cover image Super Stories of Heroes and Villains

Super Stories of Heroes and Villains

Edited by Claude Lalumière. Tachyon, $15.99 trade paper (432p) ISBN 978-1-61696-103-9

Editor Lalumière has put together an impressive best-of anthology for modern superhero fiction, with works from SF royalty like George R.R. Martin and Kelly Link, hit comics creators Kurt Busiek and Mike Mignola, and wonderful but lesser-known writers. The satisfying and varied stories range from J. Robert Lennon’s deeply sad “The Rememberer,” about a superpowered storyteller who can never forget, to Benjamin Rosenbaum’s brilliant and lighthearted “The Death Trap of Dr. Nefario,” in which a familiar crime-fighter calls his therapist from a routine death trap. Also of note are Paul Di Filippo’s delightful “The Jackdaw’s Last Case,” starring Franz Kafka as a superhero, and Busiek’s hilariously cynical “Clash of Titans (A New York Romance),” about a marketing man encouraging the rivalry between a superhero and his villainous ex-girlfriend to increase tourism. There are a few missteps: Gene Wolfe’s “The Detective of Dreams” is out of place, and Rachel Pollack’s Wonder Woman–inspired “Burning Sky” detours so far into sexual fantasy that it entirely loses the plot. Even so, this is by far the best superhero anthology around, and a must-read for comic book fans. (Sept.)