Published: This Mutant Life: Bad Company

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Also last year I was pleased to score a further bite of the Kalamity Press cherry by being included in This Mutant Life: Bad Company, the second This Mutant Life anthology of NeoPulp superheroic fiction to arrive just in time like a streak of light, as it were.

This time around the focus is on the villainous side of the equation, which made it a perfect home for my little supervillain joint, aka “Heroes and Civilians”, a tale of a lovesick henchman coming up in the world.

There are some rocking stories in this collection, including:

  • Frank Byrns’s “No Chance”, about a superpowered spy infiltrating supervillain gang and finding out who the real baddies are
  • Susan Jane Bigelow’s Kick-Ass-meets-a-hero-with-actual-powers “Don’t Save Me”
  • William Akin’s “Menace of the Metal Men”, an odd poetry/prose mashup that’s nevertheless kinda cute and very vivid
  • Mark Floyd’s impeccable “The Return of The Imperion”, which is reminiscent of Austin Grossman at his best
  • Kathryn Hall’s emotionally gripping and sleekly written “Immortal”
  • Ben Langdon’s claustrophobic “Scratch That”, which admittedly reads more like a horror story than a supervillain piece
  • Eric Scott de Brie’s saucy and playful “Curse of the Bambino”

To be honest I wasn’t as wowed by Bad Company as I was by This Mutant Life. There’s just as much standout writing, but the weaker stories seem shakier and hokier and more lacking in focus than the album tracks in TML #1.

The other thing is that quite a few of the stories – even some of the standouts – don’t actually seem to be truly about the supervillain experience so to speak. Sure there are mad genii and monsters and world conquerors here, but you’ve also got a few antiheroes and straight-up knock-down drag-out tales pitting goodie v. baddie with no particular focus on either side of the struggle. there are even a couple – “Immortal” and “Curse of the Bambino” – that are really about superheroes.

That’s a minor point, though. Bad Company is another great anthology from the mind of Ben Langdon, but it works best as a companion volume to the first TML anthology. If you’re thinking of picking up only one of the two volumes, the first is a safer bet, but your NeoPulp collection would be well served by having both books on your shelf. If you’ve got the first one, Bad Company is a must. If you’re yet to pick up either then you should grab both together.

This Mutant Life: Bad Company is available as a paperback or ebook – choose your favourite format from the Kalamity Press store.

For more about the series, stay tuned to This Mutant Life.

Thanks to Ben for once again including me in a great little book, and for continuing to promote the NeoPulp cause.

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About

Poet. Author. Beard. Husband. Dad. Four chickens. Dog. Cat. I can sometimes fix my lawnmower.

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Posted in i would like to recommend these people's writing, neopulp, people who are nice enough to publish me, short stories

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About Adam

I'm the author of the poetry collections The Third Fruit is a Bird and Not Quite the Man for the Job, the novel Man Bites Dog and the short story collection Heroes and Civilians.
contact: adamatsya@gmail.com
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Go off-blog with Adam's ebooks!


Not Quite the Man for the Job, Adam's award-winning poetry collection, is only $2!


Heroes And Civilians, featuring Stories about superheroes, octuplets, giant monsters, rabbits, robots & astronauts, is FREE TO DOWNLOAD RIGHT NOW!


Man Bites Dog, Adam's novel about posties, poets, dobermans & Angela Lansbury is also only $2!

ta-wit ta-woo
Quelle Grammage!
Absolutely. two egregious typos in an ad for a comms job at a book publisher. do i weep or laugh? anna and i both discussed the fact that every pd we've read lately has had at least one typo in it. way to make me feel out of step, universe. this is a very well made poem. it's called "Travelling Through the Dark". *shudder* #williamstafford I am binge watchin star trek voyager right now and am gobsmacked by the recurring theme of helping out your friends and being nice to strangers even when theyre frightening because its the right thing to do. where has this theme gone when it comes to the stories we celebrate and share with each other?
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