Metropolis Ink, 228 pp.
Here’s a darn good first novel that’s worth picking up. Tritcheon Hash is a speed-crazed military test pilot, she’s happily married with two kids, and she’s about to be assigned to a top secret spy mission. The catch? Hash lives on the all female planet of Coney Island (named for the ancient Irish penal colony). It’s the year 3011 and all women have become fed up with the violent behavior of men and left the Earth. Now, after several hundred years of isolation, there is talk of reunification and Tritcheon Hash must slip through Earth’s defenses to spy on the planet of men. This is, of course, pure parody. The humor ranges from subtle tongue-in-cheek to all-out zany madcap. The basic story is silly and the supporting characters are a little two-dimensional but it’s mostly funny and when it’s not the strong figure of Hash carries the story through any rough spots. Along her adventures Hash befriends one male, makes a bitter enemy of another, and takes a quick tour of war-torn Earth. Lange uses the humor to get across a few simple pacifist/feminist points without seeming preachy. In the end though it is a story of love, sacrifice, and personal growth that climaxes in an emotionally poignant sequence that brings the story to a satisfying close. There never seems to be enough good science fiction satire on the market, so it’s pleasing to see a talented new writer entering the field.