Dear Catherynne M. Valente & Space Opera,
A century ago, the Sentience Wars tore the galaxy apart and nearly ended the entire concept of intelligent space-faring life. In the aftermath, a curious tradition was invented—something to cheer up everyone who was left and bring the shattered worlds together in the spirit of peace, unity, and understanding.
Once every cycle, the civilizations gather for Galactivision—part gladiatorial contest, part beauty pageant, part concert extravaganza, and part continuation of the wars of the past. Instead of competing in orbital combat, the powerful species that survived face off in a competition of song, dance, or whatever can be physically performed in an intergalactic talent show. The stakes are high for this new game, and everyone is forced to compete.
This year, though, humankind has discovered the enormous universe. And while they expected to discover a grand drama of diplomacy, gunships, wormholes, and stoic councils of aliens, they have instead found glitter, lipstick, and electric guitars. Mankind will not get to fight for its destiny—they must sing.
A band of human musicians, dancers, and roadies have been chosen to represent Earth on the greatest stage in the galaxy. And the fate of their species lies in their ability to rock. [/quote]
I am deeply honored to be part of the Refrigerator Monologues blog tour. You combine Catherynne M. Valente’s writing with ladies in comics, I’ll be front and center with bells on!
I can write essays about all the super heroines I absolutely adore. I actually had a hard time pinpointing which ones are my all-time favorites. I just couldn’t narrow it down! They are equally awesome and my favorites. They’re all inspiring ladies.
There are four super heroines I hardcore adore to the point where I’ll be holding signs professing my love to them. They are forever in my heart.
Dear Catherynne M. Valente & The Refrigerator Monologues,
From the New York Times bestselling author Catherynne Valente comes a series of linked stories from the points of view of the wives and girlfriends of superheroes, female heroes, and anyone who’s ever been “refrigerated”: comic book women who are killed, raped, brainwashed, driven mad, disabled, or had their powers taken so that a male superhero’s storyline will progress.
In an entirely new and original superhero universe, Valente subversively explores these ideas and themes in the superhero genre, treating them with the same love, gravity, and humor as her fairy tales. After all, superheroes are our new fairy tales and these six women have their own stories to share.Goodreads
First sentence: “Come forward.”
How do I even begin to describe to you the beauty of Radiance? This book left me incapable of articulating words that could perfectly convey to you its imaginative space world, different narrative forms, the old-timey radio quality, and the mystery of Severin Unck that troubles the book. I don’t think anything I could say would do this book a justice, but I will try because wow, this book, guys. Absolute book hangover.
Spanning from the 1920s to the late 60s, Radiance imagines an alternate universe where people live on the Moon and the film industry has barely made any progress due to Edison’s strict business practices that keeps motion picture technology from people. You’ll find: an epic space noir mystery about a headstrong documentary filmmaker, Severin Unck, who had disappeared after visiting Venus with her film crew to investigate the disappearance of a diving colony and the mysterious alien-like callowhales; old glamour Hollywood; layers and layers of characters performing and crafting stories, trying to make sense of the terrible; an alternate solar system where it’s like a playground for Severin to film and discover; different narrative techniques like gossip rags and movie scripts; a deep appreciation for storytelling and filmmaking; and so much more.
I admit I’m a book cover snob. Who isn’t though?
Book covers are the first thing that attracts readers to a book. A good cover can draw someone is, just as a bad cover can easily draw someone away. It can essentially make or break a book. Holy, Mother Cover! is where I showcase the book covers that stand out (or make me cringe), and discuss cover changes.
COVER CHANGE: Six-Gun Snow White by Catherynne M. Valente
Dear Catherynne M. Valente and Radiance,
I’ve pretty much waited all my life for this book. Please be in my life right this instance.
Severin Unck’s father is a famous director of Gothic romances in an alternate 1986 in which talking movies are still a daring innovation due to the patent-hoarding Edison family. Rebelling against her father’s films of passion, intrigue, and spirits from beyond, Severin starts making documentaries, traveling through space and investigating the levitator cults of Neptune and the lawless saloons of Mars. For this is not our solar system, but one drawn from classic science fiction in which all the planets are inhabited and we travel through space on beautiful rockets. Severin is a realist in a fantastic universe.
But her latest film, which investigates the disappearance of a diving colony on a watery Venus populated by island-sized alien creatures, will be her last. Though her crew limps home to earth and her story is preserved by the colony’s last survivor, Severin will never return.
Aesthetically recalling A Trip to the Moon and House of Leaves, and told using techniques from reality TV, classic film, gossip magazines, and meta-fictional narrative, Radiance is a solar system-spanning story of love, exploration, family, loss, quantum physics, and silent film. Goodreads