A Sound of Thunder

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We begin with being shown a sign which promotes being able to supply any animal at the customer’s choosing to hunt, Eckels being the one to read this and ready to purchase. The man tells him the rules behind the counter, mentioning his guide will give him instructions as to what is fair game and if disobeyed will be fined upon return and there not being a guarantee of the customer’s survival on the trip. We realize then they use a time machine to give their customers the opportunity for these hunting excursions, Eckels decides on one which would put him in the past well before humanity would show up. To keep up with the idea of anything touched changing the future, this company constructs an anti-gravity walkway and before letting the hunters out, consisting of two others including Eckels, he asks why they must only shoot the animals allowed.

The Safari Leader, Travis then giving him the rundown of the butterfly effect, making him realize how serious it was to follow their instructions. We then are told how they choose the animals who will be game, going through a thorough background as to when they’ll die and when they kill them. Eckels, who is now seeming to be the trouble-maker with how he’s taking certain rules and questioning them, asks of the assistant whether he’d run into himself on as he had been gathering information beforehand, he explaining how it isn’t possible and when Travis tells them all to get ready to go, Eckels is messing about aiming at animals who aren’t tagged which Travis puts a stop to upon noticing him. Then Travis gets everyone ready for the first game and Eckels is to shoot first, now getting nervous, especially since the animal is close by and everything has gone silent. When the creature bursts through mist one hundred yards away, Eckels is taken aback by its agility, speaking how he didn’t believe it could be killed and being hushed by Travis since the creature hadn’t noticed them yet. Travis then decides Eckels needed to get back to the Time Machine and since he didn’t take his shot he’d get half his fee back.

Then the behemoth notices them and the assistant directs Eckels to move slowly back to the machine. Eckels makes a wrong move and the creature lunges, everyone shooting at it and making their mark, but not before the path is crushed by the weight of the animal, its original fate still happening after its death by the hunters. The assistant, Lesperance then offers the hunters a picture with the dead creature as their trophy. No one takes him up on this and when they get back inside the machine, Travis orders Eckels out, noticing he’d stepped off the path and how much trouble he’d made for them, deciding to leave him there. Eckels offers more money to them which Travis then decides Eckels can make up for his faux pas by digging out the bullets from the Monster’s brain. When he returns with the bullets they go back in time and upon arriving at their proper destination, they find their environment hadn’t exactly changed, but was different in some way. Eckels then notices what he’d stepped on when he had gone off the path, Travis making good his threat he’d made to Eckels after they’d gotten out of the Time Machine; A plain example of the butterfly effect for certain and quite entertaining in the telling, Ray Bradbury certainly had a gift.

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The Veldt

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The Veldt was first published as “The World the Children Made” and began with a wife speaking to her husband about how the children’s room seemed changed somehow and if he didn’t look at it to confirm her thoughts he should call in a psychologist to gauge whether the room seemed odd, which finally gets him to agree to check. As they walk down the hallway we learn the futuristic quality of this family’s home and how the children’s’ room had the atmosphere of an African grassland, Lydia telling her husband, George to wait for the oddity to appear. Lydia tries to point out the sounds and images she’d seen and heard, but George didn’t witness either and was marveling over the technology of the room. The lions they’d seen in the distance going towards the watering hole were now coming their way, each noticing how real they seemed.

Eventually the lions act as lions do and Lydia runs off with George tailing her, he exhilarated and she upset by the too real experience which makes her demand he speak with their children on not studying African subject matter anymore and to keep the door locked until she got her bearings about the effect. Lydia then considers perhaps they should shut the whole house down for a little while and she’ll do all the tasks a wife and mother was meant to do, the good ole fashion way, she noticing how George had been stressing and not knowing what to do with himself as much as she was having the same problem. They sit down for dinner without the children who’d called to reminds them they’d be late for staying at a plastic carnival on the other side of town, George thinking about how young their children were and how they’d already started to find some fascination with death through the African plains they constantly were entertained by in their playroom. George is soon absorbed with the thought he decodes to go and listen at the nursery door, hearing a lion roar and then hearing the scream Lydia must have heard, he unlocking and opening the door for a peak inside.

George then tries to change the scenery which doesn’t respond and when he gets back to the dinner table Lydia considers their son may be the culprit, the children then walking in. George then asks about the African veldt, the children acting like they had no idea what he was talking about and when he asks his son to take a look, his daughter goes off instead and when they follow after her, the scenery has changed. George sends the children to bed and before leaving the room sees an old wallet of his had signs of the veldt, he locking the nursery door before leaving. At night George and Lydia are up late and discussing the state of their children’s attitudes, which was not being respectful towards them and how they all were spoiled. Then they both hear screams from upstairs and how the scenery must have changed in the nursery again, this happening after they discussed how the children had been acting coolly towards them after being denied a trip to New York in a rocket. The next morning George gets a taste of his son’s insolence at having the nursery locked up and having the house possibly shut down for awhile, his son, Peter finally backing off.

The next day Mr. McClean, the psychologist visits and they go to the nursery so he can study what the children were conjuring, he immediately getting a terrible feeling from the room and explaining why they must definitely shut down the house and get rid of the room. They immediately begin and the children have the fits expected, Lydia turning into an every day house wife with the words of turning it on for a moment so the children can adjust to it being turned off, but George staying strong and keeping the place shut down. At the last moment though, he gives in, giving the children one minute to stay in the room before they all left for a vacation, he going upstairs to dress and Lydia following after turning the nursery on. The children then call them from the nursery and when the two enter, are locked inside, the next we see being Mr. McClean returning and the children sitting in the nursery informing him their parents will be along shortly and the little girl enquiring whether Mr. McClean wanted tea whilst he waited; Dark and crazy, but good. Next up, A Sound of Thunder.

UR

We begin with Wesley Smith and how his co-workers had enquired about a “gadget” he’d told them he was using to experiment “new technology” with, but wasn’t the truth, since he was referring to his newly purchased Kindle which was gotten with a feeling of maliciousness. We then learn Wesley is an English instructor at a college in Kentucky who had aspirations to write a novel. Then we are introduced to his only friend in the department whom makes a joke about his name with a now classic rock band’s name and says something I can’t help but agree with about realists. Then they talk of how people spoke of their school like it was a good school, but how it was actually mediocre due to it being small and not prestigious.

I have noticed already the style of King’s writing of this one is to repeatedly use a certain type of phrasing at least twice right next to each other, which I’m debating is supposed to be seen as sardonic, but discovering it being overused. We then get a description of what successes the school had and in what area of education, it not being hugely impressive and being in the sports department. Then we are told of Wesley’s ex who also worked at the same college, but different department and what may have gone wrong which then went into why he’d gotten his Kindle. We then get a flashback of when Wesley first sees a Kindle, which he pretended he didn’t know existed in front of his class, believing when he did eventually get one, it would be to deliver a witty remark to his ex whom would see it and have it spark their first conversation since the break-up. When he bought the Kindle and had received it in the mail, he had gotten one which was pink which didn’t occur to him as odd at the time.

After Wesley had told his buddy his break-up story and had gone home, he was starting to listen to his couple of messages left on his answering machine and was surprised to hear one from his ex who now apologized for her hasty reaction to his inattention and the cause of their fight which had ended their relationship, but could possibly be interested in rekindling after she’d finished an important away game with her team, which had gotten Wesley to believe the opposite of her supposition on the message of it being a bad idea. The second message is his ex continuing her message which went on to mention how she’d also heard about his getting an e-reader and how if it’s a Kindle he could go online, also believing he’d grown which had made her believe they could be ready to try again, but she’d call him and he should not call her first, since she wasn’t ready to talk to him about it yet. Wesley then goes online to see what discussions were going on about the Kindle, one being whether they’d ever come in different colors, which he then considers perhaps his was discolored in some way, then turning the e-reader on to discover whether it could go online, realizing it could, but was in the “experimental” section, also discovering another puzzling choice titled, UR Functions and clicking it to uncover what it meant, hesitating for a moment, but wanting to feel like a “modern man” and when he’d clicked the selection, the Kindle changes, having kolor and a black tower behind the welcome message.

After trying out it’s search capabilities, then becoming spooked by its return message which only accepted numerical entries, he deciding to put in his birthday, even though he also thought he should put the Kindle somewhere out of sight. When the screen gives him more information about the entry requested, he realized he didn’t recognize some of the works given by the author he knew so well, detecting a few plus his date of death being different from what he remembered. He decides to buy the book only to see if it’s a fluke after confirming his purchase with a puzzling description after the accept button. Wesley then calls his buddy up to confirm his idea the novel he’d bought couldn’t be one of the author’s work, he getting the confirmation needed with a slight oddity in knowing the name of the dog being the same as the title of the book he’d ordered. After hanging up with him, he observes his download had completed and reads some of the book, it shaking him in knowing what he was reading sounded exactly like the author’s work, but unbelieving since it had been released after his death. He then tries a couple other author’s, some showing up and some not. After trying to go to sleep and leave the e-reader alone, he gives up for lying there and realizing he hadn’t tried looking up Poe. After ascertaining novels, he read one until morning and then slept for two hours.

After trying to teach a class midway through the week, he realized he was close to losing his sanity with how many differences of works he’s been reading, his class realizing his odd behavior. One of his student’s confronts him after he’d dismissed the class for the day to enquire to how he was feeling, Wesley deciding to entrust to the young man what he’d been reading, asking him to accompany him to his office to show him what his e-reader was doing so he can decide whether he’s going mad. After showing Robbie, his student and his buddy Don what he’d been dealing with and how they each had a chance to read an author they knew well and being completely blown away with the results, Don suggests Wesley figure out who had sent the e-reader, to be sure it had come from Amazon by checking his credit card record online. Wesley learns he hadn’t been charged for the Kindle, but Don supposes wherever the Kindle actually came from, Wesley Smith was being charged.

They extend their study session of the Kindle after the college closes, Don leaving temporarily to help his wife with the kids and Robbie joining Wesley at his apartment. Robbie brings Wesley’s attention to the other options in the UR Functions and wondering what they were, Wesley not remembering and going back to check, one being for news, selecting it and having Robbie put in the selection of what to look up. Wesley opens the door for Don as Robbie reads the news, it being about newly appointed President Hilary Clinton and who she’d replaced. They search sports before Robbie suggests checking for the JFK assassination. Wesley then sticks to one particular UR dimension, but after perusing for hours, he was becoming too tired to continue, but not before Robbie tries one more, Wesley being plagued with dread by the possibility of what pops up and the only selection available in the timeline. After they read the few articles available and being depressed with the results, they stop and leave Wesley’s apartment. Don leaves with the advice to stop reading those stories for how it could addict him, Wesley already realizing this and looking forward to future discussions, he then walking along the street a bit more with Robbie who lived only a couple blocks down. Wesley then goes to sleep and it being a deep and long one, deciding not to read ur-Hemingway the rest of the night.

When Wesley wakes up, he goes to a local cafe where Robbie’s apartment was and gets some late breakfast. After taking out his e-reader and eating his breakfast as he read more Hemingway, he decides to check UR Local, it being a crappy local paper and the fees being much more expensive, Wesley compromising with the middle, slightly less expensive deal, then getting unsettling news after putting in the current date. The college school bus passes the cafe and Wesley gets to see his exes team cheering out the windows, he having his chance to wave at them everyone else, distracted by his eReader’s information, it giving him devastating news which Wesley immediately goes up to Robbie’s apartment to share. After trying to call his ex to warn her of the possible fate she and her team were in for and being interrupted and refused to be listened to, Robbie comes up with the idea to search for the lady who causes the bad news.

They discern where she stops and see it’s a dive bar, also seeing the vehicle she drove and it’s foretelling bumper stickers. Wesley believes what they plan to do should be waited out until her last stop whilst Robbie thinks the moment would be better, but are unable to do anything since her reemergence from the bar happens then and drives off, they following. They learn more about the woman from the future news articles, giving her sad history and what she’d possibly done before causing manslaughter. As they follow her and notice her close calls with other cars, Wesley and Robbie lose their pity and get angry at her recklessness. After she stops again, they both do what they’d planned on, with success and wait in the car to see what she’d do next. Wesley goes a bit overboard, deciding not to only watch her, but approaching her to physically harass her into the reality of her actions. Robbie stops him after Wesley doesn’t seem to be able to stop himself, also getting the attention of the patrons and bartender, who watch but don’t engage and one man only deciding to go after them as they leave.

As they depart, Wesley decides they should park near a cornfield rather than go home yet as he checks his e-reader for the UR Local which was now unavailable, but not worried about it and felt no guilt for breaking the rules the UR program had given, waiting to see if the school bus would return their way and when it does, they’re both happy to see it and join the already trailing cars behind the bus, parade-style deciding to join them, as well. They make it back to town, everyone in one piece, but Wesley is now wondering what repercussions he’s in for due to his dimensional violation, soon going home and spotting a car parked in his spot. Wesley is unnerved by the vehicle itself and touches it, feeling even more uneasy due to it’s strange warmth. When he goes to his apartment he’s greeted by an oddly not quite human voice, revealing two men inside of opposite ages. We are then given description of their attire which makes them obviously a part of the low men in yellow coats.

As one asks Wesley why he thought they were there and he not actually knowing even though he thought it was due to the laws he’d broken, one of them tells of the Tower and rose being affected by it. Wesley is then given a chance to explain why he’d knowingly broken the laws, he listing the reasons of those who would have died and the selfish drunk involved. The low man then tells Wesley of how ignorant he was to do such a thing since what he’d allowed to happen could change the course of history for someone who may have survived the crash who was meant to die for being an evil character and dealing death in the future. Wesley of course hadn’t thought of those possibilities and the low man continues they won’t know for certain since the ability to see the future only works in a six-month-radius after which there’s no clue. Wesley then confesses he hadn’t ordered the e-reader he’d received, the low men considering a mistake in shipping was most likely the reason, the older low man professing of everything in the end serving the Tower’s purpose. Wesley then gives up the e-reader upon request and the low men allow him his freedom, threatening worse what would happen if he ever got mixed up in a situation like this again. Wesley is visibly shaken by his encounter and he lies down to calm himself knowing he won’t be sleeping any time soon. He then hears his cell go off, but isn’t in time to get the call, listening to the message recently left. It was Don telling him to check the morning paper, he going out to uncover one and reading the head-line. He has a loud reaction and runs upstairs to make a phone call.

This story may have started off weak, but made a turn around pretty quickly, being exciting the rest of the way through; I enjoyed this indirect connection to the Dark Tower series and now can’t wait to read the follow-ups.

Buck Godot – Zap Gun for Hire

 

Quite amusingI finally found an online copy. Thanks to the WayBackMachine!

Aliens who overuse grammatical terminology as description in casual conversations with each other, and of course Buck himself, a strange and somewhat sad-seeming character who goes around collecting contracts to kill whoever is willing to pay in some form or other. Buck is soon tracked by a former employer when he is sent a package, supposedly from Buck himself, which may lead him to Buck’s whereabouts, which aren’t known by anyone. Buck seems to unknowingly sense this and havoc ensues, not soon after we become privy to this information. Godot then has a run-in with the “package” he sent, which actually contained a former opponent, now turned sidekick on Godot’s mission the employer insisting he take on. When they start talking, we learn that Godot is able, or is having delusional conversations with said rival’s guns, which he had been conditioned to no longer believe were ever talking to him, but Godot obviously still did, because he had a nice aside with the “gats” after knocking out his sidekick. Godot then needs to travel to another planet to get information from a teleporter and thinks up a clever plan to get closer, which surprisingly works out well. Once he gets near the Teleporter though, it isn’t as easy to get the time to speak to it due to disembodied hands snatching him up, which do let him down, but not very close to the ground, ending with Buck trying something that is hilariously absurd. The transporter breaks his fall on the way down preventing Godot’s death through painful descent.

After, Godot comes up with a plan about how he can get information about the Teleporter by impersonation, going to the library to find a book which was checked out by the Teleporter already. Godot, after some inquiries, finds out there is another copy at a different library with the pages missing from the one the Teleporter’s checked out. Then the Teleporter comes in asking for a complete copy of the book he checked out, just to find Godot got to it first. When Godot shows off his knowledge about the information in the book, he interests the Teleporter and follows him for further conversation. Eventually Godot makes a date at a restaurant where they can talk about flower arranging more; this is quite an entertaining scene. Godot goes on to learn the Teleporter’s view on why everyone who doesn’t have his natural ability of transportation would want it so badly. Godot then throws X-Tel under the bus and the Teleporter transports them to the headquarters, where he senses certain death, so sets up the Director so the Transporter successfully executes a diversion to aid Godot and in so doing, also has the Director and company arrested, due to being in a certain other planet’s jurisdiction; ha-HA. Godot proceeds to tell the rest of his story in a bar, where it’s learned how he’d been able to meet the Teleporter in the first place; what a crazy plan. Buck shares what he learns from the Transporter of plant arranging, everyone impressed and critical to its salad-like appearance. Love this stuff.

The next episode begins with Buck in distress because Asteroid Al’s wasn’t open so as he’s talking with others to figure out why this could be, Buck goes with his gut in believing something was wrong. When he’s able to ask Al if all’s well, Al is blatant in informing Buck to the affirmative. Buck then comes to the realization, Al’s good mood must be caused by a new love. Al then goes into the details of his love interest and as Buck asks for some personal details as to how she sounds during naughty time, she shows up and Al excitedly introduces her to Buck. Tal, after introductions releases some information Al had told her in confidence about Buck that makes him “return the favor” to Al. When Al gives a newcomer a free drink that turns multiple after answering a question about a picture of someone the man was looking for, he passes out and Buck picks up the picture which had fallen that was in the man’s possession, shocking Buck due to it being of Der Rock the Destroyer. Al tells Buck that he’d been trying to be sure of Der Rock’s death, Buck now being quite interested in speaking with the man, but Al telling him he’d let him know when he’d awoken, since he expected the man would be passed out for awhile. Buck Godot then goes to see a patient in the New Hong Kong Hospital and finds the patient wants to hire Godot for a job, Buck being a bit shocked by his new client’s condition, but the job being just to guard a device that’s being sought after by those who had put the patient in his current condition.

Buck then fishes for more information finding out this job has him going against another corporation which he wants no part in, but the patient makes the taking of it much sweeter even though he isn’t aware of what the device he’s trying to keep from this corporation is, Buck still agreeing to take the job. He finds out he’ll be on this guard duty for a week and a half or so, going back to the bar and telling Al of his new job. A few days after this, Al isn’t feeling fulfilled in his job anymore, then they’re interrupted by the passed out newcomer, claiming they’d killed him and shooting at them in his anger. Buck puts him back into unconsciousness with his gun and Al gets one of his bots to place him back in a sleep room and to notify him when he awakens again. Tal then comes in and notices the danger Al had just been in, reminding him how she’d thought he realized how much better he was than his current job situation allowed him to show. Al defends himself and how well he’s managed his business so far, Tal believing if he truly cared for her, he’d give it up, then telling him she cared for him too much and why he’d “hold that against” her. After she leaves in anger, Buck confronts Al about noticing where he’d gotten the idea of quitting his business and Al actually loving Tal so much as to be torn between doing it, since he loved his bar, as well. A few more days pass and Al is still struggling with his decision when the revived newcomer again blasts his gun at them, declaring they’d killed him.

Buck uses his fists this time to quiet the man, who still seems to be drunk. After putting him back into sleepy-land Al is so angered by his overreaction he’s decided to start charging him for the drinks and the sleep space when Grispfat comes in to ask about whether Al changed his mind about selling him his bar. Grispfat continues to haggle a price when the newcomer awakens once more to threaten Al, this time Buck distracting him for a moment with another noggin hit which gives Al the opportunity to make his own move which surprises Grispfat for how often this violence occurs. Al tries to get a deal solidified, outside sources finding themselves inside Al’s bar and ruining his bar’s reputation. Grispfat is about to give him another chance when the drunken terror makes another appearance which Buck effectively subverts, but now needs a new drink and table. Grispfat then changes his offer for Al to decide upon once he returned. Al catches Tal up on the subject, he not selling the place unless he’s given what it’s worth and then a knock comes at the door, it being a medic for the trouble-maker.

The medic realizes the knocked out man seemed to look like he’d been had by Godot. The medic then learns the trouble-maker is a Jenner, which is someone from a mutagene world and would need to be further analyzed, she taking him with her and updating them later. Al then confides to Tal now their trouble-maker has left them, he might not have to sell after all, she not agreeing to this but knowing  if Al didn’t sell the bar she would be second in his mind and can’t accept this, believing once they’d been together for awhile they could both share a business together, but the bar being too much his for her to feel comfortable in sharing, Al needing time and she willing to give it, but informing she wouldn’t be able to wait forever. Al then asks for Buck’s advice, Godot realizing Tal seemed to know the man he was planning on dealing with without knowing how she’d gotten his name. This upsets Al to the point of lunging at Buck, he stopping him with his hand which was occupied by a can-looking piece of proton-steel, he telling him if anyone asked why his mouth was full of it, being caused by stupidity.

Buck then goes on a tiresome trek up some stairs to speak with a robot, whom apparently worked with the law. Godot relays what he suspects is going on with Tal and Grispfat he then asking if the programmed machine could do anything to help, which was to the negative, Godot descending unhappily and learning the long trek was essentially a forced exercise regime. When he reenters the bar the trouble-maker returns and when spotting Godot, wishes to assault him once more, Buck thinking he was probably drunk and in essence safe from the man’s hostility, he underestimating and having to run for it. The trouble-maker gets hit by a shot, but still goes after Buck as he tries to get to Al to warn him, but the trouble-maker, even though getting continuously thwarted keeps coming back, in the end Buck going to extreme measures to put him off. He gets to Al, but not before getting shot at again, and being saved once more, this time by Tal. When Al’s worker informs him there isn’t anymore room for the now unconscious trouble-maker, they all run to find out how it had gotten so full, the knowledge of which is puzzling to decipher.

Lemuria then runs in to tell of trouble coming, not surprised by the extra trouble-maker and then explaining the man had come from a mutagene world where all the people had developed themselves into a group mind and named themselves Psmith. The reason for this learned, upon one of the trouble-makers enter ing, and declaring Buck had killed him. Two Psmiths then entered, Buck having to bowl them with his fist, Lemuria telling them, more numerous team-ups were assembling. Al then asks if there’s anything more they can do to stop them before they overwhelmed his bar, she finally figuring there could be a way, but expensive, Al agreeing, since this was an emergency. Tal and the medic decide they’ll be the ones to go and collect the device necessary whilst Buck and Al wait at the bar, the former two not being identified by Psmith. Buck helps Al clear the bar of patrons and lock up, Al making compliments to Tal which Buck in turn is tired of having to knock down, but must due to his blind love of her, pointing out all the things which don’t add up about her likes and what she’s been doing and being interrupted before their fight escalates by the Psmiths busting the door down declaring the two as their killers, the two glad of their presence for once.

Buck gets hit by one of the laser guns and Al comes to his rescue, the rest being knocked out by Godot when Al diverts their attention, he then noticing Lemuria was back, but with Grispfat surprisingly and once letting them in, find he has her and now himself at gunpoint, Tal also pointing her gun at them, which doesn’t surprise Godot in the least. Grispfat then reveals how the Psmiths worked into his plan perfectly and was still planning on purchasing Al’s bar and Tal’s part being business which in Al’s race, is acceptable, but he still using her love for him to get the upper hand and when he was showing Grispfat how serious he was, a slew of Psmith burst in.

Grispfat takes the opportunity to revert to his original plan which requires he take the device for the Psmiths and get it to the back room, he making a run for it. Buck notices what Grispfat was up to and informs Al, he then reminding him of a concoction which could help them get through the Psmith flock. Al and Tal get a moment to prove how they feel about each other whilst Al had been preparing the ingredients for the requested mixture, hilarious and similar to what one sees in comedy adventure movies. Grispfat then discovers the clones in the sleep room and notices one which was different from the others, putting him in a device which makes all the others wake from sleep and show their heads getting jarred. Whilst Grispfat is dealing with possibly being taken out in back, the clones in front are starting to pass out, then one of the clones in back about to take a drink from the inviting bottles, hoping it’ll poison him due to the terrible noise they were enduring, but instead cures him, the others desperately trying to get a taste to be relieved, as well.

Psmith then explains his reasons for acting so rashly in the back with Grispfat, the others not holding it against him, since he’d been having a terrible hangover and had similar feelings without being in the same condition and then Psmith’s reasons for thinking one of his selves had been killed having to do with the reaction to the picture of Der Rock, of whom Buck had told Al of and he had known for having worked in security at X-Tel is explained. Buck learns why Psmith was tracking him and feigns not knowing of the item shown, but being ratted out innocently by one of the robots, Psmith annoyed at being lied to and asking how Godot could work for Der Rock, also asking for the device he was searching for, Buck confessing he hadn’t known whom Der Rock was and couldn’t hand over the item, since he was still on the job. After trying to mislead Psmith into he not caring whether Psmith threatened to hurt his friends, he relents in retrieving the device, but insists on knowing whom had hired Psmith, he at first not being helpful, but deciding Buck could signal the job complete by pressing a button the device which would show him whom it was without saying, but also receiving a big show of destruction to Al’s club, since Psmith had left out the information of being outside when setting off the signal due to the reaction.

Buck then realizes the one sent is someone he’s met before, of whom reveals whom the device was for, and since Psmiths’ work was done, offered to stay to help clean up a bit for Al. Buck stays and is eventually joined by someone who realizes his identity had been uncovered by Buck, he then showing the device which Psmith notices and insists must be given to He-Who-Must-Be-Watered, but Godot then flip flops with the truth of whether or not the device was real or not which Buck planned on being paid for either way, Psmith then deciding Der Rock would be worth more if captured, Der Rock trying to show he was stronger than he may have seemed, Psmith thinking it didn’t matter due to his outnumbering him, but learning soon after, it didn’t matter at all, stating although Der Rock had slaughtered some of them, it wouldn’t stop them in the grand scheme, Psmith always returning, Der Rock not intimidated by this promise.

Buck pipes up about his fee once Der Rock had offed the last Psmith, Der Rock still not believing the device was a replica, but upon testing, discovers it worked, and Godot requesting the amount it cost to copy with the raise Der Rock included for his distrusting assumption of Godot’s work. When Der Rock goes for a drink, Godot makes a call which confirms he has played a double-bluff, Godot wanting to sweeten the pot with having Der Rock to hand over, as well as the real device (it not being a copy after all). Der Rock is sent to Godot’s client, but not before promising he’d be back to deal with Buck, which doesn’t bother him, since he was getting paid by his other client as well, bonus and all. After Al mentions Buck’s reaction to Der Rock’s threat was taken so grain-of-salt-like, Buck mentions his client, Thezmothete would most likely keep him busy before he had a chance to carry out his threat. Al and Tal decide to begin their relationship again and vacation, Godot reminding of all the spots Klik had missed cleaning up, which ends the first story. I took so long in between readings, it may have just been the perspective being jilted because of it, but I do love the humor and will be pained to finish the last.

A prologue of what the Gallimaufry is and how it relates to Earth’s new government being taken over by this coalition begins the story, after which Lord Thezmothete takes over as reigning supreme over Humanity which surprises the Gallimaufry as much as Humanity to know of Thezmothete’s existence, going on to describe a police force of robots called the Law Machines. Then it’s discovered Godot is asleep, waking up to knocking at his door and not being amused, but realizing he’d overslept and could be in trouble now. Buck is now running away from the door as someone is shouting his name and blasting the door open, he making a bumpy getaway through his window, it not being close to the ground, but breaks a window before hitting the earth and continues his escape. Godot then blasts his enemy from the opposite balcony with what looks like water raining upon the man, Buck heading for Al’s, he asking for the spare clothes he kept for him, but soon being let down by Klik having cleaned up the storeroom in question. Al then mentions how he and some others were betting on how long Buck would last in being chased by this, Tax Notifier (T.N.), Godot feeling charitable after agreeing to split Al’s winning with him for lasting as long as he’d bet, the T.N. then walking in, but being blasted in the face with Klik, whom was punched by Godot into him.

Buck runs off once more and is recognized by a Law Machine, he has a moral discussion of Buck running from the T.N. which then catches up, but Buck making another getaway by grabbing the Law Machine and it slowing their descent down, requesting to be released and Buck acquiescing. Buck then runs into Tal whom is sun-bathing, quite in the nude, surprising her, he then mentioning how she being a Thuxian made it hard to figure what he’d being looking for when it came to the naughty bits as it was, she relaxing and offering Buck a drink whilst he attempted to make it three hours without getting caught, but he then making a wrong statement about her “thorps”, being flung out the window, the T.N just below. When the T.N. was in the middle of reading Godot’s rights, Tal rights her abrupt reaction by throwing an object at the T.N., making it possible for Buck’s escape once more, she admiring herself in the window’s reflection and agreeing to Buck’s words about her bod. The T.N. then goes about recovering where Buck may have hid, but not succeeding, only hearing a noise which he investigates, noting Godot must have been there, but also insulting the security of the place without realizing they were within earshot. Buck then runs into Lou, whom had heard from her doorman he was there, and unclothed, Buck sharing why he was in such disarray. They commiserate on their T.N. experiences and then Buck asks if she has any clothes he can borrow, she explaining how people left items all the time and would have a look at their uncollected inventory.

When Lou returns after Buck had been speaking with her accountant on how bad business had been, she commands Buck to take off his shorts so she can fully clothe him, he learning her shower wasn’t as private as he’d thought, the last time he’d been there. Lou then reading the portfolio and being livid over the numbers and offering Buck a job as a bodyguard so she could deal with the politicians involved in her dropping business, she convincing him it would be lucrative and he interested in the aspect of further escape as someone brings in a stack of clothing, but they discovering it was the T.N. once more. He’s interrupted again by one of the workers, whom was aching for business and snatches him up and away to her room, again before he could complete him statement in accordance to the law, Lou having Buck agree to meet them at the gate of the spaceport where they’d leave. Buck has now been dressed in the leftovers, but looks a fool, he hoping no one will say anything to him, but is disappointed. Then he hires a cab to the spaceport and as he’s attempting to have the cabbie open the door instead of driving off without him like he had, the T.N. is again racing toward him. Godot moves the cabbie over and drives off, the T.N. programming his hat for “kill”.

Buck then notices the flying hat and tries to maneuver around it, but ends up having to take the cab back toward ground. He almost gets them fried as he’s driving along the spaceport due to he not staying in the proper lane, but had the plan of getting the hat zapped as he did so, and without fail. They are interrupted by a religious being of the Slag-Blah, Buck agreeing to hear his spiel, since he suspected interloping to continue, being lead inside the church and hearing about the all encompassing acceptance of all religions for no one knowing what was true. Buck did find the group’s view interesting, but pushed on to his destination; If religions were anything like this one, it’d be easier to tolerate them. Buck is then greeted by Lou, he again hearing a bit more of the T.N.’s statement, but stopping him once more for having catapulted him away with his own gun; The reader would have to see it (and hopefully has) to understand. Buck makes it to the ship and is listening to the overhead speaker when the speaker is interrupted by the Tax man (If no one reading this has heard of Corner Gas, the readers who haven’t may want to find it, it’s great and has an episode with one of the New Kids in the Hall as a tax man). After the T.N. makes it clear Buck hadn’t aided himself by avoiding him, he walks away, pleased with finishing his task.

A description of what the Gallimaufry is follows, it being a trading center for goods and services, bringing aliens of all kinds to trade ideas, and what humans brought, it having to do with popsicles, apparently and how much of a commodity it became. Buck is moping and Lou tries to pep him up so he can act like a proper bodyguard. Once Lou talks of someone who delayed their taxes by six days and what his punishment had been, Buck attempts seppuku with a pretzel stick, since he’d be delaying his for much longer. Gallimaufry is then shown and as they walk through the docking bay, Buck is noticing a large group of space marines, when someone calls his name and then puts him in a headlock. Buck recognizes him as a man called Frakkus, they immediately rough-housing, but are interrupted by a sergeant telling them to move it away from the dock. They begin to beat up the group when Buck gets zapped with an electric stick.

Frakkus comes to his rescue, but when he insults him by a term he thought unsuitable, he punches Frakkus again. Lou stepping in to warn Frakkus to leave her bodyguard alone so he can do his job, Lou learning Frakkus was Buck’s uncle. Frakkus’ station in his work is provided and he invites the two to a party later, which Lou agrees to, they starting work the next day. They meet Frakkus’ boss and after introductions she goes back to organizing the party, the formal introductions at the party then shown, Frakkus’ official title being, Minister for Human Protocol. The three split up to attend separate interests and duties, Buck mingling with a small alien, whom likes people-watching, he noticing a human having a conversation with an alien which humans were supposed to be enemies with, but Buck recognizing him from earlier and knowing he wasn’t a diplomat. Godot is more interested as the alien explains how many enemies of humans the man goes to, Buck then being interrupted by Psmith who was there in an official capacity and on a job. Psmith then mentions of being able to recognize anyone who wasn’t Psmith and Godot has him identify the interloper as Sergeant Anton Clisp.

Buck then deduces what Clisp was doing after interrupting a conversation between an alien with the Human Ambassador, Etarre. When he goes to speak with the alien he pulled away, he threatens him with the security cameras having recorded his every move and would have caught him betting, so he confided how to make a bet in order for Buck to make his phony bid. Lou interrupts Godot as he’s about to go over to Clisp, since she seems to be getting ignored by the other humans, but it’s explained the humans cycle for “courting” was over (how interesting if this truly happened). Buck then continues on his way to hold up Clisp, and after doing so, faces Clisp’s wrath, which has Buck flung around the room and embarrassing Frakkus, but Buck does suspect Clisp is a cyborg, the only reason he had such strength to overpower him. Buck gets a break from him when Lou bops him in the face with a pie, then Godot deals out some retribution.

Clisp then uses Lou as collateral to get out, until Frakkus steps in with a fork, disabling Clisp for good. The second in command of Human security, Thad explains it’s to do with the no-weapons-allowed rule and when the fork had hit Clisp in a certain spot, it turned on his weapons and the security system came online and took him out. Lou and Buck leave in time to miss charades and Lou finds someone to exert her “frustration” upon once they’re back at their rooms. The Prime Mover of the Gallimaufry is then heard from, whom opens the trading session, but once Godot gets an earful of what this means, he’s searching for the bar. Meanwhile, Etarre is about to make her announcement of donating a large, what looks like a lizard balloon, but speaks; it’s called the Winslow and was a proponent in some religions, but not much else is known about it. The whole place erupts into shouts and everyone is now heading for Etarre.

Then the start of the next chapter, details known about the Winslow are shared and why it was desired by many species. After this, Buck readies himself for the onslaught of creatures heading at them as some are in holy reverie and others in hate of the Winslow. It gets a bit more serious as certain bureaucrats get closer, whom are known for being dangerous, kind of. Buck disables one which gives the wrong idea to a fellow fighter of their team, going after an actually dangerous creature, and not living through the attack. Finally the security chief of the planet puts extra weight in the atmosphere to stop everyone from their aggressive ideas. The security chief, Parahexavoctal, for short, Par then proceeds to end the session for the day and gives security to the humans as everyone leaves for their areas. Etarre then contemplates having to tell the family of Gio, the one whom didn’t make it, of his unfortunate demise. Buck is then led by Thad to the Hall of Icons where the Winslow was being housed, they then confronted by a couple different species who are threatening Thad to release the Winslow to them or more threats would ensue. When the largest of the group makes it’s entrance for ownership of the Winslow though, Thad finally decides it’s time to retreat, but not before the closest species related to the Winslow take one of the aliens of the closest aliens to the Earth as hostage. Buck then knocks out the alien whom claimed to be the one who would be contacting his fellows when they had what they wanted and goes to find the Ambassador before they can get far with their hostage.

Whilst Buck tracks the ship which has Ambassador Hwoolp of the Pogs as hostage, Lou has made a trip to her sister brothel and isn’t pleased by the service they’re running. Buck then implements a plan which isn’t entirely clear at first, involving buying some cargo after landing on the driver. Lou discovers a reason for the business being so bad, and how it had to do with the way she was “shunned” at the party the night before. Buck reveals how he would be using the cargo he now bought as his means of catching the ship with the alien hostage. Then Etarre explains to Frakkus why they had given the Winslow up having to do with discovering whom was breaking the no-weapons rule, and the Winslow being the perfect bait, obviously. Then Buck, having brought the cargo ship to an almost ground level, has the driver continue to follow the ship he’s after.

Back to Frakkus and Etarre, who in the middle of their conversation, is interrupted by the Prime Mover and Par, the former sharing the rule which banned weapons only included a small number and not a variety, of which he mentions, and how this was used as a crutch for the species whom needed it, but the weapons serving only as a “security blanket” and weren’t ever used. The Prime Mover, after learning how Etarre had kept him out of the loop on purpose, decides to break the contract with the humans, and Par is laying out the reason why Etarre will cooperate and take the Winslow back or get the humans expelled from the Gallimaufry when Buck waltzes in with Ambassador Hwoolp, getting Par’s attention and requesting Godot’s file. Hwoolp gives a piece of his mind to Etarre, whom mentions she’d be giving a debriefing soon, Hwoolp stating how she was going to have much explaining due to having put the Pogs in danger.

Buck then meets again with Lou, whom mentions the problem with the sex houses, taking him to a medic to prove there was a problem with human sex drive, the medic not cooperating when she asked for an alert, then insisting he answer when he’d had sex last, he shocked to realize it had been a couple of months, then when Lou gives an example of how the medic should be reacting, and Buck being the one to get aroused (which shouldn’t happen apparently, due to where he’s from), the medic decides to go through with the alert, and Lou helps Buck out with his frisky feelings. Thad then meets them and notices Buck all wet after he’d explained what had been occurring in the Hall of Icons, and hoped it wasn’t raining due to all the other news being so stellar as it was. Then Psmith relays to Thad of the Winslow having been stolen and they needed to block the entrances, since the other species thought it was them.

Next section gives background as to what has happened to weapon ownership on Earth, it being the lower classes not having it, but instead developed their skills of martial arts, it being called Ninja, and most planets and species possessing a form of similar style, but many due to believing theirs was the “one true Ninja way”, would fight others for thinking opposingly. Buck and Thad are viewing through a window Par making another statement which explains the humans not having the Winslow despite popular belief and anyone who attempted to break through security would pay for it. Buck is then summoned by security troops in the common area, he believing it had to do with a speeding ticket, Lou interrupting by mentioning what had been the cause of the loss of sex drive, but Buck not having left to meet the security troops yet, he asking Thad who they were as they then walk to where the troops were, he explaining of their advancement compared to the usual levels of species and how they used popsicles.

When they reach them, the troops request Buck to come with them, but not as a prisoner, Buck deciding to meet them in a slightly dangerous way in order to protect the humans allies. As soon as the door is opened, Buck is met by opposition, but all of them being taken out in some way he wasn’t privy. Buck is quite entertained by the show, though and whilst he saw some of the aliens shouting for his death, some were also shouting for his protection so either they could kill him or be used to learn where the Winslow was, but then it’s shown how Buck had been protected the whole time by the security troops. Par then proves his threat of ejecting an embassy wasn’t all talk, by doing so to the Ninja whom failed last, all of his people sucked into space, leaving Buck shocked. Buck is then transported to core security where he’s met by Par, he being told of his mission being to recover the Winslow, Par being unable to give any hints as to where he could’ve been taken, since no one saw the Winslow disappear.

After discussing of possibilities, Buck convinces Par to halt all garbage barges to be searched, soon after they receive information which Par is requested personally to view for himself. What they witness is the garbage barge carried nothing and was beautifully clean, so far other barges turning up the same, Par wondering where the garbage was by this point, and Godot suggesting they go to Station Maintenance. When they arrive, the worker is so taken aback and thought he’d been caught due to his position not requiring him to actually do anything for quite a long time, Par had to be specific as to he being there to discover where all the garbage was, the maintenance chief not knowing. When they inquire of the robots whom tend the cleaning of the area, Par is unable to override the unauthorization and so makes a request for a debugging of the robots, Buck then thinking he was in need of lunch before they continued any more fun, Par accepting this. Then they are interrupted by an interloper threatening Par with a flossing if he didn’t reveal where the Winslow was, Buck and Par getting amusement from this. Par doesn’t react negatively though, since the little alien had reminded him he should see a dentist. Then the are met by Frakkus whom needed advisement on how to cook poiled slurgs, which Par seemed to be the authority of, he deciding he’d cook them himself, leaving Frakkus in a state of immobility.

The medical officer then calls a meeting which requests the attendance of all humans and Pogs, as well as Par himself. It’s told of the virus affecting the sex drive, it having other dangerous symptoms if uncured. Par immediately decides to get as much information available about what they knew of the virus and was adamant in uncovering whom was responsible for releasing it. He then relates to Etarre of how many races are planning on storming their embassy, and after discussing the probability of opening any or multiple embassies to prove he was serious about the protection of humans, Buck shares of how he may only need to open one embassy to the infinite abyss we know as space. Par then announces which planet would be released to the outside, Etarre and Thad getting sucked through the opening to space. The ruse worked, since the aliens began turning on each other after seeing the footage and Etarre and Thad were safely still aboard, Etarre then asking Hwoolp if Godot could be housed in the Pogs embassy, he unsure, since still being in the dark about what was happening and wanting answers, Etarre acquiescing As they leave for a private room, Buck and Thad discuss how Buck will feel being known as the only human on-board the Gallimaufry, he being able to take this in stride, they then hearing an odd noise, Buck forcing the door open, Thad and he seeing the room was now empty.

A more detailed description of the Pogs background is given, as well as how Humanity teamed up with them due to similarities of goals and like-mindedness. Buck, Thad, and the other two workers of either humans or Pogs try to understand how Etarre and Hwoolp had left with no other exit from the room, before Thad can call Par, Buck finding a message which suggested against the action. Thad then decides to call to agents, a dog and cat who can talk to help with the discovery of where Etarre and Hwoolp had disappeared, the dog learning it was from a concealed door and the smell of whom had taken them was permeating the room. Buck then leaves to speak with the Klegdixal, but is waylaid by another Ninja, but not for long, since Buck again handles her gracefully. Meanwhile, Thad was organizing his team for infiltration of the hidden passage.

When the team of two go inside the passage though, they are attacked, the woman reporting of whatever had gone after them was “mean”. Buck’s presence is relayed to a Klegdixal, Whreee, whom disregards him, but upon hearing the extensive shouts for Buck’s assistance, it’s revealed  he bursting through a door despite the precautions Whreee made by arming himself. Buck then explains his reasons for being there due to the virus and his thoughts on Whreee’s involvement of its release, but once showing the medical report, Whreee informs Buck of how the news was definitely bad and how guilty it made the Klegdixals seem. Whreee isn’t able to help reverse the virus though, since he would need the DNA key sequence, and Buck’s terms in order to be certain of the Klegdixals innocence wasn’t making Whreee feel much better, but slowly agreeing upon knowing the Pogs would be doing the research, and then making his own terms which included an agreement of a more official status, Buck not minding for only needing to learn certain information and if all was on the level, wouldn’t need long to search.

Buck then is informed of the group previously awaiting his exit were gone, one being left, and upon being intrigued by whom, discovers it’s the Ninja again. This time she overpowers Buck, throwing him through the Klegdixal embassy wall, upon landing, he adding medical benefits to their agreement and a back door, if possible. Thad is then shown being approached by a Law Machine offering its assistance in observation by going into the secret tunnel to see if it could discover what was attacking, but once within, being destroyed by an energy weapon. Buck then shares the news with the Pogs of the agreement he’d been able to make with the Klegdixals, then deciding he’d give sleep a chance, and to his discrediting his ability, promptly proves himself wrong. Godot is then awakened by voices in the dark, claiming to know who had released the virus and would give the information upon delivery of the Winslow, Buck dive-bombing the intruder, but when the lights turn on, discover Par, he unaware of why Buck was reacting so violently.

Par then shares what his team had found when they were tracking the garbage being sent to the barges, the team going missing along with the garbage. He also mentions of a ship having broken into the Gallimaufry, an alien called Hyraxx, a deadly creature whom Buck has already run into a few times. As Par was speaking, the whole ship shakes, his intel being unable to learn where it had come from, but Par making it clear he’d have to come up with a better non-reason. Meanwhile, the talking cat and dog team, Martin and Rowan are discussing Martin’s decision of using his Ninja skills to discover more about the creature within the secret passage. Then, Buck is led to where the Prime Mover spent his off time, this being his idea of whom would know more about the tremor felt, Par showing him the Prime Mover’s office also containing his “own little world”. After vouching and insisting Buck would stay to hear Par’s questions answered, the Prime Mover starts with Par’s first question about the details of the contract between he and the humans, also mentioning the two would not mention his words to anyone.

It’s then shared what the Winslow was required by Humanity to house by the Prime Mover in order for Humanity to stay under his protection from extinction, he not knowing why humans would decide to break the contract, Par then asking about whether the Prime Mover knew about the garbage disposal system, he not aware of the actual destination of the trash having currently taken, and so realizing he must go back to work, the two leaving and discussing the Prime Mover’s stance on the station, and how civilized it was now compared to the early years. Par then goes off to deal with some other work whilst Godot decides to go to maintenance, having forgotten to ask about why Hyraxx was such a danger, she then showing herself, but before doing more than responding to his thought out loud, Buck books it down the hall.

After being caught up to though, Buck then discovers Hyraxx’s profession once she asks the question of whether Elvis’ ghost haunted the now empty human embassy, to Buck’s shock. Buck attempts to relay not having the time to chit chat, but doesn’t leave until the Uligb (another alien) shows up, she for some reason being intimidated. Buck then talks with the maintenance chief, requesting to see the station building codes the robots who build the embassies base their construction off of, when the robots begin attacking the tech-hands, Buck leads the way to the other robots to uncover what the deal was. When they see the chaos, the robots are soon stating of all station personnel in their presence, would be destroyed. Then back to Martin, whom reports to Rowan of seeing something which makes him insist he inform Thad of not relaying any details to the Pogs, since he discovers the Winslow, along with some worshipers.

Firstly, a little bit of information on the controlled numbers of journalists which had something to do with mathemagicians having most exterminated is shared. The information given continues to describe how a journalist was kept in each sector in certain planets, others only keeping one for the whole planet, or none at all. It’s also mentioned what occurs when a journalist wishes to move, it being quite a debacle for whatever journalist is occupying the area desired, but it’s also discovered how journalists can behave badly when restricted too often. Then back to Buck and group, still frozen for the threat of being shot by the J-B.O.D.s, Buck then being told of the camera in the room, but it being on a random viewing, so he deciding to make it more necessary to view by pretending to surrender to a J-B.O.D. and then swatting it into the camera, handball-style.

They then need a hand from the maintenance chief whom needed a bit of coaxing before finally subduing the maintenance robots who appeared after the J-B.O.D.s. As Par comes in, annoyed for having to shut down so many systems for Buck and he being a smarty-pants after being asked if there were any others which would be needed to be inconvenienced, as well, they were again rocked by a tremor, Par’s employee relaying of it being originated from the maintenance core, where they currently were, so Par commands all security to tear apart all of the bots to see if they could find the problem, Buck deciding he’d adjourn to his beddy-bye. Meanwhile, Etarre’s team is scrambling to keep everything calm for those transitioning from there upheaval in worshipful prayer of the Winslow, the team settling on giving the human refugees saved from the riots jobs already held by Pogs as a temporary way of keeping them busy, the Pogs’ jobs being taken, being given paid vacation essentially until further notice, Veem, the Pogs ambassador, not happy about this idea at all.

When everyone leaves except Thad and Reege, the co-leader, he divulges of the underlying reason for this being due to they figuring out what was really going on and who was definitely trustworthy, not so certain of the Pogs currently. Buck then comes to speak with Thad when he confides to Buck of the last transmission given by Martin of the Winslow and they not knowing what he’d seen, but they being interrupted by Lou, whom wasn’t pleased with Buck, since he wasn’t acting like a bodyguard, but he reminding her of he not having much to do with the current health issues human males were currently going through, then turning her sights on Thad, whom had to clarify his relationship with Etarre, but Lou making it clear she won’t let anyone working with them be of unsound mind, threatening drugs if they (including her assistant) didn’t do something about it in twenty-four hours, Buck making it clear to Thad, after he’d asked his advice, he should do whatever is best for him to handle the problem, Buck then bowing out for sleepy-time.

Unfortunately for Buck, he’s not alone and the same group who had interrupted his sleep before, were again there to change their terms of Buck needing to be their intermediary with the Prime Mover, they finally showing themselves and Buck not at first seeing why they would be considered dangerous, until one showed how the energy weapons could be brought on board the Gallimaufry. After considering out loud where they must have hidden themselves and being wrong to mention the garbage room, Buck asks if they wanted his assistance, what they would give him in return, they unable to give the DNA key to him for it having been destroyed, the Prime Mover the only one whom could help there, and to convince him the Beemahs would be suitable for the Winslow’s next guardians. Thad then goes to the doctor to see if he had any ideas of how he could help his hormones without feeling morally guilty, but he isn’t in luck, Lou popping in, and quite naked, Thad leaving them to consider another means of relief. He then runs into Buck, whom inadvertently makes it clear what he must do, again leaving for medical, Buck then being stopped by Veem, whom was desperate to have Buck speak on the Pogs behalves to regain their positions, believing it was the way they would be able to reclaim their ambassador.

This is where I was forced to take a break from reading due to technical difficulties with the site and everyone who could fix it either being sick or getting over illness; the unluckiness of my efforts of finishing, continues. A month later, I learn everyone’s fine now, but waiting to put the site back up until they can add new Buck Godot in the Spring, up and downside. 4 years later, here I be. Similar to Bone, but not, since I can’t get this comic out of my head and my brain won’t allow me to move on for the moment. Well, baby steps, I’ll just finish my other half-read novels until then!

Thanks again to the WayBackMachine!

Buck is interrupted by 12-Zinc, he inquiring about the J-B.O.D.s, 12-Zinc not receiving an answer as of yet. Buck describes why someone wanted to get the garbage, he suggesting a tracer in the garbage room and asking after the energy trap. 12-Zinc doesn’t know though, his people not having known this for many years now. Godot then deduces what someone would want with so much trash and considering it could be the size of a planet. Upon speaking with the Prime Mover, Godot learns he doesn’t care about curing the virus, nor would’ve needed to plague humans in this way, Buck revealing he knew a candidate for the new guardians and the P.M. reluctantly agreeing to his retirement terms. Unfortunately, upon asking the P.M. about how the energy weapon works, he didn’t know, but could leave a message for the previous P.M. in order to find out. Buck asks about what fella was doing, he saying he was creating an ocean for his planet, by bucketful. Buck leaves the P.M. and sees the J-B.O.D.s were fixing on destroying everyone again, so after Buck smashes 2 by bouncing them into each other, he decides to revisit the P.M.. Before getting there though, Hyraxx saves his ass with a fuzzbuster. Buck takes the opportunity to have her research why the Pogs would be interested in the Winslow, and in return Buck would give her an exclusive.

Meanwhile, Lou has helped Thad’s other half to release some tension, and then are interrupted by an injured Martin, and Buck is confronted by Oort about the virus, when he’s hit with a dart and goes down, but he’s dead before anything can be done, Buck recognizing the dart as Sclufoniun, he ready to kick some ass, but as he busts through the door, he’s hit with a bunch of darts and passes out. When he comes to, he learns the medic team they’d sent for Oort, was useful to him, Whreee having been showing the freshly designed antidote in a meeting and they using it on him. Buck shares the reason why he’d burst in was because of a Sclufoniun dart killing Oort, but now realizing a Sclufoniun wouldn’t have been responsible if in this meeting the whole time. Par then comes in to announce how the Klegdixal were found guilty of spreading the virus and Buck should head for safety, since the Klegdixal would now be banned from Gallimaufry. Buck decides to stay a moment longer since smelling something fishy, Par noticing it, as well. They deduce they would need to see Oort’s last moments recorded on a device he’d been carrying, but it had been taken by the Pogs (I think…).

Godot and Par exit and Buck is contemplating his nap-time, in his room seeing Lou mourning Oort, he offering they go to his viewing and pick up the body-vid Oort had on him. When Buck finds Thad, Lou and they have a conversation which ends with Buck figuring out whom killed Oort and who released the virus. Lou takes care of this starry-eyed fool whom apparently thought Oort was the bees knees, but knew too much so had to be eliminated. Meanwhile Buck goes to see the quarantined Whreee, to see if he’d allow sponsorship for information of his innocence. After he agrees, upon learning it’s for the Beemahs, the Beemah gives Buck the evidence to support Whreee’s innocence. Buck then runs into Hyraxx whom has learned of the Pogs having been custodians for the Winslow before the Humans, big news. Buck then decides he’s going to enter into the other dimension to see if they find what’s making the trash disappear, he learning he wasn’t alone, and whatever was there, was calling itself Gallimaufry. When Buck has the thing take him to where the issue was, since it trying to eat the trash was making it sick, Buck sees the cutest little thing, ever! Next, Par is shown how Godot had an Info Point attached to him which acts like a body cam.

Par then has 12-Zinc arrested due to not following his order to kill Buck when he arrived, Par confessing he knew this wasn’t right, but he still doing it. Buck, tricks them though, since where he was arriving should’ve been set to where they were, but he somehow being somewhere else on the ship, Par ordering all security to find Buck and his fellow travelers. Beemah finds Buck along with Whreee and they see he has the Winslow, he warning Buck of Par. Buck then entrusts Beemah in escorting the Winslow to the Prime Mover through secret tunnels whilst Buck took the obvious route, which impresses the Beemah, for not having ever been trusted before. Whreee assigns a ninja to escort Buck, due to mistrust and Buck refuses, Veem next finding Buck in his closet, he updating Veem of locating the Winslow, etc. He then asks for Veem to send this as a message to Thad, Veem offering to do the rest of the exchange himself, since one of the ambassadors was the Pogs. Buck then agrees he can go with him, if he provided military back up and disguised him as one of them, Veem totally into it.

At least until implementing Buck’s disguise, which is basically the same idea as the 3 kids in a big man’s jacket, Buck being the legs and bod, ofc. Buck sabotages the plan by smashing one of the drones, Veem still insisting they go to the pick up point, and Buck happily agreeing. When they reach the entry point, though, Buck isn’t able to gain access, they having to fight Uligb. Buck then enlists the help of Hyraxx to open the door, she succeeding and the three interrupting the P.M. and then Buck inviting the Beemah out, Par intrigued as he then learns Klegdixal planned on sponsoring them. Etarre also pops out with the Winslow, confirming Humanity was cool with giving up the Winslow. Then Par bursts in with death threats, executing upon Buck talking after he was finished. P.M. prevents his shots from hitting anyone and wishes to hear from the rest of the group before deciding they were truly arrested or not.

They then interrupted by drones, Par getting another chance to execute as Buck and group attempt escape. Beemah gets hit first after attempting to kill Par, then Buck goes after Par because he’d broken his trust, then the P.M. excommunicates the alien drones, asking for the mess to be explained. Beemah apparently had much more information than most, the P.M. proven this by his knowledge of his secret horndawg stash, Par inquiring why the Beemah hadn’t made him privy. Par had enslaved the Beemah, which the P.M. noted, and Beemahs providing the antidote to the virus given to Humanity. Buck then explains how the Gallimaufry is alive and was much bigger than this plane they lived on, it missing interaction with other beings, which it couldn’t take advantage of, due to choking on the intake of the Winslow. Par receives high praises from the P.M. before he zaps him out, Beemahs prove themselves to be worthy of caring for the Winslow, and Humanity receives protection indefinitely from the P.M. for having been good care-takers of the Winslow. The P.M. then almost banishes the Pogs, but Godot speaks on their behalf, since Oort was lost in this battle and deserves some sort of remembrance, so P.M. decides to banish them temporarily until those involved were dead.

Hyraxx is sworn to secrecy, she in return asking for a pardon in regards to all the trouble she’d caused in order to detect the Winslow’s whereabouts. Buck is offered Par’s old job, but he declines, P.M. then listing how many things he must get to before finishing his bath. The group celebrates in different ways, since Hyraxx had been ordered a lobotomy, but then Buck hears a prediction which seems to have been made by the Winslow, which was well-thought out and more words put together by the thing than heard, ever. Beemahs then escorting it out, he not having heard this long-winded thought. Lou is with a bunch of other people, she sharing how it was about time she head back for her club, thinking business would soon be banging. Buck hangs back after she invites him and when he gets back, goes to deal with his taxes, he sporting a note from the P.M. excusing his tax evasion for so many days. Unfortunately, the fella must deny the note what with he then having to break the same rule for everyone, even if they are a galactic hero, saving a race from slavery and whatnot.

This being the end of the Buck Godot story! Hell yes! I finally did it! It was worth it, because I love humor sci-fi! The story after is an origination story of the Winslow, a fuzzy indestructible alligator. I’m glad to have finished it and will be continuing the ongoing series of Girl Genius.

Shade’s Children

I read this book, I believe, in junior high. It’s one of those novels which sucks one into the story and doesn’t let go until the end and then leaving the reader wanting more. It’s about a group of kids, set in the future, when all the adults are gone. Poof, gone; Plus this set of teenagers are trying to survive in a world run by machines when at 12 years old one might as well kiss life goodbye because by that age one is old enough to become a drone of some kind or food.

So there’s a rogue group who are trying to change things and Gold Eye, the main character is rescued by them and starts going along on missions where he learns more about life, love and growing up.

I really enjoyed this book and if readers have previously liked any of Nix’s other works this one should be added to the list. As well as if one starts on this: I started with this book, it will be appreciated and the addiction to his work most likely will continue. After reading this, whilst also reading The Seventh Tower series (also very good) check out my review for The Abhorsen Chronicles.

The Time Machine

We begin with the Time Traveler sharing with an unknown number of people about a difficult subject to understand, but being quite excited. Those who listened thought he was being imaginative with an idea. Soon though, he begins with explaining the four dimensions one needs to know of and poses the question of whether a cube exists for only a moment actually exists at all. He goes on to explain how scientists have tried to come up with a geometry which would support a fourth dimension’s existence. We have a Narrator who isn’t identified in any way, but only this person is among those listening to the Time Traveler’s talk of his experiment and how he’d thought of making a machine to carry one through time and space. Then we learn there are six men in the room and the Time Traveler has brought to them a small metallic object; he explains it’s his model of what his time machine will look like, but then we realize this little model can travel through time and blows everyone’s mind upon being demonstrated. Then the Time Traveler lets on his actual machine was almost done and shows them all his progress. I like the style of writing so far, it gets to the point fairly quickly and the fact it’s not such a long story makes me wonder what kind of adventures he’ll get into.

The next bit begins with the Narrator going back to the Time Traveler’s home for another get-together with notables of the town, but the Time Traveler being late, the Doctor plays host and rings for dinner to be served, since the Time Traveler said to do as much if he hadn’t returned by then in a note he’d left. The Narrator is the first to see the Time Traveler arrive in great disorderliness, when others noticed him they wondered what had happened to him. After a couple glasses of wine, he was becoming himself again and promised to explain once he cleaned up and changed. Meanwhile the new guests began to become beleaguered the possibility the Time Traveler had actually gone anywhere out of the ordinary from his appearance. Upon his return, the Editor immediately badgers the Time Traveler for a story, but he doesn’t get it quite yet due to the man wanting some meat in his system before saying another word. When he’d had his fill, he adjourns them all to the smoking-room and begins by informing them he’s seen eight days already and he plans on confessing the whole story uninterrupted before passing out for the night.

When the Time Traveler begins his story of how he noticed he’d traveled at all, it was by the clock in the room, then by how quickly a Mrs. Watchett had walked into the room without seeing him, whilst he was still traveling through time. Soon he saw the construction of the house and the sun going through its motions, all the while not enjoying the ride of his travel, as he explains. After going back in time for a bit, he moves forward and upon stopping finally, he discovers himself in a garden with a humongous statue and soon realizes he’s been spotted by the locals, dreading before noticing them, if they’d believe him barbaric in comparison to themselves. He then gets an idea of their stature and appearance, losing his fear. The Time Traveler soon realized the men from the future were speaking with a foreign tongue and was wondering if they were intelligent, which he found disappointment upon the learning of. They were friendly though, and soon brought him indoors noting the structure and flooring, he also goes into more detail as to what the men looked like.

Soon they were hand motioning to him questions and he answers to how and where the Time Traveler came from. He also saw some fruits which seemed strange and some he recognized but were of proportions not seen in his time. His innocent-looking hosts motion for him to sit with them as they gratified their appetites. As the crowd of futuristic people got larger at their group snack-out, the Time Traveler tried to learn some of their language, but only after a short time did the people get weary of translating to him what words for what objects were, so the Time Traveler had to be patient in rounding off his language lesson. The we are given the year he traveled to, which was a bit difficult to discern in how it was written. He then goes on to describe the disposition of the small men, which is child-like in nature and attention span, being jabbered at and then left to pass their time idly, letting him do what he would. He goes back outside to notice the Thames had shifted only a small bit and then noted most of the English architecture had been replaced with structures similar in style to palaces. The Time Traveler then came to a realization about the people of the future, which had to do with the similarity of looks between the sexes, mentioning his theory was only a small part of the whole, which he relates coming back to later. We then are given his theory of what happened to humanity by this time, which he also notes, is a minor part of the whole truth.

After touring the area, he sees as he’s coming back, the Time Machine is not where he’d left it. He’s stricken with panic and rushes so quickly, he bloodies his face, then when he does get to where the machine was, feels mocked by the smiling statue, due to the machine not only being moved out of eyesight, as he’d hoped, but nowhere to be found, as dreaded. He wrongly, as night fell, burst into the sleeping area of the small people, realizing they didn’t comprehend his feelings. After blind terror of where the machine could be, he realizes by morning, once remembering his predicament, he would have to look on the hopeful and brighter side, being the possibility of constructing another machine and the fact he’s on a strange and enchanting time on Earth. Then he began to examine the statue, once exhausting his efforts on the little people, who seemed to know nothing. He hears a suspicious noise from within the statue and when he tries to convey he’d like to know how it is opened, he’s met with disdain and no one considering his idea seriously or with empathy.

He leaves them be for awhile so as not to alienate himself anymore than he has and in the meantime, tries to learn more of their language, during this time he also notices some curious wells as he experiments and gets a closer look at them, sees them not to be filled with water, but have a steady stream of air going down them and a rhythmic beating, sounding like an engine. He then notices towers could be connected to the wells and may have to do with the sanitation of the people, but this wasn’t the actual reason. He then skips to the lifestyles of the little people, wondering where they got their clothing, also noticing there to be no elderly among them so where cemeteries or the like could be. Then he acknowledges the Time Machine again and how he was stumped as to how the machine could have gotten within the statue. We then are given a description of an experience with one of the people needing help in the river and not expecting gratefulness for his help, but being surprised later of receiving thanks.

The young lady, Weena, developed a friendship with him and tried to stick close, but because the Time Traveler was set on learning as much as possible, would tire her and leave her to wait for him until he was finished. Their relationship gets closer, but he digresses, getting back to the main point, being why the people seemed to be fearful of night, having an experience where the Time Traveler is woken by something moving past him, but not being sure, trying to reclaim sleep again and failing, so decides to go out and see the sun rise. Before the rising sun, he sees white figures in the distance, not clearly seeing them, so as to think they could be apparitions and upon the sun rising, no longer seeing them. On his fourth day, it was quite hot and he sought shelter in a giant ruin, where he believes he sees someone staring at him, he tries to communicate to the ape-like figure like the ones he saw before, but he ran off into another corner. This time he lights a match and watches the creature going down the well by hand holds he hadn’t seen before. His opinion of what the wells were for changed then, realizing the little people living above weren’t the only ones left on the world. He theorized how their society worked, not quite landing on the truth. He tries to ask Weena, but at first not understanding and then becoming visibly upset when not wanting to answer, he stops pressing her.

We learn the Time Traveler feels closer to the Eloi than the Morlocks, the latter being the underground dwellers. He then contemplates how he’ll get the machine back, feeling paranoid and exposed with no one to back him up. He soon resolved to go through with his idea of descending one of the wells, to Weena’s dismay, which may have helped him decide to do so. During his climb down, he became quite cramped for the body type it was made for and once reaching a space he could rest in, was soon greeted strangely by the people who lived there, the Morlocks, who retreated on sight of his lighting a match. He then also sees these creatures are carnivores, but not being able to detect what animal they were eating. Soon though, the Morlocks became more persistent in trying to keep the Time Traveler with them, pulling at his clothes and feet, etc., but making good his escape with the help of his last few matches. Now the Time Traveler felt he had reason to detest the Morlocks, due to how they’d treated him. When the Time Traveler mentions of being reminded of the meat the Morlocks were eating and trying to figure out why he felt they seemed familiar, he takes Weena with him on his next outing and interrupts his story to show the flowers he’d kept from his futuristic jaunt.

He then wonders why the Morlocks had wanted to hide his machine from him as he takes Weena to their destination, a Palace of Green Porcelain, to spend the start of the longer nights, but he loses his way and decides to spend the night out in the open, then fleetingly thinking of what the meat could’ve been once more, not dwelling on the thought for how horrible it was. When morning came though, he thought again of what he didn’t want to believe and realized it was most likely the case and feels sorry for the Eloi, even though they’ve become dumb with time and complacency of being taken care of by the Morlocks, who the Time Traveler also tries to see scientifically, as serving a purpose by tending to the Eloi. Then he settles on his most likely of plans could be executed and heads for the Palace with Weena to set up as home-base, I presume.

When he reaches the palace, he didn’t consider there would be a creek, and it made him wonder what could’ve become of the sea creatures. He also found on the inside not only all the interior was made of porcelain, but also an inscription, of which he had no means of translating because Ween didn’t seem to understand the concept of the written word. Now the Time Traveler believed Weena may not even be Human, but only has certain similar emotions and characteristics to us. He soon realizes he’s in a museum, which he discovers mummies, minerals, of which he couldn’t detect all the ingredients to make gunpowder, so was useless, plant-life had decayed, which he’d hoped he could trace the evolution from, but in the condition found, wasn’t possible and machinery, which he found great interest in; unfortunately, his studying was cut short by Weena’s anxiousness and he realized how late in the day it had gotten and he still without weapons, also he was hearing noises familiar to his time in the well and so began his search in haste. Soon after discovering a suitable enough weapon to at least knock some skulls of Morlocks with (which he was looking forward to); explained more clearly as to why in the explaining, they move to another gallery where he observes remnants of books, showing the decline of upkeep through the centuries humanity had suffered through. After passing through the area, they walk through to another gallery where he locates what he’s looking for and celebrates with Weena in the way she is accustomed: dance; hilarious, in how it’s described. He then perceives some other flammable substances, but still nothing he could use to blow up the statue to acquire his Time Machine, only once tricking himself with dummy dynamite sticks, which he tests for it’s authentic look, with disappointment, but reasonable acceptance. He and Weena then retreat, he deciding to spend the night outdoors among fire.

The Time Traveler tries to get them as close to the woods as possible, he already tiring for his lack of two nights and a day’s sleeplessness and Weena tiring because she’s tiny. He also sensed the Morlocks would be after them soon, so he wanted to get as far from the palace as possible, but since he’d loaded himself down with sticks and whatnot for fire making, he decided he needed to make a distraction for the Morlocks who seemed to be getting closer, so he lit a bonfire in the wood and continued on, trying to get to the other side where he believed was a safer place to rest, unfortunately the idea didn’t seem possible since the Morlocks had taken the opportunity to close in and the Time Traveler, caught up with lighting a match to keep them at bay, lost his sense of direction and decided to camp there until daylight. The Time Traveler passes out for a time and the Morlocks make their move on him when the fire goes out, taking his matchbox as well, but the Time Traveler defends himself with his mace and the Morlocks fall back. Then he began noticing he was able to see the Morlocks dimly and realized soon after his first fire had followed him, the Morlocks becoming blinded by the light. Weena had disappeared in the fighting and the Time Traveler followed the retreating Morlocks to see some were killing themselves by walking into the fire and he, killing one and injuring some others, didn’t realize they couldn’t see him, but once he figured this out, he stopped and watched to be sure they didn’t get too close. When daylight came, he looked again for Weena, but realized she must have died in the blaze in the wood, but at least wasn’t cannibalized. The only other bright-side besides the literal one, was he found some stray matches in his pocket before it was swiped.

The Time Traveler then sums up his estimation of what the Eloi and Morlocks had evolved into due to the decline in certain animals dying. After realizing his theory, he dozed among the Eloi until almost sunset, when he decided to try and open up the White Sphinx, which he didn’t need to do since it lay open waiting for him; what a waste of trauma those nights ended up being. He spots his Time Machine on a pedestal inside and regrets his not being able to use his crowbar, for all the trouble he’d gone through to get it, then realizing the Morlocks had oiled the machine, also possibly taking it apart to see what it’s use was. During this realization, the entrance to the Sphinx closes up, which was expected by the Time Traveler and didn’t sweat in the least since he had his escape awaiting him, but he didn’t make it out as smoothly as he’d thought he would, since he thought he could use the matches to distract and blind them with, but they happened to be the kind which needed to be struck on the matchbox, he then decided to try to make a hasty escape, which was a close call since the Morlocks almost wrested one of the levers out of his hands before he finally did make it out. He jumps even further forward in time, arriving in a twi-lit environment, and the sun being much redder with some green vegetation on some rocks nearby, which he soon learned, to his horror it was a crab-like creature, after seeing a screaming butterfly pass by him (reminding me of something I once saw in a cartoon, I believe).

He jumps a month forward in time when he feels the antennae of another crab behind him, but only identifies more crabs when he stops again. Soon though, he’s jumped about 30 million more years into the future, looking to see the end of the world it seems, and observes the ocean is still there, but colder, and the crabs have gone. He fancied he saw something, but it stopped moving and believed he’d imagined it, but it started up again and he realized it had tentacles and looked like a soccer ball; this beginning to sound like what I believe The Island of Dr. Moreau will be like, he then gets strapped back into the Time Machine to come back to his own time.When he gets closer to his time, Hillyer, the Narrator of the story, is seen walking past the Time Traveler as he’s coming back to his own time, but what he’s actually seeing is Hillyer after leaving for his second journey through time. After arriving back at the hour we see him enter the room, his retelling ends and he asks if they believe him, not thinking they would; most satisfy his prophecy, asking where he actually obtained the flowers and describing to them the same as before, soon questioning the reality of his experience himself. When he goes to confirm the Time Machine is where he left it and it exists, the group begins to disperse to go home and Hillyer is debating as to whether he believes the story, having trouble sleeping.

He goes to the Time Traveler’s home the next day and asks him if he truly had gone through time, the Time Traveler confirming this, and asking him if he’s willing to wait, he can show him proof, but was busy at the moment and if he’d care to have lunch, Hillyer accepting, but then remembering he had to make an appointment and follows the Time Traveler down to his lab to inform him of his plans. He hears the noises of motion and glimpses the Time Traveler fading from reality, which Hillyer couldn’t make sense of at the time and deciding to miss his appointment, waits for the Time Traveler to return, which if he’d continued to wait as long as he’d been gone, would have been over three years, after which we realize he vanishes, not returning at all, Hillyer wondering which direction he’d decided to travel in this time. Not a bad story, I’m looking forward to The Invisible Man.

About a Boy/ High Fidelity/ Juliet, Naked/ Slam

I like it. The similarities between the book and the movie are many. It’s like watching over the movie in your head, pretty much, which I enjoyed. It does bring a bit more depth to the movie too, and the endings are different. It’s quite an easy read.

It was a good book, but love the movie more though.

I liked the story, even though some people had a problem with Tucker being such a dick, he was none-the-less a character whom made me want to keep reading and find out what happens to him. Only issue is I don’t really get what the big secret was with his eldest daughter (the movie fleshed it out, for sure) and there wasn’t too much follow-up on what happens with him and Annie. Still a quick and fun read. I lovity-loved the movie with Ethan Hawke and Chris O’Dowd.

I liked the story, but I’m noticing some flaws in the narration that are getting kind of annoying. I understand Hornby is just trying to cover his bases when he explains what “skating” means, but there are some other ones similarly explained which gets irritating. The story itself, though is interesting enough to overlook the frustrating narrative, but I don’t think this one will be a keeper. Ending was a bit disappointing, but the story was still very good, worth the read, after all.