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Sliding Scales (2005)

Sliding Scales (2005)

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3.81 of 5 Votes: 2
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0345461584 (ISBN13: 9780345461582)
del rey books

About book Sliding Scales (2005)

Sliding Scales is the third to the last book in the Pip & Flinx SF adventure series and it shows. Foster, the author is obviously getting tired of Flinx as a protagonist, because in this book he makes his star character almost incidental to the plot. The story in broad strokes is this: Flinx decides to take a vacation on the world of Jast, a place that has seen few humans. More importantly, the Jastians find themselves in the Aann sphere of influence, though they themselves are pacific. When he arrives, because he is human, and because the AAnn have more experience dealing with humans, Flinx is handed off to an Aann who is quite certain that Flinx is a spy, or ought to be one anyway and if he isn't he ought to be portrayed as a spy. If he is found to be one, a certain AAnn named Takuuna will find his career advanced. Much to the AAnn's dismay, Flinx shows no tendency toward inciting insurgency among the Jast, so Takuuna takes matters into his own hands and attempts to murder Flinx. Alas for all concerned, including the reader, Flinx does not die, but merely loses all of his memory and gets pretty banged up in the process. Wandering through the semi-desert which makes up most of Jast's landmass, he meets up with a community of AAnn who are artists, and are as liberal-minded as your standard artist community stereotype. They take Flinx in, nurse him back to health, and then, in contravention of all cultural prejudices and expectations, makes him part of their community--officially, which means some kind of weird adoption ceremony. But the real story is with Takuuna, the ambitious AAnn who goes through all sorts of efforts to advance himself through lies and deceit. The remainder of the story is about how Flinx retrieves his memory and his life, and how Takuuna the corrupt AAnn gets his comeuppance.As this story was written around 2004, there are also fine strands of protests against heightened security measures taken during state emergencies, and even a few glittering back-door criticisms of some of the security practices established in this country after 9/11, but for the most part this is a story about Takuuna, with a bit of Pip and Flinx thrown in so that Foster can claim that this is a story written about the intrepid pair. One notable good thing that occurs in this book is that the AAnn loose their cartoon-like character that Foster gave them in earlier novels. As a result, the reader is acquainted with a large dosage of AAnn culture in a rather pleasant way. We learn a bit about their mating habits, and a bit about how they interact as individuals, their art, politics and their daily interactions. AAnn, as stated by the female AAnn protagonist, are not monsters.Because this book follows a trend that I noticed in a couple of other Pip and Flinx novels, that is, writing a story that is more about other characters than Pip and Flinx, and because it is, essentially, a boring story with little to recommend it to us simian types, I gave it a three-star rating. The only reason I am continuing to read these novels is that I am very interested in finishing the series, after which, I will probably take a long hiatus from the writings of Alan Dean Foster.

Flinx takes a vacation from all his problems. He chooses an odd planet that is under Aann influence, gets caught in a plot to bring the planet under full Aann control, and loses his memory. We learn a lot about the alien Aann culture. Flinx uses his mental talents a bit at the end.I wanted for Flinx to develop and use his psionic talents. The series is now something like 13 books and his mental talents are still unreliable and pretty much useless; this was a very, very, very big disappointment to me for the series as a whole.

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This was a neat book!In this one, Pip and Flinx end up going to a Aan colony world. As always, Flinx ends up on the bad side of one of the residents. In his flight away from the person (Lizard?), Flinx trips and falls into a canyon. When he comes to, only Pip is around. In spite of having total amnesia, he knows enough to know that he has to keep going.He stumbles upon an Aan art colony. There are Aan there who take him in. There's an Aan there that adopts him into her family line. Now Flinx has

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