Synopsis of 'Striking Back from Down Under'

A Short Story Collection
Dr Bob Rich

   A common theme runs though this otherwise very varied boquet of short stories: a sympathy for the underdog. Contemporary crime, science fiction, fantasy, historical adventure, all of them can be found here. A kaleidoscope of villains and heroes follow each other, waiting to entertain you.
   Total length: 81,200 words.

1. Cruelty and Compassion
   The blonde was so scornful about the cripple in the wheelchair, but he has his own resources for revenge.
    This story won first prize in Donard Publishing's July 2003 contest.

2.Game Planet
   Young Tigel's father buys him a magnificent 18th birthday present: an hour on Game Planet. He choses a young woman as his Pawn, but gets more than he'd expected...

3. A Chinese Joke
   Trevor has saved Charlie Chu from a gang bashing, then falls in love with Charlie's sister Yvonne. But can the Chu family overcome prejudice against a 'foreigner'?

4. Thank You, J. S. Bach
   The little housewife is helpless against the ravager. But is she as powerless as she seems?

5. The full answer
   Fleeing in panic, running to stay alive. Death chases a boy in a block of Housing Commission flats.

6. My Amanda
   This is a story of love between a young Nepalese boy and the Australian nurse.

7. Let the Punishment Fit the Crime
   Tim O'Liam is the best tree faller in all of Queensland -- until, following orders, he tries to hustle an odd little protestor off the logging site.

8. Rotten Apple
   A man awakens in the deadly darkness of a cave. He doesn't know how he got there, or why...

9. The Bigger They Are...
   Sherry has been arrested for the brutal murder of her mother-in-law. Can her friend Cindy save her?

10. Portrait of a Firebug
   Why would anyone start a terrible bushfire?

11. Takeover Bid
   The invader from outer space promises a lot of pleasure, but it makes the mistake of choosing Cynthia.

12. What's in a Name?
   Detective Sergeant Ted Poynter has deduced how the man must have died. But, what to do about it?

13. The Making of a Champion
   It was lucky for the village that David happened to be passing through, for the slavers struck that night.

14. Keeping an Open Mind
   As a child, Tom Grant had learnt to deal with bullying. But the effects catch up with him thirty years later.

15. Guilty, Until Proven Innocent
   When Hilary Hart's boss Stan is murdered, everything points to her as the killer. No-one believes in her but Stan's charismatic son.

16. The Scarlet Pimple Gives a Nudge
   At 13 years of age, Lindy is aiming high. She wants to become a world-famous writer. When the school is hit by a nasty crime, she uses the skills she developed to set the Police right.

17. Soft Targets
   The local lowlife refers to the old people as 'soft targets'. But Maude has a few resources they hadn't anticipated.

18. Fishing Expedition
   The only difference between rape and seduction is salesmanship. And Will is an artist...

19. A Perfect Crime
   Jimmy is small for his age, and wears glasses. And yet, he swears to kill Susie's stepfather.

20. Another Kind of Poetry
   There is no point to a romance when one person is filled with poetry, while the other is a practical sort... is there?

21. The Takamaka Freedom Fighters
   Mr Billson knows he is doing the right thing, battery farming chickens, but that nasty Mrs Jones won't listen to reason.

22. First Day at School
   She was a slave girl in a factory, and saw her best friend die.

Criminal Justice
Four new stories

23. Return from Death

   Murderous violence in the bank interrupts Rick's life as a secret Buddhist monk.

24. An Interstate Business Venture

   Why did Eve murder her husband of 20 years, and keep one-third of the insurance?

25. Justifiable Homicide

   The perfect minister of religion's murderer says this in his defence in court.

26. The Spaghetti Warrior

   The ruthless criminal helps Susie to find her life's vocation.

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