Books : reviews

Martin Harry Greenberg, Russell Davis, eds.
If I Were an Evil Overlord.
DAW. 2007

rating : 4.5 : passes the time
review : 4 August 2007

The Top 100 Things I'd Do If I Ever Became An Evil Overlord gives lots of sage advice about what to do, and what not to do, when one has ultimate evil power. (My personal favourite is "I will not turn into a snake. It never helps.") Most Evil Overlords in fiction have clearly never seen the list, or think themselves above following its advice.

But what would they be like if they did? (Probably indistinguishable from Good Overlords, to some degree.) This collection explores that question. Some of the stories refer explicitly to the rules, some merely assume that an intelligent evil overlord would have derived them independently, and some show that even knowing them doesn't always help. For example, "Advisors at Naptime" explores the rule "One of my advisors will be an average five-year-old child. Any flaws in my plan that he is able to spot will be corrected before implementation." Sensible advice, but did anyone think what it would be like to keep that five year old happy?

Some of the stories are funny, some are serious. All are rather slight. But enjoyable mind-candy for fans of The List


Esther M. Friesner. If Looks Could Kill. 2007
David Bischoff. The Man Who Would Be Overlord. 2007
Jody Lynn Nye. Ensuring the Succession. 2007
Dean Wesley Smith. The Life and Death of Fortune Cookie Tyrant. 2007
Jim C. Hines. Daddy's Little Girl. 2007
J. Steven York. Gordie Gulligan vs. Dr. Longbeach and the HVAC of Doom. 2007
Fiona Patton. The Sins of the Sons. 2007
Donald J. Bingle. Loser Takes All. 2007
David Niall Wilson. The Next Level. 2007
Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Advisors at Naptime. 2007
Tanya Huff. A Woman's Work .... 2007
Queen Arabel has read the Evil Overlord list, and knows what to do when a Hero turns up.
Steven A. Roman. To Sit in Darkness Here, Hatching Vain Empires. 2007
John Helfers. Stronger than Fate. 2007
Nina Kiriki Hoffman. Art Therapy. 2007