If I Were A Superhero

17 Jul

I have a pretty eclectic taste in books, but my favorite genre has always been science fiction, and my favorite sub-genre of that is military science fiction.  But every once in a while, a new niche will take off that has all kinds of interesting possibilites, like Superhero Fiction.

No, not novelizations of comic books or the fucking Avengers movies or the Justice League queers.  I’m talking fresh, new superheroes.  Superheroes in unusual situations, like a zombie apocalypse.  Noirish crime thrillers set in the Louisiana swamp.  C-List superheroes with powers so seemingly useless that they’re more of a hindrance than a help.  And sometimes, supervillains that you just can’t help feeling sorry for.

All of these were fantastic reads (and re-reads), with interestingly imagined worlds, deeply flawed, vulnerable and most importantly, human characters.  Nothing bores the tits off me faster than a godlike, invulnerable hero like Superman.  Who gives a shit?  There’s nothing at stake because he can’t be killed (until D.C. Comics needs an infusion of capital) and his interior life is b-o-r-i-n-g.  I’d rather read about superheroes who have similar needs, hopes and desires.  Like me.  Superheroes who are sometimes not in the mood for your shit.  Like me.  Superheroes that are sometimes fuckups.  Like me.

And then along came an alcoholic pyrokinetic named Donnie Guillory.

This book will put balls on your chest and then cover the entire mess with hair. It’s that good.

If I were a superhero, I’d be Donnie Guillory in “They Tell Me I’m The Bad Guy”, written by R.D. Harless.  This character talks like I think.  ‘Nuff said.

I don’t know who this guy is, but I know that he’s from Louisiana, so he’s a homeboy, and this is his first novel.  Couple of typos and grammar boo-boos, but who gives a shit?  Self-publishing has opened up the literary marketplace for both hacks and unknown brilliant comedic writers alike.  This guy is one of the latter.  If Amazon didn’t exist, I would have missed out on a novel I’ll be reading over and over because some of the lines in it are just that good.

Have a Kindle?  It’s only $2.99, so quit being a cheap bastard and do yourself a favor.  Buy this book.

9 Responses to “If I Were A Superhero”

  1. rdharless July 18, 2012 at 10:56 am #

    Reblogged this on R. D. Harless and commented:
    Spontaneous absolutely-not-paid-for review of ‘They Tell Me I’m The Bad Guy.’ A good one, no less. Give this cat web traffic and fealty.

  2. soulpile July 18, 2012 at 1:47 pm #

    Ooh – cheap kindle books? I didn’t even know there was a superhero fiction genre. Sounds interesting. Adding to my book list.

  3. moerawn July 18, 2012 at 7:45 pm #

    OK I bought two of these instead of the kindle version of The Obama Effect. I hope I made the right choice.

  4. Empire of Jeff July 18, 2012 at 8:15 pm #

    “OK I bought two of these instead of the kindle version of The Obama Effect. I hope I made the right choice.”

    If you don’t like this book,

    1. You’re a commie pinko, and

    2. I will give you TWICE the purchase price as a credit in the Empire of Jeff online store.

  5. moerawn July 19, 2012 at 8:54 pm #

    Screw the credit, I’ll be looking for the EoJ souvenir truncheon.

  6. Anonymous July 20, 2012 at 4:20 am #

    Oooh, interesting sounding genre Jeff, thanks for the tip!

  7. soulpile July 20, 2012 at 4:26 am #

    Just finished Playing Keeps and loved it. Thank you for the recommendation, truly.

  8. zoetewey August 15, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

    For what it’s worth, there are a surprisingly large number of superhero fiction pieces online that are good.

    Personally, the first that comes to mind is Eric Burns’ “Interviewing Leather” (http://banter-latte.annotations.com/tag/interviewing-leather/page/2/) in which a journalist for a music magazine interviews a supervillain.

    Also, “Worm” (http://parahumans.wordpress.com/) in which a teenage girl’s attempt to be a superhero goes somewhat wrong, and she ends up a supervillain instead.

    And, at the risk of being self-serving, I write a serial called “The Legion of Nothing” (http://legionofnothing.com) which was recently published as a book.

    There are more than that at http://webfictionguide.com.


  1. Review: Playing for Keeps by Mur Lafferty « soulpile - July 24, 2012

    […] I did not know that there was a superhero fiction genre until I read this post by Empire of Jeff. […]

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