So this past week, November 22nd, to be precise, marked the five year anniversary of the publication of the first ever physical book to bear my byline on the cover (as editor/compiler). Local Heroes was a small anthology conceived, compiled and edited by yours truly and published by now defunct small press publisher Static Movement (with an assist by the also now defunct publisher Pill Hill Press and Amazon).
As the proud compiler of this anthology I somehow managed to select some exceptional work from my fellow scribes. As noted in the introduction, the sequencing of the pieces (24 in total, including one by me) was a tough task not unlike that of a DJ deciding which songs to get the party jumping and keep it rocking throughout.
As stated in my introduction, I had to go with the three stories that emotionally impacted me the most as the lead-off trinity. “Virtual Memory” by Bob Eccles (known more for his horror stories), was a sci-fi story with so much heart (break) that I did become a little misty-eyed when reading it, which doesn’t really happen when I’m reading short fiction. I believe that story went on to win an award of some kind (I just can’t remember which).
The second piece, “Football and Faith” by Kevin Wallis, also pulled on my heartstrings a bit.
And then “In the Eye of the Beholder” used a game of baseball to tell a very touching coming-of-age tale that gripped me immediately.
There were several military stories that tackled heroism in their own unique ways. Guardian angels also had a strong presence, as well as what can only be described as, well, ‘local heroes’.
For the theme of Local Heroes alone makes it an important book, so I’m happy and proud to’ve helped bring it into the world, even if for only a small press print run.
Today I think the theme of local heroes is a very timely one, all things considered. I’d love to do a sequel someday.