The Sisters Sputnik

Terri Favro. ECW, $18.95 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-77041-608-6

This lively, rambling yarn, a return to the world of Favro’s Sputnik’s Children, begins when two itinerant Storytellers arrive in one of the many alternate timelines created by nuclear explosions. Debbie and her protégé, Unicorn Girl, are ready to entertain the locals with fantastic tales and true history from their home in Earth Standard Time. But when Debbie recognizes their host for the night as a lover she’d believed dead, she spends the night bringing him up to date on her adventures instead. Besides creating the hit comic book Sputnik Chick: Girl with No Past, Debbie saved the inhabitants of Atomic Mean Time by merging them with their doppelgängers in Earth Standard Time just as WWIII was erupting—or so she’d believed until she found herself trapped in Atomic Shadow Time, the frozen moment before WWIII, where junksters (social outcasts who aspire to become machines) serve human-robot hybrids. And so it goes, one mind-boggling concept after another as Debbie relays her experiences ricocheting around the time continuum catching glimpses of scrambled worlds, including one in which Frank Sinatra is dating Queen Elizabeth. The narrative doesn’t quite pull everything together in the end, but it does what readers ask of a Storyteller: keeps things fast-moving and entertaining. It’s a breezy joy. Agent: Carolyn Swayze, Carolyn Swayze Literary. (May)