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The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination: Original Short Fiction for the Modern Evil Genius

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  1,583 ratings  ·  294 reviews
From Victor Frankenstein to Lex Luthor, from Dr. Moreau to Dr. Doom, readers have long been fascinated by insane 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 geniusesfrom their own wonderfully twisted point of view.

An all-star
Paperback, 368 pages
Published February 19th 2013 by Tor Books
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Dec 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, short-stories
I don't really like short story compilations. I'd rather have 800 pages than 80. BUT this was a VERY cool anthology of short stories by fantastic authors about Mad Scientists. Some were artistic, some were Dr. Horrible-esque, and all were very very enjoyable! Definitely recommend to turn your head around on the bad guy we see in all our genre faves!
May 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
This anthology contained 22 short stories. As with most anthologies the quality varied wildly. I was initially drawn to this anthology because it sounded like a fun premise and it contained short stories from Austin Grossman and Theadora Goss. In the end I was shocked that I liked many of the other short stories better than the ones that caught my eye. Grossman's opening story was actually a bit of a flop. The Goss story fared better, but was only enjoyable rather than anything memorable.

Jul 25, 2015 rated it really liked it

Professor Incognito Apologizes: an Itemized List by Austin Grossman
Instead of a Loving Heart by Jeremiah Tolbert
Rural Singularity by Alan Dean Foster
Harry and Marlowe Meet the Founder of the Aetherian Revolution by Carrie Vaughn
Rocks Fall by Naomi Novik
Mofongo Knows by Grady Hendrix

Vaughn's and Tolbert's seemed like parts of larger stories that I'd be interested in reading.

A few other stories that I liked less but found noteworthy:

"The Mad Scientist's Daughter" by Theodora Goss.
The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination is as much fun as it sounds. It feels like the authors here had a lot of fun with the concept; there's some excellent stories, and the vast majority of this book is the kind of entertaining romp that you want from a title like that.

There was one story that didn't fit, to me - Diana Gabaldon's The Space Between. Taking up a solid 25% of the book, it not only stands out in length but in tone. It's not that I didn't enjoy it - in any other setting I
Jun 21, 2015 rated it liked it
I generally like to review each story, but so far they've all been short, appropriately humorous, & quite good (3-3.5 stars, at least). Each are preceded by a short blurb which has been very good, too. Just enough to set the stage, never a spoiler. A few stories were exceptional or stinkers. Comments after those.

From the editor's web site:
The following stories can be found in The Mad Scientists Guide to World Domination.

Foreword by Chris Claremont -
Tim Hicks
Sep 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This just barely made three stars.

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
Stuti (Turmeric isn't your friend. It will fly your ship
An anthology on supervillain stories, The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination is, at once, both darkly humorous and perceptive. The stories range far and wide; while the mad scientists are the focus, they don't always tell the story but nevertheless, we see them in lights, contexts and situations unheard of and unseen before. In all, the stories are unique and creative even though, some of them have structural frames rather similar to that of tales of superheros.

There's a gradual change
Are you a Villain Sympathizer!? Do you have delusions of grandeur? Stay up late night plotting a world takeover? Or perhaps find yourself with an insane cackle or a desire to create weapons of mass destruction!? You do!!? Well then The Mad Scientists Guide to World Domination is EXACTLY the short fiction collection for you! Villains can make or break a book for me, and I think if I could picture myself in a story, I would so be a villain. They have the best toys, and the in my mind some ...more
Apr 13, 2013 rated it it was ok
The editor of this anthology has the annoying habit of spoiling or summarizing each story in the introduction to that story. I prefer to find out for myself what a story is about.

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
Mar 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
Three stars minus one star for the horrible Outlander novella.
Most of the authors in this anthology took their cue from the odd title and wrote humorous stories, though a couple tried for a more serious approach. On the whole, I preferred the funny ones:

"Professor Incognito Apologizes: An Itemized List" by Austin Grossman
I enjoyed this story. It made me laugh. The itemized list is quite funny in itself, mixing the profound with the trivial, and it's all comically phrased. It actually did make me chuckle, repeatedly. Grossman has a nice talent for the
Nov 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone

For my Halloween-themed read this year, I picked up this little anthology: The Mad Scientists Guide to World Domination. Its 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 for
Adrian Fridge
Feb 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
This is a set of very diverse stories, so much so that by sheer law of probability there must be something in here for you. There's sci-fi, fantasy, action adventure, thriller, horror, dystopia, historical, steampunk, and even one (maybe) case of contemporary. Science is magic, magic is science. Good intentions gone wrong, bad intentions gone wronger. I'll point to some of the gems I discovered.

I'll pique your interest with the more creative reimaginings:
- In "Laughter at the Academy" by Seanan
Feb 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime
Check out Books Are My Drug for other reviews.

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, theres always going to be one or two that you dont think work. I cant 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 werent, and then talk about how well the collection works together.

The first story (Professor
Kathy Davie
Jun 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi, horror, funny
A very funny selection of 22 short stories revolving around the mad scientist, his assistant, and/or descendants.

The Space Between (Outlander, 7.5)

The Stories
Austin Grossmans 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 Turtledoves Father of the Groom plays off the bridezilla
I enjoyed this anthology, despite the fact that it took me nine days to read it. I spent three days reading The Space Between by Diana Gabaldon, the longest story in this book! I dont exactly know why, but it was probably just because of daily distractions and nighttime gaming, and not because the stories were in any way dull. They were all pretty great, to be honest.

These stories were also rather fun. I dont know if I have a favorite. I really enjoyed Seanan McGuires story, Laughter at the
Feb 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Sunil by: Seanan McGuire
Shelves: own, 2013
With The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination, acclaimed anthologist John Joseph Adams has put together a (mostly) excellent set of 22 stories about the world of mad science and the people who practice it without fear of consequences, frequently in the name of, well, world domination. Mad scientists pop up fairly frequently in comic books, movies, and television shows, but they don't seem to be explored as much in fiction. We have the classics, like Doctors Jekyll, Frankenstein, and Moreau, ...more
Benjamin Thomas
May 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Twenty-two tales make up this anthology of the lives of Mad Scientists as they embark on attempts to dominate our world. They include the diabolical, the weird, the accidental, the peevish, as well as the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. You will not find the typical mad scientist within these pages for all of the stories herein are told by speculative fiction authors who have creative takes on the classic formula. Authors like David Farland, Harry Turtledove, L.A. Banks, Alan Dean Foster, ...more
Feb 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I didnt use to be a fan of anthologies, but I have to say over the last year or so theyve really begun to grow on me.

The Mad Scientists 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 Scientists Guide to World Domination is full of some interesting short stories. Some of them are from authors who Ive liked over the years, including Austin Grossman, author of Soon I Will Be Invincible, Seanan
Feb 07, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

From Victor Frankenstein to Lex Luthor, from Dr. Moreau to Dr. Doom, readers have long been fascinated by insane 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 geniusesfrom their own wonderfully twisted point of view.

Everybody loves villains. Theyre bad; they always stir the pot; theyre much more fun than the good guys, even if we want to see the

Apr 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Ok so I should probably not *count* this as a book read, seeing how I only read the one short story ~ The Space Between, by Gabaldon ~ but did want to include it as a record for myself. I believe her collection of short stories will be available soon in the US.

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*
Dawn Vogel
Aug 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
(This review originally appeared at Mad Scientist Journal.)

Here at Mad Scientist Journal, we were very excited to learn that John Joseph Adams would be editing an anthology titled The Mad Scientists Guide to World Domination. With a title like that, we knew it would right up our alley. So when the nice folks at Tor asked if wed be interested in reviewing the anthology for our journal, I jumped on the opportunity to do so.

The Mad Scientists Guide to World Domination is a collection of twenty-two
Tasha Turner
Loved Incognito Apologizes An Itemized list by Austin Grossman had mean stitches the 2 times I read it. This is a must read. It the entire book had been at this level I would have been really happy instead of disappointed.

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
Apr 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Mad Scientists Guide to World Domination
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
All Things Urban Fantasy
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy

I have a confession to make Im not usually a big fan of anthologies. Im not sure if its because I get annoyed that theres 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
Miss Clark
Really Liked because of idea, execution, humor, etc. -

Professor Incognito Apologizes: An Itemized List by Austin Grossman

A really good idea, with some nice twists and a good focus, but too repetitive.

Letter to the Editor by David D. Levine

Again, great concept. A now-dead "supervillain" leaves behind an explanation of his deeds.

Island of a Loving Heart by Jeremiah Tolbert /Tobart (Unsure of the spelling)

Captain Justice Saves the Day by Genevieve Valentine

I loved Brenda's narration and the
Jul 14, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: comedy, science-ish
If a wave of my magic centrifuge could add MY blurb to the back of this book, I totally would lift that 100lb puppy up and wave it around like a mad woman. I don't think I'm helping my case that scientists are people too... I expected something heartfelt, or at least some sort of rational justification for carting lab equipment to [insert ludicrous location like volcano, ocean, the moon, etc.], where you're absolutely certain no rep is going to uphold their service agreement. When you're ...more
Matthew Barron
Aug 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was a great concept for an anthology, and great fun to see where different authors took the mad scientist theme. Some broke away from the hard sciences and included mad social scientists, mad mathematicians, and mad political scientists. Many stories in this collection are full of camp and superhero parody, but I was surprised to find drama and philosophy too. There were three stories in the middle of the book that I felt were quite slow. The Mad Scientists Daughter was a great idea, and I ...more
B.  Barron
Mar 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Foreword by Chris Claremont -- ***
Professor Incognito apologizes: an itemized list / Austin Grossman -- *** (Barely)
Father of the groom / Harry Turtledove -- ****
Laughter at the academy / Seanan McGuire -- ***** (LOVED IT!)
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 -- ***
Sep 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best books I've read in months. Nay--years. They say that the villain is the hero of his own story. Nowhere is that more true than the pages of this book. And, as fate would deem it, many times the villains story is extremely humorous. I had many laugh-out-loud moments while reading this book. Not a grin. Not a snicker. A full-blown laugh.

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
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John Joseph Adams is the series editor of BEST AMERICAN SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY. He is also the bestselling editor of many other anthologies, such as ROBOT UPRISINGS, DEAD MAN'S HAND, BRAVE NEW WORLDS,WASTELANDS, and THE LIVING DEAD. Recent and forthcoming books include WHAT THE #@&% IS THAT?, OPERATION ARCANA, PRESS START TO PLAY, LOOSED UPON THE WORLD, and THE APOCALYPSE TRIPTYCH ...more

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