“Heroes” is a stand-alone episode in the world of The Violent Century, and part of a small cycle I’ve been working on featuring Spit, who otherwise appears in a relatively minor role in the novel. Another story, “Aftermaths”, appears only in the US hardcover edition of the novel, and a third, “The Rainmaker”, will appear in the anthology Adam’s Ladder from PS Publishing, at some point.
The story was written for a Spanish charity anthology, WhiteStar, edited by Cristina Jurado. The anthology will be out in November, with profits going in support of cancer research. I was asked to write something to do with a David Bowie song, and “Heroes”, with its Berlin Wall subject, seemed appropriate.
There’s no particular requirement to read the novel first, of course! The Violent Century, however, for those interested, is currently out in US and UK editions, and in Japan, with Polish and Chinese editions forthcoming. It was longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literature Prize, and was shortlisted for the Japanese Seiun Award.
Sometimes it feels to Spit as though she’s stuck here, in time; that it’s always bloody Berlin, and it’s always 1987. Big hair, synths, glasnost, Donkey bloody Kong. She hates the whole fucking decade. She can’t wait for it to end. In the apartment across the street from the Wall, Whirlwind is looking through binoculars at Checkpoint Charlie. Somewhere nearby, by the Reichstag, Bowie is playing a live concert. He’s singing “Heroes.”
“Oh, do shut up, David,” Spit says.