Carolyn Cushman Reviews Strange Music by Alan Dean Foster

Alan Dean Foster, Strange Music (Del Rey 978-1-101-96760-7, $27.00, 269pp, hc) Novem­ber 2017.

Pip and Flinx are back on a new adventure, the 15th novel in the series, part of Foster’s overall Humanx Commonwealth universe. Flinx is living quietly on the waterworld of Cachalot when he gets a visit from an old friend who asks him to go to the planet Largess, where a rogue human is not only violating Commonwealth laws restrict­ing advanced technology, but is also helping stop the formation of a united government to get an upgraded status with the Commonwealth. Flinx, clearly bored with his idyllic life, agrees to help and heads off with the flying minidrag Pip to Lar­gess, with its somewhat seal-like, semi-aquatic natives, an emotional bunch who communicate through sing-speech, with an interesting side ef­fect for the empathic Flinx. Meanwhile, the bad guy has kidnapped a native princess, an engag­ingly feisty and loudmouthed female. Most of the novel is taken up with Flinx’s travels and banter with his native guide as they track the bad guys, and it’s the oddities of this damp world that pro­vide the major interest. Once he finally catches up with the bad guys, the resolution is a bit too easy to be convincing. As Flinx’s adventures go, this felt trivial, like a nostalgic visit with old friends, but it definitely has its entertaining moments.


Carolyn F. Cushman, Senior Editor, has worked for Locus since 1985, the longest of any of the current staff, and handles our in-house books database, writes our New and Notable section, and does the monthly Books Received column. She is a graduate of Western Washington University with a degree in English. She published a fantasy novel, Witch and Wombat, in 1994.


This review and more like it in the November 2017 issue of Locus.

While you are here, please take a moment to support Locus with a one-time or recurring donation. We rely on reader donations to keep the magazine and site going, and would like to keep the site paywall free, but WE NEED YOUR FINANCIAL SUPPORT to continue.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *