Inheriting your uncle’s supervillain business is more complicated than you might think. Particularly when you discover who’s running the place.
Charlie’s life is going nowhere fast. A divorced substitute teacher living with his cat in a house his siblings want to sell, all he wants is to open a pub downtown, if only the bank will approve his loan.
Then his long-lost uncle Jake dies and leaves his supervillain business (complete with island volcano lair) to Charlie.
But becoming a supervillain isn’t all giant laser death rays and lava pits. Jake had enemies, and now they’re coming after Charlie. His uncle might have been a stand-up, old-fashioned kind of villain, but these are the real thing: rich, soulless predators backed by multinational corporations and venture capital.
It’s up to Charlie to win the war his uncle started against a league of supervillains. But with unionized dolphins, hyper-intelligent talking spy cats, and a terrifying henchperson at his side, going bad is starting to look pretty good.
In a dog-eat-dog world…be a cat.
Please enjoy this free excerpt of Starter Villain by John Scalzi, on sale 9/19/23
I learned about the death of my uncle Jake in a deeply unexpected way, which was from the CNBC Squawk Box morning show.
I had Squawk Box on from force of habit; when I was a business reporter for the Chicago Tribune I would turn it on in the mornings, in rotation with Bloomberg and Fox Business, while I and my wife Jeanine got ourselves ready for our respective days.
These days I had less need of it—substitute teachers do not usually need to be kept up on the state of the Asian markets in order to babysit a bunch of students in a seventh-grade English class— but old habits, it turns out, actually do die hard.
Thus it was, as I was preparing my peanut butter on toast, I heard the name “Jake Baldwin” from the iPad I had running on the kitchen island. I stopped mid-peanut-butter spread, knife in hand, as cohost Andrew Ross Sorkin announced that my uncle Jake, reclusive billionaire owner of the third-largest chain of parking structures in North America, had died of pancreatic cancer at the age of sixty-seven.
Copyright © 2023 from John Scalzi
Pre-order Starter Villain
Read the rest of the exerpt here: Book Excerpt: Starter Villain by John Scalzi