cover image Catalyst


Nina Kiriki Hoffman, . . Tachyon, $14.95 (171pp) ISBN 978-1-892391-38-4

This weird novel of alien contact from Stoker-winner Hoffman (A Fistful of Sky ) careens like a pinball among the bumpers of science fiction, young adult literature and softcore porn. Soon after just-barely-adolescent Kaslin and his family join the human colony on the planet Chuudoku, Kaslin falls into the clutches of an alien tribe. Kaslin's life has had little to recommend it—his father's a deadbeat, his mother's a workaholic and he's frequently beaten up, poisoned and mocked by Histly, the physically augmented daughter of one of the richest men on the planet—so he throws himself into living his dream of first contact. The aliens are endlessly curious about human bodies, leading Kaslin to bizarre erotic couplings first with his captors and then with Histly. Despite the smooth prose, this teen-oriented fable may strike many readers as fan fiction for a nonexistent canon. (Oct.)