Sugar Skulls (Lisa Mantchev and Glenn Dallas)

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sugar skulls

Sugar Skulls

Lisa Mantchev and Glenn Dallas

ISBN: 1503949710 (ISBN13: 9781503949713)

Skyscape Publishing

November 10, 2015

Cyrene is the latest and greatest experiment in alternative energy — a bio-energy the Corporation calls thrum. Kitting up vetted under 21s with nanomachines and networking them all into a grid, they keep them in the walled and domed city of Cyrene and fuel their nights and their libidos with all the sex, artificial drugs and rock and roll they can consume. Games, contests, and obstacle courses also provide a way to keep occupied and generate enough thrum to even ambiently power things in the city sometimes, and anyone who can facilitate the production of more is headed for meteoric career.

Vee sings for the Sugar Skulls, an all girl facepainted band that’s the hottest in Cyrene. She has rising fame, and has any pleasure one could think of in easy reach. Sex and drugs are also all too easy to get, but her glitchy nanotech could mean she needs a complete scrubbing if she overindulges. Memories of her past are more than a little spotty.

Micah is a runner for purveyors of various over-the-wall contraband; music, alcohol, and even non-designer non-nanotech drugs. It was one of those drugs that fried him off the grid. He’d like to know where it came from.

A chance meeting at the club he works out of; she’s onstage, her voice making him feel things he hasn’t since he glitched out. She can’t shake those eyes, and while she wonders why he’s not caught up like the rest of the room, she works the audience into a riot.

It’s like Mantchev and Dallas rummage through the best nostalgia, and create something that will appeal to both a younger and older crowd; it’s something a bit new, and a bit familiar all at the same time. It’s like they took some Bordertown, some Jem, a helping of cyberpunk, a teen romance, a dash of action film. They tossed it in a box–blew the box up–and you’re reading the glittering, smoke scented tatters. It’s glorious fun, and definitely how you should spend your evening.

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JL JamiesonSugar Skulls (Lisa Mantchev and Glenn Dallas)