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Home / Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference / Schedule / 2019 / Conference Schedule Friday, February 22, 2019 / Beyond Genre: Unforgettable Science Fiction with Malik Toms

Conference Schedule 2019

Conference Schedule 2019

Friday, February 22, 2019, 1:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.

Beyond Genre: How to Tell Unforgettable Science Fiction Stories with Malik Toms

Date(s): Friday, February 22, 2019, 1:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
Basha, Old Main (view map)
Presentation, Workshop
Genre and Form(s): Climate Fiction, Fiction, Genre Fiction, Science Fiction, Short Stories
Tags: Character, Plot

About the Session

Science fiction, climate fiction and more all represent molds into which we pour our stories. However, genre alone is not what make stories memorable. The heavyweights of genre fiction all know this one secret: You must create characters worth following. In this workshop we will discuss what makes a character story worthy. We will peel back the layers of genre convention and uncover how to place your character in a situation compelling enough to keep the reader turning pages until the end.

Meet the Presenter(s)

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 the 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 thirty publications including multiple anthologies and a stand-alone novella. A graduate of Iowa State’s Creative Writing MFA program, Toms polished his writing skills crafting cyberpunk and steampunk fantasies on the way to multiple Origin and Ennie award nominations including six Ennie wins. Toms 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. Toms 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.