The Howling Stones (Humanx Commonwealth Series #6)

The Howling Stones (Humanx Commonwealth Series #6)

3.7 4
by Alan Dean Foster
     
 

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Enter another realm in the amazing world of the Humanx Commonwealth—the interstellar empire governed jointly by humans and aliens!

The newly discovered planet of Senisran was a veritable paradise—a sprawling world of vast oceans dotted with thousands of lush islands and copious deposits of rare-earths and minerals. First-contact specialist Pulickel

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Overview

Enter another realm in the amazing world of the Humanx Commonwealth—the interstellar empire governed jointly by humans and aliens!

The newly discovered planet of Senisran was a veritable paradise—a sprawling world of vast oceans dotted with thousands of lush islands and copious deposits of rare-earths and minerals. First-contact specialist Pulickel Tomochelor's mission to Senisran was straightforward: Secure mining rights for the Humanx Commonwealth before the vicious AAnn Empire beat them to the chase. With Senisran's Parramat clan resisting entreaty, negotiations could be difficult, but Pulickel was more comfortable with aliens than with his own species, and looked forward to a triumphant return to Earth.

He hadn't counted on the incredible secret of Parramat, though: the strange, powerful green stones that the tribe used to manipulate the forces of nature. Within those stones lay an awesome technology the origin of which was lost in time—a technology that had to be kept from the AAnn at any cost . . .

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Foster's latest novel to be set in the Humanx Commonwealth (For Love of Mother-Not, etc.), ruled jointly by humans and the insectoid Thranx, is only standard SF. The novel features a run-of-the-mill protagonist, a shy xenologist named Pulickel Tomochelor, who is sent to the planet Senrisan to negotiate mineral rights with the natives. Arrayed against Pulickel is a standard antagonist, the reptilian AAnn Empire, and allied with him is a stock female companion, the luscious Fawn Seaforth. Embedded in the story is a secret, standard as well, the stones of the title, which are actually long-lost technology that must be kept from the AAnn. The plot that emerges from these familiar elements runs to the predictable, and the pacing is slowed by long descriptive passages. While not his worst work-that distinction belongs to his frequent novelizations, like The Dig-this is no match for Into the Out Of and other fine novels Foster has produced in his amazingly prolific career. (Feb.)
School Library Journal
YALike Foster's Cachalot (Severn House, 1994) and the popular "Flinx" series, this story is set in the "Humanx Commonwealth." Two scientists race against their vicious alien nemesis, the Aan, to secure a treaty for mining rights on the newly discovered planet Senisran. The aboriginal natives' sacred stones are found to have an immense power that the humans and the Aan will do almost anything to obtain. While not of the caliber of Foster's Nor Crystal Tears (Del Rey, 1982), this is an engrossing, well-written book. The author has again created believable, complex characters, and a vivid alien planet.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780345406453
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
11/26/1997
Series:
Humanx Commonwealth Series, #6
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
1,433,457
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Read an Excerpt

So intense was the green-blue light that spilled from the interior of his backpack that he could barely stand to look at it. He could just make out the source of the light and heat: a single uneven mass where earlier there had been two. The individual stones must have melted into one when he fell.

His fingers hovered over the lambent mass. The heat was substantial, but not unbearable. How did one separate commingled stones? How did the Parramati stonemasters do it? He felt he had to at least try. Maybe a good, strong, old-fashioned tug on both ends simultaneously, he speculated. He pulled, twisting first in one direction and then in the other. As he worked his hands and wrists, he thought he felt something give within the mass.

The stone exploded.

No, he decided, aware that he had not lost consciousness. The glassy mass had not blown up. In fact, he and the conjoined stones were the only things that had not exploded.

It was the universe that had detonated.

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