Skip to content

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.

readingvenn

Got suggestions? Leave a comment here!

Chances Are…

when your insides turn to thunder
& all you can think about
is taking tiger mountain by strategy
with no strategy at all

it’s time to remember you’re a drop in the ocean
& even if you were ordained
the pope of all cities
the power would never be enough

never be enough
never enough
never enough

flow like a stream
drift like a breeze
move through the world like a wraith
& don’t fight what you cannot fight

Introduction

before we begin, before we recite our lines
let us learn to appreciate the commodification
of our dreams, the phantom fires deep in our hearts
burning & yearning for coins to be spent

nevermind the discotheque, the spectacle of lights
the glitter & glamour & shimmer & glimmer
of our dreams, the phantom fires deep in our hearts
burning & churning for cash to be spent

while we sit in our seats or stand on our stage
let us sing an ode to the commercialization
of our exquisite corpses, dancing through the graveyard
burning & yearning for coins to be spent

& now we start with our songs in our throats
ignoring everything outside our cubes of comfort
turning out our dreams, our hearts, our bodies
burning & churning for cash to be spent

so let the carnival begin!

Dropping the Drip-Drop Dive

dive breath poor cotton
all food dive breath gaze escape
before clubs stunt the heap in splits
a treat fire bread worsted the seaside

seaside dole backs

backs doorbell constable collide gaze
buttoned draw skin weeds in on skin
axe wings gold thrift boar
before fire wrinkled fevered rented dead
with cotton scope clubs

clubs spy sunburn

sunburn crash pretty chime colour demon models in gum
fired some bomb boon toasted meat pop of run
spy a spy in run on crisp toasted the fire
before single in bars a gum-fired fire
wrinkled meat bird forking match sniffing heap
fire wrinkled rented gun hall speed name
up escape before a game dive breath

take street of slacks dressed dive breath
wool wire luck the clipped thrift scope name
stock axe into food-spooned models
stunt crisp toasted match sniffing this sunburn
single pretty pitch time escape
bear before slacks dressed gaze buttoned stone time
bread of pitch rule skin rings cotton jets this spy
street thyme in weeds in worsted rule boon
toasted up toast strawberry my mercurial speed
fair time escape pooled in time

escape double constable collide name

boar before name seaside shells bars donor

Mr. Crimson Speaks to the Youth of Today!

wage your war on the streets
& wear sapphires on your feet
& disassemble your beliefs
& give aid to their relief
& exhaust your chocolate treats
& let loose your funky beats
& wear opals on your feet
& retake the gentrified streets
& overthrow the richest thief
& reassemble your beliefs
& let your dreams be incomplete
& never let your friends be beat
& don’t be salty when you’re sweet
& make our wars grow obsolete

The Outrageous Fortune of Monarchs

my bones
my bones are fit to crack from
the electricity coursing through my vines
& even the blackbirds will sing
past the plan of a beetle on its back
or so
the magnets in my feet tell me

but even so
the cinema behind my eyes never closes
not for all the tea in your pockets
& even then
so worthwhile if i declare myself pope
is your cherry-colored relief

even still

but wait

this extensive vocabulary that explodes
inside the caverns of our sacred hopes
setting sail
to spiral out in lavender veins
my epitaph
delightfully inscribed on your catacomb walls
so much lighter
& fewer
in words