By Catherynne M. Valente
Saga Press, 2018. 304 pgs. Science Fiction
Hailed as a cross between The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Eurovision, this is a rollicking, rocking romp through the galaxy as Earth finally looks up to meet the rest of the galactic family.
While humans were learning to make tools and get into arguments with one another, a greater war was being waged in the galaxy. The Sentience Wars tore the galaxy apart and the aftermath created a curious tradition, once every cycle the civilizations of the galaxy gather together for the Metagalactic Grand Prix. It is part clash of the gladiators, part beauty pageant, and part epic singing contest.
The stakes are high; the contestants and their species who fail to score higher than at least one of the other participants will be annihilated and their planetary resources will be seized. The fate of the Earth lies in the hands of a washed up rocker named Decibel Jones and his rag-tag band The Absolute Zeroes.
Fans of Valente will revel in her rich descriptions and intricate dialogue. This book is a love letter to glitter, lipstick, silver jumpsuits, and platform shoes. Hailing back to the fabulous 1970s and with larger than life characters, this book is ridiculous—ridiculously good.