The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination: Original Short Fiction for the Modern Evil Genius (Outlander #8.1)
My review copy was an eARC provided for free by Tor through Netgalley.
Reviewing short story collections is tough. No matter how much work the collector put into it, there’s always going to be one or two that you don’t think work. I can’t give a rundown review of all of them, so what I am going to do is discuss a few I thought were good, a few I thought… weren’t, and then talk about how well the collection works together.
The first story (Professor Inc...more
For my Halloween-themed read this year, I picked up this little anthology: The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination. It’s my own fault that it took nearly the entire month of October to read it.
This is a collection of 22 tales involving science, madness (broadly defined, here) and a healthy dose of megalomania (a madness that is de rigueur for our protagonists). Only three have been previously published, so there is little chance that you will run across lots of “old chestnuts” (well not fo...more
There's a gradual change i...more
The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination is no exception to this new trend in my mind.
Edited by John Joseph Adams, a veteran of over a dozen anthologies, The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination is full of some interesting short stories. Some of them are from author’s who I’ve liked over the years, including Austin Grossman, author of Soon I Will Be Invincible, Seanan...more
From Victor Frankenstein to Lex Luthor, from Dr. Moreau to Dr. Doom, readers have long been fascinated byinsane plans for world domination and the madmen who devise them. Typically, we see these villains through the eyes of good guys. This anthology, however, explores the world of mad scientists and evil geniuses—from their own wonderfully twisted point of view.
Everybody loves villains. They’re bad; they always stir the pot; they’re much more fun than the good guys, even if we want to see the
I enjoyed this story very much as it brought back 'to life' two characters that we had thought long-dead from the Outlander books, Master Raymond and the Comte' St Germain. Won't give out any spoilers here, except to say that 1) I *knew*...more
“The Space Between” (Outlander, 7.5)
Austin Grossman’s “Professor Incognito Apologizes: An Itemized List” is too funny for words in its bullet point apology combination of mad scientist AND boyfriend of all that Professor Incognito needs to explain to his girlfriend. Ah gots ta put Grossman on my TBR list.
Harry Turtledove’s “Father of the Groom” plays off the bridez...more
I have a confession to make – I’m not usually a big fan of anthologies. I’m not sure if it’s because I get annoyed that there’s not more to the story or what, but short stories and I have never gotten along. So of course I went with an anthology for my first review here at All Things Urban Fantasy. Oops. Or at least oops is what I was thinking when I first sat down to start the book. Then I started reading and that oops quickly changed in to a grin as I...more
There are other stories I liked/were okay and 2 stories that I can't decide what I think of them. The rest I either read a bit of and skipped or they left me needing to take a break. I don't know if it was the narrative style of the book or something else. But this is one of tw...more
I wanted to like this anthology. It is an intriguing premise, and I have a soft spot for mad scientists. But there was only one story that I liked in the entire anthology; Rocks Fall by Naomi Novik. It is a clever, poignant little story. The rest of the anthology I found forgettable. I didn't even finish some stories (a...more
Edited by John Joseph Adams
Performed by Stefan Rudnicki, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Justine Eyre
I'm not much of a short story person because I don't really like how they end just as I might be getting interested in them. That said, I really liked this collection of stories. I don't know if it's all the comic book movies being popular these days, but I was in just the right mood for something like this.
It wasn't all perfect. I really enjoyed the first h...more
Like any anthology where each story is by a different author, this is a mixed bag, but many of the stories are a lot of fun. There are a variety of approaches. Most take the "mad scientist" trope as an opportunity for enjoyable over-the-top writing. Some take more serious approaches. One or two don't really fit.
Austin Grossman's "Professor Incognito Apologiz...more
Mostly, I am remembering Diana Gabaldon's long story/novella which is set in her Outlander world. Many here bought the book just for that. Maybe for them it was good. For me it was a complex story that ended with a giant Pfffft! Big, long buildup, and thud, it's over with nothing resolved. I suspect many who aren't into the Outlander series found this story disappointing. And it's full of unnecessary Scottish dialect -which I am quite familiar with, it just was...more
The first several stories fit in with that expectation rather well, but there are a handful of stories in the middle that just kind of drag. The longest story in the book -- one about the respective "daughters" of such luminaries as Dr. Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyd...more
While most of the stories in this book were just... great (there's no other word for it), there are a few that were a little more of a stru...more
This book caused there to be a great deal of reading out loud to others, and much hysterical laughter. Our family has bought two ebook copies already and have no regrets.
Some of th...more
Again, I only read the one by Diana Gabaldon, called The Space Between.
The title of this short story is a double entendre.
It fills in some missing pieces of her other books and pertains to two main characters in the first few Outlander books, mainly Master Raymond and the Comte St. Germain. Enough said. I'm glad I read it.
And as usual, most of the stories in the compilation are 30-40 pages each b...more
But I am under immense influence of one particular story: "The Pittsburgh Technology" by Jeffrey Ford. In this short story "the mad scientist" had developed a method to sever one's ties to his destiny and thus open the possibility for free will. The exact moment of this liberation is "scientifically"...more
I don't read anthologies often. In fact, this may have been the first one I've read from beginning to end. I really enjoyed this collection's tonal variation from story to story, not just in the way each author approached the mad scientist theme, but in their individual style of writing. Some styles I absolutely couldn't stand -- they felt overdrama...more
I read this for two reasons: I liked the title and I liked a couple of the contributing authors. I started out from the beginning, intending to read all of the submissions. The first story, Professor Incognito Apologizes (by Austin Grossman) was fairly entertaining. I liked the format--an apology letter from a mad (alien) scientist bent on taking over the world. A great way to start out the anthology. It was a little long but remained humorous with the revel...more
The Executor – This was an exciting, coherent, full story with an easy to discern message about the power of love and family. This...more