Webmaster’s note 1/17/2016: This is an old review from the previous version of the site, which we’re bringing in as a post so that it’ll be searchable in the reviews categories with newer content.
review by Tracy Hite
I just finished reading a short story called “Solo in the Spotlight”, by George Alec Effinger. The main character, the President of the United States, has some crisis come up a few weeks into his first term. He’s not sure what to do, so a general tells him his office comes with an official Psychic Advisor, in this case a Tarot reader. Problem is, they’re on Air Force One and the Advisor left his cards back in Washington, so they end up using the First Daughter’s Barbie Tarot deck instead. The suits are handbags, shoes, earrings, and hairbrushes, and the Majors are specific dolls and accessories: a pink Corvette for the Chariot, Barbie Dream House for the Tower, the original blonde ponytail Barbie for the Fool, etc. As a Tarot reader and long-time Barbie fan, Mr. Effinger’s reasoning for the cards makes a lot of sense. (For those non-Barbie types, Solo in the Spotlight was a lounge singer Barbie in the 50’s.)
“Solo in the Spotlight” is just one of 15 great short stories (and one poem) in an anthology called Tarot Fantastic (DAW Books, 1997) edited by Martin H. Greenberg & Lawrence Schimel. Some are funny, some serious, but the Tarot use throughout is VERY well thought out. If you are even remotely interested in Tarot, this book is highly recommended.