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How a New Story Combines Superhumans and Espionage

I crossed multiple genres in my short story, “Presidential Pardon.”

Superhero movies continue dominating the box office. Spy movies remain a popular genre too. I combined elements from both these genres to create “Presidential Pardon,” a unique tale involving superhumans and espionage.

“Presidential Pardon” is another story set in the universe of Mortal Gods. It also is part of the anthology, Appalling Stories: 13 Tales of Social Injustice. (I previously wrote about the anthology here at The Loftus Party. Dave Dubrow, Ray Zacek, and I authored it, which is available as both an eBook and in paperback.)

There are no superheroes in the Mortal Gods universe; just superhuman individuals. These individuals do not run around as costumed vigilantes fighting crime. Instead, they have to live within the constraints of the law like anyone else. Or if they don’t, the government goes after them like it would anyone else. Superheroes are a far-fetched idea. People with superhuman abilities are not.

The plot of “Presidential Pardon” centers on the government ordering superhuman Adam White to capture another superhuman who recently killed an American traitor. The superhuman executed him after journalists and the media praised the traitor as a hero, and succeeded in getting the president of the United States to pardon him. Adam knows he has a duty to follow the law yet he also sympathizes with what the killer did. So what does he do?

And that is the conflict of the story.

If you’re a fan of superhero movies or a fan of espionage tales, you should enjoy “Presidential Pardon.” And even if you’re not a fan of either of those types of stories, you still should read it. After all, it doesn’t fall into either of those categories, having created a subgenre all of its own.

Buy Appalling Stories and enjoy the unique “Presidential Pardon.” And enjoy the 12 other unique tales too. They span a variety of other genres, including military, horror, science fiction, thriller, and straight-up literary fiction.

Header artwork by José Cano (2015). © Paul Hair.