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Sputnik's Children
Cover of Sputnik's Children
Sputnik's Children
A Novel
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A literary, genre-bending novel full of heartCult comic book creator Debbie Reynolds Biondi has been riding the success of her Cold War era–inspired superhero series, Sputnik Chick: Girl with No Past, for more than 25 years. But with the comic book losing fans and Debbie struggling to come up with new plotlines for her badass, mutant-killing heroine, she decides to finally tell Sputnik Chick's origin story.Debbie's never had to make anything up before and she isn't starting now. Sputnik Chick is based on Debbie's own life in an alternate timeline called Atomic Mean Time. As a teenager growing up in Shipman's Corners — a Rust Belt town voted by Popular Science magazine as "most likely to be nuked" — she was recruited by a self-proclaimed time traveller to collapse Atomic Mean Time before an all-out nuclear war grotesquely altered humanity. In trying to save the world, Debbie risked obliterating everyone she'd ever loved — as well as her own past — in the process.Or so she believes . . . Present-day Debbie is addicted to lorazepam and dirty, wet martinis, making her an unreliable narrator, at best. A time-bending novel that delves into the origin story of the Girl with No Past, Sputnik's Children explores what it was like to come of age in the Atomic Age.

A literary, genre-bending novel full of heartCult comic book creator Debbie Reynolds Biondi has been riding the success of her Cold War era–inspired superhero series, Sputnik Chick: Girl with No Past, for more than 25 years. But with the comic book losing fans and Debbie struggling to come up with new plotlines for her badass, mutant-killing heroine, she decides to finally tell Sputnik Chick's origin story.Debbie's never had to make anything up before and she isn't starting now. Sputnik Chick is based on Debbie's own life in an alternate timeline called Atomic Mean Time. As a teenager growing up in Shipman's Corners — a Rust Belt town voted by Popular Science magazine as "most likely to be nuked" — she was recruited by a self-proclaimed time traveller to collapse Atomic Mean Time before an all-out nuclear war grotesquely altered humanity. In trying to save the world, Debbie risked obliterating everyone she'd ever loved — as well as her own past — in the process.Or so she believes . . . Present-day Debbie is addicted to lorazepam and dirty, wet martinis, making her an unreliable narrator, at best. A time-bending novel that delves into the origin story of the Girl with No Past, Sputnik's Children explores what it was like to come of age in the Atomic Age.

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  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 27, 2017
    Favro’s (The Proxy Bride) highly entertaining tale is told by Debbie Biondi, the aging writer of the fantastically popular comic series Sputnik Chick. After 25 years, the comic is losing fans, and Debbie needs to win them back by writing a superb origin story for her character. But since she is Sputnik Chick, it’s her own troubled history that she must force herself to write. Her story begins in a parallel timeline, which split from our own in 1945 with the Trinity nuclear test in Mexico. This new timeline, Atomic Mean Time is going to be obliterated in a nuclear catastrophe unless 13 year-old Debbie, growing up in radioactive Canusa, crosses timelines to save it. The story of how and why she crossed becomes the meat of the novel, interspersed with the stories of present-day Debbie’s adult life falling apart: she’s relying heavily on martinis and tranquilizers, sleeping with the wrong guys. Favro successfully crams romance, the Cold War, suburbia, time travel, discussions of racism, a coming-of-age narrative, and more into a single book, using the contrast between the two timelines to highlight both good and bad aspects of current society. Funny, touching, genre-bending, and one-of-a-kind, this is an exuberant romp of a novel that is nonetheless unafraid of serious subjects. Agent: Kris Rothstein, Carolyn Swayze Literary.

  • Kirkus

    February 15, 2017
    An underground comic creator reveals the unbelievably true origin story of her most famous creation, Sputnik Chick, the girl with no past.In this arresting debut novel, Favro (The Proxy Bride, 2012) has crafted a delightful, timey-wimey gem that manages to temper its phantasmagorical imagery with the authentic pain of losing everything that one loves. The book's protagonist is Debbie Reynolds Biondi, a pill-popping, hard-drinking cartoonist looking down the barrel of middle age even as her punky comic-book heroine continues to surge in popularity. But to keep her gig, Debbie is under pressure from her publisher and fans to reveal the origins of her graphic doppelganger. That's when the story comes off the ground like a flying car as Debbie reveals how she grew up in an alternate reality vastly removed from this one. In Debbie's universe, dubbed "Atomic Mean Time," when Robert Oppenheimer split the atom, it shattered time, creating a fractured spectrum of alternate realities. Debbie's adolescence was spent terrified under the very real threat of nuclear war as America and Russia increased their nuclear arsenals in droves in a cold war that never ended. Yet there are also those mundane but unforgettable moments of adolescence, too, including time with friends and Debbie's romance with handsome neighbor John Kendal. But again and again, Debbie encounters a mysterious time traveler she dubs "The Trespasser," who warns of her inevitable fate as the sole person with the ability to bring time's impossible divisions to an end, albeit at unthinkable personal cost. Favro walks an incredible narrative tightrope here, balancing present-day Debbie's sad, inebriated reality with Atomic Mean Time Debbie's frightening world of duck-and-cover exercises, DNA-enhanced "twisties," and imminent nuclear threats. "I've always felt that The Girl With No Past was a revenge tragedy at heart," a lover tells her. "There's a darkness at its core. That's what makes it so interesting." A noodle-bending literary sci-fi novel that puts its hero in the box with Schrodinger's cat.

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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A Novel
Terri Favro
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