Book Review

by John Joseph Adams, Editor

Genre: Science Fiction, Anthology, General Science Fiction

2013 Science Fiction Novel Nominee

RT Rating

By turns hilarious, heartbreaking and wonderfully wacky, this anthology is a genuine triumph. Adams gathers together an impressive group of authors to explore a stalwart of the science fiction genre: the mad scientist. Rare in a short-story collection, every single one of these 17 tales — from Austin Grossman’s screamingly funny “Professor Incognito Apologizes” to Diana Gabaldon’s quietly lovely “The Space Between” to Daniel H. Wilson’s poignant “The Executor” — is nothing short of stellar. This isn’t just a “must-buy,” it’s a “must buy for every sci-fi fan you know.”

A small sampling of this brilliant collection: In “Professor Incognito Apologizes: An Itemized List,” Professor Incognito comes clean about his secret identity when his girlfriend discovers his hidden lair. (He apologizes via hologram, of course.) Seanan McGuire’s “Laughter at the Academy” offers a look at a cunning villainess who only wants to help scientists reach their full (mad) potential. Dr. Tesla Kidder, of Harry Turtledove’s “Father of the Groom,” has a novel way of dealing with his bridezilla future daughter-in-law. A supervillain and his archnemesis come face to face during a cave-in in Naomi Novik’s “Rocks Fall.” Wealthy scion Alexander Luther struggles with his namesake in “The Last Dignity of Man” by Marjorie M. Liu. Mary Robinette Kowal shares a story of love in the time of the A-bomb in “We Interrupt This Broadcast.” Gabaldon’s 80-page, almost-novella, “The Space Between,” has a handsome widower, a nun who hears voices, time travel and not one, but two evil geniuses. (TOR, Feb., 368 pp., $14.99)

Reviewed By: Regina Small

Publisher: TOR

Published: February 2013

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