July 16th, 2010

short stories

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

So apparently the Lou Anders edited superhero anthology formerly named "With Great Power" has been retitled "Masked" upon release, due to legal issues.  Shame, as the first title is so much better.

Still, here are some recs from the book which I have been sitting on for a while:

"Message from the Bubblegum Factory," Daryl Gregory - a snarky, very meta tale of superheroes gone bad. Smart, cynical and good fun.

"Tonight we Fly," Ian McDonald - a lovely character piece about the daily life of an elderly former superhero, and the one night he gets a chance to meet his nemesis all over again.

"Secret Identity," Paul Cornell - A charming story about, well, identity.  The super-powered Manchester Guardian is the rainbow-suited superhero who protects and serves the gay community and scene in the city of Manchester. Jim can just about cope with the fact that everyone knows that the Manchester Guardian's mild-mannered alter ego is his boyfriend Chris, but what he (and everyone else he knows) can't cope with is the stunning revelation that the Manchester Guardian might actually be straight.  There is so much to unpack in this genuinely sweet story, about the psychological effect of a double identity, the way that sexual orientation can completely inform your identity and place in society, and a perhaps more realistic take than comics on what it might be like to love a superhero.  Plus, you know, Queer as Folk meets Captain Marvel.  There's no bad here.