TO THE VANISHING POINT BY ALAN DEAN FOSTER

Standard

Copyright 1988.

Frank Sonderberg is a successful businessman with a growing chain of sporting goods stores. This summer he decided that for the family vacation to Las Vegas they should rent a motorhome instead of fly. Now with his wife Alicia, sixteen year old daughter Wendy and ten year old son Steven they are cruising through the Mojave. They come on a young woman hitchhiking out in the desert and stop to give her a lift. The strange woman who calls herself Mouse is a singer from another dimension. She is traveling to the Vanishing Point to sing to the cosmic spinner. She needs to sing to him otherwise the fabric of reality will descend into chaos. Soon the Sonderbergs find themselves at Hades Junction the gateway to Hell. Captured by fire-breathing cops they manage to escape with the help of a Navajo named Burnfingers Begay. They continue on and find themselves in an alien Las Vegas, a reality where everyone tells the truth and a nuked out Salt Lake City filled with mutants. Their Winnebago is now a mystical ride as they cruise down the Cosmic Road which happens to be Interstate 40. It takes them to the Vanishing Point and a final confrontation with the Anarchis. The fate of reality hangs in the balance.

I have been getting some new books lately and this was something that looked interesting. I really loved this book. It was an exciting read with an original concept. The characters all seemed to be fleshed out with their own personalities. The various realities were enjoyable with some humorous and sometimes quite disturbing. An enjoyable book that kept me interested from beginning to end. This would make a cool movie and I will have to check out more by Foster. In addition to many movie novelizations he has an extensive body of original work. I will have to check out more in the future.

ALIEN NATION BY ALAN DEAN FOSTER

Standard

Copyright 1988.

Los Angeles in the near future. An alien ship crashes in the Mojave desert. On it are 200,000 alien slaves now marooned on Earth. Eventually they are released into society. Now known as Newcomers they are assigned new names and most settle in L.A. Detective Matt Sykes is on routine patrol with his partner Tuggs when a Newcomer robbery of a local mini mart results in the death of his partner. Wanting to get revenge he partners with a new Newcomer detective George Francisco. He needs the Newcomer’s help in tracking down the killer. The two eventually stumble on a plot by a successful Newcomer businessman to introduce a new alien drug to the Newcomer populace. A drug that could threaten the existence of the Newcomers on Earth.

The eighties were the height of the buddy cop movies. There were all sorts of combinations at the time. There were dead cops, Soviet cops, Japanese cops, vampire cops, kid cops and dog cops. It was only a matter of time they had to have an alien cop. The movie Alien Nation had a simple premise. A group of aliens had become the newest additions to American society. Like many they moved into society and had various levels of success. I found the idea interesting enough to get the novelization of the movie. For the most part it was a standard cop buddy movie. Yet it would take Kenneth Johnson and his TV series to flesh out the mythology of the Newcomers. Alan Dean Foster the go to guy to novelize movies from the seventies to nineties did his usual excellent job. You get a good story with fleshed out characters. It also follows the movie pretty good. An enjoyable book.