||Mar 1, 2005
The Ardly Effect
Inhabitants of two moons orbiting a gas giant realise they have a common past. Their search for their roots reveals more than they had bargained for and the truth they find 'out there' illuminates a side to human nature that is probably best left in the dark.
Throughout the known universe, in every society - from the Wispy White Wanderers of Plaggarth’s fog-filled swamps, to the Hairless Hawkers of Hellbent Valley, to the Dropsical Druid Dinosaurs of Gwak - there can always be found: a bar.
The bar that Sergeant Arthur and Sergeant George happened upon was typical of many scattered throughout the universe: somewhere to take the weight off your limbs, something to take the weight of your mind and someone to take the weight off your wallet. They sat on two spare stools at the bar.
“Barkeep!” Sergeant Arthur’s friendly tones summoned the old male Pebbling who stood polishing glasses in the time-old tradition of barmen around the universe. “We are new to these parts so would regard highly your advice on some tasty beverage of an alcoholic persuasion.”
“Pardon?” said the barman. He idly wiped the damp surface in front of the two newcomers using an even damper cloth gripped by his wrinkly nicotine stained trunk.
“What would you recommend, friend?” asked Sergeant George.
“Well ...” the barman looked thoughtfully at the two men. “What sort of a mood are you in?” he asked at last.
The Sergeants looked at each other and frowned. “Happy?” suggested Sergeant Arthur.
“At ease with the world, brother,” agreed Sergeant George.
“Beer,” said the barman.
“Beer?” said Sergeant Arthur.
“What would you have said if we had said we were sad, friend?” asked Sergeant George.
“Beer,” said the barman.
“And if we’d said ... pensive?”
“I get the impression,” interrupted Sergeant Arthur, “that you only have beer. Would that be a fair assessment?”
“No,” said the barman. “But beer is the only thing that won’t knock you humans on your arses!” The other Pebbling customers leaning and standing by the bar snickered into their drinks.
“Are you inferring that we can’t hold strong drink?” Sergeant Arthur bristled.
“No,” said the barman, “I’m implying it! You can infer what you will from my implication.”
Sergeant Arthur used his thumb to indicate the Pebbling standing next to him. “I’ll have a double of whatever he’s drinking,” he said.
“And I’ll have a double of whatever he’s drinking, friend,” said Sergeant George pointing to the Pebbling sat next to him.
The barman smiled under his trunk and went to get the drinks. “Two large Xanthostings coming up,” he said. The other members of the bar snickered again.
Sergeant Arthur slapped some local money on the bar and smiled confidently at Sergeant George. Two large glasses of a viscous yellow liquid arrived. The other bar members watched with interest as Sergeant Arthur and Sergeant George emptied their glasses in one manly swig.
The predictable happened.
The pair managed to sing two choruses of “The Blue Ridge Mountains of Edenia” in close harmony to an unappreciative audience before collapsing unceremoniously into an untidy heap.
The barman was impressed.
"I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up this book. I'd never read anything my Mitis Green before, but the title sounded like the sort of fiction I enjoy. What I didn't expect was a wonderful page turner laced with laugh-out-loud humour. I really enjoyed this book ... and will be looking out for the future two episodes ... read this book, you'll enjoy it." (Full review in Jupiter : Sinope , Summer 2005 ISSN 1740-2069)
Editor - Jupiter Magazine www.jupitersf.co.uk
"After my poor disappointed eyes had been dragged across the pages of so many best-sellers, this unknown gem is a delightful must read. Any lover of lateral thinking, British sense of humour and sheer page-turning adventure will love this book.
Warning: don't read it on the bus or tube unless you like being the centre of attraction as you gasp and laugh out loud.
Any SF reader will have to add this book to their collection."
Author & Editor for BeWrite.net
Want to review or comment on this
Click here to login!
Need a FREE Reader Membership?
Click here for your Membership!