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Sliding Scales: A Pip & Flinx Adventure Mass Market Paperback – Sep 27 2005

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; Reprint edition (Sept. 27 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345461584
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345461582
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 10.5 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 45 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #216,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 24 reviews
29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
A real letdown to the series Nov. 15 2004
By G. Tenison - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wow - I have loved this series but this book stunk. I really had to force myself to read through it. What a letdown to a really great series. Absolutely NOTHING moved forward in this story. No movement in Flinx's mental powers, no movement in his relationship with Clarity (in fact she wasnt even in the book), no movement towards finding or using the weapon platform. You can skip this book and MISS NOTHING in this series. What a piece of CR*P.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Flinx Takes A Book Off June 21 2005
By Marc Ruby™ - Published on
Format: Hardcover
To be honest, I had some doubts about this new Pip & Flinx series after Flinx's Folly. Somehow, Foster's effort to write a combination love story and suspense tale gets completely lost amidst the threats of the Order of Null and the impending doom that is reaching across space. The end result was a nervous tale that never seemed to settle with Flinx falling steadily out of character. More for old time's sake than anything else I decided to try the next in this particular adventure, Sliding Scales.

This, however, is a completely different animal. When Teacher, is AI driven ship suggests that he might need a vacation, Flinx actually heeds its advice and instructs it to find an interesting world where he will be free of the influences of everyone who is trying to make him ultimately responsible for the survival of the universe. The computer selects Jast, a lonely planet in the middle of a region of space where both Humanx and Aan interests intersect. The the biosphere is entirely composed of species, intelligent and otherwise, who have either one or no feet. This slows things down considerably and the Vssey are intelligent, and technically adept, but they decide everything by committee, and take as much time as it takes. Which drives the Aan presence on the planet insane.

Flinx lands, and is promptly the subject of a murder attempt by an Aan who is hungry for status. Flinx survives with no memory, and nearly dies on the desert when he is rescued by other Aan, from the Tier of Ssaiinn, an artists colony which is entirely unlike everything we know of the Aan. In the meantime, a Vssey rebellion is fomenting (ever so slowly) and suddenly the Aan back at the capital find themselves the object of terrorist attacks. Flinx has jumped into the midst of trouble again, but this adventure has many unusual twists.

What really makes the story is all of the details of the Aan. They have been the stereotypical villains for so long that actually discovering they have personalities is a surprise. While some are painted as the ultra-aggressive, status-conscious types we've seen before, even the more militant Aan have some shred of 'humanity.' And the artists of the Tier of Ssaiinn are a delightful change as we discover that Aan can actually be both admirable and likeable.

I'm not sure if this book is intended to advance the story arc about the evil from beyond the Great Emptiness or give the reader's a well deserved break before the story picks up again, but Sliding Scales works much better than its predecessor. It's hardly the great American science fiction novel, but it is decent entertainment. Whether you buy the hardback or decide to wait for the paperback, I think you'll find this an acceptible effort.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Wow, major letdown March 10 2005
By Karen K. Franklin - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I absolutely love Alan Dean Fosters work and I have followed the Flink/Pip story line with delight. Which makes this weak, thin story even more of a let down than if I had picked it up as a unknown author. I expected the usual "on the edge of your seat" writing and emotional angst that I enjoyed in the other stories and this one was nothing but one big ramble about balloon creatures and long names. The characters were thin and one dimensional, I learned more than I ever needed or wanted to know about AAnn mating strategies. The only reason this rates a space on my bookshelf is that I hate to be one book short of a complete collection of Mr. Fosters work. You can safely skip this book and not miss a thing.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
A real let down Nov. 26 2004
By J. Revay - Published on
Format: Hardcover
As soon as I saw a new Pip & Flinx book, I immediately rushed to buy it, to find out what would happen to Clarity, what Flinx would do about the pending disaster from afar, and to see what sort of general mayhem Flinx could get into. Sadly, only the last of my three desires was met. As one reviewer pointed out, this book did absolutely nothing with regard to the first two items in my quest. As a sci-fi novel, it was entertaining with its unusual Jast life forms and an interesting Aann character, but clearly I don't think this was up to Foster's normally high quality work. It seems as though he had writer's block with regard to dealing with the BIG issues in Flinx's world, so he simply threw something together so he could issue a Pip & Flinx novel.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
leaves you wanting a LOT more Dec 31 2005
By Michael Lynn Mcguire - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book seems to be a chapter rather than a book. I grew up with Pip and Flinx. Maybe I just expect a better, deeper book. However, this is just not some Star Wars scholck, this is a Pip and Flinx book. I expect better and deeper ! I still look forward to the next "chapter" of which there is a preview in the book. Hopefully "Running from the Diety" will be much deeper and better.