Successful Chicago commodities broker abducted by aliensNot a headline from the National Enquirer, just Marcus Walker's own little Jerry Springer moment. He was indeed hustled aboard an alien Vilenjji starship, part of a cargo of primitive creatures bound for the "civilized" part of the galaxy, where they'll be sold . . . as pets. Fortunately, there was another Earthling aboard, a scruffy dog named George who'd been speech-enhanced to increase his market value.
In bestseller Foster's lighthearted SF romp, the second in a trilogy that began with Lost and Found (2004), former Chicago commodities broker Marcus Walker and his alien companions-George the talking dog, Sque the ferociously intelligent K'eremu, the poetic Tuuqualian Braouk -are ready to leave the planet of the Sessrimathe, where Marcus has been working as a gourmet chef. Their luck appears to change when the attractive Viyv-pym, a high-ranking diplomat, persuades Marcus to come and cook for her on her home planet, Niyu. On Niyu, Marcus applies his wheeling-dealing skills to Niyyuuan ritualistic warfare (archaic weapons only) and generally stirs up trouble, making an enemy of prominent general Saluu-hir-lek. By the end, there's a faint hope that some of the races with which the Niyyuu have contact may know of Earth. Readers seeking harmless fun will look forward to the further galactic travels of Marcus and friends. Agent, Vaughn Lee Hansen at Virginia Kidd. (June 28) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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June 26, 2005
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Excerpt from The Light-Years Beneath My Feet by Alan Dean Foster
Marcus Walker's khirach-tel soufflý had fallen, and couldn't get up.
But it was trying to.
Writhing, peridot-hued filaments of specially sweetened bariile as active as they were tasty twisted and coiled like a nest of worms on speed as they struggled to re-form the compact yet airy loaf Walker had initially marshaled out of ingredients coughed up by the trio of synchronized synthesizers. Adrift in the center of the spherical preparator, suspended within its energized field and shielded from its harmful effects, he strove to maintain a semblance of recipe. All around him, the aromatic components of the special dessert he had engineered emerged from the synths to steadily merge and meld, freeze or bake. If everything came off as planned, the result ought to be a last course spectacular enough to impress the supervising Sessrimathe program that was serving as his mentor and judge.
Unfortunately, everything was not going as planned.
The radiant shower of rainbow-hued geljees that were supposed to execute an iridescent, chromatic englobement of the soufflý were growing impatient. Like bees unable to agree on the location of a hive, they threatened to disperse into individual spheres and shatter themselves against the boundaries of the preparator in a spate of sugary seppuku. Though still coherent, his carefully woven whipped lavender finishing flame, frenetic with edible purple energy, was starting to dance fitfully just beyond his left hand. He could have controlled it better with the cooking wand in his right except that he needed to focus every bit of his attention and newly learned skills on taming the wild soufflý itself. As the anchorpiece of the finished dessert, it could not be ignored, lest it descend swiftly into caloric anarchy