cover image To the Vanishing Point

To the Vanishing Point

Alan Dean Foster. Warner Books, $15.45 (310pp) ISBN 978-0-446-51338-8

Picking up a hitchhiker changes the Las Vegas-bound vacation of sporting-goods executive Frank Sonderberg and family into yet another of Foster's ( Into the Out Of ) quests to save the world. Their guest is a slight, lavender-eyed woman called ``Mouse'' who claims to be 4000 years old and is on her way to the Vanishing Point, where she must regulate the spinner that weaves the fabric of existence. If she fails, evil and chaos will reign supreme. The Sonderbergs get a glimpse of the possible result when their mobile home wanders into such alternate worlds as a postholocaust Utah, a fire-and-brimstone burg called ``Hades Junction'' and alien Pass Regulusa glitzy but incomprehensible version of Las Vegas. The noble Sonderbergs are a dull bunch, but Foster keeps this jaunt entertaining with his fantasy exaggerations of road stops at unknown towns, intriguing turnoffs and dubious diners. (August)