cover image Cat-A-Lyst


Alan Dean Foster. Ace Books, $5.99 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-441-64661-6

Reading Foster ( Quozl ) is like eating a meringue: it's not very filling, but it tastes just fine. Foster likes to put silly twists on old stories. In this case, he has a race of guardians (called Monitors) whose function is to guide the races of different planets through their evolution--the twist being that the Monitors take the form of cats. The plot involves a Renegadeuppercase ok?/yes/pk Monitor who tries to disrupt Earth by bringing about the return of a lost tribe of South American natives. The natives, now called Contisuyuns, live on another world, which they landed on by way of transmitters left by a group of aliens called Boojums, who look like trees and speak with British accents. The Contisuyuns plan to take long overdue revenge for the conquistadores' 15th-century ravaging by creating a TV show that broadcasts subliminal anti-Spain messages. The main characters, who encounter these variously fey creatures, include a pretty-boy actor, a wardrobe designer, their faithful Indian guide, an aspiring archeologist, a pair of Peruvian capitalists, a tabloid reporter and a large and power-hungry Peruvian woman. (July)