Superhero Fallout ~ Outside the Margins with Hank Edwards

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Hank Edwards OtM

I’ve been thinking about superheroes lately. Not just the overall delicious hotness of them, but the impact the arrival of a superhero would have on the world. It’s been done before, sure, with origin stories for Superman, Batman, a flurry of X-Men, and even Ant-Man, but I’ve been thinking of the more minute details. The arrival of superheroes would have a staggering impact on the common city, nay, WORLD, residents! Not only would it have an emotional impact and change common perceptions of life, etc., but think about the little things.

Insurance costs would skyrocket. Car, home, and life insurance costs would become overwhelmingly expensive. I can just imagine the conversation when someone living in or around a superhero hometown might try to obtain insurance coverage:

Insurance Agent (IA): Oh, you live in [insert superhero hometown here]?
Common Person (CP): Yes! So I’ll be nice and safe.
IA: And you’ll also be at greater risk of death from alien invasion, sociopathic criminal mastermind, and roving gangs of thieves, murderers, and despots out to prove themselves by challenging [insert superhero name].
CP: Oh…
IA: We’ve seen catastrophic damages in cities harboring superheroes, and not just to public buildings such as the standard targets like banks and big businesses which criminals rob to fund their nefarious business, but public transit and city services as well. This would extend, of course, to an individual’s life along with personal property such as a vehicle or home.
CP: It would?
IA: Certainly! Just living, working, or even visiting that city puts you at risk.
CP: It does?
IA: Absolutely. Now, as you can imagine, our payouts have been pretty substantial, what with the latest attempt by [insert super villain name here] trying to do away with [insert superhero name here]. Because of the exorbitant amount of a payout required to rebuild the electrical grid, water and sewer lines, fifteen miles of subway tracks, replace 159 personal vehicles as well as 47 emergency vehicles, we are forced to increase our rates, you see.
CP: ….
IA: Here we go. I have your quote ready.
CP: !!!!!
IA: Will you be paying the balance in full or in monthly installments?
CP: I can’t afford the full amount, so it will need to be monthly. I guess.
IA: As you wish. Let me just reconfigure the amount to include the monthly payment service fee…

And on and on and on. This one change to the arrival of a superhero could completely disrupt the world’s economy. Most Earth residents would be thrown into an abyss of personal debt just to insure their vehicle or home. And God forbid they didn’t get just the right coverage. Can you imagine trying to file a claim?

IA: Oh my, they really did quite the job on your home here, didn’t they?
CP: They did, they really did.
IA: Looks like some heat vision damage here.
CP: Yes, that’s what it was. Took out that new flat screen TV while we were watching it.
IA: Let me just check… Oh, sorry. You didn’t opt in for heat vision coverage.
CP: ….
IA: And the kitchen appears to have been destroyed by some kind of flying object.
CP: A city bus, I believe.
IA: Oh, yes, I see a couple of wheels there by the stove now. According to your policy… Oh, it really is a shame it wasn’t a personally owned sedan or coupe. You were covered for that, but not for any damage caused by a vehicle that is licensed to carry more than five passengers.

And businesses would be affected as well. Trying to cover the health care for their employees would most likely bankrupt a business, so that cost would fall onto the individual which would prove to be crippling. And all of this just because a superhero happened to land/move in/open a training school in the city where a person lives.

I don’t touch on this aspect of superheroes in my latest Story Orgy Single release By the Book, but it’s a fun, sweet read. Check out the blurb and buy links that follow, and here’s wishing you nothing but SUPER stuff until we chat again in April.

~Hank Edwards


By-the-Book_200x300

Title: By the Book
Author: Hank Edwards
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 03/06/2016
Cover Artist: Startled Monkeys Media
Genre: Action/Adventure, Gay, M/M Romance, Paranormal, Romance

Blurb:

Lucas Pritchard knows every word in a book the moment he lays a hand on it. He knows every plot twist, surprise ending, and the conclusion of any quantum physics theorem. What he’d really like to do, however, is lay his hands on Kieran Brooker, the graduate assistant in his physics lab, and read what’s inside his heart. When Lucas stumbles upon a written threat concerning the school, he and Kieran team up to track down the terrorist, and along the way uncover their shared feelings.

Excerpt

Kieran Brooker was the graduate assistant for Lucas and Sunny’s chemistry lab, and he was, in Lucas’s opinion, the most amazing specimen of man he’d ever seen. He was a graduate student, two years older than Lucas, with a good send of humor and a kind, easy-going disposition. All wrapped up in a lithe body and topped by a handsome face.
All of this, of course, put him so far out of Lucas’s league, his crush was pointless. And besides, Lucas didn’t even think Kieran was gay. But none of that mattered, because Lucas was powerless to stop staring each time he saw Kieran. One time, Lucas had seen him in the student union and had been so distracted he’d toppled over the low wall of the center fountain and fallen in. Luckily, there had only been 150 or so students around to witness it, three quarters of them holding up cell phones to get pictures and video of his embarrassment, and none of them offering to help him out of the fountain or ask if he was injured.
“Earth to Lucas.” Sunny’s voice broke into Lucas’s thoughts and he turned to blink at him.
“What?”
Sunny rolled his eyes. “You are hopeless.”
Lucas tried to look indignant, but he was very aware of Kieran talking with another pair of students at the front of the room and couldn’t quite pull it off. “What do you mean?”
“You’re so hot for him, you practically spooge the minute he walks in,” Sunny said.
“I do not!”
“Yes, you do.” Sunny leaned in over the table and lowered his voice. “The video of you in the student union fountain has over 800,000 views.”
Lucas had to willfully keep his gaze from moving back to Kieran as the graduate assistant moved another table closer to where he and Sunny stood. He needed to get himself together before Kieran asked them if they had any questions about the experiment. He couldn’t lose his cool and just go off talking like he had the week before, and the week before that, and the week before that. He was better than that. It wasn’t like he’d never been on a date, it was just that he didn’t have much experience when it came to dating someone. Back in high school he’d messed around a bit with a guy in his chemistry lab, and although it hadn’t turned into anything serious, it had been nice to feel another person touch and even suck him.
“You don’t see me acting like some kind of oddball when I see Yoshiko in the hall,” Sunny said, intruding on his thoughts once again.
Yoshiko Lolly was a junior at CU and a chemistry major. She had a Japanese father and an American mother, and she barely nodded to either of them when she happened to pass them in the halls of Duncanshire.
Before Lucas could respond, Kieran approached their table, flashed his bright smile, and Lucas’s mind immediately went blank. Before Kieran could say a word, even mutter a greeting, Lucas started talking. He talked about the weather, then about the lab experiment, then the color of Kieran’s shirt which matched the color of the shirts the triplets had been wearing at the bookstore the day before, and then, for some reason he would never understand, the concern he had that fracking would one day split the Earth in half and send them all tumbling into the sun.
When he paused for breath, Lucas noticed Kieran and Sunny both staring at him. Sunny’s expression was a mix of embarrassment and horror, while Kieran’s was slightly panicked with a hint of amusement.
“Well, I’m not sure about the fracking,” Kieran finally said. “That seems like a pretty extreme case.” He raised his eyebrows. “That is, if you’re done?”
Lucas cleared his throat and dropped his gaze as embarrassment burned in his cheeks. “I’m done.”
“Yeah, he’s completely done,” Sunny added.
“Good,” Kieran said, then hurriedly corrected himself. “I’m mean, not good that you’re done and it’s finally over with, just that you’re done, and now I can respond.”
Lucas looked up and smiled grimly. “I get it.”
Kieran sighed. “Sorry. I was up late grading papers for Professor Abernathy, so I’m a little off my game.”
“Lucas knows how that feels,” Sunny said. “He’s been off his game since he was a baby.”
“Aw, I don’t think that’s true at all,” Kieran said as he looked right at Lucas and grinned. “I think he’s pretty much right on target.”
A rush of attraction burned through him and Lucas had to look away from Kieran’s steady gaze. His chest hurt all of a sudden and he realized it had been a while since he’d taken a breath.
“Oh, well, um…” Lucas managed to stammer.
A student at the front of the lab called Kieran’s name and he excused himself. Lucas and Sunny watched him walk away, then Sunny looked at him, dark eyes wide behind his safety goggles and glasses.
“Don’t even say it,” Lucas muttered, and blew out a breath. He shook out his arms, stretched the tension from his neck, and then gestured to the test tubes and beakers. “Let’s get started.”

Links

By the Book on Goodreads
Self Published
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
All Romance eBooks

About Hank Edwards

Hank Edwards is a curious mix of practical realist and feral dreamer, with over a dozen books published. His body of work covers a host of genres from gay romance to humor, paranormal to suspense, and mystery to time travel romance.

He is also a member of the Story Orgy group (www.facebook.com/SOGroup), a clan of writers who post free gay romance reads to their blogs every Monday morning and self-publish steamy stories based on writing prompts. Find his posts atwww.hankedwardsbooks.com/hankerings.

Like his Facebook pages (www.facebook.com/hankedwardsbooks or www.facebook.com/venomvalleyseries), favorite his Amazon page (www.amazon.com/author/hankedwards), and follow him on Twitter (@hanksbooks) to become a true “Hankie.” You may also visit his website at www.hankedwardsbooks.com or send along an email to hankedwardsbooks@gmail.com.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

Brandilyn
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