Alan Dean Foster
Del Rey, Oct 28 2008, $25.00
The Humanx Commonwealth is intrigued with the unique planet Quofum, which is outside their sector, because the orb appears to vanish and reappear off their monitors. Captain Boylen is assigned to escort four xenologists to study the planet especially the life forms since the oceans contain alcohol.
Thus he and his crew bring two men, one woman and a Thanx to the mysterious planet. Upon arrival they find three shockers. First there are several primitive but intelligent species that are so dissimilar they could never evolve on the same orb. Second they encounter thousands of other various life-forms never seen anywhere else. Finally as mysterious as the diversity findings prove, the visitors have no idea who made a gigantic underground compound containing technology and gadgetry none of the scientists recognize.
This is a well written tale crucial to the expected final Pip and Flinx novel though the two stars never appear in QUOFUM. The story line is fast-paced and exciting, but disappointingly never finishes any key thread; instead it sets the background for that Pip and Flinx finale. Consequently fans of the saga will have mixed feelings about the trip to QUOFUM.