Girl Reporter

Girl Reporter Details

TitleGirl Reporter
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseDec 19th, 2017
PublisherBook Smugglers Publishing
Rating
GenreComics, Superheroes, Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult, Novella

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Girl Reporter Review

  • TheBookSmugglers
    January 1, 1970
    A new novella coming from yours truly <3 LGBTQIA (bi mc)
  • Stephanie
    January 1, 1970
    Tansy Rayner Roberts is one of my favorite short story & novella writers in the world. I especially love the stories set in her Australian-superhero world, and I think this latest one might be her very best so far. (It's a standalone story - you certainly don't have to read either of the earlier stories first - but having read the others, I've really enjoyed all the developments across time!)I was lucky enough to get an early copy of this novella from the Book Smugglers, and I loved it so mu Tansy Rayner Roberts is one of my favorite short story & novella writers in the world. I especially love the stories set in her Australian-superhero world, and I think this latest one might be her very best so far. (It's a standalone story - you certainly don't have to read either of the earlier stories first - but having read the others, I've really enjoyed all the developments across time!)I was lucky enough to get an early copy of this novella from the Book Smugglers, and I loved it so much, I sent them this blurb: "Sharp, witty, and wrenchingly heartfelt, this is the brilliant Tansy Rayner Roberts at her sparkling best." SO good!
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  • Katharine (Ventureadlaxre)
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer that Tansy is one of my favourite authors and we get plates of gyoza and drinks when conventions arise together, so this review won't be totally impartial... because it doesn't have to be. Look to the awards she's won, everyone loves Tansy!Putting all that aside, we're back in the Cookie Cutter Superhero-verse we were first introduced to in the Twelfth Planet Press anthology Kaleidoscope, saw again in the novelette Kid Dark Against the Machine published by Book Smugglers in 2016, and Disclaimer that Tansy is one of my favourite authors and we get plates of gyoza and drinks when conventions arise together, so this review won't be totally impartial... because it doesn't have to be. Look to the awards she's won, everyone loves Tansy!Putting all that aside, we're back in the Cookie Cutter Superhero-verse we were first introduced to in the Twelfth Planet Press anthology Kaleidoscope, saw again in the novelette Kid Dark Against the Machine published by Book Smugglers in 2016, and are here now in the novella-length Girl Reporter. Griff, who we got to know and love in Kid Dark is back but emos off mostly to the side as we follow his pseudo-sister Friday Valentine, daughter of the star reporter who was right there at the right time when Australia first got superheroes. Now we have the internet and Friday is a vlogger, as obsessed with superheroes as her mother was and still apparently is... as it seems that her mother may have travelled to literally the ends of the world (and beyond) to snag an interview that should be impossible.It's just super lucky that in addition to being Australia's sweetheart, Friday's mother (and Friday) have a crew of superheroes ready and happy to help them out. Or at least want in on punching out Australia's worst super-villain and her dreadful taste in 80s fashion...Like all of Tansy's writing this is a fun and lovely romp that deals with topics that shouldn't even be something we have to mention, such as feminism, disability-awareness, bisexuality and sex-positivity. This is such a safe and positive realm that we can only hope we'll eventually achieve someday. The characters are supportive yet realistic, troubled and sometimes a bit annoyed, but reflective and willing to fight evil when it shows up in shoulder-pads.What is probably the most important part of the novel is the inclusion of Indigenous Australians, and their part in this novella is handled well, and with fire. The consideration for community, the recognition of white privilege, and the recognition that it's not a simple topic to consider. If you want something that's witty, with punchy dialogue and a clever commentary on the superhero genre then you've come to the right place. There are in-jokes and little nods to things, but even if you're new to loving superhero things in general, this would still be highly enjoyable without being able to notice them. Oh, I should also mention that Tansy never fails to write something that sparks my need for another novel, inspired by some off-hand comment or reference. In this case it's Dimes. Tansy! I need a novel on dimension pirates, please and thank you. (Or fine, a set of novellas would also work, as that's your current favourite. I may be a rabid fangirl but I'm a benevolent rabid fangirl!) And dimesaurs! THEY COULD HAVE A PET DIMESAUR. 
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  • Tsana Dolichva
    January 1, 1970
    Girl Reporter by Tansy Rayner Roberts is a novella set in the same universe as her short story "Cookie Cutter Superhero", published in Kaleidoscope, and the novella Kid Dark Against the Machine. You don't have to have read the earlier stories to enjoy or understand Girl Reporter, but the characters from the earlier stories show up and provide minor spoilers for their backstories.This novella was a positively delightful read. It blends Roberts' humour with social commentary on the state of superh Girl Reporter by Tansy Rayner Roberts is a novella set in the same universe as her short story "Cookie Cutter Superhero", published in Kaleidoscope, and the novella Kid Dark Against the Machine. You don't have to have read the earlier stories to enjoy or understand Girl Reporter, but the characters from the earlier stories show up and provide minor spoilers for their backstories.This novella was a positively delightful read. It blends Roberts' humour with social commentary on the state of superhero fiction and various contemporary issues, especially those surrounding representation. Additionally the novella is so Australian it hurts (in a good way). Despite the alternate universe setting, Roberts finds plenty of opportunity to engage with modern Australian culture and hark back to the Australian culture of the 80s and 90s. I expect there will be some references that non-Australians will miss, but the novella won't be the worse for it. And everything really important is explained anyway.The other delightful thing about this novel is the upbeat and clever voice of Tina Valentina. I will always have a soft spot for snark, but it's also nice to have a protagonist who is pretty upbeat and excited about things, despite some cynicism. Also, Tina drops backstory into the narrative very naturally, whether it's superhero history or about her mother. Roberts has nailed alternate-dimension young Millennial, and I say this as a non-super-dimension older Millennial. This was my favourite of all three stories in the "Cookie Cutter Superhero-Verse" so far. I hope there will be more. I love the setting and all the characters so far have been great. There hasn't been very much superhero fiction (that I'm aware of) set in Australia and the strong Aussie-ness of the setting really boosts the book into an even more exciting take on superheroes, rather than yet another superhero story set in New York.I highly recommend Girl Reporter to all fans of superhero stories. It's fun and fresh and full of diversity. Being a novella, it's also a pretty quick read. I can't wait to read more books set in this world. 5 / 5 starsYou can read more of my reviews on my blog.
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  • Estelle
    January 1, 1970
    Bisexual YouTube channel creator who reports about superheroes? Can't forget her badass reporter mom. Lots of girl power in this novella. This was great fun with a little bit of family drama, romance, and tons of secrets. Super creative. The chapter names are a clever touch.Note: YA with an older narrator.More about the author + queer representation in YA @ The Mary Sue: https://www.themarysue.com/girl-repor...
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  • Paul Weimer
    January 1, 1970
    Living up to the standards of your mother is no easy things sometimes. Especially when you are Friday Valentina, daughter of Tina Valentina. Tina Valentina broke barriers as a girl reporter interviewing the Australian superhero Solar and breaking news about Australian superheroes for decades.To this day, Tina Valentina is THE Girl Reporter. That’s a lot to live up to. Living in the 21st century, instead of writing for outfits like Women’s Weekly, Friday has a youtube channel where she covers sup Living up to the standards of your mother is no easy things sometimes. Especially when you are Friday Valentina, daughter of Tina Valentina. Tina Valentina broke barriers as a girl reporter interviewing the Australian superhero Solar and breaking news about Australian superheroes for decades.To this day, Tina Valentina is THE Girl Reporter. That’s a lot to live up to. Living in the 21st century, instead of writing for outfits like Women’s Weekly, Friday has a youtube channel where she covers superheroes in her own way, like mother, like daughter. Hey, she’s just gotten one million hits on her channel. Friday’s huge! She’s also grown up in a world where superheroes are real and a thing, and she is possibly the daughter of one, or at least all the gossip and tabloids suggests anyway. Her mother doesn’t talk about that either. So in a 21st century world where superheroes are a thing and you are trying to follow in your mother’s trailblazing path...and your mother suddenly disappears, then your course of action is clear: Use your skills and existing connections to Australia’s superheroes to go find her. Rescue Mom, get the story. Even if dimension hopping is involved. Even if secrets about your Mom’s history, and the history of Australian superheroes get exposed in the process.This is Friday Valentina’s story in Tansy Rayner Roberts’ YA novella Girl Reporter, from the Booksmugglers Novella Initiative.Girl Reporter is not the first story in this verse that Roberts has written. Previously, her story “Cookie Cutter Superhero”, in the award winning Kaleidoscope anthology, introduced the superhero world that we see here. Kid Dark Against the Machine, her second story, continued that exploration of a world where superhero-creating machines arrived in the early 1980’s, and so nations around the world started creating superheroes, useful in a world of supervillains, invaders from other planets and dimensions, and the general mayhem that you find in comic book universes. Given that Girl Reporter has a superhero enthusiast as its protagonist, the infodumping of what we need to understand how this universe came about is efficient and easy. You don’t need to read the previous stories to grok this world, but you may want to read them after you’ve read this anyway. Characters from those stories appear here in this narrative.Writing stories, as opposed to comics or movies, in a comic book world is not always the easiest trick to pull off. Comic book universes are a visual medium by design, using image be it on page or screen to convey what words find it more difficult to pull off. (And let me put in here, now, that I think that the cover for Girl Reporter, by Emma Glaze, is fantastic). Given that Roberts focuses on an intensely person, character and dialogue driven story, she overcomes the natural disadvantages of taking to type exclusively to tell a superhero story and instead dives deeply into the richness of her protagonist and the characters around her. ‘Friday is intensely interesting as a protagonist, and her voice as a character is strong and marked.For all the of the entertainment value of the story, the story also asks and answers and debates questions about representation(of various forms), cultural appropriation, own voices, and much more. This is a seriously and strongly written story of our cultural moment, and it is not one that could have been easily published 20, 10 or perhaps even 5 years ago. Come for the Girl Reporter trying to find her Mom, stay for the 21st century universe of characters and ideas that we deserve.The novella ends with an essay on Lois Lane (the ur-character for any Girl Reporter character in fiction, obviously), a strong piece on her history and role and development that is nearly worth the price of admission on its own. In the end, Tansy Rayner Roberts proves, as a writer, feminist, and a person, you don’t need spandex to be your own hero.
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  • Alexandra
    January 1, 1970
    I received a review copy of this because, well, I asked my good friend Tansy if I could read it early and she said yes... it's coming from Book Smugglers in December and you can pre-order it right now. I have described this as a distillation of Tansy, and I stand by that. If you listen to Galactic Suburbia, or probably Verity! as well, you'll find as you read this book that you recognise a lot of things. Not the characters, as such, nor the plot beats, but the themes. It's superheroes and femini I received a review copy of this because, well, I asked my good friend Tansy if I could read it early and she said yes... it's coming from Book Smugglers in December and you can pre-order it right now. I have described this as a distillation of Tansy, and I stand by that. If you listen to Galactic Suburbia, or probably Verity! as well, you'll find as you read this book that you recognise a lot of things. Not the characters, as such, nor the plot beats, but the themes. It's superheroes and feminism, yes, which Tansy is definitely obsessed with. But more than that, it's got romance (she's been reading a lot of them), motherhood (there's been a few essays on the topic in the last few years), queer representation and ethnic diversity (she's a champion for those things). It's got people discussing 'old' media vs 'new' media, and speculation about new new media; millennials doing excellent things and not taking crap from their elders; and a whole bucketload of snark and banter. And given her obsession with Press Gang and Lynda Day, it was only a matter of time before that came out in her fiction. Also, it's sooo Australian. So yeh. This is a very Tansy book.But wait! You don't know who Tansy is? That's ok! You'll still enjoy this novella if you're interested in superheroes, and especially if you're interested in superheroes beyond them just punching villains and swooshing in capes. This is set in the universe of "Cookie Cutter Superhero" from Kaleidoscope and "Kid Dark Against the Machine" - and if you liked those, you'll be super excited to know that some of the characters recur here (you can definitely enjoy this cold but it's so worth reading those other two stories anyway). It's a world where machines mysteriously appeared, many years ago all over the world, which turn ordinary people into superheroes with different powers (and outfits) - and return them to normal again too. The stories are set in Australia, and while the first two deal with superheroes themselves this one is specifically focussed on Friday Valentina, a vlogger with a famous mother and a variety of baggage. Her vlogging focus is superheroes and they do end up being very... involved... in the story. It's a hugely enjoyable story that also says some sharp things about a variety of relationships, and about Australian politics in passing too. I'm rather hoping there might be more stories in this world to come... 
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  • Lindsay
    January 1, 1970
    The third piece in Tansy Rayner Roberts's superhero short fiction series expands the format out to novella length (the previous two are short stories). In thie world of Machine-created superheroes that have been around since the 1980s there have been journalists and fans covering them since the beginning. In particular, the Australian scene was covered by Tina Valentina who scored many a scoop and ended up becoming rich off a brilliant career. This is the story of her daughter, Friday Valentina, The third piece in Tansy Rayner Roberts's superhero short fiction series expands the format out to novella length (the previous two are short stories). In thie world of Machine-created superheroes that have been around since the 1980s there have been journalists and fans covering them since the beginning. In particular, the Australian scene was covered by Tina Valentina who scored many a scoop and ended up becoming rich off a brilliant career. This is the story of her daughter, Friday Valentina, who's a natural in the family business, only with the media of the late 2010s.Friday is working up to cover the next "superhero spill" where the six-monthly cycle that the Machine is on is up and one of the current superheroes becomes ordinary, and someone ordinary becomes super. But she's distracted, partly because she keeps having to cover for the disappearance of her mother, and partly because she has to idea where her mother actually is. When it becomes apparent that she's away chasing the interview of the century with a supervillainess from another dimension, Friday has to use her contacts, such as they are, with the Aussie superhero community to try and organize a rescue.The conversation this time is about Lois Lane and that role in it's various incarnations in superhero comics. Just the difference in approach between Tina and Friday as a generational approach is fascinating, escpecially in contrast with Lois, because this pair are entirely different, and they only cover half the time that Lois has been active. There's also a diverse cast and the return of both Solar and Kid Dark from previous stories in the series, and some queer romances that work really well.
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  • Forestofglory
    January 1, 1970
    I got sent an arc of the novella, and it was great! This the third installment of Roberts' superhero series but is a stand alone story. I loved the wise cracking (and bisexual) main character who runs a superhero YouTube Chanel and who's mother is an ace reporter. There were many fun over the top superhero parts but also some really touching family relationships in this. Recommended.
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  • Ceillie
    January 1, 1970
    Holy crap, yes please. Full review to come.
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