Silence in the Library Publishing is pleased to announce the launch of the Kickstarter for HEROES!, a diverse superhero anthology. Visit the Kickstarter page by clicking on this link.

Inside the pages of HEROES!, you’ll find stories from authors including Aaron Allston, Michael A. Stackpole, Timothy Zahn, Maxwell Alexander Drake, Jaym Gates, Addie J. King, Jean Rabe, Aaron Rosenberg, Janine Spendlove, Bryan Young, and many more.

As part of this Kickstarter, you’ll also be able to purchase the companion anthology, A Hero By Any Other Name, featuring stories about sidekicks, off-beat superheroes, and hapless villains by Aaron Allston, Michael A. Stackpole, Maxwell Alexander Drake, Jean Rabe, Janine K. Spendlove, Bryan Young, and many of the other authors in HEROES! Several of the stories in these two anthologies are directly tied to each other.

One of the things that we’re particularly happy about with respect to this anthology is its diversity. Diversity with respect to gender, ethnicity, age, body type, and life experience. The heroes in HEROES! come from all walks of life. Some have superpowers that make them something more, or less, than human, but others are facing a dangerous world with only their wits and willpower to aid them. We have some of the “perfect” comic book heroes, but most of our heroes would be considered flawed by those standards. They’re past their physical prime, or seemingly too young for the task at hand, or not in perfect shape, or slightly bumbling, or have any number of other quirks. In other words, they’re actual people.

Please, let us introduce you to just a few of them:

Kiara Bell is an African American woman in her late twenties who goes by “Panthera” when fighting crime. She wears black leather biker gear and rides a Suzuki motorcycle. Her superpower is her chitinous shell, so she is tough, not quick. She gives the impression of gentle strength and fearlessness.

Thunderbolt is a Caucasian male in his mid 20s. He has the ability to shoot incredibly destructive lightning bolts from his hands. His costume (dark blue motocross leathers with a bright orange lightning bolt logo on the chest) does not hide the fact that he is out of shape and slightly pudgy. He has serious body-image issues, and recurring problems with static cling.

The unnamed hero from “By Blood of Fang and Song, We Call You” by Jaym Gates is an old soldier turned rancher. She is of Hispanic/Native American background, moderate height, strongly built, gold eyes, black hair, dark skin. She lives in a post-apocalyptic world that’s being eaten by monsters and she talks to dragons.

Shade is a twelve year old girl who lives in a swamp called the “Shake” by people who live there–she speaks in a somewhat bayou-ish dialect, and the story centers around her search for a man named “the Caretaker,” who is supposed to help residents in trouble.

As with all of our projects, one of our goals with HEROES! is to prove that there is no “standard” face to a protagonist (in this case, a hero), or an author of speculative fiction. Talent and strength know no race, sex, or other artificial boundary.

We want to both entertain you and engage you in the discussion of what it actually means to be a hero, and how that burden affects the person who carries it.