I can’t really top Amber Benson’s introduction to the anthology, Glitter & Mayhem, edited by John Klima, Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas. She’s pretty much got all the eye-popping, funkadelic, trippy feel to each and every one of these stories down to the very bones. All I can really do is give you a repeat. These stories bend, twist, break just about every stereotype there is – gender bending, race bending, species bending, mind bending. It’s all in here. Between roller derby, roller skating, and disco balling, I began to wonder if I was back in the ‘70s on the planet Neptune. I really felt like I needed to dust off my groove thang’. So with that said, let’s take a look at all the kickin’ stories:
Sister Twelve: Confessions of a Party Monster by Christopher Barzak
What a great intro to this anthology! Disco dancing, amazing twist on the fairy tale story of twelve sister princess who secretly sneak out of the palace at night to go…where? And do what? And how does it happen? Loved this story.
Apex Jump by David J. Schwartz
This was such a fun spacey roller derby story, that didn’t take itself too seriously. The cover of the book seemed almost to animate this tale right out of the rink!
With Her Hundred Miles to Hell by Kat Howard
Complex and gruesome, this story was grim and hard to follow. However, the descent into Howard’s version of Hell was by far one of the most unique I have read.
Star Dancer by Jennifer Palland
Imagine MIB only the Agents J and K are lesbians and combine that with belly dancing aliens and here you have Star Dancer. Another fun, alien dancing story.
Of Selkies, Disco Balls, and Anna Plane by Cat Rambo
Sad, tragic characters bound together in a love triangle by magic and fate, Rambo has done a great job of baring the souls of these characters.
Sooner Than Gold by Cory Skerry
A gritty story of a man tethered to a chest and forced to perform thefts and other acts. If he fails he gets punished. This story was truly freaky and I really wanted to be able to cut the tether and free the main character.
Subterraneans by William Shunn & Laura Chavoen
Partying doesn’t usually end in death, but in Subterraneans it does where the ultimate high is swapping places with other partiers. Fascinating story of thrills gone wrong resulting in revenge.
The Minotaur Girls by Tansy Rayner Roberts
At its heart, The Minotaur Girls feels to me like the embodiment of the old “beauty is only skin deep” cliché. The glittery Minotaur roller club that just everyone wants to be a part of has something evil lurking beneath. A strong female lead gets to the bottom of it.
Unable to Reach You by Alan DeNiro
Julian is targeted by him own online computer service and not just by any creep, but by something far more dark and evil. Will he escape? Creepy and satisfying.
Such & Such Said to So & So by Maria Dahvana Headley
This story follows a cop into the depths of mystery, a woman, and alcohol. Great dialogue and voice, I felt I was in the middle of a ‘30s crime drama.
Revels in the Land of Ice by Tim Pratt
Imagine stepping into another world of partying, skating, dancing and never being able to leave. The party has lassoed you, even when you think you have escaped.
Bess, The Landlord’s Daughter, Goes for Drinks with the Green Girl by Sofia Samatar
What else would two party girls do in life after death, but party? An unusual take on haunting that Samatar only teases us with as we read to the end of the end of the story.
Blood and Sequins by Diana Rowland
Two cops get dressed up to go skating during Mardi Gras and there’s bound to be blood and sequins, right? And some supernatural glitter, too.
Two-minute Warning by Vylar Kaftan
It’s amazing how much depth Kaftan gets in just a few pages about a sister who tries to drag her brother out of a computer-like game.
Inside Hides the Monster by Damien Walters Grintalis
A siren who no longer has the charm ventures into the human world. Will she survive beneath the disco ball with the shrieking music and the grabbing human hands?
Bad Dream Girl by Seanan McGuire
Roller derby girls are dropping like flies under mysterious circumstances during matches. It’s up to the main character to discover if it’s just a coincidence or is there someone or something alien behind the accidents.
A Hollow Play by Amal El-Mohtar
Another complex story of unrequited love surrounding a triangle or in this case a quad of unique characters including a bird woman.
Just Another Future Song by Daryl Gregory
Mr. Jones wakes weakened and amnesiac. Is he here of his own free will or is he being held captive for some unknown reason? Scary and threatening, this story has a great ending.
The Electric Spanking of the War Babies by Maurice Broaddus & Kyle S. Johnson
When I speak of shaking my ‘groove thang’, this is the story that really yanks the chain. It’s a bit roadhouse and Foxy Brown disco all slammed into one epic about a young blood who transcends the earthly scene by way of the local skate rink.
All That Fairy Tale Crap by Rachel Swirsky
Honey, this ain’t your white gown and glass slipper Cinderella story. If Cindy was on crack, had sex with her foster-girl peers and stole from her foster mother to survive, well then, this is your Cinderella story.
Ok, so, if you like space aliens, the Hustle, wide lapels, roller rinks, girl-on-girl action, and really amazing stories, you’re probably gonna’ really like partying with Glitter & Mayhem. Get ready to get your groove on!