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Bad Power (Twelve Planets #4)

4.20  ·  Rating Details  ·  61 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
Hate superheroes?
Yeah. They probably hate you, too.

‘There are two kinds of people with lawyers on tap, Mr Grey. The powerful and the corrupt.’
‘Thank you.’
‘For implying you’re powerful?’
‘For imagining those are two different groups.’

From Crawford Award nominee Deborah Biancotti comes this sinister short story suite, a pocketbook police procedural, set in a world where the v
Paperback, 130 pages
Published December 1st 2011 by Twelfth Planet Press
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Kaleidoscope by Alisa KrasnosteinCranky Ladies of History by Tehani WesselyOne Small Step by Tehani WesselyLove and Romanpunk by Tansy Rayner RobertsThe Bone Chime Song and Other Stories by Jo Anderton
#OzYAChat List of Short Stories
12th out of 85 books — 7 voters
Nightsiders by Sue IsleLove and Romanpunk by Tansy Rayner RobertsThief of Lives by Lucy SussexBad Power by Deborah BiancottiShowtime by Narrelle M. Harris
The Twelve Planets
4th out of 12 books — 1 voter

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 183)
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Deborah Biancotti
Aug 04, 2014 Deborah Biancotti added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: writer-women, oz
Well, OF COURSE I read it! I wrote the darn thing.
Dec 14, 2011 Thoraiya rated it really liked it
In the hands of a more pedestrian writer these stories might have seemed too...X-men. But Biancotti is different. In a good way. And I loved the Sydney settings. "Palming the Lady" and "Bad Power" both affected me very strongly and I would count them amongst the best short stories I've read this year.
Martin Livings
May 22, 2013 Martin Livings rated it really liked it
These stories are a real departure for Deborah Biancotti - her previous work, such as the brillant short story collection A Book Of Endings, is considerably more fantastical, and also quite obtuse and obscure (in the best possible ways, of course!). But with Bad Power, we get to see a new side of her writing, one which I believe she's exploring more these days. It's more crime fiction than science fiction, with the bare-boned no nonsense prose that the genre excels at. It's uniquely interstitial ...more
Kirstyn McDermott
May 29, 2012 Kirstyn McDermott rated it really liked it
A masterful short story suite which explores what it might really be like to have super powers, or to simply live in a world where others possess them. And it doesn't give too much away to say, it ain't that great, kids! Biancotti imagines a society where the haves and have-nots are even more starkly delineated than our own, allowing for a smart, nuanced -- and not completely cynical -- examination of inequality, privilege and power of all kinds.

Another superb addition to the Twelve Planets ser
Apr 22, 2016 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
Bad Power is the fourth collection in Twelfth Planet Press’s Twelve Planets series, and features five short stories by Deborah Biancotti.

These interconnected stories all take place in a world where superhuman powers exist. There are no capes here, however – no heroes trying to save cities, no villains trying to take over the world, just people trying to make the best (and sometimes the worst) of what having their power means to them.

The collection opens with Shades of Grey, which introduced Esse
Katharine (Ventureadlaxre)
Bad Power is the fourth book in the Twelve Planets series, released by Twelfth Planet Press, which showcase the talent of female Australian authors. There is now to be a thirteenth in the series, but that's a review for another time. The brief given to authors was to write 4-5 short stories of up to 40,000 words in total. The stories could be separate, discrete narratives or linked through character, setting or theme.

This collection contains five interwoven contemporary short stories, set in Syd
Alan Baxter
May 09, 2013 Alan Baxter rated it really liked it
A solid collection exploring superpowers in everyday folk, neatly combined into police procedural stories and one historical yarn. This is a suite of five stories, all connected in some ways, with cool recurring characters.
Jan 22, 2015 Maureen rated it really liked it
I really hate Goodreads refusal to implement half stars as it forces me to downgrade books I like so as to ensure that 5 stars holds meaning.

I loved this read. First of all there is the language. Such unusual, disturbing and beautiful use of language. The only other writer I know of who operates in the same language space is Margo Lanagan, whose novel Sea Hearts is one of the best I've ever read in the genre. Back to Biancotti. I felt like I could visualize everything that happened in all five s
Dec 11, 2015 Julia rated it really liked it
An Australian sf/fantasy publisher Twelfth Planet Press is releasing a series of collections by Australian writers. I picked up Tansy Rayner Roberts' "Love and Romanpunk" on a recommendation, loved it to itty pieces, and subscribed to the full set on a whim. Deborah Biancotti's "Bad Power" deals with super powers, so it was logical as the comics/superhero fan that I am, I'd be drawn to read that one next. But this is not the shiny four colored extravaganza you're used to with comics, this is mor ...more
Dec 19, 2011 Alexandra rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2011

This fourth in the Twelve Planets series, from Alisa at Twelfth Planet Press, comes back to the idea presented by the first collection - that of an interconnected suite of stories, which build on and enhance one another but also stand by themselves. I think this comes second only to Love and Romanpunk for me, so far, and as I've already discussed, I'm in no way unbiased about that delightful little book.

The overarching idea here in Deborah Biancotti's set is, as the title suggests, the use and
Sean the Bookonaut
Jan 29, 2012 Sean the Bookonaut rated it it was amazing
Bad Power is the Twelfth Planet collection featuring the work of Crawford award nominee Deborah Biancotti.

The jacket copy says “If you like Haven or heroes, you’ll love Bad power.” While I think Heroes suffers from the American propensity to drag successful ideas out to the point where they lose dramatic tension, I really like Haven.

Bad power is more akin to the later, more subdued, and understated. It also makes me think of Misfits, in the sense that having powers is never quite the as good as
Tsana Dolichva
Mar 10, 2012 Tsana Dolichva rated it it was amazing
Review originally posted here:

Bad Power is set (mostly) in modern Sydney in a world where some people have an inexplicable power: talking to dead people, seeing the future, immortality, and a few less common powers. And, although most of the protagonists have super powers, none of them are heroes (well, with one possible exception).

A few words about each of the stories:

Shades of Grey

The first thing that struck me about Biancotti’s writing when I started r
Mihai Adascalitei
Aug 02, 2013 Mihai Adascalitei rated it really liked it
Hate superheroes?
Yeah. They probably hate you, too.

‘There are two kinds of people with lawyers on tap, Mr Grey. The powerful and the corrupt.’
‘Thank you.’
‘For implying you’re powerful?’
‘For imagining those are two different groups.’

From Crawford Award nominee Deborah Biancotti comes this sinister short story suite, a pocketbook police procedural, set in a world where the victories are only relative, and the defeats are absolute. Bad Power celebrates the worst kind of powers both supernatural and
Mark Webb
Jan 07, 2012 Mark Webb rated it it was amazing
This review forms part of my contribution to theAustralian Women Writers 2012 Reading Challenge.

Bad Powerby Deborah Biancotti is one of theTwelve Planets seriespublished byTwelfth Planet Press(12 boutique collections of stories by Australian women writers). It is made up of five shorter stories, including:

- Shades of Grey
- Palming the Lady
- Web of Lies
- Bad Power
- Cross That Bridge

This is the first work by Ms Biancotti that I've read and I really enjoyed it. The five stories are set it the
Mar 27, 2012 Deb rated it really liked it
Shelves: goodreads
Question: Who wouldn’t love to have a superpower?

Answer: The characters in the short stories of Bad Power, who discover that power isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

The power to never die, to see the futures of those around you, to tell others what to do (and they do it!) – all of these seem like good things, until they rule your life and you can’t escape them. Unable to escape their “bad” powers, they become resigned or submit to their fates.

Characters from one story will appear in others and
Feb 16, 2012 Narrelle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, australian
Bad Power contains five short stories set in a world where there are people with powers, though no superheroes. Instead, people slowly come to realise that they have abilities – some of them very subtle – and have to confront what it means for their everyday lives.

Anyone who has read Biancotti’s Book of Endings will already be familiar with her ability to infuse the everyday - the mundanely human - with a sense of creeping horror. Her work is full of the textures of human frailty as well as stre
Katharine (Ventureadlaxre)
Katharine is a judge for the Aurealis Awards. This review is the personal opinion of Katharine herself, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of any judging panel, the judging coordinator or the Aurealis Awards management team.

To be safe, I won't be recording my review here until after the AA are over.

Constantly well written, enthralling and very well presented. I loved how they were all woven together and would love to have seen more.
Anthony Panegyres
Dec 23, 2013 Anthony Panegyres rated it really liked it
A wonderful writer. Biancotti's prose flows seamlessly and her dialogue is sharp and insightful. Loved this intertwined collection of five 'meaty' long-short stories, all with juicy narratives. Australia has a wealth of talent in the spec-fic field and this collection is certainly further evidence of this.

Look forward to reading more of her work.
Jane Routley
Jan 21, 2013 Jane Routley rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Loved these stories about Supernatural powers misused or just going wrong. Biancotti is a master storyteller and I'd love to see a whole book about Detective Palmer. Thank you Twelth Planet Press for producing this little book.
"Hate superheros? Yeah they probably hate you, too."
Dec 16, 2011 Tehani rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly THOROUGHLY enjoyed every one of these! Fabulous collection, beautifully written. This is what smart superpower stories look like, right here.
Anna Hepworth
Mar 30, 2015 Anna Hepworth rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015, rated-five
Fascinating set of short stories about what super-powers might look like if no-one ever admits to them. And how it can go wrong.
Really liked this one - crime infused with weird. Proper review to come.
Emily Craven
Great collection of 'superhero' or 'superpower' stories. They are beautifully written and quite dark stories. The way each of the shorts connect actually reminds me of what Marvel are doing with their Netflix series like Jessica Jones and Daredevil, weaving and connecting them ever so slightly, flawed heroes trying to reconcile their powers with the own faulty human nature. This set of stories has that same tone and struggles with those same questions of power, morality and humanity. Great read.
Terri Jones
Apr 17, 2016 Terri Jones rated it it was amazing
I got this ebook as a prize for supporting Defying Doomsday (an anthology with disabled protagonists as lead characters), and I chose from the list the only one featuring super powers.

This is a story woven together through several distinctive short stories, and I loved it, I loved the threads of continuity and I loved where it ended. It's a relatively quick read, but that's in part because the characters are compelling. If you like realistic characters dealing with the very odd, I recommend thi
Jul 10, 2012 Marg rated it really liked it
Aug 26, 2013 Rivqa rated it liked it
This is a fine collection of linked short stories, without any labouring over the links. The almost-noir crime elements and the philosophical quandaries posed (again, unlaboured) leave plenty to chew over.
Elanor Matton-Johnson
Sep 16, 2013 Elanor Matton-Johnson rated it really liked it
A fascinating set of stories about what might happen if ordinary people ended up with strange powers.
Jul 23, 2014 Paul rated it really liked it

Fabulous stories by a fabulous Australian writer.
May 23, 2012 Tamara added it
Shelves: tpp-people
Yup, it was awesome. I'm depressed it's finished!
Ju Transcendancing
Review pending.
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Deborah Biancotti is co-author of the ZEROES series with Scott Westerfeld and Margo Lanagan. Her collections BAD POWER and A BOOK OF ENDINGS are available from Twelfth Planet Press and her novella WAKING IN WINTER will be available from PS Publishing in March 2016.

She's been nominated for the William L. Crawford Award for Best First Fantasy Book, the Shirley Jackson Award, the Aurealis & Ditma
More about Deborah Biancotti...

Other Books in the Series

Twelve Planets (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Nightsiders (Twelve Planets book 1)
  • Love and Romanpunk (Twelve Planets book 2)
  • Thief of Lives (Twelve Planets book 3)
  • Showtime (Twelve Planets book 5)
  • Through Splintered Walls (Twelve Planets book 6)
  • Cracklescape (Twelve Planets book 7)
  • Asymmetry (Twelve Planets book 8)
  • Caution: contains small parts (Twelve Planets book 9)
  • Secret Lives of Books (Twelve Planets book 10)
  • The Female Factory (Twelve Planets book 11)

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