(I Also Write Children's Books!)

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Why You Actually Come Here - Previews!

Iiiit's that TIME again, boys and girls!  With a book finished, I start a new book, which means I get to post a couple of chapters before my publisher comes down on me like a bag of wet mice!  Next up is book four of Penny's saga, and I'm callin' it Please Don't Tell My Parents I Have A Nemesis.

I hope Chapter One pleases...?

And while we're at this, I have been told something weird.  Apparently Amazon Prime folks can download the first Superhero book for free.  Now, everybody who reads this has probably read that book, but apparently if you download it that counts as a sale for me even though you don't get charged anything.  So if anyone feels like throwing money at me without spending anything yourself, hey, I like money.


  1. It pleases indeed! It's good that Penny no longer has to worry so much about her parents coming down on her for using her powers. Although her dad should have worded it better. He may asked her to avoid interfering with adult heroes and villains but that doesn't stop the same adults from interfering with anything PENNY does. Sure it is arguing semantics but all the technical truths and half-lies are really what has allowed Penny to last so long without getting unmasked.

    Also got a nice battle bots vibe from Penny's drone and Rocky's water artillery, man that show was corny and cool.

  2. Do not mention Battle Bots around a mad scientist. You may not like what happens.

  3. Very nice build up and lead in for the rest of the book to be. Attention grabbing and full of promise. I'm getting vibes of the first book where everything goes off the rails one step at a time. So much fun will be had.
    Wet mice though? I have to wonder how you came up with that.

  4. Are you going to do beta reading again?

  5. Oh yeah, the Inscrutable Machine Rides again!

    1. But, one question. What where Rocky, Vanish, & Pop Rock doing when Penny's Parents walked up. Or, did she walk away to them? It seems like they just disappeared.

    2. Penny went over to her parents, who were watching from a distance. Playground etiquette dictates you keep your distance when parents call you.

    3. I could see it going either way, and I could not tell from the text. Thank you for answering.

  6. I would love it if she did finally have that chat with her parents! Can't wait!

    1. Having the "Mom, Dad, I'm a Supervillain" talk would definitely make it easier to deal with if Penny ever brings Cassie home with her. I mean, I like Ray, but Cassie is cute too. Or maybe Cassie and Claire will get together eventually. There are so many posibilities.

    2. Or maybe Cassie and Ray, leaving Penny to become a old spinster. The last book could then be called 'Please don't tell my relatives I left the cats everything in my will'.

    3. Why not being ray and Cassie home? I'm sure ray will have the stamina.

    4. Ok, that would be one way to completely change the tone of the books.
      I do wonder if Claire is really up for that sort of thing, despite all her "worldliness." She often mentions wanting to be more "vampy" like her mother, but never actually hits on anyone.

    5. It would explain a few things if Claire turned out to be gay. I think the only real effect it would have would be to ease Penny's jealousy of her.

    6. Well, if Penny is still interested in Cassie (and according to the preview, she is), then we might still have that. However, I do not recall any mention of her being jealous of Claire.

    7. That was something in the first book, but not the following two.

    8. You meant Cassie is still interested in Cassie right? Cause as far as I read she never showed any interest in anyone other then Ray.

      It was Penny's fear that since Claire was prettier and more girly Ray would choose her. She has always been very self conscience of her feelings for Ray. It hasn't been a real issue since book 1, but that kinda feelings don't go away that easily. It wouldn't take much for it to come back with vengeance.

    9. No, I meant that based on the sample, Penny is feeling fluttery and interested in Cassie.
      At least a bit. She is NOT UNinterested.

    10. Confusion on her part doesn't mean she's Interested. Not being Uninterested doesn't mean she open to the idea. She can barely comes to grips with her feelings for Ray, whom she's had a crush on way before book 1. And they are technically dating.

      Penny doesn't know how she feels or even how to react so she's avoiding the situation. I don't think she has any interest in Cassie romantically. She simply doesn't want to mess up their friendship and has way too much other things to deal with at the moment.

      I might be wrong, but it's just not how I read the situation.

    11. Could be. Lots of unanswered questions.

      What it has definitely done is whet my appetite for then next book. I wonder when that might be.... Mr. Roberts?

    12. I'm always eager for the next book.

      Honestly I really hoping Penny and Cassie don't get together. I like the Penny/Ray dynamic way too much.

    13. One more thought on the Cassie/Penny/Ray triangle - the title of the book is, "Please Don't Tell My Parents I Have a Nemesis."

      Cassie already kidnapped Ray in revenge once...

    14. that is true, but it was with the help of the weird mind control girl. I don't think Cassie alone could keep Ray prisoner.

      but that doesn't mean he wouldn't let himself be captured for fun.

    15. Or that she would not try again, even if it would fail.

      But, if she were to put together he own team, after being rejected for the Inscrutable Machine, or specifically by Penny...

  7. It's a good start but one thing Richard, I think you should state where this scene took place. Is it at a field, a park, the junkyard where Penny & her father went to in Book 3? All we have is an "open space" which could be anywhere.
    Also; I know I’m in the small minority here but I hope T.I.M continues to go their separate ways. That way we get 3 great budding supervillains instead of just 1. HA HA HA HA HA!

    1. Ah, that was in the first section - "that field across the street from Griffith Park and next to the play fountain needed conquering."

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Hehe, can't wait :)

    More toys are always better of course. How far in advance do you have the books planned out or are you just letting the story advance as it comes to you?

    Just curious how many more books about Penny we have to look forward to :)

    1. This is one of those series where I'd be happy if it kept getting added to for as long as he can make it lucrative....and a bit beyond

    2. Absolutely.
      The characters and the world are virtually unique, and engaging.

    3. I know the plan was 5 Don't tell books. I'd love to see afterwards another series of Penny in her college years and joining the adults officially. Then maybe even a series of her when she has her own family.

    4. Ah, a 5 book series about their 'kid' adventures, and another involving their adult adventures.

      Hmm, on second thought, no. The charm of the series is their youthful wonder of it all.

      Would that endure into their adulthood?

    5. Ah, a 5 book series about their 'kid' adventures, and another involving their adult adventures.

      Hmm, on second thought, no. The charm of the series is their youthful wonder of it all.

      Would that endure into their adulthood?

    6. They would have to be a different kind of story. I've seen other writers try it, but fail. But if the Team Tiny book is continues to be as good as the first couple chapters I think Roberts can do.

      A lot of it would depend on how this series ends. I think it would be entertaining to read about Penny struggling to juggle Collage, Adult relationships (with Ray or maybe without), superheroing, and so on. It could work if he finds the right story.

    7. Just so - right now they have minimal responsibilities, and play around. That would have to changes as they get older, changing the tone of the books.

  10. One of my favorite parts of the first book was Penny's inventions. I hope this one is full of them

  11. Spell-check is yore frend


  12. Finally a new post where I can say this
    In the first book I figured out penny's power but by the time I found this site it was to late to comment my ideas on the post about her powers I think that penny's power is like her dads where he takes other people's ideas and theories and applies them just more super sciencey for example she took the design of a conceror orb and improved the design making it smaller and more versatile that is why people think she is a tech thief because her technology is the same as other people's just better but that's just a theory a book theory

    1. That does seem to be part of what her power can do. But it's only one aspect of it. Too many of her inventions are from scratch for that to be her power.
      I would guess her power is simply to be able to Make almost anything.
      ***She can invent new Tech (The Machine, Light bike)
      ***She can use others tech and make it better (Vera, The Red Herring, mostly everything from book 2)
      ***She makes things eerily similar to other peoples tech (The sugar tank)
      ***She can make use of scientific theory to make things some things that no one else has (The teleportation bracelets, super cheerleader serum, the friction-less inserts)
      ***She has used Various tech styles (clock work, mechanical, bio engineering, Chemistry, and a number of other mundane sciences)
      ***She isn't limited to standard science or tech (Vera, everything from book 2, The zombie rag dolls, the Machine itself can absorb magic energy)

      She is the Superman of mad scientists, she has no obvious limit to her power at the moment.

      Her only real flaw is the lack of control. She had little say in what was built originally, and she hasn't been able to repeat any inventions.
      But that said. It sounded like she is getting control of her powers some, having made the drone.

    2. Uh...actually she has several flaws;
      - lack of control
      - can't repeat any inventions
      - can't repair any inventions
      - no idea how her inventions were built

      According to Brainy Akk and Mech, the first invention of a mad scientist is almost always the most powerful but that don't seem to hold true for Penny. I believe her lack of control is due to how powerful her invention powers are. Personally, I think that's great. Her flaws can counter-balance how powerful her powers are.

    3. You're all missing something. What you see as Penny's "power" is just a glitch. The thing in the back of her head isn't her power, it's an anomaly probably brought on by forcing her powers to awaken early. Penny Akk's power works with gears and switches, she's a clockwork scientist, and we see that every time she tries to build something without using the anomaly (when she built the Machine, the wisp trap, the toy cube and now her drone). The thing she calls her "power" is more like a psychic link to other mad science inventors of the past, and it's not picky about who it copies. That's what led her to make Wonderland's candy tank as well as the Puppeteer ship and the other alien inventions. On top of her lack of control, it's likely killing her like a tumor. She has a bulge in the back of her brain, and the more she uses the ideas from it, the less control she has and the more pain it causes her. That's what Mourning Dove likely meant when she said "it will turn on you"

    4. Per Mr. Roberts, from a previous forum:

      "Tier 1: A device understood by normal science, but made more easily than it should be. Penny's lunchbox totally qualifies.

      Tier 2: A device that current science understands the basic principles of, but does not specifically understand how that device works. Something that could be made, with some research. A cybernetic eye like Red Eye's is a perfect example.

      Tier 3: A device that relies on physics that current science knows nothing about. Penny's teleport bracers. Vera. Probably Claire's frictionless soles. Penny spits out Tier 3s like they're going out of style.

      Tier 4: There is no Tier 4, because in theory, the top is just 'We don't have any idea how it works yet.' Brian uses it to describe a device that is so advanced that it looks impossible."

      And, "If there were a Tier Four, her Machine would be it. It doesn't just work on unknown principles: it shouldn't work at all."

    5. It appears to me that Penny "blacks out" for Tier 3+ devices, usually.

      I cannot tell if it relates to her 'glitch.' But, the gloves she made for Ray (and stolen by Cassie) were gear based, but caused her to black out.

      I am not sure what that indicates, but it appears to not be related to her 'glitch.'

    6. Penny’s Powers were discussed quite a bit in the previous posts.

      I cannot agree that the ‘anomaly’ is killing her and is the source of her big inventions. It is possible, but the evidence is inconclusive. Her father has a similar mutation of the brain, and it does not appear to be killing him. The only time Penny has issue is when she ‘resists’ her inventive urges –the headaches she had in book two when she could not create Archimedes, for example.

      It appears that the blackouts usually only occur when she creates Tier 3+ inventions. Usually. The Machine, and the gloves that she made for Ray (and that were stolen by Cassie) are apparently gear based, and caused her to black out. Vera, the light bike, the frictionless insoles, and her custom mold making machines caused her to black out as well, and could be classified as Tier 3 but not as 'gear-based.'

      There are exceptions however. She did not black out when she ‘hot-wired’ the space station. That involved gears plus energy “that current science knows nothing about” (Tier 3+). She also did not pass out when creating the ‘Puppeteer Killing Sphere.’ To quote the book, “This one didn’t overwhelm me and knock me out.” It did not cause a black out, and did not appear to be ‘gear based.’ It was made from Conqueror Tech (which, however, is not exactly explained except to say that they had no problem mixing ‘magic’ and tech). She did not exactly black out in book one, when she made the disintegrator/plasma-bazooka, either. “I didn’t want to look too closely at what I was doing in case my power jammed on my desire to put words around it. That gave me a little room to think. The split attention effect was fun, with my hands putting together this awesome thing while I wondered how to get out of supervillainy.”

      That last line seems more in line with the “’possession’ mechanic” that was mentioned by her mother.

      So, in summary she does blackout with both gear based and ‘other’ types of tech – but not always and not completely.

      The part that does not line up with the observations is the tech she creates that is a match for other inventions. The absence of evidence makes it difficult to be sure.

      She has access to her father’s notes, and inventions, so she could possibly be taking his tech and improving on it. She could have seen other tech, and not realized her ‘mega brain’ was absorbing data.

      Her teleport bracelets could have been an improvement on her father’s teleporter. She could have absorbed understanding of Conqueror’s Tech from seeing the Orb of Heaven in the Library for all that time, and used that knowledge to create Vera, and the Puppeteer Killing Orb.

      However, her father did not recognize the sugar-tank technology of Wonderland. He is the ‘Brainiac’ and one would expect him to remember tech, if not the individual. It is possible he simply forgot he saw it. But, again that leaves us with a lack of evidence.

      So, that begs the question of what is her actual power. How did she apparently recreated technology she might never have seen.

      I think it is likely she has several powers, like Laverne. Laverne makes wooden boxes that serve as a focus for her will, and has a touch of mad science - As the Expert stated, “And despite my colleague’s words, you do have a mad science ability as well. The idea of normal child your age carving a helicopter rotor out of wood is ridiculous.”

      So, Penny could have one, or more, actual powers. It is hard to tell from what we can read.

    7. One discussion on her powers:

      Mr. Roberts comments are:
      FrankensteinbeckSeptember 16, 2015 at 10:42 AM
      Heh heh heh.

    8. And,
      Kirsty ShadowdancerSeptember 17, 2015 at 3:02 PM
      I would like to say at this time. I asked Roberts whether Morning dove's "That will kill you" line meant Penny's power was going to fry her brain. And he outright said "No, metaphorically kill her, not literally" - so it's not a cancer or a tumor and probably not a parasite.

      Of course Mr Roberts didn't give me anything to guess what it could be either.

      ZhalfirinSeptember 17, 2015 at 7:31 PM
      Penny's mom is described as acting like a different person when she becomes 'The Audit', so maybe Penny's power really is just a combination of her parents. Dad's super science and mom's super inference, letting her take a tier 1-2 super science concept and thru super inference/deduction draw out a distant conclusion in the form of a tier 3-4 device.

      For simple devices Penny doesn't really need to generate any extra concepts or information and so only relies on the dad's super science power, but when she pushes it (or maybe when the science power doesn't come up with a good enough solution) it begins to draw on her mom's inference/deductive power and her personality gets suppressed (or shifts) by the use of it, just like her mom.

      Further guessing I would say maybe the mom's power works by hijacking the parts of the brain the are used for emotional processing and using them for increased logic and calculative ability.

      As for the blackouts when she makes something big, maybe the cost of running two brain powers at the same time simply is too much, leaving no brain power for her consciousness to run in. Since the blackout ends when she is done, I wonder what would happen if her powers got stuck on a problem with no real conclusion...maybe never wake up? Could be what Mourning Dove meant by her powers metaphorically killing her.

    9. The original list of Tiers.

    10. "No, metaphorically kill her, not literally."
      Quite an ambiguously menacing statement. So, it appears that it is not a fatal cancer, but may shape her behavior. Or, it might threaten her career – either keep it or to try and remove it.

    11. This comment has been removed by the author.

    12. So, as you can see FoxPlaysComputer, there has been a lot of speculation on Penny’s Powers.

    13. Additionally, from Mr. Roberts.

      "FrankensteinbeckSeptember 1, 2015 at 3:32 PM
      One thing to keep in mind when speculating about Penny's power: She doesn't know how it works. She knows what it looks and feels like when it works, and what it produces. Anything else (like it being all-knowing) is guesswork on her part.

      In general, never flat-out assume that any of my characters knows what they're talking about, even if they're convinced. Usually they're pretty good, but like people in real life, I reserve the right for them to be Wrong."

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. Starting a new Post the other is getting long.

    Ghost your right, but I was considering all those as part of not having any control.

    Occam's razor would have you believe Penny's power is some combination of her parents own super powers. But Mr. Roberts doesn't seem the type to go with the simple explanation.
    First Brains power is a brain mutation that I believe he got in his college years. As it's not a traditional super power it's unknown if it can be inherited. Again I thought this was brought up early in book 1.
    Second like the first, we don't know if the Audit has a superpower. I believe she her self claims to be powerless.

    1. I forgot the Third thing, that Black outs are a sometimes side effect of mad scientist with non-super brains.

      Now as for the blackouts, I think there is a pattern to them. I may have said something like this before. Her blackouts tend to be proportional to her understanding. The more she understands the science behind what she's doing the more awareness she retains. So her clockwork inventions cause little to no blacking out.

      As for the the thing in the back of her head killing her figuratively. My theory is that it's more about over writing her personality. She is a sweat, caring, kindhearted person, who wants to be a superhero. It's not uncommon for people with high intelligence to lack some or all the qualities that make Penny who she is.
      My evidence is the comments by Ray and Claire about how she acts when blacking out. She is more callous.

    2. Penny commented that “My Dad’s thing with science is a brain mutation. He identified it.”

      Cybermancer told Bad Penny, “A regular brain can’t hold a superhuman intellect.”

      But, Brainiac apparently can control his inventive powers and also recreate the inventive process of others in order to recreate their inventions - occasionally. It appears to me that he does not have a regular brain – the mutation he identified may be responsible for his control. I believe he has the mad science power, and the brain mutation is a ‘self-control’ addition.

      Your comment that the more she understands the science the less likely she is to blackout is worthwhile. But, it does not fit certain cases.

      She retained control when she ‘hot-wired’ the space station – which was gears and “energy that science does not understand.” She and Ray discussed that on the ride back from the station. Neither one was sure of what it was. So, she did not understand it, but did not black out when she worked.

      The same is true for the plasma bazooka. She surely did not understand it, but did not black out completely. While making the clock, she did not completely black out, but when making the ‘gear gloves’ for Ray she did black out again. Gears are her specialty, but she still blacked out when making the gloves.

      I think there is something else going on with Penny. And, in the new sample she comments that working with her father allows her to made even better inventions. He gave her materials she did not think to use.

      My thoughts are that the more she understands the science the more likely she is to ‘spark’ her inventive process. And, the higher the Tier of the final device, the more likely she is to black out.

    3. On her mother, when Ray commented that Beatrice has powers, “Regular Humans can’t do that” Penny stated that she disagreed. But, then Penny privately thought, “Contrary to what I’d just said, I agreed with him.” She believed that her mother had super human timing. She apparently has a lot of intelligence as well – to remember and then apply statistics. The fact that she was “calculating how fast the criminals had intended to drive rater then how fast they were driving” shows beyond normal intelligence.

    4. The other concern is that when she uses her power, if she tries to put words to the Mad Science she risks losing the inventive spark.

      So, I wonder if that actually means that the more she understands it, she would have more trouble inventing?

    5. Personally I disagree with the notion that Penny's blackouts is proportional to her understanding of the science. She blackout when inventing Ray's gloves which seems to do nothing. The gloves was mainly just a cover to hide his powers. I also don't believe in the gear-based invention theory. Penny blackout when inventing her smelter in Book 1 and according to Claire's mum, that invention was full of gears.
      I think the blackouts may have more to do with her powers going AWOL on her. Like when Penny want to invent one thing but her powers want to invent something else. There's a battle of wills, and if the powers wins, Penny blackout.

    6. Not sure I agree.

      When she first started, she had no idea of what she was making. She did not try to stop her power, and it took over often.

      When she was making the 'Anti-Wisp' Trap, she diverted it from electrical to 'gears' and did not have any trouble with her power. She simply told it 'no.'

      That did not indicate any 'struggle.'

      I am not sure what that indicates.

    7. I was just rereading the first book.

      From when Penny first used her powers, it looked like the more she put words to her invention, the more of her own mind she kept, the harder it was for the inspiration to work.

      It appears that the ‘mega-brain’ needs to use her normal-brain to ‘channel’ the inspiration.

      Penny’s mother mentioned the use of language centers, ‘she doesn’t know enough science yet to communicate that comprehension with her language center,” to explain why she could not remember to put into words, what she was doing.

      While Penny was inspired, ““That’s how you acted, like we were minions. Every few minutes you’d surface and shout at us to help you rearrange your tools,” Clair supplied, finally.”

      Ray described her actions while under the ‘influence’ as, “You weren’t nasty, just impatient. Maybe desperate. You might be right about the words, because it was all “Move that here!’ and ‘Plug that in!’”

      I wonder if that indicates that she uses at least some of her language centers in order to properly ‘channel’ the inspiration. It might not be that she is fighting her power, but instead strangling it while it works.

    8. Brain's mutations was the source of his superpower, but I don't recall if they ever gave specifics of how he got it. I think the mutation resulted in him not having a normal human brain allowing full use of super intellect.

      I think the reason she didn't blackout when hot wiring the space station was because you don't need to know how exactly a car engine works to hot wire the car. She didn't need to know anything about the power source so she didn't black out. I'm not convinced she didn't figure it out without her power.

      She's still a young girl who's not fully grown. Which means her brain isn't fully developed. She is a smart girl to begin with, and if you notice she appears to be getting smarter as each book progresses.

      As she gets smarter she blacks out less, retains more awareness when inventing. Working with her father would result in her learning a lot, expanding her understanding and making her less likely to lose control.

      Sure it's not a perfect absolute theory, but from my perspective it still fits.

      And the Gloves she made for Ray, they would have to have some actual functionality, so that someone like her parents wouldn't see through them. Hell look what happened when Cassie used them. They are not simply gloves.

    9. There is zero conclusive evidence that either of her parents have super powers that can be inherited. As posted above Robert's said don't believe everything the characters say, they might be wrong.
      So we have to wonder if the Audit has a Super power or not. If Brian's powers can be inherited or is even a superpower.
      We just don't know.

      I do agree that it seems likely that the blackouts are in part a result of the inventing part of her brain high jacking the rest of it.
      I think the reason why putting words to her mad science makes it falter isn't the act itself. I think it's all about putting the right words to it. When she talks about this, its been in context to her trying to put words to ideas she didn't fully understand.

      It could be that her power is compensating for her lack of knowledge and understanding by taking over the rest of her brain.

    10. I would say your explanation possibly covers some cases but not all.

      Perhaps her understanding of science was enough for her to not black out when ‘hot-wiring’ the space station. However, that does not explain the case of the plasma-bazooka. She was musing while working away, without blacking out. The same is true for the Conqueror Orb-Pupetteer Killer. Unknown Tier 3+ tech, and she did not black out.

      Or, considering her gloves - your statement was “So her clockwork inventions cause little to no blacking out.” She completely blacked out when she made Ray’s Gloves, but not when making the Wisp Trapping Frisbee in book 2.

      So, it appears that her understanding of science is not exactly the pattern. It may be part of it, but not all of it.

    11. About Brian’s Brain Mutation, I was not stating for certain that it is the source of his powers or not, nor that he and Penny share it.

      It does raise a few questions if it is so.
      If he has a brain mutation that gives him super science intelligence, then what is giving the others theirs’? Do all ‘mad scientist’ have such brain mutations? Penny "appears" to have a brain bulge - to her thirteen year old ‘fight club’ friends looking through an experimental scanner. But, that may or may not be an unusual growth. It is just speculation until Mr. Roberts writes it as so… or not.

      In any case, previously, I stated that I believe that Brainy's ‘brain mutation’ made him different. I did not say that Penny shared it. It would be interesting if he and Penny ‘might’ share it. It could serve as good as an explanation as anything else, and work as an interesting hook that Mr. Roberts could have used to ‘hang the story.’

      It makes about as much sense as anything else, really. We are talking about ‘superpowers’ - basically magical abilities, which defy the rules of science and logic to begin with.

      It is even more speculative to guess what children of supers might inherit (if anything) from their super powered parents.

      I am just looking for a consistent pattern, and have not found it as of yet.

    12. And, personally, I am with Penny - her mother has super powered sense for timing.

    13. If I didn't, I had meant to say that while I stand by my theory for the moment, it doesn't hold true to everything. But that's the way of all things that aren't math.
      Now the Bazooka, if I remember correctly it didn't take her long to figure out what it was and how dangerous it was. Which means she must of at least understood the basics of the science. On the other side, while she didn't black out, her core personality was detached from her body. Which I would say is a lesser form of the blackouts, she wasn't controlling her body at all.

      I have an issue with the Ray's gloves. Yes they appear to be clockwork, and yes she completely blackout. So it puts holes my theory. But I don't think those gloves are simple tier 1 gloves. Like I said she wouldn't have made gloves that just looked special. She would of made gloves that were special. She made them to allow Ray to use his powers without revealing too much. She would know that if her parents ever saw the gloves they would ask questions and rightly assume Penny made them. And Brian would without a doubt look them over. If they did nothing he would know and the whole thing would be pointless.
      They were meant to give the appearance of amplifying Ray's strength, which is to say his super power. Now what if her power took it a step further and decided to make gloves that actually amplified any arm based power. Look what happened when Cassie used them, her power was stronger.

      If she made gloves to amplify powers that would be at least tier 3 and she wouldn't have understood the science behind it, even if it was clockwork based.

    14. Brian's mutation. If it was something that altered his actual DNA and made him different. I would bet Penny inherited parts of it. If it was just something like a tumor that makes him super smart then it's unlikely she got any of it.

      I agree that I think the Audit has some sort of super power even if it's not something obvious.

    15. I don’t believe that the gloves are simple. With what it can do it, it seems very unlikely that they are only for “show” or to fake powers.

      However, she appears to understand ‘gear-tech’ better than ‘plasma-tech.’ She blacked out when making the gloves, but not the bazooka.

      My original theory was that she would always black out for Tier 3+ Inventions. But, too many examples exist that go against that theory. And, the gloves, and a few other inventions go against the theory that the blackout occur based on her understanding of the technologies.

      We are either missing something, or something behind the scenes is going on that we have just not been show in the stories, or Mr. Roberts has successfully hidden something from us.

    16. I'm sure there are quite a few things going on that we have no clue about.

      I think the gloves are in the same vein as The Machine. Sure it's gear based but it does things that defies all logic.
      The Bazooka while super scary and powerful, is still grounded in known science, even if it uses extremely advanced concepts.

      I think the pattern exists and I think I'm at least on the right track. There will always be a few random elements to a pattern that will throw things off. It is human nature, There are too many outside factors to account for.

    17. Food for thought, A Partial List of ‘Pennytech’:
      -"Rotor" Aetheric Direct Current Converter - blackout
      -Anime Style Powerball Generating Gloves = blackout
      -Archimedes, the Psychic Cat & Bio-tool - Blackout
      -Disintegrating ‘Plasma’ Bazooka - blackout
      -Meat Puppet Parasites / Bio-Tools = blackout
      -Physical Measuring Tool in Class (Book 2) – Blackout
      -Ray's Geared Power Focusing Gloves - Blackout
      -Self-Oxygenating Bio-Mechanical Space Suits = blackout
      -Self-Directed Harassment Rigs made out of sugar - Blackout
      -Semi-Intelligent Self Reproducing Zombie Rag Dolls - Blackout
      -The Red Herring, Inertialess Bio-Spaceship - big blackout.
      -Vera, The Intelligent Conqueror Orb - blackout
      -Weaponized Sugar Tank - Blackout

      -Mechanical-Magnetic Wisp Trapping Big Pocket Watch - no blackout
      -Puppeteer Killing Orb made from Conqueror Orbs - semi-blackout.
      -Reprogram a Galactic Range Gate-Tech to self-destruct, no Blackout (???)

    18. From the first book

      *The Machine - blackout
      *Mini-Gyroscope - no blackout
      *The Smelter - long blackout
      *the invention that failed (no idea of what it was) - no blackout
      *German Grenade - blackout
      *Bubblegum maker - no blackout, she kept enough control to ask for Glycerol
      *Bubblegum container- blackout
      *Super Cheerleader Serum - blackout
      *Protective Jumpsuit - partial blackout
      *Super Batteries - blackout
      *Static Gloves - partial blackout
      *Air Cannon - partial blackout
      *Anti-Friction Insoles, Light Bike and Teleport Bracelets - "total blackout" she said.
      *Explaining the 'magic science goo' to Cybermancer - close to blacked-out, but didn't.
      *Upgrade to The Machine - no blackout, but it was a creation that her father could not fathom.
      *Zombie Ragdolls - loss of control, but no blackout.
      *Disintigrator/Plasma Bazooka - partial loss of control, with a power source that looks like Conqueror Tech.

    19. Last book -
      *Flight Bracelets - no information
      *Ray's Glove - blackout, complete.
      *Super Clock - blackout
      *Bad Penny Droid - no information
      *Control Console - no information
      *Self-Replicating Killer Robot Maker - blackout.

    20. One incident- the making of the 'gear' toy, while sitting in the experimental power tester.
      No Blackout.

    21. So, what can we learn from what we have observed?

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    24. One more try to organize it all:

      - : the invention that failed in book 2 (no idea of what it was) - no blackout
      Aetheric Tech : Aetheric Direct Current Converter "Rotor" Tech - blackout
      Artificial Intelligence : The Code Writing A.I. that the Wisp killed in book 2.
      Artificial Intelligence/Energy Tech : Vera, The Intelligent Conqueror Orb - blackout
      Bio-Chemical : Super Cheerleader Serum - blackout
      Biological : Meat Puppet Parasites / Bio-Tools = blackout
      Bio-Mechanical : Self-Replicating Killer Robot Doomsday Machine - blackout.
      Bio-Mechanical (?) : Self-Oxygenating Bio-Mechanical Space Suits = blackout
      Bio-Mechanical (?) : The Red Herring, Inertialess Bio-Spaceship - big blackout. 
      BioMechanical/Psi-Tech : Archimedes, the Psychic Cat & Bio-tool - Blackout
      Chemical : Self-Directed Harassment Rigs (Jacks & Ball) made out of sugar - Blackout
      Chemical : Weaponized Sugar Tank - Blackout
      Energy Tech : Anime Style Powerball Generating Gloves = blackout
      Energy Tech : Ray's Glove - blackout, complete.
      Energy/Crystal Tech : Super Batteries - blackout
      False Mass/Hive Mind : Zombie Ragdolls - loss of control, but no blackout.
      Gateway Techology : Reprogram a Galactic Range Gate-Tech to self-destruct, no Blackout (???)
      Machine : The Machine - blackout
      Mechanical : Bubblegum container- blackout
      Mechanical : German Grenade - blackout
      Mechanical : The Smelter - long blackout
      Mechanical : Ray's Geared Power Focusing Gloves - Blackout
      Mechanical (maybe) : Physical Measuring Tool in Class (Book 2) – Blackout
      Mechanical/Digital/Time : Super Clock - blackout
      Plasma Tech : Disintigrator/Plasma Bazooka - partial loss of control, with a power source that looks like Conqueror Tech.
      Remote Control : Control Console - no information
      Robotics : Bad Penny Droid - no information
      Solid Light Hologram : Light Bike - "total blackout" she said. 
      Spring Tech : Flight Bracelets - no information
      Teleportation : Teleport Bracelets - "total blackout" she said. 
      Unknown : Anti-Friction Insoles - "total blackout" she said. 

      BioMechanical (?) : Puppeteer Killing Orb made from Conqueror Orbs - semi-blackout. 
      Chemical : Bubblegum maker - no blackout, she kept enough control to ask for Glycerol
      Chemical/Magical : Explaining the 'magic science goo' to Cybermancer - close to blacked-out, but didn't. 
      Energy : Static Gloves - partial blackout
      Mechanical : Iridium Detector Upgrade to The Machine - no blackout, but it was a creation that her father could not fathom. 
      Mechanical / Gyro (?) : Mini-Gyroscope - no blackout
      Mechanical/Fibres : Protective Jumpsuit - partial blackout
      Mechanical/Magnetic : Mechanical-Magnetic Wisp Trapping Big Pocket Watch - no blackout
      Refrigeration Tech : Air Cannon - partial blackout

    25. So, she blacks out in all categories, even the ones she is supposed to "know best" - gears/mechanical.

      Looking at the devices, the 'bigger' the end result the more likely the blackout. But, not in all cases (ie: bubblegum container, and the smelter was purely mechanical, just fiendishly so).

    26. The list fails to take into account Penny getting smarter. It wouldn't be to far out there for Penny's power to be making her smarter. It's had to be sure, but I think she is getting smarter a lot quicker then she is normal.

    27. Well, based on missing Cassie's interest in her for a year, I cannot say she is getting that much smarter.

    28. Are you kidding me. There is probably a chart somewhere that depicts the inverse relationship of high intelligence and social ques, made by the Audit no less. That has nothing to do with intelligence, and everything to do with it being unexpected.

    29. Not necessarily. It is a 'trope' that high scientific intelligence leads to low social intelligence. But, there are in fact many 'smart' social types, who are much more interested in the social aspects than scientific.

      But, looking at the list I posted, in book 1 she invented 17 things, including The Machine (the ultimate recycler/perpetual motion machine), Vera (a Sentient uber-powered Conquer orb), a Super Soldier Serum, a Solid-Light Bike, and the ‘Destroys Anything’ Plasma Bazooka.

      In book 2 she made 16 or so things, including a min-A.I., and the Red Herring (a smart living interstellar ship).
      In Book 3 she made 6 things, including the Gear Powered Gloves, a mini-droid of herself, a super clock, and a self-replicating killer robot device.

      It actually appears that she is slowing down, based solely on her output. In book 3 she did not make anything on the scale of the Machine, Vera, or the Red Herring.

    30. In this case I don't think it reflects on her intellect. I also don't think it's the Trope, In this case she's a slightly awkward barely teenage girl. She didn't realize Ray was into her either at first.

      It's not always about quantity. In book 3 she didn't need or have the opportunity to build much. It's her understanding of her inventions that makes me think she's getting smarter. In book 3 she didn't really have too many, I've got no clue moments with her inventions. And a lot less of them in book 2 compared to book 1 which was almost every invention.

    31. Possibly.
      However, she is still not having any less "blackouts" then before when building. It may in fact be getting worse - she did not want to re-purpose her mini-mecha/droid, but her power took over and did just that.

      What does that indicate?

    32. Not much really.

      It's been mostly established that her power isn't under her control, completely. She can nudge it in one direction or away from another. She can kill some inspirations by focusing on them.

      Ignoring the different styles she uses. she is still making highly advanced inventions. Most of the things she's making are beyond her growing but still limited comprehension. So I still think my theory is accurate most of the time.

      The thing is we lack enough concrete facts about her, her power, and powers in general to be certain about it all. I'm hoping with book 4 Penny will learn more about her powers and we learn about them as well.

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    34. It has been three book, and still no solid information. I am just about resigned to not being sure, until the final book.

    35. In my opinion, Penny has THREE distinct powers:
      *Super "Analyzing Things" power, from her father.
      *Super "Doing Things Correctly" power, from her mother.
      *And an unexpected "Possession Mechanic" power, possibly from zapping herself in book 1.

      My theory is that Penny is channeling dead mad scientists, itching to take her body for a joyride and create stuff again. She can probably even unconsciously do targeted summonings: "Does anyone recognize this thing and know what to do with it?"
      Her 'normal' powers are what makes Penny so formidable in battle - she spots weaknesses with one and exploits them with the other. They also have a nice synergy with her mad science and get extra powered-up when she's possessed - remember her literally seeing people's super powers in book 3? - but using her Analysis power on her Mad Science powers while they're working tends to break them.

      Regarding the Audit's least favourite statistic, it SORT of makes sense for pigtails to make possession more likely - they're basically big keratin antennae leading to your brain. Presumably a particular proportion of color might provide optimal conductivity for spiritual energy. The Audit obviously encouraged Penny to have pigtails to disprove the hair-to-possession correlation, but I do believe that backfired ;)
      (BTW, it'd be funny if it turns out her power changes default theme every time her father varies the braid-making machine, because different kinds of pigtails resonate with different spirits.)

      The way I see it, Penny's main problem is that she thinks she only has powers when (literally) inspired, discounting the rest as the normal state of things. The ghosts might be bored by petty repairwork, but if she tried to work it through normally, she could probably do it herself.
      Also, I figure that doing mad science under ghostly direction has the side effect of upgrading her own Mad Science talent, courtesy of her Analysis power; by now, she's done enough clockwork-themed inventions that she can do them even without inspiration.

    36. Interesting - and funny! However, remember when incident when she created the super-bubble gum (chemistry) and then the containment unit (equilibrium), right after that? She had not had time to change her hair style, but was still able to change 'themes.'
      So, I do not believe that her hair is responsible for channeling spirits.

      Also, her mother hated the statistic due to it being to badly constructed. And, putting up her daughter's sanity as proof of her rejection is a bit extreme. Especially, when Penny started showing powers. The 'smart' thing to do would have been to change her hair style. So, I cannot agree with that part of your explanation.

      But, "big keratin antennae leading to your brain." That is really, really funny!

    37. No way the Audit would do anything to influence her statistics even the ones she dislikes.
      Not to mention the supernatural correlation between norm's hair color and super hair colors. There is something in the universe causing Supers to have hair colors in the same percentage as norms. So it's not a far leap to think that having a certain hair style/color might influence a supers powers. That's too much of a risk for someone like The Audit. Also we have never been told what color or hair style the stat mentions.

      I still think Penny has only a single Power, A big power with lots of tentacles. And I think the channeling other Mad Scientists is jumping the gun. To my knowledge no one has ever said for certain Penny has made a copy of someone else tech. Her parents point out the similarity to other MS's tech but only in trying to explain away the different styles. So I see no actual support to the theory. Roberts himself said not trust what any character says, they might believe it but it doesn't mean its true.

      Penny has many of the traits of her parents exhibit in their abilities. Her parents super power status is not rock solid, but she could have inherited something.

      Lately I think she did inherit her fathers brain mutation, only since she got it from birth it's more powerful, linked with her mothers analytical abilities, it gives us Penny's Awesome Powers. Her blackouts are just her brain short circuiting from the strain. The other aspects are just quirks of having an insanely powerful ability.

    38. Considering she measures out her ‘emotional’ responses to Penny (according to Penny), and lives by the numbers, I doubt that she would let Penny fall into a ‘negative’ statistic zone.

      I wonder if the actual hair style is not in fact braids. I wonder if the long, hair over the face look favored by Scary Little Japanese Girls in horror movies might be the actual hair style. Penny's Mother might be keeping her hair 'ordered' in order to avoid that result.

      Unless, we are looking at a secret betrayal, and the Audit is in fact a villain, and pushing Penny to be one too….

  15. On the topic of powers.
    Does Brainy, Penny's Father, actual create inventions? He modifies others' inventions and converts them to 'modern' science regularly.

    But, does he actually make new inventions?

    1. It's always been my understanding that he doesn't make new inventions. His power is to understand other inventions and how to recreate them without super powers.
      Now that doesn't mean he can't make things without his power. He is a very intelligent person. And understanding how things works will certainly lead to being able to make your own modifications and inventions, but using his none super brain power.

    2. Yes, that is what it looks like to me.

      I could not find any reference to what he has ever made. He has no signature device, like Red Eye's Cyber Eye, The Machine, or Mech's Armor.

      He analyzes and passes it on to others. There are several mentions of the tools he has that could be used to make things, and the tools he threw away (which Penny appropriated in book 1 with The Machine), but no inventions of his own.

    3. The punch glove he gave Penny, is suppose to be his invention. And Mech mentions that he has a number of Brianic toys built into his suit. He also built Penny's phone. and the Hair Braider.

      So he can make things, I just think it's his own ingenuity he's using. His power lets him understand the details of how something works, and that understanding lets him build things without his power.

    4. Yes, I can see that is a good possibility.

      It is only that since he can copy others, did he copy the design for the two devices?
      No information.

      Not a big concern, just curious.

    5. I had always seen Brainy Akk as Reed Richards and Mech as Tony Stark. In Marvel if they see something strange in space or they had a science device they don't understand, they go see Richards. Given time, Richards will figure it out. He is the go-to science guy. Reed is the scientist and Stark's the engineer. I see Penny's father taking Richard's place in her world.

    6. The way Penny talks about the hair braiding device I think it's a unique invention of Brian's but one he built without powers. He's constantly upgrading it and it only works right part of the time.

      The punch glove is a common super hero trope, so it's likely he'd seen a few before making his own.

      Nice comparison Ghost.

    7. Solid comparison of the character types. Nice.

    8. I think I mentioned it before, but I am still waiting for Penny to go through her fathers notebooks. If she can really correct his schematics, she could really make some incredible devices, without exhausting her "one-of-a-kind" inventive powers.

    9. Once he learns the full extent of her power they will be having some quality father daughter invention time.

    10. Or, perhaps, a complete lock down. I cannot wait to see how it goes.

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  17. After rereading book 3, I started to think about Juliet.
    How is she surviving? I am assuming that Spider has maintained the link to the refrigerator on the ship, and sending her food.

    It makes me wonder if that is a mad science teleporter, or if the Orb of Heaven is sending it to her.

    If it is the refrigerator, I wonder if Juliet can send things back. A Piece of paper asking for specific supplies. That also makes me wonder if she can send back Bad Penny's Helmet.

    If it is the Orb of Heaven, and it can pinpoint teleport to space, does that mean that Spider can send some things to wherever she wants?

    1. It is the Orb of Heaven that was filling the fridge. It can open portals as well, that was how they got to the Spider's space base.

      I don't think Juliet needs to eat like a normal human, I would imagine she could sustain herself by merging with the ship, She is part puppeteer.

      Spider sent Vera along with Penny, so that Vera could communicated their needs to the Orb of Heaven. That was how it knew when and where they were for teleportation.

      The impression I got was that while the orb can teleport to just about anywhere it needs a beacon of some sort to safely teleport things. IN space that can be an issue. On earth not so much. But there are also protections from teleportation. Remember when Penny tried to use her bracelets to sneak out, there's some sort of protection around her house.

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    3. I am not sure of which it was - Orb of Heaven, or other.

      It is possible that Juliet can merge with the Red Herring too feed. But, unless is it ‘endlessly self-regenerating,’ it too will need a resupply of either fuel, or food.
      It would be merciful of Spider to help Juliet continue to live. And, if she is able to reply back, and give her observation to Spider, that would be an incentive for her to be merciful.

      But, again, if she can speak or send things back to Earth, then could she not send the helmet as well?

      If the OoH needs a beacon, does that mean that no one can communicate with her, out there, any further? After all, Vera returned to Earth so she cannot server as a beacon.

      I am just speculating. Mr. Roberts creates a very engaging world.

    4. Well first I think Ray was correct that Penny didn't make the Red Herring. She simply messed with the presets and got it to produce a ship comparable with their designs.

      So for in all the books she's pointed out everything she's made. So it don't think the fridge is anything other then a fridge. No one else but Penny could have made it. Also the Puppeteers don't appear to have any sort of teleport or portal tech. They needed to use the ancient portals from earth.

      I would speculate that the Red Herring has some means of "re-fueling" itself in space. There are countless possibilities for this. Not that I wouldn't doubt Spider would send supplies if there was value in it for her.

      Based on the events of book 2, I would say the Ship has no means of communication. I think the OoH could be used to send and receive notes. But again the reason Vera was sent was it's ability to communicate with Ooh.

      Space is really, really, big. Just think of how hard it is to find a boat lost at sea without a signal. Now multiply that by infinity. So While it's possible I doubt it is likely.

    5. I agree with you, and apparently Reviled. Penny merely turned on the process, not creating the whole Red Herring.
      However, as the Red Herring is a bio-ship, I have to assume that it needs some form of ‘food’ to continue to function. I am curious as to how that occurs.

      I expect that you are correct in your assumption that it was the OoH originally sending the food.

      But, how is Juliet being supplied now?

      Without Vera, can OoH still pin-point teleport, and more specifically is Spider (or someone else) still supplying Juliet?

      Additionally, if Vera can be a 'beacon' for teleports in space, that implies that it might be possible for her to server as one on Earth. With her and the OoH, if Vera can get close to a target then it can be teleported to, and from. Considering her (Vera's) size, and power, she could be a fantastic thief, or help get people in and out of many places - prison, jail, bank vaults, etc.

    6. OoH I think could still pin-point teleport to a location, But without any sort of "eyes" on the arrival point it would be dangerous. They could arrive inside a rouge asteroid.
      Likewise I think teleporting from a location, I think it would have to be an area teleport, otherwise it might miss an arm.

      I don't think Vera would work for Spider. She was made to be Specter's (?? forgot her name) friend. She went along in book 2 out of concern for Penny, not because Spider wanted it. At least that's what I would think.

    7. Apparition - Vera bonded with Apparition, who works for Spider, ergo...

    8. Yeah that's her. But does she Work for Spider or simply gets hired by spider on occasion to preform jobs.

      So would Apparition be willing to do those jobs. Of course the pair would make great thieves.

    9. Just so. So, if Spider said to Apparition - I have a job for you, would she 'refuse' to bring along Vera?

    10. I think that between 'ghosting' and teleporting, that there would be little that they could not steal.

    11. Well, in the first book, she warns Penny and the gang, despite Spider's wishes, so obviously she doesn't have to obey Spider's every wish. So if Spider asked Apparition to bring Vera, and Vera were against doing so, one would assume that she wouldn't bring her.

    12. Actually, considering Spider, are we to believe that Apparition 'accidentally' was in the same alley?

      I wonder...

      In any case, Apparition does work for Spider on occasion, so "between 'ghosting' and teleporting, that there would be little that they could not steal."

    13. Spider is a spider, she has her web spread far and wide. If you're a super in her city you end up in her web no matter what you do. That being said, you can consider that all the Villains work for Spider in some way and some point.

  18. I like the new chapter, but I see that Cassie (aka, "The New Remmy") is still making a pest of herself. I think she'd be far more useful as a test subject in Penny's lab.

    1. One thought on the Cassie/Penny/Ray triangle - the title of the book is, "Please Don't Tell My Parents I Have a Nemesis."

      Cassie has already kidnapped Ray in revenge once...

  19. A new thought.

    Penny can now 'fight' in the 'tournament.' What will that be like?

    Will she go one-one-one, or will it be the trio vs any team?

    And, if Penny pulls out her big guns (in terms of gear - new or old), perhaps it will be her alone against a team?

    I look forward to finding out.

    1. She's like Batman, given enough time to prepare she can defeat anyone. With enough prep she could take on a group alone, although she is better off with her team.

    2. That was my thinking as well.
      So, what exactly does that mean for the tournament? How will she participate.

      To be blunt, the others do not seem to have any organization all skill at all. Ray would be able to organize it, perhaps, but his involvement with Penny (and T.I.M.) would cast his impartiality into question.

      Or, if he joins in with Penny, & Claire as a team, again should be prohibited from organizing it.

      I have a mental scene in mind where Penny takes on Cassie, then Scarlet, and then Marcia one after the other in a climactic one tournament ending battle.

    3. from what we saw of the tournament, it's a one on one competition. where the winner gets to battle Penny in the end.

      If this is the case then there would probably be some time between the winner crowned and the Penny fight. So she would know who and when.

    4. Yes, it has been - till now.

      But, as you said, like Batman – if you give her time she will find a way to beat them.

      I can see her using The Machine, to absorb all of Lady Wisp’s Attacks, and hitting her with insulation gel/tar. Unless Cassie changes her attack methods, she will have a real hard time beating Penny.

      And, she might be able to invent a Super-Hoover, to suck up all of Beadown’s Jewelry. Then she could hit her with the Push Rod. The only ‘x-factor’ Beadown would have would be whatever she used to pull down Cassie’s Zipper. Unless Cassie had a bejeweled zipper, I do not know what she was using.

      As for Marcia, she is going to need something new. I do not think that the Push Rod is strong enough to hold her off, or lift her (unless she figure out the Push Rod better). In the latest book, Goodnight lifted up something much heavier (a car or a dumpster – I can not remember) to drop on Bull. So, that should be possible, if Penny can figure it out. But, that would really ‘aggro’ Marcia.