Soon I Will Be Invincible

For the comic book, fantasy, and sci-fi crowd, from a former Looking Glass studios guy. The website is fun.

He is the author of the novel Soon I Will Be Invincible (Pantheon, 2007). The novel is a homage to comic books, featuring a mad genius supervillain, Doctor Impossible, who suffers from “Malign Hypercognition Disorder” (“evil genius” syndrome). Impossible battles a team of superheroes, including an ultra-strong and self-conscious cyborg called Fatale. Instead of focusing on just action, Grossman also looks at the awkward loneliness suffered by heroes and villains who don’t fit into human society – and whose super-powered bodies are often their greatest sources of suffering.

It’s completely hilarious. Here’s an excerpt.

This morning on planet Earth, there are one thousand, six hundred, and eighty-six enhanced, gifted, or otherwise-superpowered persons. Of these, one hundred and twenty-six are civilians leading normal lives. Thirty-eight are kept in research facilities funded by the Department of Defense, or foreign equivalents. Two hundred and twenty- six are aquatic, confined to the oceans. Twenty-nine are strictly localized—powerful trees and genii loci, the Great Sphinx, and the Pyramid of Giza. Twenty-five are microscopic (including the Infinitesimal Seven). Three are dogs; four are cats; one is a bird. Six are made of gas. One is a mobile electrical effect, more of a weather pattern than a person. Seventy-seven are alien visitors. Thirty-eight are missing. Forty-one are off-continuity, permanent émigrés to Earth’s alternate realities and branching timestreams.

Six hundred and seventy-eight use their powers to fight crime, while four hundred and forty-one use their powers to commit them. Forty-four are currently confined in Special Containment Facilities for enhanced criminals. Of these last, it is interesting to note that an unusually high proportion have IQs of 300 or more—eighteen to be exact. Including me.

I don’t know why it makes you evil. It’s just what you find at the extreme right edge of the bell curve, the one you’d get if six billion minds took an intelligence test and you looked at the dozen highest scores. Picture yourself on that graph, sliding rightward and downslope toward the very brightest, down that gradually gentler hill, out over the top million, the top ten thousand—all far smarter than anyone most people ever meet—out to the top thousand—and now things are getting sparser—the last hundred, and it’s not a slope at all now, just a dot every once in a while. Go out to the last few grains of sand, the smartest of the smartest of the smartest, times a thousand. It makes sense that people would be a little odd out here. But you really have to wonder why we all end up in jail.

I bought this three or four months ago in hardback. Worth every penny.

It’s on my wishlist. Somebody buy it for me for Christmas!

The Amazon comments make me a little wary, but otherwise it looks like fun.

I have it. Just haven’t read it yet.