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Formats
Paperback Details
  • 07/2022
  • 9781088033432
  • 700 pages
  • $29.99
frank mcmanus
Author
Author

Adult; Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror; (Market)

Frankly Savannah is a marvelous romp through space, time, and oddball characters. The story centers around a Father/Daughter satellite repair company, a job they take investigating a gold coin, and a lost WWI pilot who discovers a time portal. The US Government dissolves; the Earth shifts on its access; an AI known as Elon Musk wants to create a race of super Tesla bots, and Amazon Alexa runs us all. Mix all that with a touch of female domination, quirky characters, unique restaurants, torture, revenge, and gold, and you have a masterful parody of what business and life could be like in the future.
Reviews
This extravagantly playful science-fiction satire imagines a 22nd century in which current trends have run amok: Antarctica has melted into Springlandia. The U.S. government is now run through Amazon Alexas, devices that run people’s lives, scheme against them and, with the right download, assume the role of dominatrixes, making users beg when issuing commands. Elon Musk’s A.I. has colonized Mars and curses out his Tesla bots in a “squeaky cartoon voice.” And guys like Frank, who runs “the only medium-sized space engineering and repair business on this side of the Large Magellanic Cloud,” still adore massive TVs and refurbished older vehicles, like his planet-hopping Chevy Novastar.

McManus’s epic does have a plot, a time-hopping pulp lulu that finds a World War I pilot crashing in the Alps in 1918 with a cargo that grows more precious as centuries past, though it’s the fun speculative elements—and Frank’s warmly crabby relationship with his daughter Savannah—that give the novel its quirky kick. Still, the mysteries involving out-of-time gold and people, plus a possible murder with dark implications for the family business, keep the pages turning and add welcome gravity to the high-flying antics. The humor’s often times cheerfully foul-mouthed, especially when Frank is complaining, though McManus’s choice to included a winged character named “Larry the Fairy” who’s fond of “cruse’n” to his “favorite glory hole” will test—or entirely eliminate—the good will of many readers.

The speculative elements are more comic than predictive; in this future, characters still order pizzas and remember 1980s movies, though perhaps this mirrors the ways we still read Dickens today. While filled with silly incidents, surprising plot twists, and much slightly annoyed chatter between father and daughter, the novel is demandingly long, especially for a comedy where it’s not always clear how seriously readers should take the stakes. But the central relationship is compelling, and readers on McManus’s wavelength should expect some belly laughs.

Takeaway: A mad science-fiction spree into an Alexa and Musk-ruled 22nd century.

Great for fans of: James Alan Gardner, Barry J. Hutchison’s Space Team.

Production grades
Cover: B+
Design and typography: B+
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: B
Marketing copy: A

Formats
Paperback Details
  • 07/2022
  • 9781088033432
  • 700 pages
  • $29.99

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