An often inspired, lunatic fantasy after Monty Python and Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker books. In the 22nd century, after six world wars, the Earth is gripped by full nuclear winter; what's left of the population lives underground in decadent enclaves fueled by weird sex, weirder drugs, monsters, robots, and lethal video machines. Then a cryptic message arrives from outer space: somewhere out there lies a new planet, Terra, ripe for exploitation. So, the three superpowers, all desperately short of energy, mount last-gasp expeditions to reach the new planet. The Arab-US-Soviet coalition sends off a vast spaceship complete with ping-pong tables, swimming pools, ""rocksky"" bands, and chandeliers; the Japanese dispatch a microship containing two human officers and a mutinous army of Samurai mice; the Sine-Europeans haul out their last hope, an ancient set of giant flying Mickey Mouse ears; and the race is on--through a most peculiar ""space"" that sometimes has air in it, gravity, seas, wrecks, fogs, garbage, whirlpools, and whatnot. Meanwhile, back on Earth, an expedition leaves for Cuzco, where mysterious radiation is emanating from beneath the ice; playing the straight men here are Fang, the Chinese telepath, and 12-year-old computer genius Frank Einstein, who's addicted to comic books and electric ice-cream. The journey is wild, with a broadly amusing opening, a brainstorming, riotously funny middle, and a more serious but indecisive, hectoring windup. Overall: a hilariously splendid debut, flubs and all.