The gun straps to the inside of my leg with Velcro. It''s not the absolute zenith of fashion to do this anymore, but girls who wear theirs with leather straps and buckles aren''t serious: with Velcro you can get at the thing when you need it.
I also have a pink ammo belt. It''s heavy, but who said fashion was easy?''
In a mall like any other, a gang of teenage girls are suddenly caught up in a maelstrom of shopping and violence. But - as the designer bullets fly - it is not only their own lives they are fighting for. Unknown to them they are battling for the life of a man trapped in another place, in a different world, and with very different enemies.
He is a man they have never met, but who represents the future of the human race ... or could destroy it.
Arthur C. Clarke Award-winner Sullivan (Dreaming in Smoke ) neatly threads two seemingly unrelated coming-of-age stories together\x97one of "girlz" rumbling in a Jersey mall, the other of a future in which males are nearly extinct\x97in this fantasy that evenhandedly explores gender issues. What unites these stories is the author's concern for their underdogs, represented by Sun, a Korean-American suburban teenager who fights for her friends and their honor in gun battles amid Clinique and Calvin Klein, and by Meniscus, an autistic charity clone who's subjected to tailored microbial infections. Sun, in learning to negotiate the various powers that rule her world, the Garden State Plaza mall, helps Meniscus, whose efforts to fight the designer microbes and escape the lab are built around his access to a VR game called "Mall." With an eye on scientific ethics and teenage codes, Sullivan invests her high-risk narratives with relevant discourses on the power of sex, just and unjust authority, when to rebel and when to cooperate. The only risk to the reader is disappointment that her most engaging character is a fiction within a fiction.