Alan Dean Foster has written in a variety of genres, including hard science fiction, fantasy, horror, detective, western, historical, and contemporary fiction. He is the author of the forthcoming Star Wars novel The Approaching Storm. He is also the author of numerous non-fiction articles on film, science, and scuba diving, as well as novel versions of several films including Star Wars, the first three Alien films, and Alien Nation. His novel Cyber Way won the Southwest Book Award for Fiction in 1990, the first science fiction work to ever do so. Foster's love of the far-away and exotic has led him to travel extensively. He's lived in Tahiti and French Polynesia, traveled to Europe, Asia, and throughout the Pacific, and has explored the back roads of Tanzania and Kenya. He has rappelled into New Mexico's fabled Lechugilla Cave, pan fried pirhana (lots of bones, tastes a lot like trout) in Peru, white-water rafted the length of the Zambezi's Batoka Gorge, and driven solo the length and breadth of Namibia. Foster and his wife, JoAnn Oxley, reside in Prescott, Arizona, reside in a house built of brick that was salvaged from a turn-of-the-century miners' brothel. He is presently at work on several new novels and media projects.
If the idea of big bugs (the thranx) and human-sized snakes (the AAnn) makes you squirm, you'll have fun with bestseller Foster's latest installment (after 2000's Dirge) in his saga of interspecies conflict set in the far reaches of the galaxy. The fanatic Elkanah Skettle, a human, together with his evil thranx associate, Beskodnebwyl, plan to terrorize a huge fair on the planet Dawn, as tensions on another planet build perilously close to war. After some pointless perambulations, two amiable preachers of different species manage to intervene, handily and unconvincingly putting a halt to the nefarious schemes of Skettle and his insectoid partner. Eminently readable the narrative may be, but it rambles on, more concerned with describing body parts (both alien and human) and the various species' responses to each other than with dramatizing the tale through incident and adventure. The action really picks up only when some scientists who have been examining enigmatic sculptures above ground uncover beneath the surface a colossal chamber containing millions of unknown individuals within pods. The bright and winsome heroine, Fanielle Anjou, is a plus, though those fond of the traditional BEMs who lust after human females will lament the failure of the thranx and AAnn to express any sexual interest whatsoever in Fanielle. Younger readers should be particularly enthralled. (Mar. 1) FYI: Foster is the author of several novelizations, including Star Wars, the first three Alien films and Alien Nation. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.