Curb Stomp by Shannon Bradner
A young punk who is in a band called Curb Stomp is beaten to death at a house party by some neighborhood goons (rednecks) and nothing happens to them. A decade later his friends decide to get revenge after his gravestone is defaced by the same assholes.
This started great and then it was all over so quickly. I wish the latter half of the story was more fleshed out because the writing is great and the early pacing was superb but I was just getting into it and then it was over. I'll definitely be looking for more from this author though, hoping to see a full novella or novel in the future.
Punk Rock Revenge
Dark and deeply visceral, we follow a group of friends who just want to make music. Sure they like punk music but these are the nicest bunch of people you will ever meet. I can't help thinking of the Sophie Lancaster case when I read this, a bunch of guys targeted for the way they look. Shannon does an incredible job in this short story at relaying the tight bonds of friendship. This story is sure to invoke a very deep reaction, especially for those who have lived their lives as outcasts. With the death of Denny, we see the chain reaction of his death in those closest to him. We feel their every emotion including rage at the murder getting off. This makes the revenge taken by the friends a little more satisfying but also heartbreaking, because of what they stood to lose in the pursuit of vengeance.
I would have purchased this story for the title alone (and the cover), but I bought it because I already knew how hard its author rocks. As always, Bradner kicks some serious ass with CURB STOMP. Highly recommended!