New York Times bestselling author Alan Dean Foster delivers the eagerly awaited new Pip and Flinx novel featuring a certain twenty-four-year-old with red hair, growing powers, and a loyal sidekick who just happens to be a flying mini-dragon. Sure to delight longtime fans and win new ones, Flinx's Folly follows Flinx on a thrilling quest to unravel the mysteries of his mind and body. It is a quest that forces him to confront a horror almost beyond human comprehension concealed somewhere in the universe . . . and coming closer. It's a good thing Flinx is no stranger to trouble, because he's swimming in it. Even before the latest murderous attack by a new gang of assailants, there seems no end to people determined to arrest, examine, or kill him. To add insult to all that injury, Flinx has been spirited away and enlisted in a battle against a monstrous extra-galactic threat. Hidden behind the Great Emptiness, in a place where it seems matter and energy have never been, there is only evil.
Bestseller Foster (Drowning World) offers brisk, lightweight SF entertainment in his eighth novel about Flinx (aka telepath Philip Lynx) and his Alaspinian flying snake (or minidrag) Pip. On the planet Goldin IV, Flinx discovers that his dreams about a monstrous evil beyond the Great Emptiness are now reaching other people with deleterious results. He also learns that he's being chased by the Order of Null, dedicated adepts who want a cleansing death for the whole universe and are afraid he'll prevent it. Fleeing in his alien-built supership to the paradise planet New Riviera, he takes up with his old lover, Clarity Held. Unfortunately, she's picking up the dreams, too. Still more unfortunately, Clarity's fianc�, Bill Ormann, is becoming homicidally jealous. In fact, he's about to kill them both when Flinx's old mentors, the thranx Truzenzuzex and the human Tse-Mallory, do a good imitation of a deus ex machina and dispose of Mr. Ormann. Much of the rest of the book dissolves into informational dialogue about several long-vanished alien species who may hold the key to preventing the evil from coming out of the Great Emptiness and making an end to all things. Fans of serious SF will give this a pass, but Foster's large following should ensure another bestseller. (Nov. 4) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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September 28, 2004
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Excerpt from Flinx's Folly by Alan Dean Foster
' He ' s not dead ' but watch out for the winged snake. '
As she studied the tall young man lying unconscious on the fast-moving gurney, the alert eyes of the duty physician at Reides Central narrowed. ' What winged snake '
The harried medtech guiding the gurney gestured at the slow rise and fall of the patient ' s chest. ' It ' s coiled up under his shirt between his left arm and his ribs. Squirmed in there and hid when we arrived to pick him up. Sticks its head out occasionally for a quick look around, but that ' s all. Won ' t leave. Hasn ' t bothered anyone ' so far. Almost as if it senses we ' re trying to help. '
The emergency sector physician nodded tersely as she continued to pace the gurney. ' I ' ll be sure and keep my fingers away. Why wasn ' t it caught and neutralized before the patient was brought in '
The medtech glanced sideways at her. ' Quickref says it ' s an Alaspinian minidrag. They bond emotionally with their owners. If you ' d heard what I was told, you wouldn ' t get any ideas about trying to separate them. '
They rounded a corner, dodged an oncoming stasis chair, and headed up another corridor. ' Hell of a way to practice medicine, ' the doctor muttered to no one in particular. ' Like there aren ' t enough obstacles put in our way. ' She leaned slightly forward over the motionless form, but she was unable to detect any movement in the indicated area. ' It ' s dangerous, then '
The medtech smoothly eased the gurney into an empty monitoring chamber. ' Apparently only if you try to separate them. Or if it thinks you ' re trying to harm its master. '
' We ' re trying to help him, just like we ' re trying to help all the others who were brought in. '
As soon as the waiting sensors detected the gurney ' s presence, a dozen different automated appliances initiated a standard preliminary patient scan. They automatically disregarded the presence of the flying snake just as they ignored the basic but neat and clean clothing in which the patient was dressed. The doctor stepped back from the gurney and examined her pad as one recording after another was made and silently transferred. A duplicate set was simultaneously being entered into the official hospital files.