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BEATNIK RUTABAGAS FROM BEYOND THE STARS by Quentin Dodd

BEATNIK RUTABAGAS FROM BEYOND THE STARS

By Quentin Dodd

Age Range: 11 - 13

Pub Date: Sept. 10th, 2001
ISBN: 0-374-30515-3
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Two high-school freshmen head off both a space war and an invasion of Earth in this freewheeling debut. Qualified only by having watched more awful sci-fi videos together than anyone else on our planet, slacker Walter Nutria and punk Yselle Meridian are drafted as military leaders by notably inept alien rivals. One side is seemingly identical, middle-aged men in red pajamas from Planet Lirg, and the other style-conscious Wotwots aptly described in the title. More friends than rivals, Walter and Yselle manage to keep anyone from getting hurt, but the plot thickens when both sides lose their spacecraft to junk-loving Space Mice from Galaxy 4. They are minions of evil Doctoral Candidate X, who is building a flotilla to conquer Earth, “. . . the seat of all coolness in the Universe!” Foiling Doctoral Candidate X brings both teenagers back to their hometown of East Weston, where, after the Lirgians and Wotwots agree to call it a draw, Walter finally works up the nerve to ask Yselle to the Spring Dance. Some things never change. Owing as much to Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy as to all B-movie plots and conventions, this will draw chortles from readers who prefer their SF well-larded with surreal silliness. (Fiction. 11-13)