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The Light-Years Beneath My Feet
Alan Dean Foster
Del Rey, 245 pages

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: Sliding Scales
SF Site Review: Flinx's Folly
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

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Jonathan Fesmire

The Light-Years Beneath My Feet Alan Dean Foster is a master of creating strange, yet understandable, alien cultures. In The Light-Years Beneath My Feet, the sequel to Lost and Found, we meet the Niyyuu, a willowy alien species who, despite being as nonhuman as a humanoid species can get, are so graceful that protagonist Mark Walker finds one romantically attractive.

That, however, is just a minor subplot. The Light-Years Beneath My Feet also features the villainous Vilenjii and the accommodating Sessrimanthe, races introduced in Lost and Found. You don't have to have read the prequel to get into The Light-Years Beneath My Feet. Foster does a great job of introducing new readers to the series without dreaded information dumps.

Though comfortable and well cared for on Sessrimanthe, Mark Walker and his companions -- a talking dog named George, the squid-like Sque, and gigantic Braouk -- just want to get back to their home planets. There seems little chance they ever will, until Mark takes up the complex art of galactic cuisine. This in itself makes for some of the most descriptive, and interesting, reading in the book.

Mark becomes a better cook than anyone expected. When the exotic Niyyuu woman Viyv-Pym offers him a lucrative job as celebrity chef on her home planet, Mark and his friends see the opportunity as a step closer to home.

Their accommodations are comfortable and Mark's cooking, and showmanship, are a hit among the Niyyuu. Still, they learn a shocking fact. The entire planet is at war. So, why is it that they see no evidence of fighting? War on Niyu is akin to a spectator sport on Earth, or the gladiator stadiums of ancient Rome. The strange rules of warfare on Niyu provide Mark with something to do besides cook, and his involvement turns planetary politics on its head.

The Light-Years Beneath My Feet continues the saga of Mark Walker and George in an unexpected direction. This was a fun read, and now I'm curious how it will all turn out in the sequel.

Copyright © 2005 by Jonathan Fesmire

Jonathan Fesmire has travelled to France, Germany, Estonia, Finland, and Ireland. He enjoys speaking French and learning bits of other foreign languages, but most of all, he loves writing, and has sold fiction to Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine, SpaceWays Weekly, Jackhammer, and others.

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