Heroes and Civilians

Heroes and Civilians is a collection of short stories and very short stories written between 2005 and 2010.

It’s got a story about a rabbit, one about a robot, one about a magician, one about giant monsters, a few about superheroes and one about bears on bicycles. There’s also a subject index.

A couple of people have said nice things about Heroes and Civilians, like:

  • Simon from Happiness is a Warm Simon Gray, who said, “I loved reading the content of ‘Heroes & Civilians'” while also musing wisely on the merit of electronic-only publications
  • Thomas DeMary from PANK, who said: “Adam Ford exudes a control of the flash form, as well as an adherence to the principles of fiction, in a way not seen before by this reviewer.”

You can read a sample below, or download Heroes and Civilians as a FREE ebook from:



Yeah, we were close once. Back before I cleaned up. Thing is, he didn’t leave immediately. I was sober for years before the last time I saw him. Over time we bumped into each other less and less frequently. Initially it would just be that he would be waiting for me in the kitchen at breakfast instead of standing at the foot of my bed. After a while I’d only see him outside the house – at the coffee shop or the library, and occasionally on my lunch break. It was always good to see him, but our conversations were becoming stilted. Awkward. Forced. In time the awkwardness became embarrassing. The last time I saw him he was drunk. Really drunk. I’d seen him tipsy before, seen him trip giggling over cracks in the sidewalk, pulling me down with him as he collapsed in a huge furry mess, but I’d never seen him angry drunk like this. I was standing in line at the bank and he stormed up to me out of nowhere. I turned to face him and he dug a finger into my chest so hard that I could feel his claw through my jacket. I looked into his pink, bloodshot eyes. His breath stank of bourbon. I managed a smile and asked him how he’d been these last few months. He hawked and spat a wad of orange saliva into my face. I stumbled back, reaching for my handkerchief. “I got somethin’ to say to you, pal,” he said, his Irish brogue slurring with the booze. “I don’t believe in you either.” I closed my eyes and wiped my face clean. When I looked up he was gone. That was eighteen years ago.

11 comments on “Heroes and Civilians
  1. […] or online in flash-preview-turning-pages format if that’s what your tastes run to. Just head over here and make your […]

  2. hackpacker says:

    Had some trouble downloading the pdf – any chance the link s bung somehow?

  3. Adam Ford says:

    works okay for me – opens up a dialog box that lets you save the pdf wherever you want. are you on pc or mac? if pc, try a bit of right-click-save-as, maybe.

  4. hackpacker says:

    Works okay now! Am on PC and tried it in Firefox and Explorer but it’s up now.
    Have flipped through just now and looks great – lost of short form stuff that lewads into longer pieces. Will read deeper soon.

  5. Tee says:

    thanks for this! just downloaded it and saved it and am looking forward to reading it.

  6. derek says:

    excellent. hooray for freely available content!

    • Adam Ford says:

      yes, well, the hoops you’ve got to jump through to make content that people have to buy, coupled with the despondency that results from their not buying it after all that mucking around, makes this option rather peaceful and releaxing by comparison.

  7. […] heroes and civilians Published April 29, 2010 Uncategorized Leave a Comment head on over to adam ford’s nook & (freely) download a copy of his book, Heroes and Civilians. […]

  8. […] Heroes and Civilians by Adam Ford is a swift read (forty-one pages), paced with a tempo which undulates between frenetic and saunter, briskly truncating the human condition with less-than-500-word vignettes, yet occasionally letting off the gas to allow a miniature story bloom into a larger work (still under 2000 words). […]

  9. Wayne says:

    Hi Adam,

    Just downloaded your collection (I was flicking through an old Going Down Swinging yesterday when I found two of your stories). Looking forward to reading the lot. Thanks!

  10. msdebbie says:

    Look forward to reading it Adam – your rabbit story had me thinking about re-watching Donnie Darko too. But maybe the rabbit is more like the one John Cusack battled against in an old 1980s film? I’m liking your characters in what I would call more of a vignette than a short story. Cool :D

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Quelle Grammage!
only a fan of 2/3s of the folk in this pic but mesmerised by the story @angustrumble relates below it. . . . I watched last evening’s general election coverage (ABC, natch) in the company of a high Commonwealth official, among others in an undisclosed location, whose name, it soon emerged, may not appear on the electoral roll for reasons of national security. I confess that gave me a bit of a thrill. Canberra: Bless! However, it was also fascinating, extraordinary, in due course to witness that person’s several mobile phones evidently going bonkers, and the measured plans, contingencies, forecasts, blue books of an entire federal bureaucracy duly (one presumed) shredded, turned upside down, just like that. Nothing at all was said, I should emphasise. One simply observed the body language, which was moderately graphic. Whichever way you look at it, this has been an astounding personal victory for Prime Minister Scott Morrison. He believes in miracles, the sexy thing. Pre-polling methodologies in this country, meanwhile, have quite obviously met with serial unforced error on a colossal, epic scale. Who would ever pay them good money again? On my way home, I collided with the (ex-)campaign manager of one of the independent ACT Senate candidates who was alone, drunk and in despair. The campaign manager, that is, not the candidate. This was at about half past eleven on the corner of Jardine and Eyre Streets in Kingston, right next to the rubbish tin, you know, the rectangular green one. He told me he wanted to burn everything down, which was worrying enough, but then he suddenly hurled his mobile phone into the gutter—smashed it to bits—and staggered off into the night. I found myself wondering: Who would touch politics with a barge pole? I should add that this frightening encounter left me, literally, picking up his bits and bobs, then dutifully popping them in the bin. Responsible, me. Back home, I had a cuppa and played patience. I’m not kidding. . . . #Repost @angustrumble with @make_repost
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