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The super powered reviews continue here on Geeking Cool as I look at the eighth story in Lincoln Crisler’s collection, Corrupts Absolutely. Today’s tale, “Conviction”, was written by Edward Erdelac. Erdelac is somewhat of a prolific writer who has published several short stories and novellas. He is also, according to the about the authors page in the book, a sometimes contributor to Star Wars. This is in addition to him being an independent filmmaker and award-winning screenwriter. In other words, he is something of a geek da Vinci. Let’s take a look at his contribution to the world of superhero fiction.

Conviction” is the story of Abassi, a young man (presumably African-American), growing up in the projects. The story starts after he is jumped by several thugs and starts seeing a therapist whom he takes a liking to. Abassi, you see, has developed a demeanor of fear and Miss Orozco wants to help him shed that. Unfortunately, she is killed before their next appointment. However, Abassi takes her advice to heart and tries to imagine things the way he would like them. And guess what; things change to his liking. He uses the power to turn a run down park into a meadow of green grass and flowers in memory of his late therapist and then he means business. Using his new found powers, Abassi avenges Miss Orozco’s murder and decides to leave the ghetto. But don’t expect happy endings as the story makes a bold statement about racial and economic class as well.

Erdelac’s protagonist has pretty much the same power as the protagonist from another story in this collection, “Ozymandias Revisited”. That tale, so far, was the only one to receive a single alien head review from me. “Conviction” uses the power much more effectively though. Erdelac gives Abassi meaning and purpose while throwing him into a world where he is vulnerable. This is something that the comparable story lacked. That said, reading through the Ebonics and slang is a bit rough. I understand that this is how that character talks and thinks, but switching the story to third-person with some inner monologue from the character would have eased this. I give the story 

Lincoln Crisler’s collection remains at 4 alien heads. After eight stories from an author that is not George R.R. Martin, Joyce Carol Oats, or some other huge name; this is an amazing feat. I will be sure to check out any other anthologies he comes out with. Readers who love comic books and superheroes should check this one out.

 

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