Alan Dean Foster
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For three decades science fiction legend Alan Dean Foster has captivated readers around the world, from his debut classic The Tar-Aiym Krang and his inspired scenario for the first Star Trek movie to a host of New York Times bestsellers, including Splinter of the Mind’s Eye and Flinx in Flux.
In this collection of twenty brilliant odysseys of the imagination, Foster once again soars beyond the limits of reality—where the real thrills begin. . . .
NASA Sending Addicts to Mars!: It was the most insane idea in the annals of space travel—and the only one that would work.
Diesel Dream: Sometimes on dark, lonely highways dreams do come true, and this trucker’s hope was the best one of all.
Sideshow: Flinx hadn’t a clue about the alien dancer, but Pip knew trouble when she saw it.
Empowered: A magnificent male discovers the not-so-super part about being a superhero.
The Question: A bold adventurer determines to solve one of life’s profound mysteries.
. . . and fifteen other amazing stories!
French insisted soothingly. “It’s just a question of going about it in a careful, intelligent, sensible way—and making sure all the proper forms are filled out and filed beforehand.” Earth Spirit halted abruptly, and French flinched. After all, the fellow did have superpowers—and was doubtless a few cards short of a full deck to boot. That bizarre outfit . . . “All right,” the verdant one responded finally. “I’ll hire your firm. On a per-case contingency basis. Get me clear of this Vaan Pelsen
how long I talk or how many examples I give, they just don’t get it. It’s like trying to explain Beethoven to somebody who only listens to country-western. The terms of reference simply aren’t there. Every once in a while I get tired of trying to give a contemporary spin to stories. I yearn for the innocent reading days of my youth, when every Asimov story widened my eyes, when each new Sheckley I encountered made me gasp with its sheer inventiveness, and when Leinster left me so locked in one
them. But then, she had always suffered from an excess of interest in the new and exotic. She knew she shouldn’t have gone after them. No one had the slightest idea where she was headed at the time, and now it was very likely that no one knew where she was. Her evident interest seemed to puzzle them. Whether they would have ignored her or not she did not know, but at the last minute, just as she had decided that she had seen enough and had better start back home, they had scooped her in as
draw her off the table. Once again, she complied. Not that she could have resisted if she had wanted to. These visitors were much stronger than she was, a good deal stronger even than Joe. A woman was brought into the room, her flesh wan and sickly looking in the bluish haze. She was quite young, with hazel eyes, dyed blonde hair, and a stocky yet supple shape. Presently, she had a dazed look about her. As Suzy looked on, the operational routine she had just observed was repeated, complete with
scientific and economic undertaking, about the heroism of everyone from the lowliest engineer to the most noble astronaut. Better writers than I had written moon stories. Heinlein, Clarke, all the giants of the field. What more could I add, and in a short story, no less? The task seemed as insurmountable as a slippery, dangerous crater wall. One thing I determined from the start: that whatever I wrote, my story would treat this monumental human undertaking with the dignity and respect it