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The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination: Original Short Fiction for…

by John Joseph Adams (Editor), L. A. Banks (Contributor), Laird Barron (Contributor), David Farland (Contributor), Jeffrey Ford (Contributor)18 more, Alan Dean Foster (Contributor), Diana Gabaldon (Contributor), Theodora Goss (Contributor), Austin Grossman (Contributor), Grady Hendrix (Contributor), Mary Robinette Kowal (Contributor), David D. Levine (Contributor), Heather Lindsley (Contributor), Marjorie M. Liu (Contributor), Seanan McGuire (Contributor), L. E. Modesitt, Jr. (Contributor), Naomi Novik (Contributor), Jeremiah Tolbert (Contributor), Harry Turtledove (Contributor), Genevieve Valentine (Contributor), Carrie Vaughn (Contributor), Daniel H. Wilson (Contributor), Ben H. Winters (Contributor)

Other authors: Chris Claremont (Foreword)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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3262061,339 (3.44)13
An anthology of original horror tales featuring "evil genius" archetype characters intent on ruling the world features contributions by Diana Gabaldon, Daniel Wilson, and Austin Grossman.
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Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
An anthology of stories on the subject of mad scientists, from a fairly impressive collection of authors. Various different kinds of mad science are represented, including superhero, horror, pulp adventure, and science fiction tropes, with plentiful appearances from the scientists' assistants, love interests, and minions.

It's pretty good, overall, as anthologies go. There are several stories I thought were very good to excellent (including the fantastic "Mofongo Knows" by Grady Hendrix, which I'd encountered before in podcast form and was delighted to rediscover here); a few more that were quite enjoyable, if perhaps not very memorable; a bunch that were slight but still mildly entertaining; and only a couple that I actively didn't like (mostly because, it turns out, I don't find reading about super-misogynistic mad scientists to be a good time, no matter what might happen to them in the end). There's also one story (Harry Turtledove's "Father of the Groom") that was a bit funny, but would have been a lot funnier if it weren't trying so hard to be funny, and one just-kind-of-okay story that was way, way too long, especially in comparison with the other stories in the volume. (Seriously, was there a word limit no one remembered to tell Diana Gabaldon about?)

That last one does kind of threaten to bog the whole thing down for a while, to be honest, but mercifully I think it doesn't quite succeed, and there were enough really good pieces after that to wash away my annoyance and leave me feeling generally happy with the whole thing. ( )
  bragan | Jun 6, 2021 |
As always with anthologies such as this, there are individual stories within it that are worth 4 and 5 stars in-and-of themselves. While this anthology was quite enjoyable and had some genuinely unexpected moments which I appreciate, my overall experience of reading it was only OK. Not at all bad, but the ultimate effect wasn't great either. ( )
  johnthelibrarian | Aug 11, 2020 |
Sometimes friends press books into my hands despite the book not being my usual kind of read. A collection of science fiction and fantasy short stories is definitely one of these kinds of books. The title of the book, giving away the thematic link through all the stories, made me think of Pinky and the Brain and their plans to take over the world. Of course, my friend loaned the book to me specifically for the Diana Gabaldon story in it, a story adjacent to the Outlander world, focused on Master Raymond and the Compte St. Germain. But because I am a completest of the worst sort, I had to read all of the stories, not just the one she thought I'd be curious about.

As in all collections, some of the stories were more entertaining than others. I particularly like the ones that were comedic in tone with bumbling super villains but then I always liked the campy "Kapow" and "Bam" of the 1960s era Batman tv show too so my taste may be a tad suspect. I am certain that there were many stories that allude to characters or novels in the genre that I completely missed, not being much of a sci-fi or fantasy reader, which those who catch the references will probably find enhance the stories. My level of familiarity is with The Incredibles, the aforementioned Pinky and the Brain, Dr. Doofenshmirtz, and for a non-cartoon reference, the baddies in James Bond. Hardly a breadth of literary knowledge of the genre.

Each story in the collection starts with what appears almost to be a case file written by the editor. It summarizes the category of the story, who tells the story, the rule of supervillainry that the story illustrates, and who the story is about. Sometimes these little intros are fun and other times they are too much, giving away more than should be told in advance of the actual story. The stories themselves are of varying lengths and varying seriousness. Some appear to be part of their authors' larger universes while others seem to be stand alone. A unique idea for a collection, I'm not sure this necessarily made me any more likely to read some of these authors but for the most part, it was a fun and unlikely bit of reading for me. ( )
  whitreidtan | Mar 8, 2020 |
Okay, so far I have only read the Diana Gabaladon short story. I very much enjoyed it. ( )
  sweetfe | Jun 6, 2018 |
I liked this collection for the most part. I could have done without the ~80pg romance novella from Diana Gabaldon, which didn't really fit the mood or theme of the rest of the book, but most of the other stories were quite good. There's one near the end about a political science evil genius that was particularly interesting in light of current events. ( )
  JBarringer | Dec 30, 2017 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Adams, John JosephEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Banks, L. A.Contributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Barron, LairdContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Farland, DavidContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Ford, JeffreyContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Foster, Alan DeanContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Gabaldon, DianaContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Goss, TheodoraContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Grossman, AustinContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Hendrix, GradyContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Kowal, Mary RobinetteContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Levine, David D.Contributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Lindsley, HeatherContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Liu, Marjorie M.Contributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
McGuire, SeananContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Modesitt, L. E., Jr.Contributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Novik, NaomiContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Tolbert, JeremiahContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Turtledove, HarryContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Valentine, GenevieveContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Vaughn, CarrieContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Wilson, Daniel H.Contributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Winters, Ben H.Contributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Eyre, JustineNarratormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Claremont, ChrisForewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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An anthology of original horror tales featuring "evil genius" archetype characters intent on ruling the world features contributions by Diana Gabaldon, Daniel Wilson, and Austin Grossman.

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Book description
Contents: Forward / Chris Claremont -- Professor Incognito apologizes: an itemized list / Austin Grossman -- Father of the groom / Harry Turtledove -- Laughter at the academy / Seanan McGuire -- Letter to the editor / David D. Levine -- Instead of a loving heart / Jeremiah Tolbert -- The executor / Daniel H. Wilson -- The angel of death has a business plan / Heather Lindsley -- Homo perfectus / David Farland -- Ancient equations / L.A. Banks -- Rural singularity / Alan Dean Foster -- Captain Justice saves the day / Genevieve Valentine -- The mad scientist's daughter / Theodora Goss -- The space between / Diana Gabaldon -- Harry and Marlowe meet the founder of the Aetherian revolution / Carrie Vaughn -- Blood & stardust / Laird Barron -- A more perfect union / L.E. Modesitt, Jr. -- Rocks fall / Naomi Novik -- We interrupt this broadcast / Mary Robinette Kowal -- The last dignity of man / Marjorie M. Liu -- The Pittsburgh technology / Jeffrey Ford -- Mofongo knows / Grady Hendrix -- The food taster's boy / Ben H. Winters.
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