They watched the Captain land on a beach, raise his hands in his signature pose, the people in swimsuits leaping up terrified from their towels, feet kicking up sand as they ran to the water’s edge to gather their children. And then everyone dropping, the whole beach felled in a second.
The Captain appears in the story “The Captain” by Adam Marek, published in The New Hero Volume 1.
I’m not sure I want to tell you much at all about this jaw-dropping work of a future rendered dystopic by the appearance of a costumed hero. So I won’t say that it, in a fashion both ingenious and covert, meets the points of the iconic hero brief while appearing throughout to subvert it. Or that it’s stunning and horrific, in senses of those words that can only be described as Marekian. Okay, I’ll also say one more thing: it alone is worth the price of the anthology.
“This was the most difficult commission I’ve ever had,”’ Marek says. “I wrestled with it for months, inventing tens of different heroes, but feeling all along that I was treading on ground already covered in other writers’ and filmmakers’ footprints, so I rejected them all. I was driving myself nuts looking for an original concept, and then The Captain came to me, and I knew right away that this was my kind of hero story.”
Adam Marek is award-winning short story writer. He won the 2011 Arts Foundation Short Story Fellowship, and was shortlisted for the inaugural Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award. His first story collection Instruction Manual for Swallowing was nominated for the Frank O’Connor Prize. His stories have appeared in many magazines, including: Prospect and The Sunday Times Magazine, and in many anthologies including Lemistry, Litmus and The New Uncanny from Comma Press, and The Best British Short Stories 2011. His second story collection is out in summer 2012. To subscribe to Adam’s blog, Twitter and Facebook updates, visit www.adammarek.co.uk.
All New Hero artwork by Gene Ha.
The Stone Skin Press Kickstarter and more information can be found here.