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Inherent Vice
Thomas Pynchon, Ron McLarty
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Ellen Datlow, Laird Barron, Conrad Williams, Ramsey Campbell
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After the Golden Age - Carrie Vaughn This was a pretty decent novel for what it was: a Silver Age superhero story trying to be a prose comic book.

Celia West is the daughter of Spark and Captain Olympus, who lead the Olympiad, Commerce City's greatest superhero team. Much to her parents' disappointment, Celia didn't inherit any of their superpowers. After going through a very dire teenage rebellion phase, Celia went to college and became an accountant. Yes, the main character in this superhero novel is an accountant. Carrie Vaugh gets coolness points for that.

The Olympiad's greatest enemy, the Destructor, is being prosecuted for tax fraud. Celia is dragged into the prosecution, in the process tearing open old wounds between her and her parents. Celia begins to investigate the secret origins of Commerce City's superheroes, uncovers a new criminal conspiracy, and plays a pivotal role in the inevitable climax with the criminal mastermind in his secret lab with the super-powerful doohickey powering up to go boom.

This is the problem I had with the climax. Vaughn is so faithful to her source material, the plot became utterly predictable. Nothing much happened in the last third of the book that I didn't predict. If you've read a lot of superhero comic books, you'll appreciate Vaughn's affectionate tribute but you won't see anything new. This is a fun romp and I appreciate that Vaughn played it straight, without the edginess or cynicism that is more fashionable in contemporary superhero tales, but it's nothing exceptional, a solid 3.5 stars.