Jumping Off the Planet

David Gerrold, Author Tor Books $19.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-312-89069-8
Nebula- and Hugo-winner Gerrold, who scripted the classic Star Trek episode ""The Trouble with Tribbles,"" gives an engaging new twist to the ""growing up novel""--growing right off the planet Earth. Costarring with Gerrold's precocious 13-year-old hero, Charles ""Chigger"" Dingillian, is the Beanstalk, a dizzying orbital elevator system running on magnetic induction that lifts humanity from the exhausted Earth it is devouring to the Moon, the planets and, eventually, the stars. In this first volume of the projected Starsiders Trilogy, Chigger, the always overlooked middle sibling and neither child nor adult, is the human battleground for his divorced parents: a wimpy musician father who kidnaps his boys to give them a chance at a better life off Earth and a newly lesbian mother who venomously chases them into space. Chigger bridges the gap separating his older brother, Weird, and his younger, Stinky, as they ride the Beanstalk between the festering Earth, teeming with crazies and plagues, and the burgeoning new off-world societies. With the boys caught up in the smuggling and big-business intrigue that simmers in a world where international corporatism has made all borders irrelevant, Gerrold pulls off Chigger's choices with just the right mix of preteen braggadocio and heartbreak. The science here is every bit as convincing as the fiction, adding a satisfying intellectual dimension to the start of a classy take on an old, old tale: an everyboy climbs a beanstalk to discover who he will be as a man. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/28/2000
Release date: 03/01/2000
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Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-7653-4360-4
Mass Market Paperbound - 288 pages - 978-0-8125-7608-5
Prebound-Glued - 281 pages - 978-0-606-25532-5
MP3 CD - 978-1-5113-1745-0
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