I won’t hold it against you if you haven’t at least heard of CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY? in passing at least once since it dropped in March–but if you’re a fan of genre fiction, I’d be damned surprised if that was the case. You can pick it up in a variety of digital formats (Kindle, for example) at a price that’s nice, but in addition, Amazon’s dropped the paperback price to a mere
$11.87 $9.73. That’s around .46/story for some great dark superhero fiction. How great? you might be wondering. How about I give you five reasons to check this joker out:
1. Award-winning/nominated authors. Have you ever read superhero fiction from Bram Stoker Award ™ winners Weston Ochse and Joe McKinney? How about Stoker-nominee Jeff Strand or Endeavor Award finalist Cat Rambo? Well, Cat’s written a few, but near as I can tell, these are the only superhero tales to date from those first three gentlemen. And all four of ‘em are hot commodities. The film rights to Weston’s most recent novel have been optioned (and the book doesn’t even drop until November), Joe’s just dropped the last of his Dead City zombie novels, Cat has a couple short story collections on the block, and I swear to sweet baby Jesus Jeff releases something new every month or two.
2. Discover some new voices.The stories from the previously-mentioned authors certainly command their share of respect in reviews of the anthology, but to be honest with you–I knew the big guns were gonna come through. I was as excited about reading their stories for the first time as I hope you are, but it’s an altogether different sort of beast to crack into the slushpile and read something you didn’t solicit, from an author you’ve never heard of before or haven’t read in a while. And let me tell you, Anthony Laffan, Trisha Wooldridge, Ariyana Spencer and Wayne Helge, among others, will knock you on your backside with their stories as surely as the more-recognized names in the book. And that’s coming from unsolicited public reviews, not just Ye Olde Biased Editor. And somewhere in between the fresh new voices and the critically-acclaimed, there are several pieces by folks like Tim Marquitz, Ed Erdelac, Karina Fabian and William Todd Rose, who are just beginning to receive their due.
3. Theory and execution. Another thing reviewers almost unanimously agree on is that I accomplished the mission I set for myself when I wrote the submission guidelines for the anthology a year and a half ago. I wanted superhero fiction rooted as firmly in reality as a book about mutants, gals in armored suits and super-psychics could get. I wanted to give my readers stories that seemed plausible, representations of what real people would do if they had powers. And I did that. I wanted a good mix of heroes and heroines, of male and female authors, characters of varying degrees of morality and a good mix of powers. I haven’t read a single review yet saying I failed in that–and most hero-loving reviewers find the book to be a breath of fresh air.
4. WEEKS of review site love. At least two review sites devoted a week (or more) worth of their time and programming to spreading the word about CORRUPTS? Dreadful Tales covered every story in the book over the course of five Monday segments in May and June, and Gef Fox devoted a week in August to CORRUPTS-related interviews and reviewing.
5. Bonus material. I wrote a story of my own to include in CORRUPTS? and cut it at the last minute, to make room for another story from an author who had to earn their spot the hard way instead of by being the editor–not that I think an editor contributing to his own antho is automatically wrong, mind you. But in this case I decided to offer the story–the secret origin of a superhero cop’s prostitute sidekick–as a .99 short story, via Amazon. People seem to like it. In fact, since the ‘Zon’s dropped the price of CORRUPTS? paperbacks, I’ll shoot a free digital copy of the short to anyone who sends me proof of purchase for the CORRUPTS? paperback between now and Friday the 28th. Can’t beat that with a stick.