Alan Dean Foster: Overview

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Author: Sally Ann Melia
Editor: David Pringle
Date: 1996
Publisher: Gale
Document Type: Critical essay
Length: 871 words

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The work of Alan Dean Foster may be divided into two broad categories: his novelizations of films, and his original novels both science fiction and fantasy. Over a period of 20 years, he has produced a large oeuvre, though no outstanding works.

Among Foster's earliest original science-fiction novels, two of the best are Mission to Moulokin and The Tar-Aiym Krang, and it could be argued that they have strong fantasy elements. Mission to Moulokin tells the story of Ethan Frome Fortune and his companion Skua September. Ethan is the brains, Skua the muscle, and the two make a living as interplanetary salesmen. They set off from the ice-planet of Tran-Ky-Ky to the trading post of Brass Monkey. They are distracted from this goal by a call from help from the Tran, who are being exploited by off-planet profiteers. So Ethan and Skua set off on their heroic mission to Moulokin to bring relief to the gentle Tran. Their adventures involve skimming down ice-canyons and over ice rivers. So Ethan and Skan, instead of escaping the ice planet, have to brave even greater frozen wastelands as a "rite of passage" to their final and triumphant departure for their home.

The Tar-Aiym Krang is the story of Flinx, "an ethical thief who steals only from the crooked." Flinx is...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|H1420002945