A literary, genre-bending novel full of heart
Cult 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.
Growing up in the Niagara region during the Cold War, Terri Favro was told, “If they drop the bomb, we’ll be the first to go.” Today she is a CBC Literary Prize finalist; author of the award-winning novella, The Proxy Bride; and co-creator of the Bella comic book series. Terri lives in Toronto, Ontario, and blogs at TerriFavro.ca.
“Funny, touching, genre-bending, and one-of-a-kind, this is an exuberant romp of a novel that is nonetheless unafraid of serious subjects.” — Publishers Weekly
“Sputnik Chick’s origin story is fun – a twist on pop culture and Cold War nostalgia, well paced with zero slack . . . Debbie is the girl with no past – a tragic fate; but for a character, an interesting place to start.” — Globe and Mail
“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 . . . 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 . . . A noodle-bending literary sci-fi novel that puts its hero in the box with Schrödinger’s cat.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Favro hits hard with political, feminist themes throughout, fearlessly bringing female sexuality and body image to the forefront. . . . There are no clear answers, but it seems as though that’s how Favro wants it, and that approach is perfectly matched to the curious, smart worlds and parallel realities that co-exist in Sputnik’s Children.” — Hamilton Review of Books
“It is a book so full of feeling, I thought that my heart would explode as I read it. I loved it. It comes with humour, insight, and cold war nostalgia as well. It’s a really great novel.” — CBC’s Ontario Morning
“Favro’s time-travelling comic book adventure narrative is fast-paced and entertaining.” — This Magazine
“Terri Favro captures a world that is equal parts filth, hope, humanity, lust, stainless steel and radioactive waste — an alternate reality that is both enticingly different and alarmingly familiar.” — Tom Allen, author and broadcaster
“A paranoid yarn with literary flair and real feeling, Sputnik’s Children combines broken families, fractured timelines, comic book trivia and radioactivity into a delightful, explosive read.” — Dominik Parisien, author of The Starlit Wood
“What a ride! A novel that makes you believe anything is possible in life as we know it. Or life as we don’t know it. A trippy, time-bending romp, filled with heart, humour and faith.” — Brian Francis, author of Natural Order and Fruit
“It’s not just Cold War Nostalgia, or the book’s one-of-a-kind genre bending, or how much fun this book sounds like it is. Instead, it’s all of that! We can’t wait.” — 49th Shelf
“You’ll love weaving your way through Debbie’s lorazepam- and martini-induced memories in this genre-bending ode to the unreliable narrator, with a touch of Cold War-era nostalgia thrown in for good measure.” — Canadian Living
“A unique, quirky story involving a comic book writer, parallel universes and growing up in the time of the atomic bomb . . . this genre-bender is definitely worth a read!” — Lindsay’s Library
“Exhilarating, so hard to put down, rich with comic book twists, explosions, villains, and familiar tropes that are fresh and surprisingly rendered. It’s A Wrinkle in Time meets Wonder Woman — with a literary twist of Madeline Sonik’s award-winning Cold War essay collection Afflictions and Departures. And easily one of my favourite books of 2017.” — Pickle Me This blog
“A dizzying ride through the time-space continuum held together by comic books and quantum mechanics. . . You’ll be turning pages faster than Space Shuttle Challenger in freefall. And if you read novels with a pen in your hand (like us), you’ll be underlining funny and clever passages throughout the book.” — SuperHeroNovels.com
“An audacious experiment in unreliable narration . . .Sputnik’s Children is one of those rare novels that starts out as one thing, and ends up being something else altogether – an impressive high-wire act that is also a cracking good story.” – Quill & Quire