Formidably weird fantasy about the process of growing up, from an author perhaps best known for his resplendent translations of Stanislaw Lem. In western Pennsylvania live the Zimmerman family: Aliens, or mutants from the future, who possess strange powers and devices--they conceal themselves by controlling key figures in the community. But when ten-year-old Christopher starts boasting of his exploits at school, Mother decides that he must be scooped out--permanently deprived of his magic/psi powers and turned into an ordinary straight-A student and model citizen . . . just like his brother, Brian. In desperation, Christopher flees to Gramps, who similarly is resisting being banished to a retirement home in Florida. Together, the pair go journeying through space, time, and probability--but Mother still pursues them with relentless fanaticism. There's one chance, Gramps thinks: His old friend and mentor, Panda Ray, will be able to help them, but Christopher will end up as an entirely different person. Still, having little choice, Christopher embarks on a further jaunt even odder than his first, with implacable Mother yet to face at the end of it all. Tirelessly inventive but amorphous, with humorous intentions that never quite break through into real amusement: impressive, yet difficult to approach. Rather like . . . yes, like Stanislaw Lem.