Tag Archives: assassins

Adventures of an Anal-Retentive Assassin (review: The List)

26 Feb

Freud would definitely have something to say about a guy with a mission to kill superheroes.

I’ve been exploring the world of serial science fiction lately (see the reviews of B.C. Young’s Miscorrection series)–shorts in a single story arc published episodically.  And since I’ve been caught up in catching up on the last five seasons of Dexter this last month, serial killer SF has a certain appeal.

Enter “The List,” an online series by Kris Truitt about a man named Levi Cole with a bit of a chip on his shoulder.  In Cole’s world, superheroes aren’t so sympathetic as one might imagine.  And that’s just fine–antiheroes are in, have you heard?  Besides, “Daedalus” (complete with a winged helmet) really is a lame conceit for an ubermensch.  Here’s what Cole has to say for himself:

When in doubt, make a list.

That’s exactly what I was doing, writing in reverse order the names of people I planned to destroy.  I even included a nice little box beside each of the names, so I could check it off as I went.  In my line of business, it paid to stay organized.  And my business was the assassination of super heroes.

Truitt writes from Cole’s perspective–first-person, past-tense, dry sense of humor, the classic fictional serial killer type.  At about 4,000 words an installment (give or take), “episodes” are one-sitting affairs, which works for a reader looking for a fix on the run.  Pacing is fast and dialogue is strong, but our narrator’s wry, remorseless interior monologue makes the series.

Reading time: 30 minutes a story

Recommendation: Levi Cole lives in a recognizable world (minus the superheroes and laser weapons), and his story tilts more toward the action genre than traditional SF–meaning the series is accessible to readers of almost any persuasion.

Truitt posts new episodes monthly (currently, the series is up to seven installments) on his website, and best of all, reading is free.  Take a gander:

The List–Episode One: “PSA”

Truitt's sketch of the ridiculous superhero who I hope, indeed, will soon be "Deadalus"