I promised last week that I would talk more about James Maxey’s work this week. I first discovered James when my friend M.T. Reiten was published in a Phobos anthology, All the Rage This Year. When I visited the Phobos website, I discovered that they had also published a superhero novel titled Nobody Gets the Girl by James Maxey. I figured I ought to get around to reading it someday.
Some time later, I joined the Codex Writers Group on-line, and Maxey was one of the members. One of the benefits of membership has been to be able to read some of James’s stories before they were published. That was how I became a fan. But still, I never got around to reading Nobody Gets the Girl, even after experiencing in short story form his deft handling of the genre.
That changed recently when he finally got around to publishing a Kindle version of Nobody Gets the Girl. I read the book a couple of weeks ago and got a real kick out of it.
Nobody… is the story of Richard Rogers, a guy with a boring job and boring marriage who’s trying to start up a career as a stand-up comedian when his world suddenly changes. As far as the rest of the world is concerned, he no longer exists. He is invisible and immaterial, except to a very select few. He is suddenly Nobody.
He joins a team of superheroes, the coldly brilliant Dr. Knowbokov and his two beautiful daughters, Rail Blade and the Thrill. Nobody becomes their secret weapon in their secret battle against Dr. Know’s greatest enemy: the evil Rex Monday.
This was Maxey’s first published novel, so it’s not the best work of his career. He has grown as a writer since, in novels like Bitterwood and Dragonforge. But in Nobody Gets the Girl, Maxey demonstrates his ability to tread the fine line between awesome and silly that it is so hard to get right in superhero fiction, leavened with real humanity.