Catalyst: A Novel of Alien Contact

( 1 )

Overview


Running from a bully, a young man leaps into a strange cave—a place that will transform him forever. Sliding down the slippery slope, Kaslin enters a physical world ruled by an alien intelligence, one so interesting that he almost forgets to be scared. He explores this underground world with taste and touch and sight and smell, an intelligent boy on the edge of sexuality....

Kaslin must bridge two worlds: that of the enigmatic subterranean aliens and his own, which is mired in ...

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Overview


Running from a bully, a young man leaps into a strange cave—a place that will transform him forever. Sliding down the slippery slope, Kaslin enters a physical world ruled by an alien intelligence, one so interesting that he almost forgets to be scared. He explores this underground world with taste and touch and sight and smell, an intelligent boy on the edge of sexuality....

Kaslin must bridge two worlds: that of the enigmatic subterranean aliens and his own, which is mired in greed and politics. By taking great risks and making necessary compromises, he will become someone he never imagined.

Catalyst is a remarkable and unorthodox novel that will engage and satisfy intellectually curious science-fiction fans of all ages.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“New to the planet Chuudoku, Kaslin is running from Histly, whom he couldn’t keep his eyes off when he first saw her––he goes for the arrogant, athletic type, unfortunately––because her response to his interest has been to torment him with her augmentations (physical enhancements, such as fingertip injection needles, that you can have if you can pay). He ducks into a cave whose slippery floor sends him sliding underground. She follows, but before he finds her, he has learned words to harden, soften, and light the cave’s rock, and he has freed some three-eyed creatures from the cavern walls. The creatures strip him, depilate him (it’s a thrill), and turn his skin translucent white. They don’t go that far with Histly, instead imprisoning her in the cave-stuff, which it turns out is also edible in many delectable flavors, provided it’s Kaslin eating it, or, later on, passing it to Histly via liplock. First contact with aliens has been made, with implications that are barely hinted before the last page. Hoffman is both a successful YA novelist and an adult SF novelist who prefers teenage protagonists. Kaslin—and Histly, for that matter––are vibrant creations, their psychology utterly credible for smart adolescents. That the book ends with everything but Kaslin and Histly’s relationship up in the air may indicate merely that Hoffman knew when she’d achieved perfection.”
Booklist, starred review

“A book that’s rich and palpable, as well as being gonzo in the best sense. Once you ingest Hoffman’s mental soap flake of a book, you can never go home again.”
SciFi.com (Grade: A )

“Fast moving, entertaining, and indecorous enough for a PG-17 rating...capable of stimulating the intellect as well as the senses.”
Locus

“This is definitely a page-turning book and apart from being great fiction should be on the list of any neo-writer to show how a story should be written. A fascinating read.”
SF Crowsnest

"This short novel is a sharp portrait of aliens remaking humans they meet from the inside out."
The Denver Post

“Rollicking, funny, sweet, and constantly surprising.”
New York Review of Science Fiction

“Nina K. Hoffman’s Catalyst is a marvel of inventiveness, beautifully realized in close sensory detail.”
—Kate Wilhelm

“Charming, inventive, and weird. Hoffman’s aliens and their environment are fascinating. And the humans? As always, the author saves a dash of compassion even for the person with the most disagreeable personality.”
—Bruce Holland Rogers

“Dreamlike and often horrific.... Any reader, young or not, will be rooting for that resolution.”
Eugene Weekly

“Nobody does down the rabbit (or spider) hole like Nina Kiriki Hoffman. Sometimes when you read, you get a peek into an entirely different mind. This is one of those reads. Everything is so strange in this book but also strangely true. Not what you expect, no matter what you expect.”
—Ray Vukcevich

“This weird novel of alien contact from Stoker-winner Hoffman (A Fistful of Sky) careens like a pinball among the bumpers of science fiction, young adult literature, and softcore porn.”
Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly
This weird novel of alien contact from Stoker-winner Hoffman (A Fistful of Sky) careens like a pinball among the bumpers of science fiction, young adult literature and softcore porn. Soon after just-barely-adolescent Kaslin and his family join the human colony on the planet Chuudoku, Kaslin falls into the clutches of an alien tribe. Kaslin's life has had little to recommend it-his father's a deadbeat, his mother's a workaholic and he's frequently beaten up, poisoned and mocked by Histly, the physically augmented daughter of one of the richest men on the planet-so he throws himself into living his dream of first contact. The aliens are endlessly curious about human bodies, leading Kaslin to bizarre erotic couplings first with his captors and then with Histly. Despite the smooth prose, this teen-oriented fable may strike many readers as fan fiction for a nonexistent canon. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781892391384
  • Publisher: Tachyon Publications
  • Publication date: 9/15/2006
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 1,148,183
  • Age range: 14 - 18 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.52 (w) x 8.52 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author


Nina Kiriki Hoffman has been compared by Publishers Weekly to “vintage Ray Bradbury.” Her first novel, The Thread That Binds the Bones, won the Bram Stoker Award; her second novel, The Silent Strength of Stones, was a finalist for the Nebula and World Fantasy awards. She won a Nebula for her short story “Trophy Wives.” Her novels for young adults include A Stir of Bones, Spirits That Walk in Shadow, and Thresholds.
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Customer Reviews

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