- File Size: 736 KB
- Print Length: 358 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Alliteration Ink (March 10, 2013)
- Publication Date: March 10, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00BS18BKQ
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,113,755 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$15.99|
Save $11.00 (69%)
SIDEKICKS! Kindle Edition
|New from||Used from|
|Length: 358 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
Matchbook Price: $1.99
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
Try Kindle Countdown Deals
Explore limited-time discounted eBooks. Learn more.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
While not every story in this collection would have rated 5 stars individually, Many of them do and the vast majority of them are at least 4 star-stories. This is an amazingly even collection which gathers together a number of extremely talented writers giving us their best efforts. In other words, it deserves 5 stars, if for no other reason, than because of the even quality of the fiction throughout, There is almost nothing here that will disappoint the reader.
I expected from the title that this would be about traditional superhero sidekicks like Robin or Jimmy Olsen. Instead, a variety of genres gives you a variety of hero types and thus a wide variety of sidekicks. I found this both unexpected and refreshing. Short fiction in groups tends to read quicker than a single long novel and I felt myself propelled at breakneck speed careening from one sidekick's perils to another sidekick's moral dilemma.
I had read some of these authors before like the always droll and thought-provoking Don Bingle, but I was introduced to a whole new group of talented up-and-coming authors who will , no doubt, make their marks on the literary world.
I recommend this volume wholeheartedly to those readers who enjoy and have come to cherish short fiction collections.
Well, color me impressed. I've always been a bit leery of independent publishing. I felt that if they can't get published by a "real" book company, how good could it be? Well, apparently I was a book snob and am now beginning to embrace my inner hipster in order to give a shot to independent publishers like Alliteration Ink.
There wasn't a stinker in the whole batch, and all stories stayed on theme. That's more than I can say for some of the other short story anthologies I've read over the years, and by "real" publishers. Some of the stories were more serious, some more humorous, but all focused in on the sidekick-the person who does the grunt work while the hero gets the credit. The power behind the power. Black, white, gay, straight, super, and not-so-super sidekicks are all addressed in this volume. With 20 different stories in the anthology, there's a lot of variety in genre and characters.
I actually bought the physical book (it's also available as an e-book), and found it to be a worthy expenditure of funds. It didn't change my life or anything, but the stories were clearly vetted by an expert editor and were thus of good quality. It was well worth the reading time, too, as all of the stories could be easily read in a single sitting. Kudos to to Alliteration Ink for winning a convert to the side of indie publishing! I'll never sneer again.
I can't go further without mentioning the introduction, by Pseudopod honcho Alastair Stuart. Normally, intros are throwaway background or generic back-patting and, as such, not worth mentioning. But this guy... Lays out a heartfelt, intelligent basis for the whole damn thing with honest wit that manages to pull of a true rarity by being as meaningful as the stories themselves. There's a reason that the analyses on Pseudopod are as much of a reason to listen as the stories they tell there and this man is it.
Patrick S Tomlinson's "Coffee and Collaborators" does a great job of setting the tone with its irreverent manner and statement that the heroes and villains are overpowered dolts that would destroy the world and themselves if their sidekicks did not reign them in. Meanwhile, Donald J. Bingle explores the machinations behind political power that will have you looking at whoever is off to the side of the podium rather than the one behind it with the wondrously named "Second Bananna Republic". It's impossible to not mention Matt Betts when he appears with a grim tale of what happens when the backup oversteps their bounds and runs the risk of being viewed as the hero in the weird western "The Old West". And then there's "Hunter and Bagger", Alex Bledsoe's of serial killers and arrogance that plays out like an old Ananzi story.
As good as those stories are, two truly got what I wanted this anthology to be about. "Hero" may not be the most inspiring title, but Kathy Watness uses this tale of a second rate Wizard and his assistant to underline the main value of a sidekick. Someone to keep the hero grounded, to provide a leg up when needed. The one who may not be able to beat the bad guy or scale the mountain, but gives the one who can the extra push needed. All without intruding or controlling their actions (something that pairs it well with M.E Garber's "Worthy"). Then there is Alexis A Hunter's "The Balance Between Us", a tale of war and muddled morality where no path is safe or righteous. In such a situation, the right partner can help prevent the worst decisions when the need for a choice between horrors must be made. It isn't about ego or pride or even being right but simply about making it out the other end hoping to be able to live with yourselves. Damn brilliant, both of those stories.
Yes, there are a few tales that fall a bit flat, mostly due to a lack of true narrative to give them a sense of wholeness, but there aren't any that I didn't at least partially enjoy. My biggest problem is the overwhelming amount of "The Sidekick is the Real Hero" stories where in the hero is an egotistical, bumbling fool who only succeeds because of a sidekick that does everything for them (much like Without a Clue did for Sherlock Holmes and Watson). While I get the desire to turn the trope of the weak, ineffectual sidekick on its head, simply saying that the sidekick is really the one who is great and the hero is kinda stupid and always getting into trouble only switches paradigms. This kind of half-way deconstruction doesn't change anything unless a new paradigm is established and kinda bugs me.
Despite that rant, and largely due to some damn fine yarn spinning, I enjoyed myself reading this. I recommend ignoring the bland title and somewhat single minded cover art (pretty though it may be) and give this a whirl. I can pretty well bet you'll find something you like.