Trish Trash, Roller Girl of Mars: The Collected Edition

Writer / Artist
Trish Trash, Roller Girl of Mars: The Collected Edition
Trish Trash Roller Girl of Mars review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: Super Genius - 978-1-5458-0166-6
  • Release date: 2019
  • UPC: 9781545801666
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: yes
  • Positive minority portrayal?: yes
  • CATEGORIES: Science-Fiction

Our fascination with Mars has never faltered and now that we seem within touching distance, the Red Planet’s allure and presence in our fiction has never been more broad-based and healthily imaginative. Amidst all the TV, movie and literary product, one of the most engaging treatments has been a comics serial detailing the life of an extraordinary young woman in exceedingly trying times.

After Earth collapsed in an ecological and economic meltdown, the recently arrived first settlers on Mars became trapped under an increasingly burdensome fixed economic structure and oppressive corporate plutocracy. Two hundred years later, an entire class of indentured servants eke out a fraught existence, harvesting water and food with machines rented from Arex, whose slogan is “we’re the air that you breathe”. The air they don’t breathe is meagre, toxic, dust-filled and slightly radioactive.

On Mars, everything belongs to the company, and people usually go from cradle to grave in crippling debt. There is, ostensibly, a chance to escape: mandatory offworld mining missions to the asteroid belt. These Temporary Labor Assignments, however, are looked on as a quick ticket to certain death.

All tyrannies need bread and circuses though. On Mars that’s Hoverderby. Based on the ancient Earth entertainment, teams of women race around a hover track in flying boots, scoring points by beating each other up. It’s the planet’s most popular spectator sport and Arex own that too!

Trish Nupindu is seven-and-a-half (on Mars: in Earth terms that’s 15), a smart, recently-orphaned kid who’s really good with engines and mechanical systems. Stuck on her aunt’s water farm, she dreams of becoming a Hoverderby star and is utterly discontented with the state of her existence. She believes her only chance of getting out from under a system stacked from the get-go against ordinary people is to become a media star of the great sport. Bold and impatient, she sneaks off to join the local team and is suckered into a binding intern’s contract, even though she’s under-age.

The world turns upside down after she and her avowed-revolutionary pal Marq discover a native Martian. Recalled from near-death, the mythical creature opens their eyes to a whole new world and “her” secrets will change forever not just the way Hoverderby is played but the very economic balance of power on the Red Planet… if the ruthless upper echelons of Arex don’t stop them first.

Jessica Abel has been wowing readers and winning prizes since 1997 when she took both the Harvey and Lulu awards for Best New Talent. Trish Trash is a sublime blend of subversive human drama and hard science fiction thriller with a supremely human and believable lead taking charge and changing the world. The entire saga is now available in oversized (218 x 284 mm) hardback, paperback and eBook editions, at least one of which you really must see ASAP.