Sunday, February 26, 2012

"Supervillain: The Concise Guide" by Ras Ashcroft (Novella)

Genre:  Humor/Parody

Type of Short Story:  Written like a guide, novella length

Summary:  Are you tired of living a humdrum life? Is there little to look forward to except a dead-end job and more news headlines that remind you of your insignificance in the world? Do you think the future of humanity depends on your potent leadership skills? Well forget about the nonsense of running for political office and become a supervillain instead.

Fancy degrees and qualifications are not required. With this concise guide, you will learn all the basic tricks of the trade. Ease into your first seedy business, create a large organisation with interests in finance, media and politics, and build a powerful military force. Eventually you will launch your crusade to rule the entire planet.

Take your shot at world domination – and hit the bull’s-eye.

A popular brand of dictionary defines the term ‘Supervillain’ as follows:

su•per•vil•lain [soo-per-vil-uh n]: A malicious person usually involved in complex schemes to achieve an ambitious evil end goal such as world domination.

This is a white lie since dictionaries do not even bother to define the term. Perhaps it is because they think that ‘Supervillain’ is a title which bears no real significance outside fiction. Another more probable theory hints at a massive conspiracy involving the heads of the powerful dictionary-industrial complex. Whatever the reason, many average people still aspire to achieve this title. They wish to experience the simple (and clichéd) pleasures of relaxing in a diamond palace on a throne crafted from the skulls of their enemies.

By reading this book, you have taken the first step towards achieving these nefarious goals! Along the way, your loved ones will tell you that this is a ridiculous path to follow. They will tout the merits of following a more traditional career path, such as a Marketing Executive for a major brand or a Cat Groomer for upper class spinsters. Pay little attention to these naysayers. The only Marketing Executives you should worry about are the ones you will eventually hire to manage your propaganda. Similarly, the only cats worth grooming will be the genetically modified lions under your command.

Others may try to reason with you, by claiming that some normal career paths these days can easily satisfy your thirst for evil. At this point, they will direct you to the careers section of your friendly neighbourhood investment bank’s website and say “Look, why not become an investment banker? You’ll be rich, respected at posh dinner parties and you can fulfil your need to commit evil by becoming an integral part of a corrupt finance machine!”

While this is true to a minor extent, it is a long way from the recognition you will gain as a supervillain. You will simply exist as a disposable cog in a faceless organisation. Your real aim is to become the face of your OWN organisation, dedicated to more than just the chore of amassing wealth. After all, the novelty of currency will wear thin once you have an entire micro-nation converted to a secure vault, holding trillions in crisp banknotes with your grinning face on them. Money must simply be viewed as a crude but necessary tool.

Popular publications often attribute the origins of a supervillain to a tragic set of events in that person’s past. Traumatic childhoods, lab explosions and a slow descent into insanity usually figure in the pages of their biographies. They also tend to believe that their actions genuinely benefit society. Such factors can help shape their personality, but they are not necessary preconditions.

By harnessing the power of positive villainous thinking, you too can cultivate wealth, image, respect and connections. You will master these areas and find yourself in a dominant position, where you can hold entire nations hostage on demand. At this point, you can forgive your former critics and invite them for a dip in one of your private champagne lakes. Alternatively, you could opt for a more traditional lake of fire party by throwing them in the super-volcano you activated when those pesky North Americans refused to bow down to your will.

Buy this story on Amazon.

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