Book of the week: Soon I Will Be Invincible

If, like me, you are a fan of the implausibly best show on network television,Heroes, or if you just like fun writing, run don’t walk to Amazon to buy Soon I Will Be Invincible, a novel by Austin Grossman.

An unlikely cross between a spoof and a real novel, the book alternatives between the points of view of Doctor Impossible, supervillain extraordinaire, and Fatale, the newest hero on her first day with the Champions, the world’s most famous superteam. Fatale introduces herself:

Four years ago, I decided to start calling myself Fatale. It’s my superhero name. I chose it from a list they supplied me in the clinic, and at the time it seemed like the perfect symbol for my dangerous, sexy new self, a cybernetic woman of mystery. Admittedly, I was on a lot of painkillers.

Meanwhile, Doctor Impossible is languishing in prison:

I’m not a criminal. I didn’t steal a car. I didn’t sell heroin, or steal an old lady’s purse. I built a quantum fusion reactor in 1978, and an orbital plasma gun in 1979, and a giant laser-eyed robot in 1984. I tried to conquer the world and almost succeeded, twelve times and counting…

I’m the smartest man in the world. Once I wore a cape in public, and fought battles against men who could fly, who had metal skin, who could kill you with their eyes… Now I have to shuffle through a cafeteria line with men who tried to pass bad checks. Now I have to wonder if there will be chocolate milk in the dispenser. And whether the smartest man in the world has done the smartest thing he could with his life.

And they’re off to the races from there.