Successful Chicago commodities broker abducted by aliens
Not a headline from the National Enquirer, just Marcus Walker’s own little Jerry Springer moment. He was indeed hustled aboard an alien Vilenjji starship, part of a cargo of primitive creatures bound for the “civilized” part of the galaxy, where they’ll be sold . . . as pets. Fortunately, there was another Earthling aboard, a scruffy dog named George who’d been speech-enhanced to increase his market value. Walker had spoken to plenty of dogs in his line of work but never to actual animals. He and George formed an immediate bond, giving new meaning to “man’s best friend.”
The Light-Years Beneath My Feet finds Walker and George free at last, having managed, with some outside help, to outwit their kidnappers. But now they are a million billion miles from Earth. Walker glories in the wonders of his rescuers’ hi-tech world and the thrill of being humankind’s first galactic traveler–until he remembers the only place he wants to be is home. To take his mind off the depressing fact that he hasn’t the slightest idea where home is, never mind how to get there, the erstwhile commodities broker becomes a chef.
Walker never imagined that whipping up delicacies for demanding alien palates would lead to a possible way home–or that the possible way home would involve swapping his easy-living adopted planet for an all-out, age-old war many parsecs away. But hey, it was all for a good cause, he has George and their two fellow escapees for company, and what else was there to do, besides avoid Vilenjji? Plenty, as it turns out. . . .
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of Science Fiction eBook: The Light-years Beneath My Feet|
|Release Date: 06-28-2005|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||The Light-years...|
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The Light-years Beneath My Feet
Chapter OneMarcus Walker's khirachtel souffle had fallen, and couldn't get up.
But it was trying to.
Writhing, peridot-hued filaments of specially sweetened bariile as active as they were tasty twisted and coiled like a nest of worms on speed as they struggled to reform the compact yet airy loaf Walker had initially marshaled out of ingredients coughed up by the trio of synchronized synthesizers. Adrift in the center of the spherical preparator, suspended within its energized field and shielded from its harmful effects, he strove to maintain a semblance of recipe. All around him, the aromatic components of the special dessert he had engineered emerged from the synths to steadily merge and meld, freeze or bake. If everything came off as planned, the result ought to be a last course spectacular enough to impress the supervising Sessrimathe program that was serving as his mentor and judge.
Unfortunately, everything was not going as planned.
The radiant shower of rainbow-hued geljees that were supposed to execute an iridescent, chromatic englobement of the souffle were growing impatient. Like bees unable to agree on the location of a hive, they threatened to disperse into individual spheres and shatter themselves against the boundaries of the preparator in a spate of sugary seppuku. Though still coherent, his carefully woven whipped lavender finishing flame, frenetic with edible purple energy, was starting to dance fitfully just beyond his left hand. He could have controlled it better with the cooking wand in his right except that he needed to focus every bit of his attention and newly learned skills on taming the wild souffle its...