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Sliding Scales (Pip and Flinx Adventure Series #9)

Sliding Scales (Pip and Flinx Adventure Series #9)

3.9 15
by Alan Dean Foster

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From bestselling author Alan Dean Foster comes a fantastic Pip and Flinx adventure starring a certain twenty-four-year-old redhead with emerald eyes and uncanny abilities and his devoted mini-dragon protector. Time and again, the daring pair have braved countless dangers to emerge victorious. But now Flinx attempts something that may be impossible for


From bestselling author Alan Dean Foster comes a fantastic Pip and Flinx adventure starring a certain twenty-four-year-old redhead with emerald eyes and uncanny abilities and his devoted mini-dragon protector. Time and again, the daring pair have braved countless dangers to emerge victorious. But now Flinx attempts something that may be impossible for the heretofore undefeated hero. His mission: to take a vacation.

Never have the cares of the universe lain so heavily on Flinx’s shoulders, nor the forces arrayed against him seemed so invincible. Pursued by a newly revealed sect of doomsday fanatics, hunted by factions inside and outside the Commonwealth for transgressions real and imagined, expected to single-handedly avert a looming galactic crisis (or bear responsibility for the consequences), Flinx can be forgiven for feeling a slight touch of melancholy.

There’s only one solution for what ails Flinx, according to his ship’s AI. But taking time off is tricky business. With an increasing number of enemies chasing him with ever-greater enthusiasm, Flinx must find a getaway shrouded in obscurity. Jast, a planet smack in the middle of nowhere, is the perfect locale.

Yet even in a place where hardly anyone’s ever seen a human, Flinx and trouble can’t stay separated for long. Unfortunately, Flinx hasn’t a clue that his vacation paradise is in reality a danger zone of the highest magnitude. And by the time he learns the truth, it may be too late.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

For Phillip "Flinx" Lynx, this was Mission Impossible. He's learned how to thwart the plots of nasty reptilians and nullify the forces of pure evil, but taking a trouble-free vacation seems beyond his means. The tenth Pip and Flinx novel puts our 24-year-old telepathic hero and his mini-dragon protector in full-time peril.
Publishers Weekly
Flinx and Pip, that daring duo of man and "minidrag" (a flying snake), take a break or try to from fighting the forces of evil in Foster's surprisingly dark ninth entry (after 2003's Flinx's Folly) in an SF series usually considered light on substance but heavy on fun. Philip "Flinx" Lynx, the young Commonwealth hero, is exhausted. He may hold the key to saving the universe, but he doesn't care. He broods over Clarity Held, the injured girlfriend he left behind in Flinx's Folly. Teacher, his ever-helpful ship-mind, suggests a vacation. Unfortunately, Flinx travels to Jast, a planet caught in a rising conflict between two sentient species, the mushroom-like Vssey and the reptilian AAnns. An ambitious AAnn secondary administrator, Takuuna, wants Jast allied with the Empire at any cost, including subterfuge, terrorism and murder. His mistrust of "softskinned" humans leads to an attempt on Flinx's life, but Chraluuc, an AAnn artisan, finds Flinx and nurses him back to health as the outcast artists of Tier courageously welcome him into their family. Foster exhibits a keen eye for depicting alien art forms and injects a cohesion lacking in some earlier installments, giving the series a much-needed energy boost. Agent, Vaughn Lee Hansen at Virginia Kidd. (Oct. 26) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Recovering from a stressful mission on the world of Nur, Flinx of the Commonwealth and his minidragon, Pip, embark on a rare and dangerous mission: a vacation to the quiet, non-Commonwealth planet Jast. Their arrival, however, leads to their involvement in murder, rivalry, and intrigue. Foster's ongoing tales of a pair of adventurers-one human, one not-enjoy a diverse following owing to the appealing heroes and fast-paced plotting. Libraries owning other series titles (Flinx in Flux, Mid-Flinx) should add this to their collection. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-On the run, the young human Flinx and his companion, Pip, an Alaspasian flying snake, arrive on the planet Jast for a "vacation," but find it under the influence of the AAn Empire, enemy of the Humanx Commonwealth. Inspector Taruuna, assigned to Flinx as guide (and watchdog), attacks him and leaves the "spy" for dead. Rescued and given shelter by the Tier, an AAn artists' colony, Flinx recovers but has lost his memory. The situation is further complicated by the beginning of local resistance to AAn control. Foster does a wonderful job of creating an alien world: the varied life-forms on Jast use air-filled bladders for locomotion. The sentient Vssey, tubular and tentacled, make decisions by consensus reached after lengthy discussion, infuriating the reptilian AAn; they believe in hierarchy and survival of the fittest. Flinx and the Tier find common ground despite major cultural differences; he and Craluuc, a female artist, form a particularly strong bond. When Taruuna learns that Flinx is alive, the Tier must decide whether to defy the order to turn him in. Familiarity with previous Pip and Flinx books is assumed. Flinx's final defense against Taruuna may seem a bit out-of-the-blue, but it is in line with the character's evolving abilities throughout the series. An entertaining, imaginative adventure with a likable protagonist.-Sandy Freund, Richard Byrd Library, Fairfax County, VA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
Praise for Alan Dean Foster and Reunion, a Pip and Flinx adventure

“Bestseller Foster has created yet another entertaining adventure story in the far-flung reaches of a far-future outer space. . . . Using the traditional cliff-hangers and narrow escapes of classic SF adventure page-turners, and propelling Flinx from one crisis to another, from moral dilemma to deus-ex-machina, Foster enlists multiple formulas for a surefire . . . reading experience that should appeal to space-opera fans.”
–Publishers Weekly

“Flinx’s trek through the deadly desert and his encounters with the AAnn make for a good read.”

Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
Pip and Flinx Adventure Series , #9
Sold by:
Random House
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File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Alan Dean Foster has written in a variety of genres, including hard science fiction, fantasy, horror, detective, western, historical, and contemporary fiction. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Star Wars: The Approaching Storm, as well as novelizations of several films including Star Wars, the first three Alien films, and Alien Nation. His novel Cyber Way won the Southwest Book Award for Fiction in 1990, the first science fiction work ever to do so. Foster and his wife, JoAnn Oxley, reside in Prescott, Arizona, in a house built of brick that was salvaged from a turn-of-the-century miners’ brothel. He is presently at work on several new novels and media projects.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Sliding Scales (Pip and Flinx Adventure Series #9) 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pads in agsustd. The screams into som moss
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As always, I love any commonwealth book by Foster. I am currently reading the Pip & Flinx series in chronological order, not published order. Every new alien sentient that Foster creates is a brand new treasure. The aliens in this book prove just how strange an occurrence it was that humanity ever encountered the Pitar, a race almost identical to mankind. There is only one plot hole that bothers me in this book. (Vague Spoiler) The Teacher. The Aan completely ignore the ship that the "human spy" arrived on. From reading previous books, this is extremely uncharacteristic of the species. The Aan that I have come to know from Foster's series would have tried to commandeer any unmanned commonwealth ship in their space(or perceived space in this case). When that failed, they would have brought in larger vessels to take the obviously sophisticated ship. Instead, they promptly forget about it.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Flinx, the mysterious (even to himself) young hero of Alan Dean Foster's first novel, has done a lot of maturing by the time this ninth installment in the series begins. He's acquired his own spaceship, operating by an AI (artifical intelligence unit) with which he trades verbal barbs. He's still accompanied by Pip, the Alaspinian mini-drag (miniature dragon, or - if you prefer - flying snake) who's been his companion since childhood. His empathic psychic abilities are still growing, and he still doesn't understand them. He's in a foul mood at present, because his most recent adventure has ended with the love of his life severely injured. Flinx blames himself, and having to leave Clarity behind - without even stopping to be sure she'll survive - galls him. Yet it's the only hope he has of keeping her safe. So his AI tells Flinx that he needs a vacation. Some time to spend deliberately doing nothing, in a place where he can't possibly be recognized. The AI picks out a remote planet called Jast. Jast is home to a sentient species with a highly developed civilization. It's also a target for the Commonwealth's arch-nemesis, the AAnn Empire. When one of the reptilian aliens is assigned as Flinx's 'guide' (or minder, actually), the young human doesn't object because he's met the AAnn before. He understands and speaks their language, and thinks he understands their culture quite well, too. But on that point he's mistaken, as he discovers when his 'guide' nearly kills him and actually does leave him for dead in a rugged, isolated part of the Jastian landscape. Or he would discover that - if he could only remember how he got there. Initially I groaned a bit when I read the chapter that introduced Flinx's amnesia. 'What a tired old plot device!' I thought. But I kept reading, and before too many more pages were turned I'd decided that the tired old plot device was working just fine. There's not much movement in this book toward resolution of the mysteries central to Flinx's on-going story. It's basically a standalone 'planet of the week' adventure, with character development (for Flinx, and for the AAnn as a species) its only real contribution to the saga as a whole. But, with that understood and accepted, I found it an enjoyable tale. Not the best in the series (I've read them all), but definitely worth the read.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Flinx is on emotional overload. He was forced to leave the love of his life on New Riveria to recover from serious injuries while being pursued by the Order of the Null (end of the world fanatics) and is wanted by the Commonwealth authorities. He also needs to find an invisible weapons platform made by an extinct race that could detect what coming behind the Great Emptiness. His ship¿s A.I. has the solution to erase the stress from Flinx¿s life, something he has never tried before. He is going on vacation........................... His A.I recommends he goes to the neutral planet Jast where no Commonwealth authorities exist and the sentient inhabitants the Vsses resemble hopping mushrooms, but there is a presence of the Aann Empire. This reptilian species is bringing the planet under their control. On the orb, an Aann guide accidentallyknocks him down a canyon and leaves Flinx for dead. The Tier of Sjaiinn, a native artisan group held in contempt by the Empire takes Flinx in to their compound. Since he lost his memory they take care of him. Meanwhile, someone is attacking Aann installations with plans to remove the species from the planet and the guide returns to complete the killing of Flinx................................. The adventures of Flinx and his mini-drag Pip are always fun to read as Flinx somehow attracts troubles like a magnet so that even an innocent vacation turns ugly and could harm friends. SLIDING SCALES is a superb outer space tale with species that seem genuine especially as they relate to the planet and to Flinx. Alan Dean Foster has provided an exciting young adult tale that adults will enjoy too........................... Harriet Klausner