7.11.2008

King of the Impossible

As some of you may know, one of my favorite books in recent memory is Austen Grossman’s 2006 novel, Soon I Will Be Invincible. I was happy to select it as a featured alternate when I worked for the Science Fiction Book Club as an editor of the Altiverse segment, which focused on comics, and many books superhero-related. This is the book I had been waiting for. Check out more details at the author’s own blog.

I wish I still had the manuscript. I remember what the publisher used as a watermark on the title page, it was an Alex Raymond illustration of Ming the Merciless from his famous comic strips of the 1930s. I already loved the title, and then with the manuscript in hand I devoured a book I wish only I had been clever enough to have written. Defeated again! Oh, I identified with the main character Dr. Impossible from the get go. It seemed as if every element of this book spoke to me.

Recently, the good folks at the Mediabistro.com Gallycat blog mentioned a new book trailer by the uber-cool Grossman himself honoring the release of Soon I Will Be Invincible in paperback (which just came out last month). Here is the trailer itself, check it out. Even in its homemade style, the trailer works on so many levels. And that is the author reading from the actual text in the trailer I believe, although slightly distorted.

Did I mention I love this book? I was super excited to read just today on the San Diego Comic Con website that ‘Sir’ Grossman will be attending the con and in an SF panel on Thursday. Sweet. You know I’ll be there.

I think his novel spoke to long-time comic book fans like no other. And it was also so well written than even non-comics diehards could enjoy the humor and flow of it. But if you grew up reading comics, this book spoke to you dead-on. It subtly and obviously referenced so many elements from the comic book world and also poked fun at it all. And like I said in my review for SFBC way back when, ‘he captured the super villain dilemma perfectly!’

Lastly, just to show that I’m a guy with many issues, he’s a photo of my collection of different editions of Soon I Will Be Invincible, and they are, left to right: original Advanced Reader’s Edition, Pantheon original hardcover, Penguin UK hardcover (with wrap-around jacket art by Bryan Hitch – awesome!), SFBC club edition hardcover, and lastly, the new Vintage paperback release.


Ok, so you may only need one copy. But I have a world to take control over. I need all the inspiration I can get. (And hey, doesn't Doctor Impossible on the cover of the UK edition look like me? I thought so).

1 comment:

Peat said...

I can vouch for the extreme awesomeness of this book. It was one of many that I brought with me to Greece to read on the beach, and after reading two duds, it was a welcome change. I was kicking sand in delight as I read it, and even now, a year later, I still think about Dr. Impossible sometimes and chuckle to myself.

"Welcome to my island, assholes."