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Beyond the Speed of Reading

I’m not usually into dark, gritty, street-level superheroes, but Marvel’s Daredevil series on Netflix is jaw-droppingly excellent and has knocked my socks off. Author/evil mastermind Victoria Schwab tweeted a link to this list of recommended reading for fans of the show (including Schwab’s terrific Vicious), and that list got me thinking of other recommended reading based on other superhero stories…

The new Flash TV series is my favorite new show of the season and is probably my favorite superhero TV series of all-time. The main character revels in his superpowers and uses them rescue people and fight crime with enthusiasm and dedication, and the show embraces a lot of my favorite superhero tropes, like cool/goofy superhero and supervillain names and weird science. It hits a lot of the same pleasure buttons that Doctor Who and the comics of Jack Kirby and Grant Morrison do. I would love to see a list of recommended reading for fans like me who love the hell out of this stuff, stories with huge amounts of imagination, weird and mad science (or weird and mad magic, or a mix of science and magic), time travel, multiple universes, epic conflicts, and heroes who are enthusiastic and kind-hearted and earnest. But I don’t think I could make that list myself.

So I’m putting out a request for reading suggestions of novels (or story collections or, hell, even non-fiction books) that hit this high-level imagination and heroism and crazy science/magic Venn diagram that punches my Gee Whiz buttons.

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Got suggestions? Leave a comment here!

9 Comments

  1. “Dreams and Shadows” and “Queen of the Dark Things” by Robert Cargill.

    Friday, May 1, 2015 at 7:12 am | Permalink
  2. Katy wrote:

    The Suicide Exhibition by Justin Richards

    Friday, May 1, 2015 at 7:43 am | Permalink
  3. Krista wrote:

    I just read a new book that peaked my interest, “Skinwalker” by Faith Hunter. It combines old school Native American myths with witches and vampires. The main character is not really a “hero” in the sense of like Superman or Wonder Woman. She’s more of an anti-hero, like the Punisher. Someone who has a moral compass with an interesting “power” that drives a motorcycle and carries a shotgun.

    Friday, May 1, 2015 at 8:11 am | Permalink
  4. Brian wrote:

    In the crazy science realm there is a lot I could recommend, but one crazy one is a Stephen Baxter and Terry Pratchett co-author, The Long Earth. It uses the many Earths physics model really well. Amber and I both loved it.

    Friday, May 1, 2015 at 10:24 am | Permalink
  5. John wrote:

    Hard Magic! It’s super heroes+steampunk+ninjas+aliens+magic. Awesome trilogy.

    Friday, May 1, 2015 at 11:02 am | Permalink
  6. Jenica wrote:

    The Dinocalypse series – chuck wendig – multiple authors, novels based on pulp era comic tropes. Heroes and KAPOW!

    The incryptid series by seanan Maguire isn’t high magic, but it’s wondrous oddball reality… Talking religious mice!

    Friday, May 1, 2015 at 7:17 pm | Permalink
  7. josh wrote:

    Jenica, I can’t believe I didn’t think of Dinocalypse! Chuck is awesome and it’s based on the RPG Spirit of the Century, which I like a whole lot! And Seanan Maguire is pretty high on my must-read list right now.

    Thanks for all the suggestions, you guys! :)

    Friday, May 1, 2015 at 10:11 pm | Permalink
  8. I’ll cosign the Wendig and Maguire recs and throw in Jaye Wells’ DIRTY MAGIC and Kevin Hearne’s HOUNDED. Both are series-starters.

    Tuesday, May 5, 2015 at 7:49 am | Permalink
  9. josh wrote:

    Thanks for all the suggestions, guys! I really appreciate it! My to-read list just got a whole lot longer.

    Tuesday, May 5, 2015 at 8:45 am | Permalink

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