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by David Gerrold

Pub Date: April 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-312-87841-9
Publisher: Tor

Second entry in a projected trilogy about the dysfunctional Dingillian family, though some of the ideas here harken back to an early Gerrold novel, When Harlie Was One. With medium-future Earth suffering a meltdown, the Dingillian brothers—18-year-old, logical "Weird" Douglas, 13-year-old "Chigger" Charles, and young "Stinky" Bobby—having divorced their quarrelsome, distracted parents, are fleeing up the space elevator and heading for the Moon. Their companion is Douglas's lover, the lunar resident Mickey. Hidden somewhere inside Bobby's pet robot monkey is a McGuffin so valuable that lawyers, secret agents, cops, and what-all are lining up to relieve them of it. Then the mad lunar-Russian Alexei Krislov shows up, declaring them in danger of being apprehended by bounty hunters. So they leave the elevator in a cargo capsule, landing on the Moon in a remote location. Alexei says he'll help them evade capture and get aboard a ship. But after various instructive adventures, the boys realize that Alexei isn't what he seems; neither is the robot monkey nor helpful Mickey. Still to come: lots of tears, hugs, and explanations before the proceedings wind up in yet another courtroom drama.

Despite the seeming plot by numbers: claustrophobic but probably okay for the YA audience, increasingly tedious for adults.