Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Under the Thumb

 by Scott Adlerberg

In this spot back in March, Rock and a Hard Place Magazine co-editor Roger Nokes guest blogged with his piece explaining why the magazine (co-editor Jay Butkowski) was putting out a call for a special themed anthology called Under the Thumb: Stories of Police Oppression.

None other than S.A. Cosby took on the role of the anthology's editor, and in that March piece, he explained the anthology's goal:

“I think the main objective of this anthology is to demystify the cop story in crime fiction. We are trying to invert the usual perspective when it comes to a crime story. A deconstruction of the police procedural that examines the world through the eyes of characters who are usually voiceless. We’ve all read a police procedural that uses the suspects as simply props for the story of an officer who 'bends the rules' to get things done. Too often we don’t consider the cost of this kind of indoctrination. Stories are our myths and our myths become our reality. But it's a reality shaped by a worldview that disavows the truth of people from marginalized communities and underrepresented cultures. I like to say writers are liars who seek the truth. That’s what we are doing with this anthology. Seeking the truth. No matter how much it hurts.” 

Well, the anthology has now been released, and it has a stellar lineup of writers.  There are stories by Travis Wade Beaty, Andrew Case, Hilary Davidson, Hector Duarte Jr., Michael Downing, Jeffrey Eaton, Michael A. Gonzales, James D.F. Hannah, Zakariah Johnson, Preston Lang, Bobby Mathews, Mike McHone Richie Narvaez, Oluseyi Onabanjo, James Queally, Keith Rosson, Jeff Soloway, Joseph S. Walker, and Tim P. Walker.

Crime fiction, as ever, is a great vehicle to explore the power disparities of the world and the flaws and problems inherent in the systems of human justice, and I'm eager myself to see how these different writers approach all this.  There should be a lot to dive into.

Proceeds from sales, by the way, go to The New Jersey chapter of Black Lives Matter.

You can get Under the Thumb: Stories of Police Oppression right here.

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