The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Saves the World Again

A.C. Wise. Lethe (Ingram, dist.), $18 trade paper (290p) ISBN 978-1-59021-434-3
At a glance, this marvelous debut collection of linked stories looks like a shallow dive into retro goofiness, complete with a quick rocket jaunt to Mars, guns that light up and make a woo-woo sound, bikini-wearing guards in dire need of career counseling, and occasional cocktail recipes. But the real depth and intensity of the stories quickly become apparent. The squadron is a gang of gender outlaws who take on the universe’s toughest jobs and come through without chipping a nail. They find solidarity, sisterhood (with an asterisk for drag queen Butch and gender-eschewing M), and courage, as well as a greater understanding of self, as they face off against evil and triumph in style. As they embark on one improbable adventure after another, Wise sneaks in themes of internal conflict and the struggle for acceptance, with a gloriously diverse cast of characters offering a variety of perspectives. The backstories of various members of the Glitter Squadron are lovingly told explorations of humanity and gender, each packed with enough campy fun—like killing a tentacled sea monster with a high-heeled shoe—to almost disguise the bone-deep seriousness underneath. This groundbreaking collection will leave readers breathless with delight. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/24/2015
Genre: Fiction
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