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WELCOME TO THE SECOND “GOLDEN AGE” OF SUPERHEROES AND HEROINES
Superheroes have come a long way since the “Man of Steel” was introduced in 1938. This brilliant new collection features original stories and novellas from some of today’s most exciting voices in comics, science fiction, and fantasy. Each marvelously inventive tale shows us just how far our classic crusaders have evolved—and how the greatest of heroes are, much like ourselves, all too human.
In “Call Her Savage,” MARJORIE M. LIU enters the dark heart of a fierce mythic heroine who is forced, by war, to live up to her own terrible legend.
In “A to Z in the Ultimate Big Company Superhero Universe (Villains Too),” BILL WILLINGHAM presents a fully-realized vision of a universe where epic feats and tragic flaws have transformed the human race.
In “Vacuum Lad,” STEPHEN BAXTER unveils the secret origins of the first true child of the space age—and disproves the theory that “nothing exists in a vacuum.”
In “Head Cases,” PETER DAVID and KATHLEEN DAVID blast through the blogosphere to expose the secret longings of a Lonely Superhero Wife.
In “The Non-Event,” MIKE CAREY removes the gag order on a super-thief named Lockjaw . . . and pries out a confession of life-altering events.
Also includes stories by Mike Baron • Mark Chadbourn • Paul Cornell • Daryl Gregory • Joseph Mallozzi • James Maxey • Ian McDonald • Chris Roberson • Gail Simone • Matthew Sturges . . . and an introduction by Lou Anders, “one of the brightest and best of the new generation of science fiction editors” (Jonathan Strahan, The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year).
underworld, which meant hate in Greek. I decided to call myself Nox. It was ironic, I said, but Daniel told me bluntly that I clearly thought I was some kind of mythological god. And that decision bound Styx and me together on a symbolic level. Just as Daniel had said: secret connections lying just beneath the surface. “Once I had my code name I was ready to break up Styx’s operations across the city. I made an impact quickly. Disrupting supply lines, tipping off the cops, or cracking heads—I
time you say it’s not me who’s doing this woman, it’s not me who’s driving this car. . .” “You’re right. You’re right!” Chris threw his arms in the air, admitting defeat. He slumped against the wall and looked out the window into the night. Then he looked back at Jim. “Okay. So I’ll stop.” “What?” “I’ll stop being him. I’ll pass the magic word onto someone else.” Jim felt suddenly more loved than he’d ever been in his life. And more guilty. At the same time. He rubbed his fist into his
soon cleared, and we were in business. Then followed months of a strangely idle, yet strangely exciting, life. I was assigned to flights with various spacelines and stays at orbital hotels, each of whom devised simple but effective failure-mode procedures for me to carry through in the event that my peculiar services should be required. In the uneventful hours I spent in flight, or the weeks I spent in the hotels, I was a celebrity, unmistakeable in my dramatic costume. In return for my
found employment. But while my new Irish neighbors were always quick to complain about the growing number of Mexicans moving into the area, I found that the oldest headstones in the cemetery were inscribed with Spanish surnames, dating back to the time when a Franciscan mission had stood on the ground Saint Anthony’s now occupied, back when this part of Recondito was little more than a collection of rude huts housing the new city’s principal workforce. Though there are increasing numbers of
I know, I’ll lose my patience, tire of the long game, and storm that castle with guns blazing—and though such an open assault would doubtless mean my life, I’d at least be able to take with me as many of those overfed bastards as possible. But that would leave Recondito unprotected in my absence, and so I marshal my reserves of patience, and continue to take the Guildhall’s pieces off the board one pawn at a time. We made our way through the Financial District, up through Northside, and down