John Varley short story summaries.
The Eight Worlds stories (listed in series order)
Title / Summary
Independent stories (listed in order of publication)
Title / Summary
THE EIGHT WORLDS
A Major gives his account of the final days of the Cerean War. Two greedy mining companies have been fighting for years over the mining rights to Ceres, and even when both companies decide to end the conflict, their stray orbiting ammunition rounds kill a U.N. negotiator and abruptly ending the cease-fire. New Lt. Stafford calculates that these orbiting bullets will make Ceres unusable for 1000 years. The Major, now driven insane by years of senseless trench warfare plans to destroy his companyís Earth-bound holdings with a fission bomb to make sure that the radio-activity will keep their property contaminated for the same 1000 years.
[The element of corporate wars fits within the framework of the Eight Worlds series. If so, this is the earliest story in the chronology.]
Anna-Louise Bach plays a secondary role in this first story of the pre-invasion 8-worlds milieu. She is a lifeguard in Blue Champagne, an orbiting aquatic resort for the rich and famous. Despite Bachís trepidations and warnings, Q.M. Cooper, falls for media diva, Megan Galloway, whose fame stems from her quadriplegia and her equally renown mechanical prosthesis, the corporately sponsored Golden Gypsy.
Tango Charlie and Foxtrot Romeo
Anna-Louise Bach, still a Corporal in the New Dresden Police Department after ten years of ineptitude at humoring incompetence in her superiors, once again crosses paths with Megan Galloway, still the Golden Gypsy but now free from all prostheses. Bachís attention is stirred when confirmation of human life is discovered inside the quarantined space station Tango Charlie. As if the problem of rescuing a girl from a deadly environment isnít enough, she has only days to do it before the derelict station falls out of orbit and crashes into the moon. Bach quickly becomes attached to Charlie and is surprised to find that she and Galloway share the sentiment. Bach still despises
Pregnant Lt. Anna-Louise Bach volunteers to be the bait for a killer of pregnant women. Bach is overcome by a hypnotizing Flashball and taken to an obscure location for the kill. Bach contacts Babcock on the phone but Bachís location cannot be traced. The phone call serves to alert Bach that she has been captured by a ring of meatleggers led by the notorious Bellman. The final show-down takes place in a corn field as Bach is giving birth the natural way. Bach escapes out the lock and ruptures the farm dome turning the crop into popcorn as the pressure drops. Bach is found nursing Joanna. The Bellman is found with a knife through his chest.
The Barbie Murders
Lieutenant Anna-Louise Bach is given a murder case to solve that defies conventional detective techniques. The murderer is a member of the Standardized Church at the Barbie colony, and although witnessed my hundreds and recorded on video, cannot be identified because all the Barbies look identical. The Barbieí philosophy is to eschew individuality and cooperate as a hive mind. Without any means of identifying the killer Bach is helpless when another murder happens right in front of her, and the assailant disappears by mingling in with the crowd. She is forced to accept a political solution but is hot on the trail of a chemical means to identify the killer. Bach will see that the killer receives justice at her own hand.
Police Chief Anna-Louise Bach faces another volatile situation when terrorists plant a cyborg nuclear bomb in the center of the city. Bach enlists the vacationing bomb expert Birkson to assist in the case. Birkson gets to know the bomb personality ďHans,Ē who is trying to usher in the mechanical age. Bach feels the tension and wonders if she has acted wisely in choosing the increasingly manic Birkson. In the end they are saved not by cutting the bombís control wire but by luck. Hans had tried to trigger detonation. The wire they cut tripped the safety.
Clio is curious about Changing: the new safe, easy, and reversible sex change procedure. She is ready to explore her own identity devoid of any gender constraints and roles; her husband, Jules, is not. Clio embraces this new manifestation of the human experience; Jules identity is closely tied to his body, and he is unable to modify his way of thinking. Clio, now called
[A pivotal story in the Eight-Worlds that depicts the fundamental societal impact of sex-changing. Curiously, this story was written after many of the other sex-changing stories in the series.]
Picnic on Nearside
Fox wants a sex Change, but her mother Carnival will not allow it. Fox runs away with her newly changed friend Halo to an abandoned base on the Nearside of the Moon. There she learns a little about maturity and about the changes humanity has undergone since the alien invasion of Earth. Fox agrees to wait for her Change. Carnival agrees to reconsider.
[The first Eight-Worlds story written. It is interesting to note how fully developed are many of Varley's themes from the later stories in the series.]
Overdrawn at the Memory Bank
Finegal is trapped in a computer memory when his body is misplaced during a Doctor prescribed visit to the
In the Bowl
Kiku hooks up with precocious Venusian child-Medico Ember on a trip to find blast-jewels. Ember is always angling to con Kiku to take her back with him to Mars. Kiku tires of her ploys until one day they wake up next to a pre-detonation blast-jewel. The jewel has a hypnotic effect on them both and they have to force themselves to move away before it blows. This crisis bonds them together and they leave Venus together now inseparable.
In a time when cloning is illegal, Timothy gets a chance to ask his clone sister Jubilant what happened on Luna to drive their mother away to Mercury, but Jubilant refuses to discuss it until they are trapped in a cave while playing in a pool of mercury with barely enough oxygen in their null suits. Timothy learns that his mother Glitter is really his father and he was cloned because Glitter is forced to leave after leaving his wife Gleamís First Principles cult; a sect that was committed to maintaining the nuclear family concept of fatherhood in the face of wide-spread sex Changing and societal pressure to recognize only motherhood as the valid parent figure.
Good-by Robinson Crusoe
Piri is basking in the
Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance
Symb pair Barnum and Bailey arrive at Ragtime station where they partner with Tympani to compose music. Tympani has to coach Barnum and Bailey because they have no musical training even though music is a natural byproduct of pairing. Tympaniís love of music draws her to experiment with Barnum and Bailey in composing music using Baileyís ability to translate body movements into sound, but the experience is too alienating to her sense of individualism. And although Tympani finds a strong attraction to Barnum and Bailey she prefers go solo. Barnum and Bailey leave Ragtime with payment in hand, a supply of trace elements and the memory of Tympaniís fleeting love.
The Funhouse Effect
Quester vacations on the last cruise of the comet Hellís Snowball on its close approach to the sun. He experiences disorientation and a sense of shifting reality as the crew organization disintegrates even as the comet does the same in the face of the sunís searing heat. He hooks up with hole-hunter Solace to investigate the abnormalities of the trip. They quickly bond and become more than friends. Quester concludes with the explanation that he and the other passengers had paid for the adventure of being terrified by allowing the cruise directors to subject them to mind altering treatments to prevent them from remembering the purpose of the cruise. Quester leaves the experience dissatisfied. The knowledge of the illusion destroys Quester and Solaceís relationship.
The Black Hole Passes
Jordon and Tremonisha are frustrated lovers separated by millions of miles as they intercept and decode transmissions from the Ophiuchi Hotline. They pass the time engaging in virtual foreplay using holographic generators until the gravitational forces of a wandering black hole tears their stations apart.
Lollypop and the Tar Baby
Hole-hunter Xanthia encounters a black-hole that manages to position itself in the path of her mother Zoetropeís ship as she comes to rendezvous with Xanthia who is starting to manifest symptoms of cabin fever from being isolated so long in space, such as imagining that the black-hole talks to her.
Clone Xanthia goes crazy when she discovers that Zoetrope will kill her before they reach Pluto because the Clone Control Regulations prevent two persons sharing the same DNA. Finding that her relationship with Zoe is a lie causes her to imagine that the black-hole is talking to her. She indirectly contrives to kill Zoe by positioning her ship so that Zoe will hit the black-hole. In this way she spares herself the guilt.
Symb pair Catakin/Willow feel the need to procreate. The problem is: Catakin is male. They hear of a person that has the means to transform male into female but beware this one is a victim of amputation. Yes Entropy has the know-how to do the gender transformation, but Catakin/Willow donít have the fee. Entropy trades her services. She requests that
[Very syncopated prose. A strong story that captures some of the alienness of the symbiotic mind.]
Parameter's saga starts for us after she has tired of hedonistic pursuits available to citizens of the eight-worlds. Seeking a completely different life-style, she wants to try living with a Symb, not knowing what richness it would bring to her jaded life. She is blissfully fulfilled with her Symb Equinox and is about to give birth to quintuplets when members of the fanatical
The Phantom of
Fox wakens to learn that she has been cloned because her body had died in an accident. Her mother Carnival suspects murder and pleads for close police protection. When her latest memory recording is programmed into her new body, Fox learns she has lost two entire years of her life; including her recent period of artistic creativity that has made her a famous weather designer. She is killed a second time, murder is suspected, and then a third, but no evidence of the killer is ever found at the scene. Fox decides to lure her killer to the
[The quintessential Eight-Worlds story, with Memory Recordings and Changing figuring prominently in the core of the plot. It is here that we see our first glimpse of the Central Computer as a character and not just an administrative machine.]
Argus is a thirteen year-old who is being inculcated into the ways of proper adult behavior by professional child and certified teacher
A Choice of Enemies
Anthropologist Charlotte Frankel finds herself betraying the male members of her investigatory crew when she realizes that the Amazon society they have come to investigate will not survive contact with the male dominated human galactic civilization. The Hanoverian culture long ago became female dominated when the small colonizing population was inflicted with hemophilia among the males. The societal impact of the disease has so shaped the Hanoverian culture that it is unlike any other in all human civilization. Frankel realizes that for the Hanoverians to survive her crew must not be allowed to report their findings back to the rest of humanity. This early Varley story foreshadows the cultural extrapolation he would write so ably on the effect of cloning, memory recording and sex changing upon civilization.
Doctor Evelyn Burroughs goes to a psycho ward to study the case of Barbara Endicott who is suffering from a carefully worked out schizophrenia where the all-female human race has been dominated by a race of parasites that invade a woman's genitals and transform young women into so-called men. Evelyn herself wakes up out of her "crazy" episode to find herself in the care of women, safe at last from the male parasites.
In the Hall of the Martian Kings
When disaster strike the Mars explorer's dome at Tharsis canyon female commander Lange goes into a state of shock. Second in command prods her back to life with a chauvinistic remark. Lange is able to rally the rest of the team into putting up what looks to be a futile survival effort, but soon strange plant life starts to erupt from the Martian regolith. They have to say farewell to their comrades in orbit and literally bed down with each other for the duration. More and more biomechanical organisms and animals appear around their make shift colony. It looks like the extinct Martians had anticipated their arrival and genetically engineered these life forms to assist whoever might eventually follow them in living on Mars. Just as the colony is faced with a critical oxygen shortage, compressed gas fruits start to appear. Their morale is lifted even more by the birth of the first child...Five years later a rescue ship arrives expecting to find only corpses; instead they discover a thriving colony with sixteen children. None want to leave because it looks like the biome is readying itself for the reappearance of their Martian benefactors.
The Psi Olympics
A satirical look at what the Olympics might look like if the events were contested using the psionic powers made famous in science fiction.
The M&M Seen as a Low Yield Thermonuclear Device
An experimental story involving patients in a mental ward. The one memorable character is Lobey the Needle. [I never figured this story out.]
Snatch Team member Mandy is awakened and disguised for a rescue mission to 1979. She will be the joker for the job, taking the place of one of the stewardesses in a plane about to crash. She steps through the gate and replaces stewardess Sondergard, and begins to organize her team to save the passengers on board and take them back to the future to save her dying race of humanity from genetic extinction.
The Persistence of Vision
A man, whose name we never learn, sets out to explore the post-nuclear-holocaust
The title character, Ian Haise, searches among the young girls on a playground, for one who will meet his requirements for companionship. He sees potential in Radiant and lures her away from the others. Once alone he tells her a fanciful tale that so captivates her that she falls into a trance state. He returns to his job on an interstellar freighter traveling at near light speed, pushing gees. Six months later for Ian and forty years later for Radiant, Ian returns and is not surprised that Radiant is waiting for him. She asks him why he went to the trouble to spin such a lovely story to a young girl on his short time on earth. His reply, "I just wanted someone my own age to talk to."
Press Enter [ ]
Victor Apfel receives a computerized suicide note from his reclusive neighbor Charles Kluge. He learns that Kluge has made him his benefactor to the tune of $700,000. This puts Apfel under suspicion with Detective Osborne who suspects foul play. The police call in Lisa Foo, a computer expert to try to pull information out of Kluge's complex computer system. She takes a liking to Apfel and moves in with him next door to Kluge's house. As she unravels Kluge's system she learns that he had managed to get access to several top secret government databases. Lisa and Victor start to take small licenses with the information they are getting out of Kluge's computer. The stress causes a relapse of Victor's epilepsy. Lisa chides him for hiding his condition from her. They are now becoming very intimate together and Lisa's compulsive exploration of Kluge's system goes beyond curiosity. She quickly gets in way over her head with the NSA database and frantically begins erasing software trying to cover her tracks. Victor has another grand mall seizure but Lisa saves his life, and tells him that she loves him. When Victor gets home he finds that Lisa has apparently committed suicide in his kitchen. Victor knows she was murdered for what she found on Kluge's computer. Victor and Detective Osborne visit Kluge's house in search of clues. Soon after, Osborne blows his brains out. Panicked, Apfel strips his house of all electrical items and lives in fear that Kluge's computer will get him like he got Kluge, Lisa and Osborne.
Several short character studies of people who are wiped out in an atomic blast.
The Unprocessed Word
A humorous exchange of letters between Varley and his editor where Varley expresses his concern for the contaminating effect word processors are having on the quality of recent fiction. [It is ironic in the light of Varley's low fictional output since the 1970s.]
All the country's poets go on strike resulting in panic as Valentine's Day approaches. [A humorous vignette in the vein of the Unprocessed Word or The Psi Olympics. Varley's only collaboration (with PJ. Beese supplying poetry) to my knowledge.]
Just Another Perfect Day
A man wakes up confused until he starts reading a letter he left to himself. He is shocked to discover that he has lost twenty years of his memory to a disorder that causes him to forget everything from the previous day. The letter tells him that he will soon fall in love, and that the aliens who have invaded the world are studying him, but there is nothing to fear.
Politically ambitions Joseph Hardy makes a deal with the Devil to get him into the White House, but the details of this deal leaks to the press seemingly destroying his chances. The Devil decides go be upfront about it and actively campaigns for Hardy. Soon the Devil becomes a popular talk show guest and is enjoying his new found celebrity, but he is forced to give Hardy his soul back because he cannot hold up his end of the bargain. Oh, well, he decides he might just make a play for the White House himself.
Truth, Justice and the Politically Correct Socialist Path
Kalel, the last survivor of the planet Krypton, crash lands in Soviet Russia during the cold war, and becomes the model socialist. So loyal is he to the party that he refuses early release from prison because he considers his sentence to be just. His super powers are completely wasted under the communist system because he is too honest a Marxist. [Laugh out loud funny]
The Flying Dutchman
Peter Meers gets lost in the airline system, continually delayed and diverted to other airports, one wonders if he will ever make it home.
A Twistmas Carol
Varley takes a sardonic look at Christmas but manages to get into the spirit by spending the holiday in Vegas.
A Christmas Story
Ace Detective Fredinand Feghoot is called in to solve the death of Bullwinkle the moose. [Great pun ending}
In Fading Suns and Dying Moons
A fourth dimensional alien race returns to earth, the planet they seeded with life a billion years ago only so they could harvest the butterflies they knew would eventually arise. Men are left to contemplate the meaning of life just before the sun goes dark.
Doug Eigsti 10/20/2004
Although this is Varley's first novel, and only 237 pages long, it is incredibly complicated. The following chapter by chapter synopsis may be useful when trying to quickly grasp the overall picture. I have attempted to distinguish between the cloned characters by adding a number, such as (4), or a letter, such as (S) for Saturn after the character's name.
[I have a drawing in the works that will tell the story of the clone relationships graphically.]
Lilo is found guilty of human genetic tampering and is sentenced to permanent death. Boss
Lilo is clandestinely guided out of prison. Medico Mari fits her with a false arm to fool the genetic screening stations. Transported to
Symb pair Parameter/Solstice is sunbathing in the rings of Saturn when they receive the news of Lilo(2)'s execution. They begin the trip to Lilo(1)'s life capsule.
Mari makes a memory recording of Lilo(1) while she muses on the nature of human consciousness. Lilo(4) wakes up, in a new clone body, four months later after her previous incarnations were killed trying to escape.
The alien invasion is remembered through a news report. Lilo(4) arrives at an obscure Jupiter moon, Poseidon, where she is given a null-suit and projects working with other illegal shanghaied clones that Tweed is keeping as slave labor.
Lilo(4) explores Poseidon base and meets the only teacher of children,
Lilo(4) performs genetic tests on Jupiter life forms, part of
Lilo(4) escapes by killing Vaffa but is stranded outside the tug. She falls into Jupiter and is shunted to the surface of Earth. She survives as a savage as do the barbaric humans. (We later learn that this takes place thousands of years in the future)
The third attempt to clone Lilo(S) in Saturn's rings is successful. Parameter/ Solstice and
After Lilo(4) is lost in Jupiter Tweed clones Lilo(5) and takes her to Pluto. On the way she and Vaffa come to an understanding based on honor that Lilo(5) will not try to escape.
Lilo(5) and Vaffa arrive at Pluto and have their Lunar conservatism challenged by Pluto's extravagance. They meet Cathay(1) who is again teaching children on the side while working for
Vaffa resolves to go to the Hotline to get the original Ophiuchi message for Boss Tweed.
Lilo(5) nearly hires Quince to take them to the Hotline but he values his privacy too much. He does lead them to Javalin.
They board Javelin's pulp-science fiction designed ship, the Cavorite. Vaffa goes stir crazy and attacks, Javelin quickly incapacitates her. Javalin warns Lilo(5) about the homing device and drug ampoule implanted inside her.
Javelin delivers her ultimatum, revealing that the Ophiuchites are at a point only .5 light-years away and that she is going there on behalf of the Holehunters.
Ten years into the voyage of Javelin's ship Cavorite, Lilo(5) decides to go into hypersleep to avoid cabin fever. The next we know, the Cavorite is nearing its destination. Javalin prepares for anything the Ophichuites might have in store and grafts on another arm and a leg.
Lilo(S) onboard Poseidon helps the planetoid become a stable ecology and society surviving for nine years and approaching one-half the speed of light.
The Ophiuchites assume human form and show Lilo(5),
Lilo(4) wanders Earth as an itinerant goddess Diana. Living on Earth had made Lilo(4)/Diana a Free-Earther. She harpoons a Sperm Whale and descends to the depths as it dives with her in tow.
The Ophiuchites warn Lilo(5) et. al. to assist them with their plan to assimilate our culture, threatening to unleash the symbs as warriors. Just as they are delivering their ultimatum, Invader activity is detected in the area.
Lilo(4)/Diana falls into another invader and is transported to the Ophiuchi Hotline base. The Invaders have given her an inertia damper singularity that the Ophiuchites recognize as the basis for an interstellar drive and as the sure sign of imminent expulsion from the Solar system. All the past and future lives of all the Lilos flash before her eyes. Lilo(5) and Lilo(4)/Diana ponder the inevitable future they have seen, that of mankind cast out of the Solar system entirely, and they walking under a blue sun together.
Lilo(S) on Poseidon also experiences her lives passing before her eyes as she tends sunflowers. In a hundred years mankind will become orphaned out of their home system, forced to join the other races of galactic wanderers between the stars.
DDE 12/14/2004 TOH 1.7
Manny and Dak discuss the problem of the day: How to make a spaceship on pocket change.
[Flash-back] Manny and Kelly, Dak and Alicia camp out on Daytona beach to watch a Venture Star launch carrying the Ares Seven astronauts.
Afterwards Dak takes them for a dune ride in his truck Blue Thunder until they hit a drunk ex-astronaut, Travis Broussard, lying on the beach. They take him home to his ranch.
The route to Broussardís ranch takes them onto the Pike automated freeway. A comical Santa-like man comes out of the house to collect the drunken astronaut in a wheelbarrow.
Manny explains how he could have done well in school and still fail the S.A.T. He and Dak hooked-up after high-school in an on-line chat-room to improve their skills to give them hope of entering the space program. Mannyís family motel business has been struggling for years, keeping them in poverty. Manny explains how he came to occupy rooms 201 and 101 after they proved to be too expensive to repair to make them ready to rent to guests. Manny researches Broussardís NASA career on-line only to find him a non-person. On a space chat site guru Piginspace fills him in on the details of how he became a hero saving a crippled Vstar but not how he became persona non-gratta.
Manny and Dak have a hard time studying with the sounds of Daytona spring-break driving by outside. As they are leaving for a more quiet place to study they are called upon to help Mannyís mom evict some drug dealers from their room at gunpoint.
Manny goes to Dakís fatherís garage where they ride some motorcycles that belong to a customer. Dak leads them out to Broussardís ranch where they find Dakís girlfriend waiting for them. While Manny waits for Dak and Alicia to finish their argument he explores Broussardís ranch and stumbles upon a silver bubble floating down a hill that was about to change their lives forever.
Travis brings out a plate of steaks as Alicia and Manny try to scrounge up a salad while doing a little snooping around his house. Dinner is served as Jubal comes out of his inventorís shed just long enough to wolf down his blackened steak. Dak explains how he went to visit Broussard one day and ended up with a rich eccentric tutor with connections to the space program. Later that night Manny watches the Area boost for Mars.
Manny experiments on the physical properties of the silver bubble he found a Travisí place. It seems to be weightless and frictionless as well as indestructible. Looking out his room he spots a hooker walking on the street in front of his motel, and calls her up to his room. After some rousing sex we learn that it is his rich girlfriend Kelly. Manny wonders what she sees in him as he goes to pick up her nearby Porsche. He shows her the bubble. She is more impressed by it than he.
A week later Manny takes Kelly to meet Travis who has since fallen under Aliciaís spell and started cleaning up his act, and his ranch. Manny continue to do their lessons while Travis takes the girls out on the lake. Needing a study break Manny goes to see Jubal who demonstrates his bubble squeezer device. They are getting along fabulously until Manny uses a swear word that offends Jubal. Travis later explains that any obscenity will set Jubal into a funk lasting for days.
Travis calls Manny to the ranch at 3:00 AM, so he and Kelly head out there. Travis had also called Dak and Alicia too. When they gather Travis asks them what they know about the silver bubbles, then proceeds to explain why it ainít easy being Jubal. He informs of his childhood with an abusive father who was a crazed snake-bite Christian preacher.
Travis finishes by recalling how Jubalís father, Travisí uncle, nearly beat Jubal to death with a 2x4 and how he still has all the intelligence of a scientific genius. They all hop onto Travisí boat to retrieve Jubal from his sulk out on his rowboat. Kelly lures him in with a box of Krispy Kremes. Jubal later demonstrates his squeezer and how he can manipulate the size of the force field to compress the material trapped inside. Travis accidentally manipulates the controls so that one bubble expands creating a 500 foot bubble, and before Jubal can warn him he turns the field off. The ensuing vacuum sucks them all into the air and are, luckily, deposited into the newly filled swimming pool safely. Manny and Kelly clean each-other off in the shower. All go home while Travis and Jubal try to figure out just what they have with these bubbles.
Manny tries to catch up on his chores at the Blast-Off Motel. Kelly picks him up at 6:00 and they head out to Rancho Brussard, but they are greeted by no-trespassing signs. They begin to wonder if Travis is trying to shut them out. Not to worry, when they get back they find Travis and Jubal sitting at the kitchen table talking to Mannyís Mom, while her cousin Maria is busy whipping up her famous Picadillo. A dish she reserves for special guests. Travis makes arrangements for Jubal to stay with Manny while Travis is away getting expert scientific advice on the potential uses of the bubbles. He leaves Manny with his Triumph motorcycle and side-car to ride Jubal around in.
Jubal canít sleep the first night and asks to sleep in Mannyís room. Jubal makes himself useful by fixing the long broken Blast-Off sign and everything else in sight. Later he and Manny take the Triumph over to Dakís Dadís garage. Manny tries to give his Mom the money Travis left for caring for Jubal, but she is too proud to take it gracefully. The Blast-Off looks better thanks to Jubalís efforts. One night while playing Monopoly Jubal recognizes Holly Oakley, one of the Ares Seven Astronauts. They all learn that she is Travisí ex-wife. Jubal wants to know more about the Mars mission. They start by telling him the story of Chinaís space program. When Jubal discovers that China is going to beat the Ares Seven ship to Mars he becomes interested and starts to form a plan.
As a party at the Blast-Off is winding down Travis pulls up in his Hummer. He admits that he couldnít find anything new about the silver bubbles beyond what they already knew. But now he knows how dangerous getting discovered with the secret could be for all of them. Jubal announces that Americans were going to be the first to Mars, and that he was going along.
[Flash-forward] Kelly scouts out a location to build the ship, and selects a warehouse with a railroad spur.
Travis calls Manny out to the ranch to try to talk Jubal out of going to Mars. Of course Manny secretly hopes they will not be able to because he wants to go too. Jubal asks Manny to talk to Travis about the same thing in reverse. Manny calls Kelly for advice so she speeds out to the ranch to help. In a funny scene she drives him to distraction by shedding her panties while they sit on a fishing pier discussing strategy to get onboard the Mars ship. The four friends conspire together to convince Travis to pilot them to Mars. Kelly and Alicia get Travis and Jubal to agree. Jubal gives his presentation on why the Ares Seven is doomed. This sets Travis off on a tirade about the shortcomings of the US space program. All agree that a rescue mission is needed. They start testing immediately.
The whole crew drives to Jubalís brotherís place where his wife lays on a Cajun feast. Afterwards they all snooze. Caleb fires up his battered truck to lead a convoy in the middle of the swamp, to a place called the Middle of Nowhere. The road ends and the airboat trails begin. Jubal loads in his test rocket and everybody piles in. Caleb stops the airboat on an isolated hammock. Jubal sets up the rocket and launches. They all duck for cover, but to no avail as the blast churns up a great wall of mud engulfs them .The rocket leaves the atmosphere in a matter of seconds. In a matter of minutes military Hueys are searching for them. Calebís skill keeps them from being spotted. They high-tail it out of the swamp and race to Fort Lauderdale. Travis becomes quickly paranoid about government interference and swears them all to secrecy and advises them all to lay low.
Travisí spiel about taking Dak and Manny with him to Mars gets a cold reception from Mannyís Mom and Dakís Dad. Kelly sneaks into her fatherís office and alters the motor vehicle records on the Ferrari she drove out to the swamp. Then meets a guy who does midnight autobody painting to paint it black and Travisí Hummer beige. Kelly talks of her desire to make a break with her father. Travis takes the four of them to see the shuttle Atlantis and a Saturn 5 to give them some sense perspective on what they are thinking about doing. While there on the grounds of the Kennedy Space Center Travis agrees to build the shipÖjust as soon as they get permission from their parents. Itís a hard sell as Travis continues to explain about the squeezer drive and tries to solicit the approval of Betty, Maria and Sam.
[Flashback to the day at Kennedy Space Center] Alicia admits that her father murdered her mother. Travis listens embarrassed as she recalls her motherís murder. Kelly knows that she will never get permission from her father. Mannyís mom talks to him and admits that she will never understand his love for space. Maria stays to encourage him in that his father spent seven days on a raft floating from Cuba. Mars will be a piece of cake.
Kelly insists that they form a corporation. Travis and Jubal set off across the country to set of some red herring rockets to focus the Fedís attention off of Florida. Dak and Manny come up with a basic design centered around seven railroad tanker cars. Further planning gets them all excited with Kelly managing the operation. Alicia comes up with a movie production company cover story. They fancy themselves as the Little Rascals go to Mars. As tankers and other pieces of equipment starts to arrive they plan how to sell the plan to Travis.
Travis and Jubal return from their road trip, their van full of junk food wrappers. They prepare the presentation for Travis. He likes the basic idea right off. Manny, Dak, Alicia and Kelly give their dog and pony show. Travis is impressed but admits there is a lot of work to do. Betty, Manny's mom still is not swayed. Travis calls them together after the presentation to encourage them and to formalize his Captaincy.
More of the Broussard clan arrives of a private jet. Travis convinces his mom to accept help from Travisí cousins Grace and Billy while Manny is working on the ship. She also realizes that she needs to shut down the motel when all this is over. Travis begins a conditioning program. After a few weeks of jogging they all feel better. Jubal demonstrates what a bubble does to a rat. Turns it to dust. While Travis and Jubal are discussing phase 1 and phase 2 bubbles two FBI agents ring the doorbell. Travis plays drunk and they leave.
Caleb begins work welding the thrust ring. The rest try to knock items on the checklist before they collapse every night. Travis plans a trip to Star City Russia to shop for space suits. Manny picks him up in Atlanta when he returns. Travis tells him why he hates Atlanta. That is where he finally paid for years of flying drunk when he made a deal with NASA to quit if they didnít press charges. They test a space suit in the pool. All the gaskets leak. The ship starts to take shape.
Travis explains the plumbing facilities and the glory hole. They decide upon a triple electrical system: fuel cell, generator, and batteries. Work of the crew quarters begins. Alicia unveils crew bomber jackets with mission patches designed by 2loose. They decide to commission his to paint Red Thunder. They watch on TV as the Chinese ship begins braking maneuvers around Mars. Travis wonít budge of their seven-day training schedule despite the fact they are in danger of breaking their deadline. Manny gives his mom a tour of the ship. Dakís father Sam talks to Betty. They agree to put up a united front either to approve or to disapprove of the whole project. In the end they decide to allow it. Travis gives his consent.
2loose La Beck agrees to paint the ship after thinking it would be in a movie. Kellyís dad, Mr. Strickland, comes by wanting a tour. They run him through quick. After he leaves Kelly calls to have the locks changed. FBI agents Dallas and Lubbock return to make Travis sweat. He can feel them closing in. Travis runs them through a series of system drills. A Private Investigator hired by Kellyís father shows up and tries to blackmail them. 2loose unveils his paint job. He had rendered the six days of creation on the six external tanks. Kelly christens the ship then leaves unable to bear watching the launch that would go without her.
Travis announces that Jubal will not be going on the trip. He is too claustrophobic. The Coast Guard threatens to board their barge. Travis warns them to stay clear and launches unexpectedly before they can be apprehended. Manny starts an inspection tour of the ship and finds Kelly hiding in Jubalís spacesuit. Travis decides to let her stay. They contact earth through a link to CNN and see a scene of the Blast-Off motel surrounded by reporters. Travis announces that this bubble technology is too big for one country to monopolize.
The media has a field day digging up dirt on the crew. News of riots in China over what they think is an American hoax intended to discredit their achievement in reaching Mars first. Kelly initiates Manny into the million mile high club. Manny patches a small leak in the hull. The shipís antenna breaks off during turnover. Travis prepares for a spacewalk to inspect the damage. The antenna is gone for good.
Travis plans to land in the Vales Maneris, exactly where the Chinese plan to touch down. Red Thunder lands on Mars. They don their spacesuits and become the first to set foot on Mars. Dak unveils the new electric Blue Thunder for a test drive. The Milky Way is brilliant. Kelly introduces Manny into the Mars club.
Dak drives Blue Thunder to the place where the Chinese ship will land. They position themselves so that the Chinese camera will capture their entrance for all the world to see. Next stop, Vales Maneris. Manny notices tension in the Chinese Crew. Manny frets about his lack of qualifications at Mars exploration. Travis has some fun in excluding the Chinese political officer from the ship. The two crews cooperate in exploring the surface. Kelly succumbs to fear as she is left to keep watch over the ship while the others are exploring the surface.
The Chinese captain Xu arrives with news that the Ares Seven ship has had an explosion. Captain Xu explains that Chun the political officer has orders to destroy Red Thunder. Captain Xu will restrain him for the duration. They spot debris on Red Thunders radar. Travis has to man the con to fly them into close proximity of the damaged Ares Seven ship so that Alicia and Kelly can exit the ship to rescue the Ares Seven. They find one dead astronaut. Kelly finds a sealed compartment with survivors inside.
Alicia reports that three NASA astronauts are alive. Captain Aquino has a broken femur and needs immediate attention. Manny does a space walk to deliver medical supplies. On the way over he asks Kelly to marry him. Manny uses duct tape to temporarily repair a cracked window on the Ares. They slip the survivors into suits ready to get to Red Thunder. Manny rescues Kelly in dramatic fashion then realizes that he has forgotten one crew member. He must go back for Cliff.
Alicia treats the wounded. Travis debates possible earth landing sites. President Ventura calls Travis. He instructs her of their intention to set down at Disney World parking lot G. Kelly wheels and deals on the way in to promote Red Thunder Inc. Touchdown at Disney World. The ensuing crowd noise makes them think the drive has malfunctioned for a moment.
TEN YEARS LATER 
Red Thunder first becomes a theme park attraction, then becomes enshrined at the Smithsonian. Manny explains their whirlwind first year. Dak and Alicia part ways. Dak still enjoys fast cars and publicity appearances. Alicia devotes her time to charity work. Mannyís mom becomes a hotel tycoon with the Blast-Offís new popularity. Maria runs the business. Mom earns a spot on the Olympic sharpshooting team. Travis assembles a delegation of world leaders to the Orange Bowl and grants them the responsibility of administering the squeezer drive. The governing body they found, the I.P.A., sets up shop on the Falkland Islands to manufacture squeezers. They also select qualified and trustworthy scientists to safeguard Jubalís technology. Jubal lives as a virtual prisoner if the Falklands. Manny marries Kelly to get a degree in Hotel management. He will operate the new Marineris Hyatt. He tells how the squeezer drive quickly changes society, opening up travel to the planets and the stars. He muses on what it means to be the first.
Doug Eigsti July, 25 2005 Rev. 1.2
Page number / Chapter
(note that the chapters are presented out of chronological sequence)
Page 1 / LITTLE FUZZY [Excerpt 1]
(Excerpts from the children's book citing some facts and conjecture on the lives of North American Mammoths.)
Page 5 / [CHAPTER] 5
Warburton takes a chopper to fridged
LITTLE FUZZY [Excerpt 2]
We learn more about Wooly Mammoths living in the colder regions and the exploits of the young female named Temba.
Page 15 / [CHAPTER] 6
Matthew Wright was busy persuing his new hobby of trout fishing while on his forced sabbatical, when Mr. Warburton arrives by helicopter to offer him two million dollars a year to study time travel.
Page 19 / LITTLE FUZZY [Excerpt 3]
Poor little Temba, although she has reached maturity the higher ranking females in the herd will not allow her to mate. She intends to find a suitable male on her own this summer.
Page 21 / [CHAPTER] 7
Howard Christian surveys his empire of movie studios from high atop his terrorist defying
Page 31 / LITTLE FUZZY [Excerpt 4]
A male Mammoth, Tsehe, is looking for a female to mate. He is guided by the low infrasonic calls of the herd.
Page 33 / [CHAPTER] 8
Susan Morgan, Veterinarian, and circus veteran, is recruited by Christian to handle the host elephant, Queenie, for the attempt to clone a Mammoth. She has to work with a pair of jokesters, Leland and Roger, who are experts at in-vitro fertilization. They had nearly gotten themselves killed trying to fertilize Queenie before Susan arrived. Just as they begin the delicate procedure, Howard Christian arrives with Dr. Matt Wright in tow. They linger long enough to witness the blessed event, then Howard leads Matt through a door that everyone had tried but was always locked.
Page 41 / LITLE FUZZY [Excerpt 5]
Tsehe, a Wooly Mammoth, is attracted to Temba, a Columbian Mammoth, even though her song is a little different and she smells odd. But Big Mama won't allow Temba to mate. When Teshe is driven away Temba follows.
Page 43 / [CHAPTER] 9
Matt Wright gets his first look at the time machine device, about the size of a briefcase, but before he dares to touch it he asks for a team including Dr. Marian Carreaux, a museum restoration specialist. She prepares a hermetically sealed environment. The latch is opened.
Page 49 / LITTLE FUZZY [Excerpt 6]
Temba the Mammoth is pregnant and Big Mama is keeping the herd on the move in search of food and water; spending time in what is now
Page 51 / [CHAPTER] 10
Susan helps unload elephant number 5 for the Mammoth cloning project. Matt watches with interest while eating lunch. Susan asks for a drink and he obliges. She divulges that the frozen Mammoth was unlike any other ever found.
Page 57 / LITTLE FUZZY [Excerpt 7]
Temba gives birth to a fuzzy odd baby elephant with small ears. Big Mama accepts him into the herd. We will call him Fuzzy.
Page 61 / [CHAPTER] 11
Howard Christian spends some time and some dollars at a collectable toy convention. While he haggles over prices Warburton informs him that Wright allowed Susan Morgan into the gadget lab, against protocol.
Page 65 / LITTLE FUZZY [Excerpt 8]
Fuzzy enjoys frolicking in the water. He is a hybrid of Woolly and Columbian Mammoths. Was he sterile like most hybrids?
Page 67 / [CHAPTER] 12
Matt shows the gadget in the lab to Susan. It is a complicated mechanism of 2401 marble-sized spheres encased in an aluminum briefcase that can be purchased over the counter. Matt reveals that he doubts it to be the time machine Christian thinks it to be. They arrange for lunch the next day.
Page 71 / LITTLE FUZZY [Excerpt 9]
Fuzzy experiments with his trunk and accidentally rouses a giant Ground Sloth. The herd comes to his rescue.
Page 75 / [CHAPTER] 13
Matt continues to pursue Susan. Seeing her almost daily for a picnic lunch and discussing his puzzles over the gadget. Howard visits Matt;s gadget lab where he is attempting to duplicate the original. Matt discusses the problems in metallurgy with Howard and then inserts the last sphere in place. Nothing happens. As Howard leaves Matt asks him which marble Howard was taking in his pocket. Howard refuses to answer, and instead counters with the knowledge of Matt taking Susan into the lab, and discussing the secrets. Howard announces that he is moving the Mammoth project. Matt and Susan talk about the possibility of continuing a long-distance relationship now that they won't be working near each other.
Page 85 / LITTLE FUZZY [Excerpt 10]
Temba watches as humans catch one of her sisters in a pit. These humans are no match for the Mammoth's strength, but they have skill in working together.
Page 87 / [CHAPTER] 14
Droopy, one of two protestors outside the cloning lab, decides to enlist the aid of the radical wing of the animal rights movement. He finds an activist named Python who organizes Droopy and Martyr, the second protestor, into staging a raid on the lab. Once inside they find no elephants but only marbles and gadgets in aluminum cases. Martyr feels compelled by holy retribution, to smash everything in sight. This attracts the security guards, and his blow to one of the aluminum cases causes the red light to come on.
Page 97 / LITTLE FUZZY [Excerpt 11]
The wounded Mammoth stumbles for a few days then dies. Fuzzy and the herd move on.
Page 99 / [CHAPTER] 15
Howard Christian arrives at his vandalized time machine warehouse and knows that his stinginess, in not having more guards, was responsible. He gives Matt instructions on the clean up, then walks out. Matt and Susan find the gadget with the red light. Inside is a new structure of spheres, one that seems to take up less space than it should. Howard looks back, and the warehouse is gone.
Page 105 / LITTLE FUZZY [Excerpt 12]
Little Fuzzy strays from the herd and gets stuck in a tar pit, but Temba and the tribe pull him out.
Page 109 / [CHAPTER] 2
It took a few minutes for Matt and Susan to realize that anything more than a power glitch had happened. When they look outside it was obvious that they weren't in
Page 121 / LITTLE FUZZY [Excerpt 13]
Little Fuzzy is awakened when humans attack his herd with fire, driving them toward the Tar Pits. Just as the Mammoths were running as fast as they can something happens.
Page 123 / [CHAPTER] 3
Matt and Susan set out away from the warehouse with the elephants to find water. The elephants refuse to be controlled and quickly outdistance them. They make camp and make love, not knowing if Matt will ever get the time machine to take them home. On the second day, they find a small stream. With this knowledge they head back to the safety of the warehouse, but soon realize they are lost.
Page 141 / [CHAPTER] 4
Matt and Susan hear the terrifying sound of Mammoths stampeding toward them. They grab the guns and the time machine to try to get away but are trapped by the Tar Pits. Matt notices that first the red light on the time machine comes on, and then the green one. Susan fends off the Mammoths with the elephant gun while Matt fiddles with the marbles in the time machine. He intuitively understands the pattern without knowing why it works. He turns the layers like a Rubik's Cube and the cube shrinks into itself. When he looks up he is back in
Page 147 / [CHAPTER] 16
Big Mamma Mammoth gets angry after being driven by fire and humans to the Tar Pits. She starts to charge Matt and Susan. Matt sees a city bus headed straight for Susan. He tackles her out of the way but is hit by the bus himself. He comes-to under the bus just as the angry Mammoth begins taking out her frustrations on the windshield. Susan pulls him out from under the bus. The LAPD had deployed and brought their heaviest equipment out from their arsenal to try to contain the situation. Howard Christian sits high atop his tower pondering his missing warehouse, aching for a chance to play super-hero and to use his Death Ray.
Page 157 / [CHAPTER] 17
The tranquilizers fired by Susan take effect and bring Big Mama down. This causes the rest of the herd to panic. They charge the police line and the police fire back. The fusillade forces them to turn back. Now charging toward a crowd of people, Howard sees necessity before him. He takes aim and squeezes the trigger on his beam of death and the charging Mammoths begin to explode one by one until only one is left standing. The police take down the last one. Howard feels exhilaration and loss at the passing of the last Mammoth. Matt and Susan look up at the tower and know that Howard is behind the mysterious Mammoth explosions. Then, inexplicably, and without prior warning, Matt, still blooded and bruised, tells Susan ha has something to de, and must leave. With Matt's goodbye still in her ears, Susan surveys the carnage trying to make sense of it all, and spots a baby Mammoth hiding among the robotic Mammoths at the La Brea Tar Pits exhibit. Little Fuzzy is alive.
Page 173 / [CHAPTER] 18
Years have passed. Big Mama and Little Fuzzy are the circus stars in Howard's greatest show on earth. No expense has been spared on the show.
Page 181 / [CHAPTER] 19
Flashback to the night the Mammoths appeared near the La Brea Tar Pits. Howard's men quickly move in to clean up the carnage. Howard would take full responsibility, and full credit for the salvage of the Mammoth. Susan makes sure Little Fuzzy gets to safety, in one of Howard's trucks, and hardly realizes that she hadn't given a thought to Matt's words of farewell. She wouldn't see him for five years.
Page 189 / [CHAPTER] 20
We are given a tour of "Fuzzyland," the Cenozoic theme park built to promote the Mammoths and to be the permanent home of Little Fuzzy. Susan is weary from performing two shows a day for these last four years. She just wants to go home and relax. She didn't expect to meet Matt waiting on her door step.
Page 199 / [CHAPTER] 21
We learn how Howard was able to hold onto his claim over the Mammoths and able to conceal the secret of time travel and to explain away the deaths of the Mammoth herd by means of scientific mumbo jumbo spouted loudly and often by expert witnesses, all the while knowing that he did not possess the secret of time travel. Nonetheless, Howard's life was sweet, made sweeter by his impending nuptials to Andrea, one of the most beautiful women ever to come out of
Page 211 / [CHAPTER] 22
Susan invites Matt into her home. They spend dinner in absolute silence until Matt begins to explain. He initially had to get away to be able to sort out his thoughts and set them down before he forgot them. He had exhausted logic and was persuing paranormal approaches at the Esalen Institute when he was kidnapped and interrogated. He and Susan are comparing notes about the cover story being circulated of a terrorist bomb at the La Brea Tar Pits , when Howard Christian intrudes on their reunion. Susan invites Howard, and his fiancťe, in to talk with Matt. He reveals his detainment by a secret Government agency and his eventual release after they can't catch him in any lie, or learn anything about time travel. Matt has returned when he has given up on discovering the secret of time travel. Howard calls him a liar, an insult that Susan, the polite hostess, cannot abide with, even though she herself suspects Matt is actively lying; something he later admits. She reveals to Matt that she plans to steal Fuzzy. Matt agrees to help.
Page 253 / [CHAPTER] 24
As Susan's guest, Matt has front row seats to the greatest show on earth. He, along with the adoring audience, is loving every minute, until he is ushered backstage to help Susan steal little Fuzzy. With the help of the night security manager, Jack Elk, and the computer programming assistance from an animal rights group, Susan leads a mechanical version of Fuzzy into his pen and leads the real Fuzzy out and into the back of her fifth-wheel. She and Matt drive out the gate with the approval of the night watchman.
Page 281 / [CHAPTER] 26
Matt and Susan drive Fuzzy to a temporary hiding place. They decide to stay put for now rather than keep running. Back in Fuzzyland the mechanical Mammoth, standing in for Fuzzy, topples over, alerting the guards, and Howard Christian. Jack Elk, the Fuzzyland security manager, has a rendezvous with Michael Bartlett (Python) switch cars to throw off the pursuers. Python was the man who masterminded the break-in that led to the activation of the time machine, and the disappearance of Howard's warehouse. Howard had, for years, been waging a personal vendetta on Python, getting him fired from any good job he might get, having him evicted from every residence. Susan found him easy to recruit after hearing about him from Howard's fiancťe Andrea. Python had obtained the necessary computer wizardry that Jack used to help pull this off. Matt tells Susan that they only have a small chance to get away with this. Susan is willing to take any chance as better than none for Fuzzy to have a more normal life.
Page 310 / [CHAPTER] 28
Andrea suggests to Howard that Susan will try to take Fuzzy to
Page 313 / [CHAPTER] 29
Matt and Susan drive North trying to catch a ferry, just as Andrea had guessed. They miss the ferry and have to pull into an R.V. park. With nothing to do but talk, Matt begins to explain his new understanding of the universe, beginning with his celebrity as a time traveler then as a disciple of various spiritual pursuits trying to grasp what had happened to send him through time.Matt continues to explain his journeys since their return from the past, revealing that the lone marble he kept all through his interrogations, is actually the complete time machine folded in on itself. He thinks they traveled by mental power. He also mentions that he visited the site of the Mammoth dig.
Page 331 / [CHAPTER] 30
Matt tells how he saw his Seiko watch on the wrist of one of the Inuit man who helped dig up the Mammoth, and how he came to realize that this was the clue that confirmed that he was the original time traveler, and that the Mammoth was Fuzzy. Later when he learned that a woman was found next to the man, he knew that it had to be Susan. He tells her of his confusion between his sense of free will and the reality of predestination that he sees revealed so plainly before him.
Page 337 / [CHAPTER] 31
Warburton senses that he is missing something. Scanning a map, he notices a ferry crossing that had not been checked. He finds Matt, Susan and Fuzzy in the trailer. Howard arrives at the ferry dock, and confronts the Mammoth thieves. Susan says goodbye to Fuzzy. He gets so upset that he attacks Howard. Howard knows that without Susan, Fuzzy will not be calm enough to travel back to Fuzzyland, so he arranges for Warburton to drive the trailer with Susan and Fuzzy in the back. Howard and Andrea get in the boat, then their boat disappears. Warburton slips and falls and is rescued by Matt. Matt notices that Howard had taken Matt's watch. Warburton and Susan cros the border with Fuzzy.
Page 351 / [CHAPTER] 1
Howard and Andrea make the best of things, stranded in the Ice-Age. Howard's knowledge enables him to become a great tribal leader. He finally finds fulfillment in life. When both of them are old, and Andrea becomes terminally ill, Howard mounts his trusty Wooly-Columbian hybrid and heads into the frozen North, and buries himself, Andrea, the Seiko watch, and the time machine under the dead Mammoth. He dies after scratching the proper message in the aluminum case of the time machine, not daring to try to alter the way things were supposed to be in the future, and jeopardize the chain of events that led to his happiness. Susan makes the last installment on her book the life of Little Fuzzy. She mentions Howard's disappearance and the legal battle going on to get Fuzzy back to the
Doug Eigsti 01.26.06 Rev 1.0