Austin Grossman - Tor/Forge Blog

10 Superheroes You Won’t Find in Comic Books

Wonder Woman. Black Panther. Wolverine. Captain Marvel.

Everyone knows the names of these superheroes—and they’re enjoying a new heyday because of their explosion onto the big screen. But if you’re more in the mood for a book than a comic book or a movie, here are ten superhero novels that we think you just can’t miss.

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Placeholder of  -97 Every superhero needs a good supervillain: Batman and the Joker, Magneto and Professor X, the Fantastic Four and Doctor Doom. Eli and Victor were best friends until a terrible accident ripped them apart and they became worst enemies. V.E. Schwab’s twist on the superhero genre turns its tropes on their head and takes a hard look at what it means to be a hero—or a villain.

All Those Explosions Were Someone Else’s Fault by James Alan Gardner

Image Placeholder of - 54 Three newbie heroes—they don’t even have a team name!—find themselves desperately trying to counter a diabolical scheme. This romp through a world of monsters and superpowers has all the fun of traditional superhero comics in a fresh setting.


Wild Cards edited by George R.R. Martin

Place holder  of - 37 This series, edited by George R.R. Martin, takes place in a world where an alien virus wiped out huge swaths of the population, and gave one percent of humanity superpowers. A shared-universe series written by a broad range of incredible authors (including Roger Zelazny, Sage Walker, and George R.R. Martin himself), Wild Cards tells the story of the world ever since.

Good Guys by Steven Brust

Poster Placeholder of - 20 It may not be available until March, but keep an eye out for Steven Brust’s novel about a team of people who learn they have superpowers, and find themselves working for a secretive organization known only as The Foundation putting their abilities to work. As it turns out, though, those who look like good guys at first…might not be that at all.

Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman

Image Place holder  of - 43 Doctor Impossible is a mad genius, but he just doesn’t quite seem able to pull off any of his grand plans. This novel is from the point of view of a man just trying to achieve his dreams of world domination, only to be perpetually thwarted by the heroes. Austin Grossman provides a look into the daily trials and travails of a struggling supervillain.


Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn

While being a superhero might be a challenge, being a superhero’s assistant is even harder. Sarah Kuhn’s fun and action-packed novel is the answer to your female-superhero-seeking prayers. Evie Tanaka is good at her job as backup dancer to her childhood friend and San Francisco’s most beloved superheroine. When she poses as her boss for a night, though, her life is about to turn upside down.

Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines

Superheroes known as ex-humans versus an army of zombies. What’s not to like? With the plague of living dead spread around the globe, a ragtag team of disillusioned and scarred heroes struggle to defend a small group of survivors. Unfortunately, it turns out that the zombie horde may not be the only threat.


After the Golden Age by Carrie Vaughn

Celia West is the daughter of two famous superheroes—but she doesn’t have any powers of her own. A favorite target of crime bosses and supervillains, Celia wants nothing more than to reject her family’s legacy and make her own life out of the shadow of her famous parents, but she learns it’s not that easy to escape the world of capes and immortals.

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

In this twist on superheroes, Brandon Sanderson presents a world where great powers aren’t used for good at all. Those people who were gifted with powers in a catastrophic event called the Calamity might have superpowers, but they aren’t heroes: instead they use their strength to subjugate everyone else, and only a group of ordinary humans are fighting back.

Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Marissa Meyer, author of the beloved Lunar Chronicles series, turns to a world where the Renegades, a group of individuals with extraordinary powers, overcame a pack of villains to establish truth and justice. Adrian is a Renegade boy who believes in their cause, and Nova is a girl seeking vengeance against them. Their lives are about to collide.

February #TorChat Sweepstakes

The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination

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Did you participate in today’s #TorChat? We hope you enjoyed it and look forward to your participation in next month’s chat on March 20th!

In the meantime, here’s your chance to win a prize! Five – that’s right, five – lucky winners will receive a trade paperback edition of The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination. Leave a comment below to enter.

And again, we’d like to thank Diana Gabaldon, Seanan McGuire, and Austin Grossman for participating. We’d especially like to thank editor John Joseph Adams for moderating!

Sweepstakes closes to new entries on February 27th at noon.

And don’t forget to come and join us next month, on March 20th, at 4 PM Eastern!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. You must be 18 or older and a legal resident of the 50 United States or D.C. to enter. Promotion begins February 20, 2013 at 4:30 p.m. ET. and ends February 27, 2013, 12:00 p.m. ET. Void in Puerto Rico and wherever prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules go here. Sponsor: Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.

February #TorChat Lineup Revealed

The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination

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This month, #TorChat is taking you into the lab…of some mad scientists! Join us as editor and moderator John Joseph Adams chats with Seanan McGuire, Austin Grossman, and Diana Gabaldon on February 20th at 4 PM Eastern.


Tor Books (@torbooks) is thrilled to announce the February #TorChat, part of a monthly series of genre-themed, hour-long chats created by Tor Books and hosted on Twitter.

This month, #TorChat is taking you behind the scenes in some very dangerous places – the minds of several mad scientists. Joining us will be the mistress of time travel and author of the New York Times bestselling Outlander novels, Diana Gabaldon; the creator of Soon I Will Be Invincible’s Doctor Impossible, Austin Grossman; and creative genius (and by that, we mean mad scientist) Seanan McGuire, the author of the October Daye series, as well as the Newsflesh Trilogy (as Mira Grant). Together, they’ll be discussing the best layout to the underground lair, how to perfect your evil laugh, and, of course, the best way to try to take over the world!

The chat will be loosely moderated by editor extraordinaire and mad scientist wrangler John Joseph Adams, a fantastic anthologist, editor, and the publisher of Lightspeed Magazine. We hope all you budding evil geniuses will follow the chat and join in using the Twitter hashtag #TorChat!

About the Authors

JOHN JOSEPH ADAMS (@JohnJosephAdams) is the bestselling editor of Wastelands, Under the Moons of Mars, Seeds of Change, The Living Dead, The Way of the Wizard, By Blood We Live, and The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. He’s a two-time finalist for the Hugo and a three-time finalist for the World Fantasy Award. He is also the publisher and editor of Lightspeed Magazine, and the co-host of’s “The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy” podcast. His newest anthology is The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination, publishing on February 19th.

DIANA GABALDON (@Writer_DG) is the author of the award-winning, number one New York Times bestselling Outlander novels, which include Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, Drums Of Autumn, The Fiery Cross, A Breath Of Snow And Ashes, and An Echo In The Bone, with twenty million copies in print worldwide. She has also written a graphic novel called The Exile, and a number of novels and novellas about her character, Lord John Grey, the latest of which, The Scottish Prisoner, came out in 2011. The eighth novel in the main series, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, will be published in 2013.

AUSTIN GROSSMAN (@Austin_Grossman) is the author of Soon I Will Be Invincible, which was nominated for the John Sargent Sr. First Novel Prize. His writing has appeared in Granta, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. He is a video game design consultant and a doctoral candidate in English Literature at the University of California at Berkeley, and he has written and designed for a number of critically acclaimed video games, including Ultima Underworld II, System Shock, Trespasser, and Deus Ex. His second novel, You, came out from Mulholland Books in 2012, and his short fiction has also appeared in the anthology Under the Moons of Mars: New Adventures on Barsoom.

SEANAN MCGUIRE (@seananmcguire) is the author of the October Daye and InCryptid urban fantasy series. Writing under the open pseudonym Mira Grant, she is the author the Newsflesh trilogy—which includes Feed, Deadline, and Blackout—which she describes as “science fiction zombie political thrillers” that focus on blogging, medical technology, and the ethics of fear. A story set in that milieu appeared in John Joseph Adams’s anthology The Living Dead 2. Her other short work has appeared in Fantasy Magazine, Book View Café, The Edge of Propinquity, Apex Magazine, and in the anthologies Zombiesque and Tales from the Ur-Bar.

About #Torchat
#TorChat is a genre-themed, hour-long chat series created by Tor Books and hosted on Twitter. Guest authors join fans in lively, informative and entertaining discussions of all that’s hot in genre fiction, 140 characters at a time, from 4 – 5 PM EST on the third Wednesday of every month. Each #TorChat revolves around a different genre topic of interest, often of a timely nature, and strives to provide a new media opportunity for readers to connect with their favorite authors.

About Tor Books
Tor Books, an imprint of Tom Doherty Associates, LLC, is a New York-based publisher of hardcover and softcover books. Founded in 1980, Tor annually publishes what is arguably the largest and most diverse line of science fiction and fantasy ever produced by a single English-language publisher. In 2002, Tor launched Starscape, an imprint dedicated to publishing quality science fiction and fantasy for young readers, including books by critically acclaimed and award winning authors such as Cory Doctorow, Orson Scott Card, and David Lubar. Between an extensive hardcover and trade-softcover line, an Orb backlist program, and a stronghold in mass-market paperbacks, books from Tor have won every major award in the SF and fantasy fields, and has been named Best Publisher 25 years in a row in the Locus Poll, the largest consumer poll in SF.

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