Thursday, March 08, 2012

My story is in Corrupts, Absolutely?, a superhero anthology!

We interrupt My Novel's Journey to announce that my story, "Illusion" is in the anthology, Corrupts, Absolutely? from Damnation Books.  


The only family member to survive the 9/11 attacks. A sidekick-turned-construction-worker. The teenaged products of an institute for unwanted metahuman children. The man who can make anyone do anything. Are they heroes? Are they villains? Sometimes they’re both. Often, even at the same time.
Corrupts Absolutely? collects twenty brand-new stories from veteran authors and newcomers, each with a unique perspective on what it might really be like to be superhuman in today’s day and age. In the center of such a roiling mass of uncertainty and excitement lies one important truth: the fight against good or evil is never as important as the fight for or against oneself.

Contributors: Weston Ochse, Jeff Strand, Joe McKinney, Cat Rambo, A.D. Spencer, A.S. Fox, Andrew Bourelle, Anthony Laffan, Edward M. Erdelac, Jason Gehlert, Jason M. Tucker, Jeremy Hepler, Karina Fabian, Kris Ashton, Lee Mather, Lincoln Crisler, Malon Edwards, Tim Marquitz, Trisha J. Wooldridge, Wayne Helge, Wayne Ligon, and William Todd Rose.

As you can see, I'm in good company, which is always exciting.  My own story, "Illusions," is about Deryl Stephens from Mind Over Mind.  It takes place years before the book when he first gets his telepathic abilities and has no control over what thoughts enter his head.  It's pretty harrowing.  Here's an excerpt:

Even before he opened his eyes, the assault began: discontent about leaving a warm bed to put on the chilly school uniforms, dread at another day of facing bullies and disapproving teachers; eagerness to hang out with friends, fear of a math test, excitement about the math test, eagerness for the week to end and see parents, sisters, girlfriends.  So many thoughts.
None of them his.
Think about the sheets: soft and warm, the blanket nice and heavy over me, like a cocoon.  Smell the laundry soap.  Laundry soap, not deodorant.  Cotton sheets, not polyester blend pants.  Dark and dry, not echo-y and steamy.  My name is Deryl Stephens…
He pulled the covers over his head and fought against the dizzying onslaught of thoughts as his dormmates prepared for the day.  This early upon awakening, the chaos of their minds brought nausea more than pain.  He'd learned that if he breathed slowly though his mouth and concentrated on physical sensations and his mantra, he could usually stay calm and fake sleep until the room cleared.  It didn't matter if he missed breakfast; he'd be too sick to eat, anyway.  Later, when his waking mind had better control, the queasiness would leave and the headaches would start.  Enough medicine, and he could bear those.  Besides, if the Master had taught him one thing, it was how to handle pain.
There'd be less pain if I did what the Master wanted. 
He felt himself scowling, even though no one could see him.  If disobedience meant pain, he'd deal with the pain.  He was not going to attack other humans, not even in his dreams.  He'd already learned how easy it was to lash out at others--how much he could enjoy it if he let the Master lead him down that path.  He couldn’t always keep track of who he was anymore, but he knew one thing:  he was not a killer.
The distant hum of thoughts told him the room had emptied.  At last, he could get up, shower and steel himself for the day.

 You can get Corrupts, Absolutely? in e-book or print direct from Damnation Books or Amazon.  And if you enjoy "Illusions," I hope you'll read about Deryl as older, stronger and more cynical in Mind Over Mind.

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