Mississippi Declared War on the Moon,” has been published in Capes and Clockwork 2.
All text copyright Brandon Black 2016.

Cairo By Gaslight Reading/Book Signing

The East Bank Regional Library is throwing a book signing/book reading party for our latest steampunk and gaslamp fantasy anthology, Cairo By Gaslight on May 18th at 7 pm.

We invite you to attend.

* * *

New Orleans-based fantasy and science fiction author Brandon Black is the editor of the By Gaslight steampunk anthology series. He has a Bachelor’s in Military and Political Journalism and a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. His short fiction has appeared in Dark Oak Press’ Dreams of Steam III and Seventh Star Press’ A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court. Brandon has just published a short anthology of steampunk and gaslamp fiction short stories entitled Mechanical Tales and is working on completing his first novel, I Was A Teenage Air Pirate.
All text copyright Brandon Black 2016.