Common or Garden Variety Heroes (HARDBACK)


HEROES. HARDBACK. COLLECTION. GENRE-SPANNING. Do you have what it takes to be a hero? Whether that’s running into a burning building, standing up for what you know is right, or saving a princess it’s going to take everything you’ve got and more besides. Join them if you dare.


Do you have what it takes to be a hero?

Whether that’s running into a burning building, standing up for what you know is right, or saving the Princess it’s going to take everything you’ve got and more besides.

In this genre-spanning collection of original stories, five women draw on resources they didn’t know they had:

  • Cracking the Code – can Gemma Jones track down a missing woman?
  • Never Going to be a Hero – Veronica, just wants a quiet life on Mephisto station, but Jade Dragon justice comes calling.
  • All in – Rosa Velázquez, famous for rescuing a family, tries to rebuild her life, and Jude Webb is a complication she doesn’t need.
  • Cancelled by the Cartel – Daisy Day has a chance to revenge her dead boyfriend, will she take it?
  • The Second Son Squad – Abby Fisher, finds herself in the body of a teenage girl impersonating a boy in military school. How did she get there, and why?

Join them, if you dare.

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About one hundred years ago, I went on strike.

At that time, my employer was proposing to abandon annual inflation-based pay rises and introduce productivity-based pay rises instead.

Theoretically, they’re the kind where you get a small percentage of the profits the business made that year.

I can’t honestly say that I thought much further than taking a day off work and doing something fun, though the memory of what I did has receded even further than the memory of taking the day off.

But I can still remember the essence of what my friend Linda said at the time, and it’s stuck with me ever since.

It was something along the lines of the people who came into work and did their work, day in and day out were the real heroes.

The thankless ones who never heard anyone say “good job,” or “thanks.”

They were the ones who deserved the payrises, not the executives who’d be the ones actually taking them under the new system.

She was right.

My employers got their way, and when the time came for the annual pay rise, I didn’t get one.

Because my job was basically to do what I was told.

My job just didn’t have the scope to do anything that might lead to a pay rise.

And it wasn’t just me, employers everywhere were moving towards productivity pay rises.

Eventually I left that place, got an education, and more in the way of bargaining power.

But I never forgot what Linda said.

We’ve just come through the kind of year that academics are going to be talking about for decades. And we’re heading into another one.

And Linda is still right.

All those people working in supermarkets, and petrol stations.

All the people delivering take-out dinners and boxes of vegetables.

All those people mopping the floors in hospitals and aged care facilities.

They’re the real heroes, and they’re still the worst paid.

So for this collection of five short stories, I’ve tried to imagine ordinary people, thrust into extraordinary circumstances.

And because every universe needs someone to clean up after the superheroes have done their work and moved onto the the pub to celebrate, I’ve included science fiction, fantasy, mystery and romance.

Starting with Gemma Jones, in remission, forced to take her leave entitlements.

Vee, who just wants a quiet life on Mephisto station, but is drafted into the Jade Dragon Justiciary.

Rosa Velázquez, who lost everything in a rescue attempt, and recovers her faith in humanity after a donation of shoes.

Daisy Day, who finds peace twenty years after her boyfriend was murdered.

And Abby Fisher, one-time accountant, who finds herself in an impossible situation.

So, I present to you, five genre-spanning original stories about heroes. Common or garden variety heroes.

Alexandria Blaelock

Melbourne, Australia

May, 2021

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Additional information

Weight 0.214 kg


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