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The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination: Original Short Fiction for the Modern Evil Genius [Kindle Edition]

John Joseph Adams
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.99
Kindle Price: $9.99
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Book Description

From Victor Frankenstein to Lex Luthor, from Dr. Moreau to Dr. Doom, readers have long been fascinated by insane plans for world domination and the madmen who devise them. Typically, we see these villains through the eyes of good guys. This anthology, however, explores the world of mad scientists and evil geniuses--from their own wonderfully twisted point of view.

An all-star roster of bestselling authors--including Diana Gabaldon, Daniel Wilson, Austin Grossman, Naomi Novik, and Seanan McGuire…twenty-two great storytellers all told--have produced a fabulous assortment of stories guaranteed to provide readers with hour after hour of high-octane entertainment born of the most megalomaniacal mayhem imaginable.

Everybody loves villains. They're bad; they always stir the pot; they're much more fun than the good guys, even if we want to see the good guys win. Their fiendish schemes, maniacal laughter, and limitless ambition are legendary, but what lies behind those crazy eyes and wicked grins? How--and why--do they commit these nefarious deeds? And why are they so set on taking over the world?

If you've ever asked yourself any of these questions, you're in luck: It's finally time for the madmen's side of the story.

Editorial Reviews


"Veteran anthology editor Adams succeeds again with these frequently lighthearted tales of villains and mad scientists trying to take over the world and get the better of the more appreciated good guys. [...] Adams's entertaining story introductions set the stage for villains to find their own definitions and identities." -Publishers Weekly

"A no-holds-barred collection. ... Brilliant ... insightful ... demonstrate[s] the seductive power of the 'bad guy.' [...] In addition to the overall excellence of the stories, fans of superhero fiction should enjoy the variety of interpretations of the terms 'mad scientist,' 'super villain,' and 'evil genius.'" -Library Journal, starred review

"By turns hilarious, heartbreaking and wonderfully wacky, this anthology is a genuine triumph. ... Every single one of these tales ... is nothing short of stellar. This isn't just a 'must-buy,' it's a 'must buy for every sci-fi fan you know.'" -Romantic Times, named a "Top Pick" of the month

"A collection of utterly fantastic shorts... It is a rare event when one can say they equally enjoyed each short as much as each other, in an anthology. Generally there are one or two that don't quite capture the reader's interest, yet with this anthology each was a winner. ... Easily my favorite anthology I have ever read." -Shades of Sentience

“Breathtakingly rich… Superior writing, fantastic storytelling, and creative adherence to the theme will keep readers enthralled.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review on Federations

“Editor John Joseph Adams has put together an impressive collection.”
The Washington Post on The Living Dead 2

About the Author

John Joseph Adams, called "the reigning king of the anthology world" by Barnes & Noble, is the bestselling editor of many anthologies, such as OZ REIMAGINED, EPIC, OTHER WORLDS THAN THESE, ARMORED, UNDER THE MOONS OF MARS: NEW ADVENTURES ON BARSOOM, LIGHTSPEED: YEAR ONE, BRAVE NEW WORLDS, WASTELANDS, THE LIVING DEAD, THE LIVING DEAD 2, BY BLOOD WE LIVE, FEDERATIONS, THE IMPROBABLE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES, and THE WAY OF THE WIZARD. He is a four-time finalist for the Hugo Award and the World Fantasy Award. He is also the editor and publisher of LIGHTSPEED and NIGHTMARE, and is the co-host of's THE GEEK'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY podcast. Forthcoming anthologies include WASTELANDS 2 (Night Shade Books, 2013) and ROBOT UPRISINGS (Doubleday, 2014). Find him online at and on Twitter @JohnJosephAdams.

Product Details

  • File Size: 831 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0765326450
  • Publisher: Tor Books (February 19, 2013)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AEC8O2U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #208,665 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun Anthology February 24, 2013
By Books31
I didn’t use to be a fan of anthologies, but I have to say over the last year or so they’ve really begun to grow on me.

The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination is no exception to this new trend in my mind.

Edited by John Joseph Adams, a veteran of over a dozen anthologies, The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination is full of some interesting short stories. Some of them are from author’s who I’ve liked over the years, including Austin Grossman, author of Soon I Will Be Invincible, Seanan McGuire, author of the Newsflesh novels and the October Daye novels, and Harry Turtledove. And others I had never heard of but will certainly be checking out now that I’ve read some of their material, such as Theodora Goss, Laird Barron, and Jeffery Ford. That’s what makes anthologies great, with the world of books expanding and with time so crunched in what we can read it’s hard to pick out and find new authors. Adam’s compiles a top notch level of authors, and while not all of them were my favorites, there were enough in there that did strike my fancy, that I have no trouble recommending this book as a fun and worth wile anthology.

Now, if I had to pick my favorite from the book, I’d have to say it was Austin Grossman’s Professor Incognito Apologizes: An Itemized List. Not only was it hilarious and original, but it reminded me why I loved reading Grossman’s works, in fact so much so that I went out and pre-ordered YOU, his new book coming out in April. The story is a memo of the inner workings of Doctor Incognito’s love life and plan to take over the world. It is funny, engaging, and makes me wish there were more to read on the doctor’s adventures.

All in all this was a fun book that introduced me to interesting new authors. Anyone looking for new books to read should check this out so they can sample a bunch of fun new authors.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The title says it all! February 25, 2013
These days I seem to be buying almost as many theme story collections as full-length novels. Maybe, it is the covers, maybe it is the topics, but probably it is the chance for me to examine many authors' writing styles at once on a similar topic. This collection is no exception. I met some old acquaintances (Turtledove, Foster, Banks, Vaughn, Modesitt, etc.) while meeting some new writers (Grossman, Gos, Winters). After reading all the tales, my favorite two were the 1st two stories: "Professor Incognito Apologizes: An Itemized List" and "Father of the Groom". Both made me laugh and put me in a good mood for the rest of the day. What more do you want from a collection of tales. Read the collection, find your own favorites, and enjoy.

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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent anthology for fans of mad science! March 24, 2013
By G.L.
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This anthology features 22 short stories (well, some of them are novellas) about mad scientists and all the different aspects of being a mad genius. The stories vary greatly: some of them are fairly terrifying, while others are laugh-out-loud funny. You probably won't like all of those stories, but you'll still get a great bang for your buck in terms of value and thought-provoking goodness.

Here are brief, spoiler-free descriptions of every story:
"Professor Incognito apologizes: an itemized list" by Austin Grossman - even supervillains have girlfriends, and they have as many relationship problems as regular people. This story features a pretty entertaining apology to a supervillain's girlfriend, written in a hilarious, itemized way.

"Father of the groom" by Harry Turtledove - I think Turtledove got tired of writing alternate history "what if" fiction, which is why he wrote this story to break the mold. It's a short goofy story about a goofy scientist. It's written almost like a fairy tale, which may be a turn-off for a serious reader. Kids will probably like it, though.

"Laughter at the academy" by Seanan McGuire - one of my favorite stories in this anthology. In this world, every brilliant scientist sooner or later succumbs to the Schizotypal Creative Genius Personality Disorder (SCGPD) and becomes a supervillain. Not all mad scientists are physicists or chemists, though. Behold the wrath of Liberal Arts!

"Letter to the editor" by David D. Levine - the story's character is an awful lot like Lex Luthor and his nemesis is as close to Superman as you can get without violating copyright laws. Here, the villain explains what he did, why he did it and why he's not really a villain after all.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This was a great concept for an anthology, and great fun to see where different authors took the mad scientist theme. Some broke away from the hard sciences and included mad social scientists, mad mathematicians, and mad political scientists. Many stories in this collection are full of camp and superhero parody, but I was surprised to find drama and philosophy too. There were three stories in the middle of the book that I felt were quite slow. The Mad Scientist's Daughter was a great idea, and I feel that the author was trying to create a celebration of the mundane for his fantastic cast, but it made for a dry story. The Space Between took a long time to develop and didn't fit the theme as well as some of the other stories. A More Perfect Union covered a long period of time with a distant narrator, which made it hard to get a feel for the characters. I'm glad I kept reading, however, because two of my absolute favorite stories from this collection are in the second half of the book. The Last Dignity of Man took me completely by surprise. It was an interesting concept that started out harmless, but when the characters were in jeopardy, I found myself really caring about them. This is quite an accomplishment from author Marjorie M. Liu. Mofongo Knows by Grady Hendrix is also one of my favorites in this collection. If you like talking gorillas or old pulps, you will like this story. In the first half of the book, Tin Man was another favorite. Those three stories alone are worth the price of the book. The reader may want to save the story introductions until after they have read the stories.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 23 days ago by jlane
3.0 out of 5 stars The same Gabaldon story is in Trail of Fire. ...
The same Gabaldon story is in Trail of Fire. Could have waited on this one. Will try reading other short stories in the book and my view may change.
Published 1 month ago by Katherine Lambert
2.0 out of 5 stars Long, Tedious and Mostly Boring
This anthology was so long and the stories so drawn out that I had to put it down for a month or two before tackling it again. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Katie Loves to Read
3.0 out of 5 stars Only a few gems in this collection
A mostly mediocre collection of stories, with a few which actually had good twists on the mad scientist concept. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Anthony B
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 4 months ago by Nancy Lee
3.0 out of 5 stars A nice read.
Stories were interesting and imaginative, with some surprises. A nice read.
Published 6 months ago by NAO
3.0 out of 5 stars A few good stories
Some terrific stories mixed with rather poor ones.
Published 7 months ago by M. J. Schau
4.0 out of 5 stars The short stories that Diana writes are great for filling in the...
The short stories that Diana writes are great for filling in the things that happen out side the things that happen in the big books.
Published 8 months ago by Rebecca Losekamp
5.0 out of 5 stars Too, too funny look on the dark side of villains and sidekicks
A very funny selection of 22 short stories revolving around the mad scientist, his assistant, and/or descendants.

“The Space Between” (Outlander, 7. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Kathy Davie
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth it for just the first story!
I loved the first story, 5 stars! The other stories are in a range of styles and varied in fit to my tastes from 1 to 5 stars; may be worth skipping what you don't like.
Published 11 months ago by Scott Willis
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