Tag Archives: Supervillains

“Parade of Fools” – Part 3

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Val stood inside a payphone booth in front of gas station outside San Diego, California. It was one o’clock in the morning—or make that three o’clock Central Time, which was what she’d been living in for the past several weeks. Combine that with the four-hour flight from Chicago, and it was no wonder she was tired. But tiredness was a luxury she couldn’t afford right now.

“—extremely concerned,” her father said over the phone.

“I know, but—”

“Evelyn spoke with me,” he went on. “You realize every action you take reflects back on my reputation. This is an embarrassment. I’m not happy.”

Val wanted to hang up on him. She wanted out of the phone booth, with the wads of old chewing gum stuck to the sides and the dirty receiver that was probably giving her at least two different diseases. She wanted away from his dry, disapproving voice.

“Don’t worry about Evelyn, Dad. I’m about to solve that problem. Trust me.” Continue reading

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“Parade of Fools” – Part 1

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The old family lake house was becoming quite the hot scene. The dusty sheets had been taken off the furniture, the refrigerator restocked, and people came and went at all hours. Blueblood, of course, didn’t tell Val who half these people were. He’d taken over the house like a king visiting a noble’s estate, claiming the master bedroom for himself and letting his men make a complete mess of the place. Val wasn’t in a position to stop them anymore, so she watched and brooded and spent a lot of time reading minds. Only the minds of Blueblood’s men, that is. Blueblood himself had mental shields as strong as she’d feared, and her attempts to subtly break in came to nothing.

“I’ll kill him,” Joey had said when he’d seen her blackened, infected hand. “I’ll beat him until he fixes it.”

Val had to grab his arm to stop him. “Not a good idea to hit someone whose touch can kill you.”

“I’ll wear gloves. I’ll use knives and hot irons. Give me half an hour alone in a room with him, and I swear—”

“No,” she’d said firmly. “We play along with him for now.”

So here she was in the dining room, playing along as Blueblood introduced his latest guest. Continue reading

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New Superhero Fiction Releases for June and July

Here are some superhero fiction books released in the last month or so that caught my eye in the Amazon jungle. I recommend checking out the samples and reviews before buying, as I haven’t read all of them—yet.

Covenant: A Superteam Novel (WHOOSH! BAM! POW! Book 3)

by James Maxey

Covenant Book Cover

Sarah Buchanan lives a quiet, small town life, hiding one dangerous secret. She’s the world-famous superhero known as Skyrider, leader of the government-sanctioned superteam the Covenant. Not even her husband knows about her dual life.

When a legion of superpowered dervishes declare war on America, the Covenant must work around the clock to track down the mastermind behind them. With Sarah spending less and less time at home, and her excuses running thin on why she keeps showing up covered with bruises, the strain on her marriage reaches a breaking point. She wants nothing more than to quit being Skyrider and return to ordinary life, but when ghosts from her past threaten the world she faces the ultimate test: Can she save the world and still save her marriage?

Amazon

Silent Nights (Lady Superior, Book 3)

by Alex Ziebart

Silent Nights Cover

Lady Superior is down for the count. Vane, her archer companion, is on the hunt for revenge. Among the chaos, unlikely allies step up to help him bring down the man who tried to put her in the ground.

While Lady Superior recovers from the blast, she takes hard lessons to heart. The Ladykiller took a swing and missed. She won’t make the same mistakes twice.

Amazon

The Powers That Flee

by Brian Clopper

The Powers That Flee Cover

It’s October 1985, and sixteen-year-old comic book nerd Darin Forrester is given a special arcade token by a cute but mysterious girl. He soon finds himself granted super powers with a catch—they don’t stick around. With a revolving door of abilities, Darin must fight off a deranged villain on a power grab himself.

Brian Clopper delivers a sincere trip back to the 1980s where hair was big, music videos reigned supreme, comic book reading was resigned to social outcasts, and young science fiction geeks traveled at warp speed to track down the newest issue of Starlog.

Amazon

Strike: The Plague of Stars (The STRIKE Series, Book 4)

by Charlie Wood

Strike Cover

It has been three years since Tobin Lloyd saved the world from the super-powered madman Rigel—and three years since he has seen his friends Orion, Keplar, and Scatterbolt from the world of Capricious. Unable to travel to the world of superheroes, he has adjusted to his normal life, and begun his senior year of college at Pinewood University in New Hampshire.

However, a mysterious traveler has arrived—somehow, some way—from the world of Capricious. This traveler has a message for Tobin: he must return to Capricious. The world—and his friends—are in grave danger, and he is the only one who can save them.

Amazon

Crimson Son 2: Motherland (Crimson Son Universe)

by Russ Linton

Mother Land Cover

All Spencer really wanted was a normal life. College. A job. Maybe a research fellowship which culminated in freeing his mother from the psychic snow globe where he last saw her…

Then again, “normal” might be too much for the powerless son of the world’s most dangerous Augment to ask for.

Spencer is soon sucked back into his father’s world of weaponized superhumans. Augments long forgotten have emerged from their former prison with their powers amplified. While Spencer and his team race to contain the threats, a digital cabal weaves a vision of the future as infectious as the computerized plague set to deliver it.

Amazon

Have you read any of these books? Read any other superhero fiction lately? I’d love to hear your recommendations in the comments!

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Sensational Superhero Short Stories

Sci-Fi Superheroine running at super-speed

Hey, guys! Fight Crime (A Love Story) is taking a break between episodes this week, but I don’t want to leave you without reading material. Here are four excellent superhero short stories to brighten your Monday.

Falling by Susan Jane Bigelow is a short story in Bigelow’s Extrahuman Union universe, but you don’t need to read the other books in the series to enjoy it. Instead of following the superhero, this story is from the point of view of the cool old lady who nurses the injured hero back to health and inspires him to get back in the fight. The futuristic and slightly dystopian setting hints at an awesomely bigger narrative, but this self-contained short story will leave you entertained and inspired. You can read it at the Book Smugglers.

Doctor was a Madman, Family Man by Paul Blonsky is a very short, very funny story written in the style of an obituary for a supervillain. It’ll take less than five minutes of your time and will leave you laughing. Check it out at Daily Science Fiction.

I tweeted about The Terrible by John Wiswell a few months ago, but if you haven’t read it yet, it’s a great, punchy little story about a supervillain who learns his nemesis was never quite at his mercy like things appeared. There’s a fantastic twist at the beginning, lots of hilarious dialogue, and a wonderfully uplifting ending. Read it at Flash Fiction Online.

The Ways Out by Sam J Miller is another one I mentioned on Twitter. It’s a moving story about a crapsack world where people with superpowers are second-class citizens closely monitored by the government. It has a fantastically creative format, presented as surveillance clips summarized by the agent spying on two superpowered subjects. I won’t spoil the twist at the end, but it’s great, and there’s a beautiful theme of resistance throughout the story. You can find it at Clarkesworld Magazine.

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“Everything is Perfectly Fine” – Part 5

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Blueblood paced up and down the study, his steps clipped and jerky. Outside, the wind pushed against the house, flinging heavy raindrops against the windows. Val settled herself on the leather couch and followed Blueblood with her eyes. His hands were folded behind his back, his head bowed, and every so often his mouth would twitch. He reminded her of a pot of water that was just on the verge of boiling, the surface trembling and about to erupt at any second. His men had been smart to rush out of the room.

“You should have sensed White Knight escaping,” he spat, stopping suddenly in his tracks.

“And you should have had better security,” she replied coolly. Was this it? She had expected a much bigger explosion.

“This isn’t about me,” he snarled.

“No. It’s about—”

“It’s about you. You know, I almost think you had something to do with him getting away.”

Val’s stomach flipped completely over, but she hid it, curling her lip in disdain. “And what would I possibly gain from that?” Continue reading

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“Everything is Perfectly Fine” – Part 3

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JB sat on the dusty chair and listened to the sound of rain hitting the roof. Thunder rolled occasionally in the distance, and wind made the old house creak and moan. It was deceptively peaceful, and he enjoyed it while he could. He especially enjoyed that he was sitting in the warm, dry house while Cleto had been sent outside to dump a body in the lake.

“Hey, kid,” said the Black Valentine. “I found where my dad stashed the wine bottles. You want some?”

JB thought about ignoring her. He was still angry, but there was no denying that talking to her was about a hundred percent better than interacting with anybody else around. She only pretended to care about him, but at least she put in that much effort. Nobody else even bothered to pretend.

“Sure,” he said. Then he felt suddenly cold. “Wait. Your dad’s here?”

“No. He owns the house, though. Stocked it up with some pretty good vintages, too.”

She pressed a cool, smooth glass into his hand. JB took a sip, finding a dry white wine that was actually pretty decent. He’d gotten a lot better at telling apart good wines from bad ones since he started underage drinking. Maybe it would come in handy one day. It would be nice to have a useful skill to put on his resume now that he’d essentially dropped out of school. He could be a bartender or something.

Yeah, right. Outliving Blueblood and getting a normal job was a fantasy. As long as he was dreaming, he might as well picture being an astronaut. Continue reading

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“Everything is Perfectly Fine” – Part 2

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This time, the meeting was on Val’s turf. And by turf, she meant a lakefront house that her family owned and used to visit when she and her sisters had been children. She stood in the living room in front of floor-to-ceiling windows that looked out over the lake. On a bright summer day, it held a beautiful view: the sparkling waters of Lake Michigan, white sailboats drifting across the distance like clouds. Today, though, it was dark and gray, and the only view she had was of sheets of rain pounding against the lake’s surface.

The furniture was covered in white sheets to protect from dust, and the heater hadn’t been turned on long enough to warm the place. At least the heating worked, though, and so did the electricity. Yet the house remained eerily silent and empty-feeling, and Val felt like a ghost within its walls. How many years had passed since the last time she’d been here?

Her thoughts went back Dave, as they’d been doing all day no matter how much she tried to think of something else. She’d wanted to go check on him in person, but she’d already taken one stupidly huge risk today, so she’d settled for tracking him down and sending flowers. Northwestern Memorial Hospital was the best in Chicago. He’d be okay.

Except no, he wouldn’t be okay for a long time, no matter how good the medical treatment. Val should have gotten him out of there a lot sooner. She should have never allowed Blueblood to torture him. He probably hated her, and he had every right to. Val had stood by and done nothing but watch as he got hurt. How could he ever forgive her for that?

The floor creaked as Joey approached her from behind. But even if she hadn’t heard him, she would have sensed his general aura of grumpiness before he spoke. Continue reading

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“FUBAR” – Part 8

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Val didn’t pour herself another gin and tonic. She put the empty glass to her lips and leaned back her head, getting a small swallow of melted ice with just a hint of flavor. No more alcohol. She was going to need every fraction of her brainpower to stay alive. She gazed around the room, sizing up the few men who’d come to watch Joey and Cleto’s game, a crumpled wad of fifties waiting on the side of the table for the winner. She’d be able to mind-control one of them, maybe two, to cover her exit if things went south.

The heavy pool tables would make decent cover in the event of a firefight, and the cue sticks could be close-range weapons in a pinch. She’d already mapped the layout and knew about the man Blueblood had out front. That only left Blueblood himself, the most dangerous of them all. She had to keep distance between them at all costs.

Speaking of Blueblood, he walked jauntily out of the kitchen while munching on potato chips. “Ready to have at him?” he asked her.

Val set her glass onto the bar with a resolved thunk and stood. “Lead the way.” Continue reading

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“FUBAR” – Part 7

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Dave was starting to like the concrete floor. Sure, it was hard against his skull and back, pressing each link of chain further into his flesh. And yeah, it was filthy. But letting his muscles go slack as he rested on it felt like a little slice of heaven.

He didn’t know how long he’d been lying there. He didn’t know how many times Giordano and Werecat had dunked him. It felt like it had been a lot of times, but he didn’t want to think about it. If he could have found the strength to lift his head and look at the tub, a shudder of revulsion would have passed through him. He forced himself not to think, not to remember in excruciating detail the feeling of water up his nose and rough hands on his head. He wanted to lie on the floor in a haze and think of nothing at all.

He hadn’t talked. Or at least, he didn’t think he had. He would remember, wouldn’t he? So he had to brace himself. Because when Val came back and tried to get into his head again, he was going to be tempted to tell her everything as long as they stopped, as long as they never brought him anywhere near water again. He couldn’t let himself do that. They were going to kill him anyway, and he didn’t want to die betraying everything he stood for. David Del Toro might dread what came next, but White Knight was strong. He had to be White Knight. Continue reading

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“FUBAR” – Part 6

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Val would have given anything to leave the room, but she forced herself to stay. For one thing, she’d lose Blueblood’s respect if he thought the Black Valentine couldn’t stomach watching someone get tortured. But more importantly, this was her fault. She hadn’t been able to break through Dave’s mental shields, so she could at least bear witness to the price he was paying for her failure.

Joey had stepped into the kitchen behind the bar earlier, rolled up his sleeves, and pressed his forearms to a hot stove to put himself in enough pain that he’d be strong enough to hold Dave’s head under. Even with Werecat’s help and Dave in chains, it was a struggle. The two men crouched awkwardly over Dave’s kneeling position, their hands grasping his arms, shoulder, and head. Dave bucked and thrashed beneath them, but it wasn’t enough to throw them off. Not since Madame Morphine had gone up to him before the torture started, leaving him conscious enough to experience it but in enough of a stupor to have trouble fighting back.

When Dave’s movements began to slow, they pulled him out and threw him back onto the floor. Dave hit it hard, his head rolling back, and immediately started coughing up water. His eyes were squeezed shut, his shoulders curled in, every inch of his body language screaming torment. He looked frail, a word she’d never associated with him before. She should have scorned that show of weakness, but the world seemed to have turned upside down. She wanted to go to him. She wanted to hold his head in her lap, smooth back his wet brown hair from his face, and make sure none of these bastards touched him again.

Val hurt. She could blame some of that on her telepathy, on how she could psychically feel his pain and physical shock, but that didn’t explain her nausea or the ache in her heart.

“We should take a break.” Giordano looked down at Dave’s trembling form impassively. Continue reading

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