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From the Notebooks of Dr. Brain

Minister Faust

They're Earth's mightiest superteam - and dysfunctional as hell.

OMNIPOTENT MAN - a body with the density of steel, and a brain to match

THE FLYING SQUIRREL - aging playboy industrialist by day, avenging krypto-fascist by night

IRON LASS - mythology's greatest warrior - but the world might be safer if she had a husband

X-MAN - formerly of the League of Angry Blackmen... but not formerly enough

THE BROTHERFLY - radioactively fly

POWER GRRRL - perpetually deciding between fighting crime or promoting her latest album, clothing line, or sex scandal

Having finally defeated all archenemies, the members of the Fantastic Order of Justice are reduced to engaging in toxic office politics that could very well lead to a superpowered civil war. Only one woman can save them from themselves: Dr. Eva Brain-Silverman, aka Dr. Brain, the world's leading therapist for the extraordinarily abled.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

Michael Chabon

With this brilliant novel, the bestselling author of The Mysteries of Pittsburgh and Wonder Boys gives us an exhilarating triumph of language and invention, a stunning novel in which the tragicomic adventures of a couple of boy geniuses reveal much about what happened to America in the middle of the twentieth century. Like Phillip Roth's American Pastoral or Don DeLillo's Underworld, Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is a superb novel with epic sweep, spanning continents and eras, a masterwork by one of America's finest writers.

It is New York City in 1939. Joe Kavalier, a young artist who has also been trained in the art of Houdini-esque escape, has just pulled off his greatest feat to date: smuggling himself out of Nazi-occupied Prague. He is looking to make big money, fast, so that he can bring his family to freedom. His cousin, Brooklyn's own Sammy Clay, is looking for a collaborator to create the heroes, stories, and art for the latest novelty to hit the American dreamscape: the comic book. Out of their fantasies, fears, and dreams, Joe and Sammy weave the legend of that unforgettable champion the Escapist. And inspired by the beautiful and elusive Rosa Saks, a woman who will be linked to both men by powerful ties of desire, love, and shame, they create the otherworldly mistress of the night, Luna Moth. As the shadow of Hitler falls across Europe and the world, the Golden Age of comic books has begun.

The brilliant writing that has led critics to compare Michael Chabon to John Cheever and Vladimir Nabokov is everywhere apparent in The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. Chabon writes "like a magical spider, effortlessly spinning out elaborate webs of words that ensnare the reader," wrote Michiko Kakutani of The New York Times about Wonder Boys, and here he has created, in Joe Kavalier, a hero for the century.

A Better Way to Die: The Collected Short Stories

Paul Cornell

Paul Cornell has written Doctor Who for the BBC, Batman & Robin for DC, and Wolverine for Marvel. He has won the BSFA Award for his short fiction, the Eagle Award for his comics, and shares a Writer's Guild Award for television. He is one of only two people to be Hugo Award nominated for all three media.

A Better Way to Die is his first ever short story collection, providing a comprehensive overview of his work. Featured here are both his contributions to George RR Martin's Wildcards series and all the Jonathan Hamilton stories, including "One of Our Bastards is Missing", shortlisted for the Hugo Award in 2010, and "A Better Way to Die", winner of a BSFA Award in 2011.

With an introduction by John Scalzi, the eBook edition contains 21 stories, representing almost all of Paul's published short fiction to date.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction - essay by John Scalzi
  • The Deer Stalker - (2005) - shortfiction
  • Michael Laurits Is: DROWNING - (2008) - shortstory
  • Global Collider Generation: an Idyll - (2009) - shortfiction
  • Secret Identity - (2010) - shortstory
  • The Occurrence at Slocombe Priory - (2011) - shortfiction
  • The Sensible Folly - (2011) - shortfiction
  • More - (2011) - shortfiction
  • The Elephant in the Room - (2013) - novelette
  • A New Arrival at the House of Love - (2012) - shortfiction
  • The Ghosts of Christmas - (2012) - novelette
  • Tom - (2013) - shortstory
  • Ramesses on the Frontier - (2013) - shortstory
  • Zeta Reticuli - (2014) - shortfiction
  • Catherine Drewe - (2008) - shortstory
  • One of Our Bastards Is Missing - (2009) - novelette
  • The Copenhagen Interpretation - (2011) - novelette
  • A Better Way to Die - (2014) - novelette

Professor Incognito Apologizes: An Itemized List

Austin Grossman

"Professor Incognito Apologizes" is both a heartfelt mea culpa by Professor Incognito on the event of his beloved discovering his disturbing experiments and an in-depth FAQ on how to adjust to that newfound knowledge. It provides an excellent blueprint for young mad scientists to follow when confronted with investigatively inclined significant others.

The story first appeared in the John Joseph Adams anthology The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination: Original Short Fiction for the Modern Evil Genius (2013).

Read the full story for free at Tor.com.

Soon I Will Be Invincible

Austin Grossman

Doctor Impossible--evil genius, would-be world conqueror--languishes in prison. Shuffling through the cafeteria line with ordinary criminals, he wonders if the smartest man in the world has done the smartest thing he could with his life. After all, he's lost every battle he's ever fought. But this prison won't hold him forever.

Fatale--half woman, half high-tech warrior--used to be an unemployed cyborg. Now, she's a rookie member of the world's most famous super-team, the Champions. But being a superhero is not all flying cars and planets in peril--she learns that in the locker rooms and dive bars of superherodom, the men and women (even mutants) behind the masks are as human as anyone.

Soon I Will Be Invincible is a wildly entertaining first novel, brimming with attitude and humor--an emotionally resonant look at good and evil, love and loss, power and glory.

Hero

Perry Moore

Even though Thom Creed's a basketball star, his high school classmates keep their distance. They've picked up on something different about Thom. Plus, his father, Hal Creed, was one of the greatest and most beloved superheroes of his time until a catastrophic event left him disfigured and an outcast. The last thing in the world Thom wants is to add to his father's pain, so he keeps secrets. Like that he has special powers. And he's been asked to join the League -- the very organization of superheroes that disowned Hal. But joining the League opens up a new world to Thom. There, he connects with a misfit group of aspiring heroes:

* Scarlett, who can control fire but not her anger
* Typhoid Larry, who can make anyone sick with his touch
* Ruth, a wise old woman who can see the future

Together these unlikely heroes become friends and begin to uncover a plot to kill the superheroes.

This groundbreaking and widely acclaimed novel tells an unforgettable story about love, loss, and redemption.

Vicious

V. E. Schwab

A masterful tale of ambition, jealousy, desire, and superpowers.

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates--brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find--aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge--but who will be left alive at the end?

In Vicious, V. E. Schwab brings to life a gritty comic-book-style world in vivid prose: a world where gaining superpowers doesn't automatically lead to heroism, and a time when allegiances are called into question.

Nimona

Noelle Stevenson

The New York Times bestselling graphic novel sensation from Noelle Stevenson, based on her beloved and critically acclaimed web comic. Kirkus says, "If you're going to read one graphic novel this year, make it this one."

Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism! All these and more await in this brilliantly subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson. Featuring an exclusive epilogue not seen in the web comic, along with bonus conceptual sketches and revised pages throughout, this gorgeous full-color graphic novel has been hailed by critics and fans alike as the arrival of a "superstar" talent (NPR.org).

Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren't the heroes everyone thinks they are.

But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona's powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.

Sidekicked

John David Anderson

Drew Bean might be a part of a secret organization for the training of superhero sidekicks, but that doesn’t mean that life is all leaping tall buildings in single bounds.

Drew is possessed of super senses—his hearing, sight, taste, touch, and smell are the most powerful on the planet—making him literally the most sensitive kid in school. And then there’s his best friend, Jenna—their friendship would be complicated enough if she weren’t able to throw an eighteen-wheeler the length of a city block. Add in trying to keep his sidekick life a secret from everyone, including his parents, and the truth is clear: middle school is pretty much a drag regardless of whether you have superpowers.

But this is all before a supervillain long thought dead returns to the city of Justica and Drew’s two identities threaten to crash head-on into each other. Drew has always found it pretty easy to separate right from wrong, good from evil. It’s what a superhero does. But what happens when that line starts to disappear?

Fans of The Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Boy will love Sidekicked, John David Anderson’s hilarious middle-grade superhero novel.

Watchmen

Alan Moore
Dave Gibbons

It all begins with the paranoid delusions of a half-insane hero called Rorschach. But is Rorschach really insane or has he in fact uncovered a plot to murder super-heroes and, even worse, millions of innocent civilians? On the run from the law, Rorschach reunites with his former teammates in a desperate attempt to save the world and their lives, but what they uncover will shock them to their very core and change the face of the planet! Following two generations of masked superheroes from the close of World War II to the icy shadow of the Cold War comes this groundbreaking comic story — the story of The Watchmen.

Superpowers

David J. Schwartz

Madison, Wisconsin: In the summer of 2001, five college juniors wake up with... not just a hangover, but superpowers....

Jack Robinson: Grew up on a farm, works in a chem lab, and brews his own beer. Age: 19. Superpower: SPEED.

Caroline Bloom: Has a flair for fashion design and a mother who's completely out of touch. Works as a waitress for a lunatic boss. Age: 20. Superpower: FLIGHT.

Harriet Bishop: Studied violin, guitar, and piano... and was terrible at them all. Now writes about music for the campus paper. Age: 20. Superpower: INVISIBILITY.

Mary Beth Layton: Is managing a 3.8, but feels like she's working three times as hard as the people around her. Age: 20. Superpower: STRENGTH.

Charlie Frost: Has an anxious way about him, and always looks like he's on day 101 of his most recent haircut. Age: 20. Superpower: TELEPATHY.

But how do you adjust to an extraordinary ability when you're an ordinary person? What if you're not ready for the responsibility that comes with great power? And how do you keep your head in a world that's going mad?

After the Golden Age

After the Golden Age: Book 1

Carrie Vaughn

It's not easy being a superhero's daughter....

Carrie Vaughn has captured legions of fans with her wildly popular Kitty Norville novels. Now she uses her extraordinary wit and imagination to tell a sensational new story about superhuman heroes--and the people who have to live with them.

Most people dream of having superheroes for parents, but not Celia West. The only daughter of Captain Olympus and Spark, the world's greatest champions, she has no powers of her own, and the most exciting thing she's ever done is win a silver medal in a high school swim meet. Meanwhile, she's the favorite hostage of every crime boss and supervillain in Comemrce City. She doesn't have a code name, but if she did, it would probably be Bait Girl, the Captive Wonder.

Rejecting her famous family and its legacy, Celia has worked hard to create a life for herself beyond the shadow of their capes, becoming a skilled forensic accountant. But when her parents' archenemy, the Destructor, faces justice in the "Trial of the Century," Celia finds herself sucked back into the more-than-mortal world of Captain Olympus--and forced to confront a secret that she hoped would stay buried forever.

The Age Atomic

Empire State: Book 2

Adam Christopher

The Empire State is dying. The Fissure connecting the pocket universe to New York has vanished, plunging the city into a deep freeze and the populace are demanding a return to Prohibition and rationing as energy supplies dwindle. Meanwhile, in 1954 New York, the political dynamic has changed and Nimrod finds his department subsumed by a new group, Atoms For Peace, led by the mysterious Evelyn McHale. As Rad uncovers a new threat to his city, Atoms For Peace prepare their army for a transdimensional invasion. Their goal: total conquest – or destruction – of the Empire State.

Ex-Heroes

Ex-Heroes: Book 1

Peter Clines

The first novel in Peter Clines' bestselling Ex series.

Stealth. Gorgon. Regenerator. Cerberus. Zzzap. The Mighty Dragon. They were heroes, using their superhuman abilities to make Los Angeles a better place.

Then the plague of living death spread around the globe. Billions died, civilization fell, and the city of angels was left a desolate zombie wasteland.

Now, a year later, the Mighty Dragon and his companions protect a last few thousand survivors in their film-studio-turned-fortress, the Mount. Scarred and traumatized by the horrors they've endured, the heroes fight the armies of ravenous ex-humans at their citadel's gates, lead teams out to scavenge for supplies--and struggle to be the symbols of strength and hope the survivors so desperately need.

But the hungry ex-humans aren't the only threats the heroes face.Former allies, their powers and psyches hideously twisted, lurk in the city's ruins. And just a few miles away, another group is slowly amassing power... led by an enemy with the most terrifying ability of all.

Ex-Patriots

Ex-Heroes: Book 2

Peter Clines

The second novel in Peter Clines' bestselling Ex series.

It's been two years since the plague of ex-humans decimated mankind. Two years since the superheroes St. George, Cerberus, Zzzap, and Stealth gathered Los Angeles's survivors behind the walls of their fortress, the Mount.

Since then, the heroes have been fighting to give the Mount's citizens hope, and something like a real life. But now supplies are growing scarce, the zombies are pressing in... and the heroes are wondering how much longer they can hold out.

Then hope arrives in the form of a surviving US Army battalion--and not just any battalion. The men and women of the Army's Project Krypton survived the outbreak because they are super-soldiers, created before mankind's fall to be better, stronger, faster than normal humans--and their secure base in Arizona beckons as a much needed refuge for the beleaguered heroes and their charges.

But a dark secret lies at the heart of Project Krypton, and those behind it wield an awesome and terrifying power.

Ghosts of Manhattan

Ghosts of Manhattan: Book 1

George Mann

INTRODUCING THE WORLD'S FIRST STEAMPUNK SUPERHERO

1926. New York. The Roaring Twenties. Jazz. Flappers. Prohibition. Coal-powered cars. A cold war with a British Empire that still covers half of the globe. Yet things have developed differently to established history.

America is in the midst of a cold war with a British Empire that has only just buried Queen Victoria, her life artificially preserved to the age of 107. Coal-powered cars roar along roads thick with pedestrians, biplanes take off from standing with primitive rocket boosters and monsters lurk behind closed doors and around every corner. This is a time in need of heroes. It is a time for The Ghost.

A series of targeted murders are occurring all over the city, the victims found with ancient Roman coins placed on their eyelids after death. The trail appears to lead to a group of Italian-American gangsters and their boss, who the mobsters have dubbed 'The Roman'. However, as The Ghost soon discovers, there is more to The Roman than at first appears, and more bizarre happenings that he soon links to the man, including moss-golems posing as mobsters and a plot to bring an ancient pagan god into the physical world in a cavern beneath the city.

As The Ghost draws nearer to The Roman and the center of his dangerous web, he must battle with foes both physical and supernatural and call on help from the most unexpected of quarters if he is to stop The Roman and halt the imminent destruction of the city.

Heroine Complex

Heroine Complex: Book 1

Sarah Kuhn

Being a superheroine is hard. Working for one is even harder.

Evie Tanaka is the put-upon personal assistant to Aveda Jupiter, her childhood best friend and San Francisco's most beloved superheroine. She's great at her job--blending into the background, handling her boss's epic diva tantrums, and getting demon blood out of leather pants.

Unfortunately, she's not nearly as together when it comes to running her own life, standing up for herself, or raising her tempestuous teenage sister, Bea.

But everything changes when Evie's forced to pose as her glamorous boss for one night, and her darkest secret comes out: she has powers, too. Now it's up to her to contend with murderous cupcakes, nosy gossip bloggers, and supernatural karaoke battles--all while juggling unexpected romance and Aveda's increasingly outrageous demands. And when a larger threat emerges, Evie must finally take charge and become a superheroine in her own right... or see her city fall to a full-on demonic invasion.

Library of Souls

Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children: Book 3

Ransom Riggs

Time is running out for the Peculiar Children. With a dangerous madman on the loose and their beloved Miss Peregrine still in danger, Jacob Portman and Emma Bloom are forced to stage the most daring of rescue missions. They'll travel through a war-torn landscape, meet new allies, and face greater dangers than ever.... Will Jacob come into his own as the hero his fellow Peculiars know him to be? This action-packed adventure features more than 50 all-new Peculiar photographs.

Zero Sum Game

Russell's Attic: Book 1

S. L. Huang

Cas Russell is good at math. Scary good.

The vector calculus blazing through her head lets her smash through armed men twice her size and dodge every bullet in a gunfight. She can take any job for the right price and shoot anyone who gets in her way.

As far as she knows, she's the only person around with a superpower... but then Cas discovers someone with a power even more dangerous than her own. Someone who can reach directly into people's minds and twist their brains into Moebius strips. Someone intent on becoming the world's puppet master.

Someone who's already warped Cas's thoughts once before, with her none the wiser.

Cas should run. Going up against a psychic with a god complex isn't exactly a rational move, and saving the world from a power-hungry telepath isn't her responsibility. But she isn't about to let anyone get away with violating her brain -- and besides, she's got a small arsenal and some deadly mathematics on her side. There's only one problem...

She doesn't know which of her thoughts are her own anymore.

Half Life

Russell's Attic: Book 2

S. L. Huang

Cas Russell is back -- and so is her deadly supermath.

Cas may be an antisocial mercenary who uses her instant calculating skills to mow down enemies, but she's trying hard to build up a handful of morals. So when she's hired by an anguished father to rescue his kid from an evil tech conglomerate, it seems like the perfect job to use for ethics practice.

Then she finds her client's daughter... who is a robot.

The researchers who own the 'bot will stop at nothing to get it back, but the kid's just real enough for Cas to want to protect her -- even though she knows she's risking everything for a collection of metal and wires. But when the case blows up in her face, it plunges Cas into the crossfire of a massive, decades-long corporate espionage war.

Cas knows logically that she isn't saving a child. She's stealing a piece of technology, one expensive and high-stakes enough that spiriting it away is going to get innocent people killed. But she has a distraught father on one hand and a robot programmed to act like a distraught daughter on the other, and she's never been able to sit by when a kid is in trouble -- even a fake one.

Screw morals and ethics. All Cas wants to do is save one little girl.

The Man with the Golden Torc

Secret Histories: Book 1

Simon R. Green

For ages, Eddie Drood and his family have kept humanity safe from the things that go bump in the night. But now one of his own has convinced the rest of the family that Eddie’s become a menace, and that humanity needs to be protected from him. So he’s on the run, using every trick in the book, magical and otherwise, hoping he lives long enough to prove his innocence...

Steelheart

The Reckoners: Book 1

Brandon Sanderson

Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics.

But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his will.

Nobody fights the Epics... nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in. He wants Steelheart--the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father. For years, like the Reckoners, David's been studying, and planning--and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.

He's seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.

Firefight

The Reckoners: Book 2

Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Words of Radiance, coauthor of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, and creator of the internationally bestselling Mistborn Trilogy, presents the second book in the Reckoners series: Firefight, the sequel to the #1 bestseller Steelheart.

Newcago is free.

They told David it was impossible, that even the Reckoners had never killed a High Epic. Yet Steelheart--invincible, immortal, unconquerable--is dead. And he died by David's hand.

Eliminating Steelheart was supposed to make life simpler. Instead, it only made David realize he has questions. Big ones. And no one in Newcago can give him answers.

Babylon Restored, the city formerly known as the borough of Manhattan, has possibilities, though. Ruled by the mysterious High Epic Regalia, Babylon Restored is flooded and miserable, but David is sure it's the path that will lead him to what he needs to find. Entering a city oppressed by a High Epic despot is risky, but David's willing to take the gamble. Because killing Steelheart left a hole in David's heart. A hole where his thirst for vengeance once lived. Somehow, he filled that hole with another Epic--Firefight. And now he will go on a quest darker and even more dangerous than the fight against Steelheart to find her, and to get his answers.

Wild Cards I

Wild Cards: Book 1

George R. R. Martin

Back in print after a decade, expanded with new original material, this is the first volume of George R. R. Martin's Wild cards shared-world series

There is a secret history of the world-a history in which an alien virus struck the Earth in the aftermath of World War II, endowing a handful of survivors with extraordinary powers. Some were called Aces-those with superhuman mental and physical abilities. Others were termed Jokers-cursed with bizarre mental or physical disabilities. Some turned their talents to the service of humanity. Others used their powers for evil. Wild Cards is their story.

Originally published in 1987, Wild Cards I includes powerful tales by Roger Zelazny, Walter Jon Williams, Howard Waldrop, Lewis Shiner, and George R. R. Martin himself. And this new, expanded edition contains further original tales set at the beginning of the Wild Cards universe, by eminent new writers like Hugo-winner David Levine, noted screenwriter and novelist Michael Cassutt, and New York Times bestseller Carrie Vaughn.