If you haven't read them yet, here are Part 1 and Part 2 as well as Part 3 of my posts on Superhero short fiction.
In my continuing search for short fiction anthologies about those heroes with superpowers or those without powers who are just super, I’ve come across Super-Human: An Anthology by Dan Membiela.
That’s right, it’s by Dan Membiela, not edited by Dan Membiela. Yes, if we want to get technical, it should’ve been called Super-Human: A Collection, because Membiela is the sole author of all eight stories collected.
That said, it’s probably a pretty clever naming strategy, since the author is more known for penning superhero comics. In addition, the name avoids the slightly odd yet popular collection naming convention that takes the form of ‘Story X and Other tales’ that to my mind limits the market to the author’s existing audience and pins all hope on Story X. In fact, putting aside the relative fame of the author within his or her genre for a moment, the success of the collection depends on Story X being the author’s most well-known or most award-winning or best story (in his or his publisher’s opinion). Another thing that the ‘Story X and Other tales’ titles have going against them is the product info aspect of names. For example, Story X may be a superhero story called The Cat in the Mad Hatter’s Hat, which doesn’t scream capes and cowls. That’s where multi-author themed anthologies have always had the upper hand on single-author collections – the former are “theme-explicitly” named or strongly allude to a specific (sub)genre or trope. The anthology version of The Cat in the Mad Hatter’s Hat would be The Purr to Action: A Feline Superhero Anthology or Cat versus Hat: A Feline Superhero Anthology or something better. You get the idea, though.
Nuts. I just thought of a pseudo-technicality that allows Mister Membiela to call his collection an anthology. Never mind, I’m not deleting the above paragraph. No, I...am...not.
Anyway, here’s a review from the Silver Soapbox.
As previously mentioned, in terms of prose fiction, I prefer short fiction over novels. In terms of short fiction, I prefer anthologies (books) over monthly magazines. So, for the last couple of years I’ve only kept up with anthos and have neglected the (monthly and quarterly) zines.
Subsequently, I’ve only recently discovered A Thousand Faces: The Quarterly Journal of Superhuman Fiction, a magazine that is available both for sale in print or online for free on the interwebs. I’ve already read a pretty entertaining story online involving a Mister Brass.
Instructions to read A Thousand Faces webzine for free:
1. Click on the cover of A Thousand Faces (They should really have “Click Here to enter” on that cover – See, it’s not our fault.) This will take you to the Editor Frank Byrns’ column called “Thinking outside the longbox” (clever name) which gives little blurbs about each story contained in the current issue.
2. Click on "New Fiction" on your left.
3. Click on the Story you want to read and enjoy!