There’s nary a mention of Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos or Bill Gates in “Starter Villain,” but science-fiction author John Scalzi’s wickedly funny novel finds ways to skewer the tech billionaires who rule our world without dropping names.
Scalzi lays out a scenario in which supervillains are basically the CEOs of companies that do dastardly deeds as a service.
“The point of the supervillainy is not to hide, but to offer products and services that offer value to your clients, who just happen to be, you know, the United States or China, or some major corporation — so that the supervillainy that you do is not seen as outside the pale of standard business practices,” he explains.
If that sounds like today’s billionaire tech disrupters, so be it.
“I will say that the bad behavior of billionaires in 2023 makes this book far more timely than it might otherwise have been,” Scalzi admits in the latest episode of the Fiction Science podcast. “I wrote this about 18 months ago, so we had no idea that several of the world’s biggest billionaires would just be like, ‘Mask off, I’m actually a terrible person!'”