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Flinx's Folly
Alan Dean Foster
Del Rey, 268 pages

Robert Hunt
Flinx's Folly
Alan Dean Foster
Alan Dean Foster was born in New York City in 1946 and was raised in Los Angeles. He received a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and a Master of Fine Arts in Cinema from UCLA in 1968-69 and then spent two years as a copywriter for an advertising and public relations firm in Studio City, CA.

His first sale as a writer was a long Lovecraftian letter, purchased by August Derleth for the bi-annual magazine The Arkham Collector. His first novel, The Tar-Aiym Krang, was published by Ballantine Books in 1972. Many, many novels followed. Alan Dean Foster's correspondence and manuscripts are in the Special Collection of the Hayden Library of Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. Foster and his wife live in Prescott, Arizona.

Alan Dean Foster Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: The Mocking Program
SF Site Review: Dinotopia Lost
SF Site Review: Star Wars: The Approaching Storm
SF Site Review: Interlopers
SF Site Review: Phylogenesis
SF Site Review: Into the Thinking Kingdoms
SF Site Review: Carnivores of Light and Darkness
Alan Dean Foster Tribute Site

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Cindy Lynn Speer

Philip Lynx -- or Flinx -- and a group of people are found unconscious at a space station. It has been happening to him a lot lately. He faints, has a horrible nightmare about an evil at the end of the universe, lurking, waiting to come and destroy everything, and when he wakes up he's subject to horrible headaches -- and it's getting worse. At first he was the only one who fainted. Now he's taking more and more people with him. The doctors are fascinated by the odd things their scans detect in his brain, and he plays along with them, all innocent -- "Is there something wrong? Sure, I'll go with you!" -- until he and his mini-dragon Pip can make their escape. He escapes to New Rivera, a planet of absolute perfection, seeking Clarity. No, really. That's his ex-girlfriend's name. Their attraction flames again, which does not exactly please her fiancé, who decides to get rid of Flinx the old fashioned way -- by killing him.

Confession: I love the Pip and Flinx series. I adore Alan Dean Foster. And I love Flinx's Folly. It's fun and funny, filled with great characterization (my particular weak spot is for Pip -- what I wouldn't give for a mini dragon -- she's smart, has an ability to empathize and can be downright scary when she needs to be), and beautiful settings. But if you're looking for a place to jump on the Alan Dean Foster/Flinx train, this isn't it. It is really just another chapter in the life of Flinx. The Big Bad, hinted at in the beginning, isn't resolved, though they do begin to prepare for him (which means this won't be the last Flinx book). While I've found that he moves forward with every book in some way, becoming a stronger person, gaining a better grasp of his empathic abilities, he doesn't really do that here. Though you could argue it's the very nature of these powers that opens the outlet for the dreams. We do have the pleasure of seeing some nifty old members of this series. Tse-Mallory and the thranx (alien life form that populates many of his stories) Truzenzuzex offer a much needed helping hand against Clarity's fiancé, Bill.

Flinx's Folly is also fairly filled with adventure. How could it not be? Flinx is wanted by pretty much every planet in the universe... er... make that the galaxy. All he's trying to do is make a voyage of self discovery (on a really cool ship that changes shape) yet trouble follows him in droves. If he wasn't so darn charming you'd leave him to it, but he has a way of bringing you along on his adventures that is completely addicting. His interaction with Pip are also wonderfully done. If Pip likes him, how can we not?

This is a very good addition to the series. It reads a bit like the first book in a trilogy, which means it's fun, up to Foster's standards, and provides lots of set up for a book to follow. Fans will be pretty happy, I think. I encourage those who want to get to know Flinx and Pip to read an earlier book, and work your way back to this one.

Copyright © 2004 Cindy Lynn Speer

Cindy Lynn Speer loves books so much that she's designed most of her life around them, both as a librarian and a writer. Her books aren't due out anywhere soon, but she's trying. You can find her site at

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