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Do Stand-Up Bots Dream of Electric Hecklers? (And Other Stories)

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The collection contains 6 humorous sci-fi short stories:

* “Head to Head”: An obnoxious telepath tortures a stranger by never shutting up.

* “Simon Clash: The Galaxy’s Greatest Hero”: A space hero risks life and limb to save a princess on the planet Desolation, because that’s his thing.

* “Bad Poets Society”: Kilgore Birch faces death in a world where justice is determined by poetry criticism.

* “6 Attempts at Winning Jennifer’s Heart”: A shy geek uses his boss’s inventions to woo his co-worker.

* “The League of Lame Superheroes”: A group of superheroes with extraordinarily average powers try to get respect and save the world.

* “Do Stand-Up Bots Dream of Electric Hecklers?”: A comedy robot makes life miserable for his no-nonsense owner.


The Zombie Who Had a Name

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The dead have existed for as long as the living, give or take a few years. But what good has that done them? The living’s numerous advantages — locomotion, speech, non-putrefying body parts — have given them a sense of superiority. Certainly, they were too high and mighty to share the world with these good-for-nothing, foul-smelling corpses. Besides, the living were terrified of the things.

So, what did the living do? They buried the dead in the ground, burned them, scattered their ashes, abandoned them in the wilderness for wild animals to devour. They spread nasty rumors about their dearly departed, cast them as nightmare monsters, blamed them for their own misdeeds. Sometimes they even ate the poor, lifeless creatures. But their worst insult? They ignored the fact that the dead were once the living.

Throughout the history of the living and the dead, corpses have had it bad.

Then, one day, the undead appeared.

No Place for a Hero

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Bernard Kowalski destroyed the Verrazano Bridge during the Friday rush.

But there are three important things to keep in mind: It was unintentional, no one died, and he caught the bank robbers he was chasing. It was a classic superhero feat. They should have given him a ticker-tape parade.

Instead he got thirty years in prison.

In his closing argument, the prosecutor called Bernie a “living, breathing weapon of mass destruction.” She also called him an “irresponsible, reckless vigilante” and a “fame-seeking psychopath.” Never once did she mention the word “hero.” Bernie easily could have flicked a paperclip through her throat and decapitated her right on the spot. But he was a superhero and superheroes don’t kill.