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Friday, February 22, 2013

Review of 4 stories from The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination

The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination 
John Joseph Adams, editor 
Tor Books

In Austin Grossman’s “Professor Incognito Apologizes, An Itemized List”  Prof. Incognito speaks to his fiancé through a letter.  He describes how she must have broken into his secret lab to learn his secret identity.  On purpose--his purpose.  A few more surprises await.  A humorous and poignant story about the selves people hide from others. It may have been more powerfully told through a more narrative letter.  Still, worth reading.

Harry Turtledove’s “Father of the Groom” is a mad scientist who reifies the irked bridesmaid’s comment that his daughter-in-law-to-be is Bridezilla.

Seanan McGuire (Mira Grant) looks at the source of mad scientists in “Laughter at the Academy” for a clever twist of the trope.  A detective unravels Clarissa Garrity’s role in the number of mad-scientist incidents occurring, but she’s widening the scope of her operations.

David D. Levine’s “Letter to the Editor” recasts light on the mad-scientist-as-arch-superhero-nemesis.  Levine turns our sympathy toward the presumed sociopath as he scientifically reasons why the superhero is a threat to society.   He then enlists the aid of the entire planet with one clever step.  Impressive as is.  It would have been fun, however, to puzzle more over whether he’s to be trusted, perhaps through readers poring over detailed, previous exploits or “crimes.”

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