SCI FI Wire writes:

"SF author Minister Faust, whose novel From the Notebooks of Doctor Brain is a finalist for this year's Philip K. Dick Award, told SCI FI Wire that he wrote the book to satirize self-help books, psychoanalysis and the Bush administration.

"'Maybe because each of those sources is either telling us how to live or forcing us to live a certain way,' Faust said in an interview. 'Am I satirizing superheroes? Sure, but they were just collateral damage for the larger satire.'

"On the surface, From the Notebooks of Doctor Brain is presented as if it is actually a self-help book for superheroes, Faust said. 'It's one analyst's take on the world's mightiest super-team, the F*O*O*J, after they've defeated all their enemies,' he said. 'Without external enemies, the federally funded F*O*O*Jsters turn on themselves, inadvertently revealing all their kinks, issues and aggression. Ordered [to enter] group therapy or face termination (and loss of benefits), the six most contentious F*O*O*Jsters soon focus on their most dramatic experience of all--the death of the world's mightiest hero.'

"Faust said he spent many hours building the world of
From the Notebooks of Doctor Brain. 'That meant creating a huge number of superheroes with names and backstories (many of which couldn't be included in the novel) [and] an extensive, detailed timeline of alternate 20th-century history, which combined superheroics with real-world politics and pop culture,' he said.

"To make the political satire work not just for today but for the past as well, Faust said he needed to review what political crises and skullduggery were transpiring during the Golden Age, the Silver Age and the 'Digital Age' and then find analogs that were funny and at the same time truthful.

"'Sometimes my analogs were subtle enough that they didn't work as analogs: For instance, no one has written to me at the glee of recognizing Ralph Nader, author of Unsafe at Any Speed, in the guise of Jack Zenith (zeniths and nadirs being top/bottom analogs of a sphere), author of Unsafe in Any Cape,' Faust said.

"'Yet most people are quite comfortable with the book's take on a dimwitted but superpowerful 'commander-in-chief,' Omnipotent Man.'"


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