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We sit on the edge of possibility. From Roddenberry’s sliding doors and tablet PCs to Atwood’s dystopian floods, our stories point the way to possible futures. This is a class about writing those futures. Participants will explore the basic elements of creating strong fiction and learn how to weave those elements into the extraordinary worlds we carve out of fringe science and the environmental issues shaping our tomorrows. Participants will engage with existing genre work ranging from Bacigalupi to Zelzany to learn the finer points of craft. Then participants will create new or revisit old works of fiction with an eye towards the future.
Original image credit: "Buried machinery during the Dust Bowl in Dallas, South Dakota," USDAAbout Malik Toms
Malik Toms was born and raised in Harlem, New York, and is a 20+ year veteran of the pen and keyboard. He did his undergraduate work in sociology at Iowa State University, working as a drug rehabilitation counselor before returning to college to pursue a graduate degree in creative writing. He published his first short story at age 18 after two years of "no thanks." Since then he has worked as a freelance author, which is a bit like being a freelance mercenary minus all the bullets and moral ambiguity. His work has appeared in over 30 publications including multiple anthologies and a stand-alone novella. A graduate of Iowa State’s Creative Writing MFA Program, Malik Toms polished his writing skills crafting cyberpunk and steampunk fantasies on the way to multiple Origin and Ennie Award nominations including six Ennie wins. Malik also was part of the Shadowrun Returns video game team which won Diehard gameFan’s PC Game of the year in 2013. He is presently hard at work writing his first fantasy thriller. Malik currently lives in Arizona where he is regularly super-smashed by at least one of his three video game-obsessed boys. When he isn’t writing, he’s teaching writing and sociology at community colleges throughout the Arizona desert and maybe watching a lot of TV.