REVIEW: “Midsummer Night’s Heist” by Commando Jugendstil and Tales from the EV Studio

Review of Commando Jugendstil and Tales from the EV Studio, “Midsummer Night’s Heist”, in Glass and Gardens: Solar Punk Summers, edited by Sarena Ulibarri, (World Weaver Press, 2018): 117-140 — Purchase here. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman. (Read the review of the anthology).

This story is jointly written by not one but two writer’s collectives — Commando Jugendstil is “a real-life small collective of Italian solarpunk creators” and Tales from the EV Studio is “a posse of emigrant Italian writers who specialise in historical fantasy”. The two come together to collaborate on a story that blurs the lines between fact and fiction, as the main characters are Commando Jugendstil themselves. As each member is introduced — Loopy, Sparky, Dotty, Sprouty, Stabby, Webby, Leccy — it’s not clear how much of this is made-up and how much of this is autobiographical, leaving the reader to decide. I opted to read the story as closer to fact than fiction, and was well-rewarded in doing so, but I believe it would’ve been just as rewarding to read it the other way: It’s a fabulous heist story that hit all my buttons. I loved it.