“ Genre: Sci-Fi & Fantasy / Author: Alan Dean Foster / 304 pages / Book published 1989-07-01 by New English Library Ltd „
Alan Dean Foster, much like Craig Shaw Gardener, has over the years developed a reputation for novelising famous movie screen-plays such as Star Wars, Aliens etc but, during the course of his long career, has also written several of his own original novels too. Of these, his most famous include the Star Wars interlude adventure, set between episodes 4 and 5, better known as Splinter In The Mind's Eye and his well-recieved Spellsinger series set in a fantasy world far removed from our own!
Glory Lane is an alternative sci-fi romp that, though not an out and out parody of the genre, refuses to take itself too seriously. Seeth is a Punk who spends time hanging around the local bowling alley with his estranged brother (who is a total conformist) until one night when he notices something strange asbout one of the bowlers. Not only does he appear to have an extra digit but also is able to pull off killer bowling moves that threaten to defy all the laws of physics. When this stranger is hassled by two police-types, Seeth steps in nto stick it to the man but soon finds himself and his brother fleeing the scene followed by some very angry-looking aliens! After stealing a van, occupied by wannabe cheerleader, Miranda, who is obsessed with shopping, the group end up at the mysterious stranger's spaceship and, with no hope of shaking off their pursuers by conventional means, hurriedly climb aboard. A few minutes later, they are jettisoning out into deep space and ready for the adventure of a lifetime.....
This novel has much in common with Shaw Gardener's Ebeneezer/ Wuntvor saga but is a bit lighter on the slapstick humour! The plot is a familiar one; mysterious stranger steals...ahem borrows...an alien artifact, said aliens will kill to get it back, but gives enough else to fill the story out out so that the basic premise is able to stand out on its own merits. The characters are all quite fun, if a little two-dimensional, which makes this a simple pleasure to digest. But don't expect too much as there is nothing really groundbreaking here and the end, when it comes, is more than a little bit...well, flat!!
Don't get me wrong, I quite enjoyed this, but at no point is it anything amazing and the end result is just a little bit...well, average.
It's a novel piece of sci-fi but really don't expect too much and you might be pleasently surpried by how much you actually enjoy this. It's a shame then that the story hasn't really got more teeth!
One thing's for certain, this book, though enjoyable, proves well enough that there is a reason why Dean Foster has never quite made it into the big leagues! Because whilst this is good, it's never quite great!