Panda Ray

Michael Kandel, Author St. Martin's Press $20.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-312-14387-9
Christopher appears to be an everyday 10-year-old boy, but he's actually an alien, or perhaps a mutant. The FBI isn't exactly sure what he is, but they're looking for him and his family in any case. His mother, meanwhile, surrounded by extraordinarily powerful and advanced communications equipment, runs their home with an iron fist. When Christopher begins telling stories in school about Shakespeare being a transvestite and the dinosaurs being wiped out by ESP--stories he can back up with an incredible amount of detail--Mother cracks down immediately. Christopher, she rules, is to be ""scooped out,"" neutralized, turned into a pale shadow of himself. Determined to escape his punishment, the boy, aided by his grandfather and a time machine disguised as a bathroom, sets off on a bizarre and painfully humorous adventure through multiple universes. Kandel (Strange Invasion; Captain Jack Zodiac), is best known for rendering several of Stanislaw Lem's novels into English and has been twice nominated for a National Book Award for his translations. His latest novel--understated, surreal and intensely ironic--is unlikely to appeal to readers who see space opera as the epitome of good SF but should find an appreciative readership among admirers of the work of Lem and Philip K. Dick. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1996
Release date: 07/01/1996
Genre: Fiction
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