Review: The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination edited by John Joseph Adams

msgtwdPublished by: Tor Books
ISBN: 0765326450
ISBN 13: 9780765326454
Published: February 2013
Pages: 368
Format reviewed: Paperback
Site: Author Site
Goodreads: Book Page
Stars: Five out of Five
Lists: Favourites and Recommended

‘The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination: Original Short Fiction for the Modern Evil Genius’  is a collection of utterly fantastic shorts, edited by John Joseph Adams.

It is a rare event when one can say they equally enjoyed each short as much as each other, in an anthology. Generally there are one or two that don’t quite capture the reader’s interest, yet with this anthology each was a winner. Match that with a lovely cover by the incredibly talented Ben Templesmith, and lovely interior design – the title pages for each short are so good that it warrants a mention! – we have here easily my favourite anthology I have ever read.

  • “Professor Incognito Apologizes: an Itemized List” by Austin Grossman
  • “Father of the Groom” by Harry Turtledove
  • “Laughter at the Academy” by Seanan McGuire
  • “Letter to the Editor” by David D. Levine
  • “Instead of a Loving Heart” by Jeremiah Tolbert
  • “The Executor” by Daniel H. Wilson
  • “The Angel of Death Has a Business Plan” by Heather Lindsley
  • “Homo Perfectus” by David Farland
  • “Ancient Equations” by L. A. Banks
  • “Rural Singularity” by Alan Dean Foster
  • “Captain Justice Saves the Day” by Genevieve Valentine
  • “The Mad Scientist’s Daughter” by Theodora Goss
  • “The Space Between” by Diana Gabaldon
  • “Harry and Marlowe Meet the Founder of the Aetherian Revolution” by Carrie Vaughn
  • “Blood and Stardust” by Laird Barron
  • “A More Perfect Union” by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.
  • “Rocks Fall” by Naomi Novik
  • “We Interrupt This Broadcast” by Mary Robinette Kowal
  • “The Last Dignity of Man” by Marjorie M. Liu
  • “Pittsburg Technology” by Jeffrey Ford
  • “Mofongo Knows” by Grady Hendrix
  • “The Food Taster’s Boy” by Ben Winters

Within we hear of a letter by a mad scientist to his unsuspecting girlfriend, revealing who he is and how very sorry he is (or how sorry he is that he isn’t really sorry…). There is also a tale of scientists going mad, one by one, and the only thing they have in common is a very capable assistant. There’s also a career coach for heroes and villains – someone who helps them with their evil laugh, and confidence issues. The range of different takes we receive on the theme of mad scientists is utterly inspired!

I really couldn’t recommend this anthology enough. A dozen stars, and my freeze-ray – I can’t get it to work anyhow.

This review was originally posted at SentientOnline on the 1st February 2013.

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