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Bad Power

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  72 ratings  ·  33 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, Twelve Planets Collection, 130 pages
Published December 1st 2011 by Twelfth Planet Press
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Average rating 4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  72 ratings  ·  33 reviews

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Deborah Biancotti
Dec 11, 2011 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: oz, writer-women
Well, OF COURSE I read it! I wrote the darn thing.
Dec 14, 2011 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. ...more
Martin Livings
Apr 28, 2013 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
Apr 06, 2012 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
Anthony Panegyres
Dec 16, 2013 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 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."
Alan Baxter
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.
Anna Hepworth
May 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 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.
Mark Webb
Dec 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This review forms part of my contribution to the Australian Women Writers 2012 Reading Challenge.

Bad Power by Deborah Biancotti is one of the Twelve Planets series published by Twelfth 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 i
Dec 10, 2011 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
Mihai Adascalitei
Aug 02, 2013 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
Tsana Dolichva
Feb 12, 2012 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
Dec 12, 2011 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
S.B. Wright
Dec 14, 2011 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
Oct 15, 2014 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
Feb 08, 2012 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
Jan 19, 2012 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
Dec 01, 2012 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
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.
Dec 16, 2011 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.
Really liked this one - crime infused with weird. Proper review to come.
Cathal Reynolds
First book of 2018 is a Deborah Biancotti book again woop woop!
Bad Power is an awesome little read for anyone who desperately misses the Zeroes series. I loved how the three shorts were all intertwined and ahh I love Deb’s writing 💖💖
Amanda Baldwin
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Excellent fantasy noir. Biancotti captures Sydney’s gritty and fantastical underside with a darkly humorous tone that fans of hard-boiled mysteries will love.
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
Ju Transcendancing
This review is presented as part of my contribution to the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2016, and as part of the Journey Through the Twelve Planets Reading Challenge. This review has been mirrored from my blog The Conversationalist.

I can positively say that the anthologies that utilise a shared universe in which to tell stories in a collection is one of my favourite ways to read short stories (whether novelettes, short stories, flash pieces, or novellas). Biancotti has delivered a very tig
Jun 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: twelve-planets
Four and a half stars. Murders, madness, and oh yes, superpowers.

Four distinct tales here, each with a great insight into human psychology, each weaving a different sort of 'power' or two into the storyline. Each playing out never as you expect. Each adding to a world that's woven together over the stories in a way that's quite unlike any other attempt at this sort of thing I've read--even within the other Twelve Planets. You should definitely read these stories all together, of course, but they
Terri Jones
Apr 17, 2016 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
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. ...more
May 17, 2013 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.
A. Dawes
Apr 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
Interlinked stories in a normal clothed X-Men-like universe. Felt a lot like the show Heroes but Biancotti manages to keep it real and understated. Biancotti is a writer to watch out for. I might track down Zeroes as I'm also a Lanagan fan. Everyone of the handful of stories here is a winner. ...more
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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 & Ditmar Aw

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