Superhero Novelist Declares “Geek-Lit Throwdown”

By Neal Comment

grossman-doyle-feud.jpg“Larry Doyle is on notice,” declares Austin Grossman (far left), author of the superhero-themed novel Soon I Will Be Invincible. “Oh yes, Larry Doyle, it is I,” Grossman writes in an open letter to the author of I Love You, Beth Cooper. “He whom you most fear. There can be no more hiding, here in this place we call the internet. Your fictions are amusing, true, but all things must come to an end, Mr. Doyle. I demand satisfaction.” So what’s spurred what Grossman describes as a “bicoastal geek-lit style throwdown”? According to Grossman, Doyle has “feebly but recognizably bitten my style in your New Yorker piece about Karl Rove. You know the one. Conceptually, lo, and indeed tonally.”

“Be it known that my mother has written a stiffly worded letter to the New Yorker,” Grossman adds. “And ordinarily this would be enough. Ordinarily. As the challenged party,the terms of engagement are yours to select. Although I strenuously urge you to avoid Atari Combat or Quake 1 or any of the early Virtua Fighter series, or mid-’80s X-Men trivia; such is my mastery of these modes of conflict, that to choose any of these would be naught be but a perverse act of self-destruction.”

Contacted by this blog for a response, Doyle emailed back, “Please tell Grossman that I have not read his book but shall forthwith, since it may contain more than one good idea. And I would be happy to dispatch him, once I have vanquished Gregory Maguire.”

(photos from Austin Grossman and Jefferson Jackson Steele)