By A. Lee Martinez
Orbit, $19.99, 293 pages

Emperor Mollusk has recently retired from his former position as Warlord of Terra after finding that world domination isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Living happily, if not thrillingly, he now spends his time working on scientific experiments. So, his interest is piqued when a new enemy, The Brain, works on his plan to dominate Terra using science stolen from the Emperor himself. With his former and future enemy Zala acting as bodyguard, Emperor Mollusk takes on his greatest opponent, risking not only himself but the world he has grown to love.

Emperor Mollusk verses the Sinister Brain is a hilariously irreverent sci-fi novel that shows that evil geniuses are like everyone else:  all they want is total adoration and the opportunity to show that they are the smartest beings in the universe. The world created by the author is at once familiar and alien, and he successfully uses familiar objects (the Eiffel tower, for example) and turns them into impressive objects of destruction. This is the sci-fi genre turned sideways and the result is, as the author promises, great hilarity.

Reviewed by Barbara Cothern