Waste of Space

Chazz Young, CEO of DV8, a cable television network dedicated to trashy reality shows like So You Think You Can Pole Dance, has a vision. As he tells the astrophysicists he's hired from NASAW (National Association for the Study of Astronomy and Weightlessness), "[w]e want to take a bunch of teenagers and shoot them into space." Of course, "we'll be faking it," he reassures them: "[T]he mission commences. Lifelong friendships are formed. Bitter fights erupt. Maybe a slap or two. A slap in zero gravity--that's never been done before!... Every eye in America will tune in to check on their new cosmic sweethearts."

But--surprise! Things don't go quite as planned, as the 10 unwitting teens, carefully selected to fit Chazz's hilariously offensive stereotypes--the Party Girl, Rich Kid, Black Gay Astronaut--proceed to do... nothing much. Desperate to hold his viewers' attention, Chazz stirs things up with a manufactured asteroid attack and other space crises. But it's when the 24/7 live streaming contact is unexpectedly cut off--and not by DV8--that the strain of the adventure begins to show in each of the space travelers. Are they the victims of Chazz's heartless manipulations for TV ratings, or some other nefarious force performing psycho-social experiments?

Gina Damico's (Wax; Hellhole; Croak trilogy) biting satire is a fun and funny read that turns darker as it goes along. Watching the typecast caricatures become more human as they begin to crack, readers will experience the disintegration of the wall that usually separates viewers from the more absurd reality programming. Told in a series of transcripts, e-mails and personal accounts and "edited" by an unnamed whistle-blowing intern, Waste of Space is, decidedly, not a waste of time. --Emilie Coulter, freelance writer and editor

Powered by: Xtenit