, and it’s a novel that challenges conventions and explores the effects of governmental control and state violence on marginalized people. By utilizing time travel and fleets of UFOs, Waidner creates a unique story that is part literary fiction, part sci-fi, and part horror.
The novel is a powerful exploration of the ways in which literature can be used to reproduce white middle-class values, aesthetics, and nationalism. Waidner’s work is an example of what Lucy Ives recently called a “weak” novel—that is, a novel that only “weakly consents to participate in the conventions of genre, that is always about to fail to be a novel at all.” Sterling Karat Gold is a book that fails with ambition and panache; it fails towards something else, something better.
If you’re looking for more books that challenge conventions and explore the effects of governmental control and state violence on marginalized people, I recommend Megan Milks’ Slug, and Other Stories, Jess Arndt’s Large Animals, Irenosen Okojie’s Nudibranch, Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five, and Joe Orton’s Head to Toe. And if you’re looking for something truly unique, don’t miss Steve Abbott’s The Lizard Club—it’s a book where people turn into lizards and it’s full of fun and games with a core of devastation.