Cover image for Reunion : a Pip & Flinx novel
Reunion : a Pip & Flinx novel
Foster, Alan Dean, 1946-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Del Rey/Ballantine Pub. Group, 2001.
Physical Description:
327 pages ; 25 cm
Format :


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X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Flinx and his companion Pip venture into a top-secret security installation on Earth to find information about the Meliorare Society, a sect of renegade eugenicists notorious for their experiments on humans, including Flinx himself.

Author Notes

Bestselling science fiction writer Alan Dean Foster was born in New York City in 1946, but raised mainly in California. He received a B.A. in Political Science from UCLA in 1968, and a M.F.A. in 1969. Foster enjoys traveling because it gives him opportunities to meet new people and explore new places and cultures. This interest is carried over to his writing, but with a twist: the new places encountered in his books are likely to be on another planet, and the people may belong to an alien race.

Foster began his career as an author when a letter he sent to Arkham Collection was purchased by the editor and published in the magazine in 1968. His first novel, The Tar-Aiym Krang, introduced the Humanx Commonwealth, a galactic alliance between humans and an insectlike race called Thranx. Several other novels, including the Icerigger trilogy, are also set in the world of the Commonwealth. The Tar-Aiym Krang also marked the first appearance of Flinx, a young man with paranormal abilities, who reappears in other books, including Orphan Star, For Love of Mother-Not, and Flinx in Flux.

Foster has also written The Damned series and the Spellsinger series, which includes The Hour of the Gate, The Moment of the Magician, The Paths of the Perambulator, and Son of Spellsinger, among others. Other books include novelizations of science fiction movies and television shows such as Star Trek, The Black Hole, Starman, Star Wars, and the Alien movies. Splinter of the Mind's Eye, a bestselling novel based on the Star Wars movies, received the Galaxy Award in 1979. The book Cyber Way won the Southwest Book Award for Fiction in 1990. His novel Our Lady of the Machine won him the UPC Award (Spain) in 1993. He also won the Ignotus Award (Spain) in 1994 and the Stannik Award (Russia) in 2000. He is the recipient of the Faust, the IAMTW Lifetime achievement award.

Alan Dean Foster's Star Wars: The Force Awakens, was a 2015 New York Times bestseller.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

A further adventure of Pip the Thranx and genetically altered human Philip Lynx (Flinx), who are living among aliens, proves that Foster can still tell a rollicking good tale. Because he is suffering from vicious headaches, Flinx is determined to discover the secrets of his manipulated genetic heritage. Empathically seducing a security guard, he breaks into a sophisticated artificial intelligence that holds key data and then undertakes a quest for the parties behind the genetic manipulation project that produced him. His search ends in a tension-filled, absorbing action climax on a gas giant that is not quite what it seems. Somewhat unevenly paced, this isn't, perhaps, a good book to introduce readers to either Foster or Pip and Flinx. Fans of the series, however, will loudly applaud it. --Roland Green

Publisher's Weekly Review

Bestseller Foster has created yet another entertaining adventure story in the far-flung reaches of a far-future outer space. Featuring the Alaspinian minidrag Pip and the intellectually enhanced Phillip Lynx (Flinx), this is the seventh in an ongoing series that began with For Love of Mother Not. There are few real surprises in this nostalgic novel, as Flinx continues to pursue all sources of knowledge of his birth parents. In his quest he runs into previously introduced nemeses like the alien AAnn and another genetically enhanced person like himself, the adolescent woman Mahnahmi, who turns out to be more closely linked and more dangerous than was previously revealed. He finds he has unsuspected allies, including intelligent vegetal life and a souped-up spaceship, all the bases of plots from earlier novels. The penultimate adventure links Flinx with a huge alien artifact on the moon of a distant planet, Pyrassis, always an appealing adventure-plot element. There, after hardship and seemingly certain extinction, he communes with the alien intelligence and plants the seeds (remember the intelligent plants?) that alert us to the possibility of future exploits. Using the traditional cliff-hangers and narrow escapes of classic SF adventure page-turners, and propelling Flinx from one crisis to another, from moral dilemma to deus-ex-machina, Foster enlists multiple formulas for a surefire, if comfortably predictable, reading experience that should appeal to space-opera fans. (May 29) FYI: Foster is also known for his novelizations of such films as Star Wars, the first three Alien pictures and Alien Nation. His novel Cyber War won the Southwest Book Award for Fiction in 1990, the first science fiction work ever to do so. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Using his empathic powers to infiltrate a top-security complex in search of information regarding his mysterious past, the genetically enhanced Flinx is pursued by enemies who would exploit his talents. Foster's first foray in five years into his Humanx series (Mid-Flinx) features more rollicking planet-hopping adventures by the intrepid and resourceful Flinx and his minidrag companion Pip. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/1/01.] (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



CHAPTER 1 When bad people are chasing you, life is dangerous. When good people are chasing you, life is awkward. But when you are chasing yourself, the most simple facts of existence become disturbing, destabilizing, and a source of unending waking confusion. So it was with Flinx, who in searching for the history of himself, found that he was once again treading upon the hallowed, mystic soil of the spherical blue-white womb among the stars that had given birth to his whole species. Only, the soil he was treading presently was being treated by those around him with something other than veneration, and a means of sourcing the information he hoped to uncover was still to be found. Tacrica was a beautiful place in which to be discouraged. Sensitive to his frustration, Pip had been acting fidgety for days. An iridescent flutter of pleated pink-and-blue wings and lethal, diamond-backed body, she would rise from his shoulder to dart aimlessly about his head and neck before settling restlessly back down into her customary position of repose. As active as she was colorful, the mature female minidrag was the only thing he was presently wearing. His nudity did not excite comment because every one of the other sun and water worshipers strolling or lying about on the seashore was similarly unclothed. In the human beach culture of 554 a.a., the superfluity of wearing clothing into the sea or along its edge had long been recognized. Protective sprays blocked harmful UV rays without damaging the skin, and frivolous, transitory painted highlights decorated bodies both attractive and past their prime. It was these often elaborate anatomical decorations that were the focus of admiring attention, and not the commonplace nakedness that framed them. Flinx flaunted no such artificial enhancements, unless one counted the Alaspinian minidrag coiled around his neck and left shoulder. Such contemporary cultural accoutrements were as alien to him as the primeval grains of sand beneath his feet. Culturally as well as historically, he was an utter and complete stranger here. Nor was he comfortable among the throngs of people. With its still unsettled steppes and unexplored reaches, Moth, where he had grown up, was far more familiar to him. He was more at home in the jungles of Alaspin, or among the blind Sumacrea of Longtunnel, or even in the aggressive world-girdling rain forest of Midworld. Anyplace but here. Anywhere but Earth. Yet it was to Earth he had finally come for a second time, in search of himself. All roads led to Terra, it was said, and it was as true for him as for anyone else. Beyond Earth, the United Church had placed a moral imperative lock, an elaborate Edict, on all information about the Meliorares, the society of renegade eugenicists responsible for whatever bastard mutation he had become. Travels and adventures elsewhere had left him with hints as to their doings, with fragmentary bits and pieces of knowledge that tantalized without satisfying. If he was ever going to unravel the ultimate secrets of his heritage, it was here. Even so, he had been reluctant to come. Not because he was fearful of what he might find: He had long since matured beyond such fears. But because it was dangerous. Not only did he want to learn all the details of his origins: so did others. Because of contacts he had been compelled to make, the United Church was now aware of him as an individual instead of merely as an overlooked statistic in the scientific record. As high-ranking an official as thranx Counselor Second Druvenmaquez had taken a personal interest in the red-haired, bright-eyed young man Flinx had become. The novice beachgoer smiled to himself. He had left the irascible, elderly thranx on Midworld, slipping away quietly when the science counselor had been occupied elsewhere. When he eventually discovered that the singular young human had taken surreptitious flight, the venerable thranx would be irked. He would have to be satisfied with what little he had already learned, because neither his people nor any- one else would be able to track Flinx's ship, the Teacher, through space-plus. Ever cautious, Flinx had decided for the moment to hew to the hoary principle that the best place to hide was in plain sight. What better place to do that than on one of the Commonwealth's twin world centers of government and religion, where he had come looking for information years ago? It was where he needed to be anyway, if he was ever going to find out the truth about himself. In addition to his burgeoning curiosity, there had come upon him in the past year a new sense of urgency. With the onset of full adulthood looming over him, he could feel himself changing, in slow and sometimes not-so-subtle ways. Each month, it seemed, brought a new revelation. He could not define all the changes, could not quarantine and assess every one of them, but their periodic nebulosity rendered them no less real. Something was happening to him, inside him. The self he had known since infancy was becoming something else. He was scared. With no one to talk to, no one to confide in save a highly empathetic but nonsapient flying snake, he could look only to himself for answers--answers he had always wished for but had never been able to acquire. It was for those reasons he had taken the risk of coming back to Earth. If he was going to find what he needed to know, it lay buried somewhere deep within the immense volume of sheer accumulated knowledge that was one of the homeworld's greatest treasures. But if he was home, as every human who came to Earth was supposed to be, then why did he feel so much like an alien? It bothered him now even more than it had when last he had visited here some five years ago. He tried to wean himself from the troubling chain of thought. Belaboring the accumulated neuroses of twenty years would solve nothing. He was here on a fact-finding mission; nothing more, nothing less. It was important to focus his attention and efforts, not only in hopes of securing the information he sought, but in order to avoid the attention of the authorities. With the exception of the thranx Druven- maquez and his underlings, who were specifically looking for him, what other agencies and individuals might also be interested in one Philip Lynx he did not know. It did not matter. Until he left the homeworld, a little healthy paranoia would help to preserve him--but not if he allowed his thoughts to float aimlessly, adrift in a distraught sea of incomplete memories and internal conflicts. Of course, he might well secure answers to all the questions that tormented him by the simple expedient of turning himself in. Druvenmaquez or a specialist in some other relevant bureau would gladly take the plunge into the secrets of him. But once committed to such research, he would not be allowed to leave whenever it might please him. Guinea pigs had no bill of rights. Revealing himself might also expose him to the scrutiny of those he wished to avoid--the great trading houses, other private concerns, the possible remnants of certain heretical and outlawed societies, and others. Becoming a potentially profitable lab subject carried with it dangers of its own--a long, healthy, and happy future not necessarily being among them. Somehow he had to discover himself by himself, without alerting to his presence the very authorities who might help alleviate his seemingly illimitable anxieties. And he had to do it quickly, before the changes he was experiencing threatened to overwhelm him. For one thing, the unpredictable, skull-pounding headaches he had suffered from since childhood--the ones that caused blinding flashes of light behind his eyes--were growing worse, in intensity if not frequency. When and if it occurred, would he be able to tell the difference between a common headache and a cerebral hemorrhage? Would he be able to deal with the physical as well as the mental consequences of the changes he was undergoing? He needed answers to all the old questions about himself, as well as to the new ones, and he needed them soon. Of all the billions of humans on all the settled worlds scattered across the vast length and breadth of the Commonwealth, no one could claim that "nobody understands me" with the depth of veracity of a tall young redhead named Philip Lynx, who was called Flinx. Before setting his small transfer craft down at the Nazca shuttleport north of Tacrica, he had spent much time in free space planning his approach to the grand library that was Earth. First he had tried accessing the Shell, the free and omnipresent information network that spanned the globe, from one of the numerous orbiting stations that circled the planet. Unsurprisingly, the small segment he was able to access from orbit had been devoid of all but the most fundamental, freely available birth information on the subject of himself--save for one small historical reference to the destruction of the outlawed Meliorare Society in 530, three years before his birth. That information was already known to him. For what he wanted, for data that was no doubt restricted, banned, or even under Church Edict, he would have to probe much deeper. That meant accessing in person one of the intelligence hubs that sustained the Shell. The Commonwealth Church and Science hub on Bali would have been ideal, but presenting himself at a highly visible and tightly secured site that offered only restricted access to the general public would have been asking for trouble--especially since he had entered its corridors once before, seeking information then only on the specifics of his birth. Ignorant of how widely and well his current physical description might have been disseminated to local authorities, it behooved him while conducting his research on Terra to keep as low a profile as possible. That meant avoiding the most famous and closely monitored centers of research. Names and faces from his past congealed in the mirror that was his memory. Did a padre named Namoto still roam the depths of Genealogy Sector on Bali? Was Counselor Second Joshua Jiwe still in charge of security there? And where might a certain lissome thranx named Sylzenzuzex be working these days? On the other side of the vast ocean that lapped against his feet, which humans called the Pacific, remembrances lay like driftwood on a beach, waiting to be reexamined. He forced all such thoughts from his mind. He could not afford to present himself at the entrance to Church science headquarters for a second time in five years. Like it or not, whatever research he chose to conduct would have to be done from afar. Excerpted from Reunion by Alan Dean Foster All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.