"Sidekicks!" is out, and available through Amazon, B&N, and the Apple App store. (But if you purchase it directly from the publisher, the authors--myself included--get a bigger cut.)
They gave an individual shout-out to my story, "Alex and the OCD Oracle," too!
"And then there is the story “Alex and the OCD Oracle” by D. Robert Hamm about a partnership that defies explanation. Involving diet soda, nudity, fantasy, mythology and an inflatable kiddie pool, this adventure is just plain odd. Readers will like it. Readers will hate it. Readers will reread it in broad daylight to make sure they did not conjure it in a dream."
Table of Contents (You may recognize some of these names):
“Introduction” by Alasdair Stuart
“Coffee and Collaborators” by Patrick Tomlinson
“Hunter and Bagger” by Alex Bledsoe
“Alex and the OCD Oracle” by D. Robert Hamm (Hey, that's me!)
“Quintuple-A” by Nayad Monroe
“Hero” by Kathy Watness
Fangirl” by Steve Lickman
“After the Party” by Graham Storrs
Learning the Game” by Michael Haynes
“Doomed” by KW Taylor
“In The Shadow Of His Glory” by Bill Bodden
Second Banana Republic” by Donald J. Bingle
“The Balance Between Us” by Alexis A. Hunter
“The Decent Thing to Do” by Daniel R. Robichaud
The Minion’s Son” by Daniel O’Riordan
The Old West” by Matt Betts
“Worthy” by Mary Garber
“Relic of the Red Planet” by Neal Litherland
The Gold Mask’s Menagerie” by Chanté McCoy
“A Recipe for Success” by Alana Lorens
“At Your Service” by Kelly Swails
Click the "read more" for a brief excerpt from “Alex and the OCD Oracle,” my story in the collection.
(the first 600 words or so from my story)
The first thing you need to know about Jimmy Cane is that no matter what anybody says about him, he’s not crazy. And I don’t say that just because he’s my best friend. Sure, he once showed up to a black-tie affair wearing lederhosen and leading a ferret on a leash, but in his defense, I’m pretty sure lederhosen are considered formal wear in some parts of the world, he was wearing a black tie, and the invitation did say, “and guest.”
Okay, so maybe he’s a little bit crazy, but if you had Jimmy’s ‘gift,’ you would be, too.
See, Jimmy’s a precog, but not in the traditional sense. He doesn’t actually know what’s going to happen; he just gets these compulsions that usually seem to work out in the end. Like OCD, but with a purpose. That whole thing with the lederhosen and the ferret? Set off a Rube Goldberg-type chain of events that saved a guy’s life. In addition to the general agitation that comes when he tries to resist acting on his compulsions, knowing that something as small as, say, what color socks you’re wearing could be a matter of life and death for someone puts a lot of pressure on a guy.
So when I let myself in over at Jimmy’s place to find him on the floor in a bathrobe surrounded by thirty or so cases of diet soda and blowing up an inflatable kiddie pool, it wasn’t the strangest thing I’d ever caught him doing.
“Hi, Alex,” Jimmy said between breaths, “I know, I know. Don't have all the soda yet; I just couldn't wait to get the pool ready.”
Which made perfect sense, in a Jimmy kind of way. I grabbed a couple of Blue Moons from the fridge and kicked back on the couch until he finished with the pool and plopped down next to me, panting. We clinked our bottles together, and he drained about a third of his in one long drought. He sighed and wiped sweat from his forehead with the sleeve of his robe.
“Okay,” I said, “Whatcha got?”
We long ago gave up on serious predictions about the outcome of Jimmy’s compulsions, but we make a game of seeing who can come up with the most outrageous guesses. We play as a team against reality, and give ourselves points every time we out-weird what actually happens. Two-on-one odds may seem a little unfair, but reality’s been doing this a lot longer than we have, and it has the home field advantage. So far, reality is winning, and I don’t even want to talk about the point spread.
“Diet soda, kiddie pool… Gotta’ be a connection there,” Jimmy said. “I was thinking maybe a pile of aspartame-addicted carp showing up on my doorstep.”
“Nah, not weird enough. Make ‘em talking carp and I think we’ve got something. I got a better one, though; how about the Apocalypse is nigh, and diet soda will be the only currency of value in the aftermath?”
“Makes sense; only mutants would actually drink the stuff. But what about the pool?”
“Like you said—mutants.”
“What does a kiddie pool have to do with mutants?”
“Oh, so now I’m supposed to be an expert on genetic anomalies? Maybe it’s their religion.”
Jimmy nodded sagely and stroked the three-day growth of beard on his chin. “Hm…,” he said, “Plausible. Hope you’re wrong, though; I think I’m allergic to apocalypses.”
Get the anthology to read the rest, along with nineteen other stories by authors both established and unknown.