ENCOUNTER NEAR VENUS by Leonard Wibberley


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Wibberley is a good writer...imaginative. It's too bad that this frothy little fantasy dissipates even before it can act as a diversion. Four children (two brothers -- two sisters) are sent to their mysterious Uncle Bill's house in a Colorado wasteland for an eight week summer vacation. Before their plane lands they have managed to spot two flying saucers (one pink). Equally colorful adventures are in store as they discover that Uncle Bill was a passenger on the pink one and is a frequenter of ""Nede,"" a satellite of Venus. It seems that Bill, previously not a fancier of Children, was totally unprepared for their visit, let alone their discovery of the tinkerbelle lights that communicate in Morse code. There's nothing left for him to do but to take them with him on an important mission to Nede where they find Wibberley's version of Fantasia complete with mermaids, baby gorgons, Cockney centaurs, Irish sea elephants, dolphins and a nefarious serpent named Ka, the Smiler. There's a little morality lesson about good and evil as well as group consciousness vs. individualism fortunately de-sugarized by the author's tongue-in-cheek presentation. But like the fiberglass flying saucer, it's transparent.

Pub Date: April 14th, 1967
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux (Ariel Books)