A community organizer and teacher, Maurice Broaddus's work has appeared inLightspeed Magazine, Weird Tales, Apex Magazine, Asimov's, Cemetery Dance, Black Static,and many more. Some of his stories have been collected inThe Voices of Martyrs. He is the author of the urban fantasy trilogy,The Knights of Breton Court,and the (upcoming) middle grade detective novel series,The Usual Suspects. He co-authored the playFinding Home: Indiana at 200. His novellas includeBuffalo Soldier, I Can Transform You, Orgy of Souls, Bleed with Me, andDevil's Marionette. He is the co-editor ofDark Faith, Dark Faith: Invocations, Streets of Shadows, andPeople of Colo(u)r Destroy Horror.

I Can Transform You by Maurice Broaddus

From the dust of The Trying TimesTM, corp-nations have risen up in place of failed governments, and twilight haze dropped down in place of the sky. The economy fell, and the Earth itself shot heavenward, transforming the very face of the planet into an alien landscape with towers punching past the new sky into one of many unknowns. Soon after, the jumpers started raining from among the blue lanterns that took the place of sun and stars.

Mac Peterson left the employ of LG Security Forces and now cobbles together a life in the shadows of the great towers, filling policing needs for people too unimportant for the professional corp-national security to care about. His ex-wife, Kiersten, stayed behind on the Security Forces, working undercover. When she turns up dead alongside one of the tower jumpers, Mac pairs up with Ade Walters, a cyborg officer, to uncover who would try to hide Kiersten's death among the suicides. Searching for the murderer of one of their own, Mac and Ade discover plans to transform the Earth and its inhabitants...plans that only started with the great upheaval and The Trying TimesTM.

Also includes "Pimp My Airship," a uniquely diverse steampunk tale.

Special introduction by Matt Forbeck.


I Can Transform You will transform you! – Lavie Tidhar



  • "While a novella, I CAN TRANSFORM YOU packs as much in as a full length novel. Mac and Ade are well rounded and believable characters with backstory and personality. The plot itself spans in multiple directions and comes full circle beautifully. It's well-written and wholly entertaining."

    – Just a Guy Who Likes to Read



The streets hadn't changed much. Kids in adult bodies still hung out on the corners, discussing the neighborhood in code thick enough to keep outsiders locked out of the know. The fashions changed, with the thug du jour favoring collared shirts unbuttoned at the cuffs and from the chest down. Thick, corded belts with the number of their building assignment as a buckle, worn with pride. Military fatigues shorn midcalf on the left leg, signifying a set in the prisons their families were tied to. If one member jailed, the rest of the family jailed with that relative in spirit, essentially sitting shiva during their sentence.

"The Carmillon is based here. You should see these freaks," Mac started in with Ade before he had a chance to offer up any greetings. The cybernetic man was forced to match Mac's pace as he stormed toward the houses. "Like a single-homed village. In the winter they all huddle around a wood-burning stove. They have to chip away ice from inside the toilets to use them. Summertime, shit, it's a flophouse free-for-all. They're organized, if that's not too strong a word, by a crew they call 'the crown.' The crown has five points, members, one of whom being a Chike Walters. Any relation?"

"No," Ade said with cold finality. "We all have to be related?"

"Put the race card back in your wallet. I was merely noting the coincidence."

"How do they afford this place?"

"It's not exactly the Ritz-Carlton, Detective. Besides, they have this policy of not paying rent. They just walk in and take over. Their philosophy is simple: act like you own the place and most folks will think you do. Most street bums don't run up against professional dropout artists on a regular basis."

A clean-shaven black man — draped in a vest darned with dental floss over a T-shirt and black shorts — approached them from across the street to head them off. Leather bands wrapped around his neck and wrists, accentuating the lean, lanky build of his runner's body. Though short and skinny, he couldn't disguise his muscles, as his gait gave it away: muscle heads, even thin ones, had that chest-out walk they couldn't shake. Much like cops. Ade's hi-res imager fixed on the man's face.

"Chike Walters," Ade said.