WILDSIDE by Steven Gould


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Eighteen-year-old Charlie Newell has inherited a farm from his uncle Max, and has plenty of ideas how to make money for college from it: In the barn, you see, is a tunnel with a gateway to an alternate world, the wildside, teeming with wildlife and bulging with mineral deposits, where humans never evolved. Charlie brings in his closest friends, Marie and Joey (an item) and Clare and Rick (another item), and insists that they all learn to fly: They'll need planes on the wildside to reach the gold deposits they hope to exploit. Charlie, anticipating eventual outside interference, protects the farm with elaborate defenses, and brings in lawyer Luis to handle the legal aspects. Problems still arise: Joey, it seems, is an alcoholic, while Rick is gay. All goes well, though, until they bring back their first shipment of gold and the farm is assaulted by soldiers who don't care who gets hurt so long as they gain control of the gate. So Charlie and friends close the gate while they debate how to proceed, concluding that they must physically move the gate to another location in order for some of the wildsiders to escape and alert the forces of law and order. Much later, it turns out that the gate-crashers are led by a renegade CIA bigwig; not only that, but Charlie's mother and uncle Max were from the world that invented the gate and left home to search for a way to help their own polluted world. A splendid adventure from the author of Jumper (1992), solidly plotted and with above-average characters, of particular appeal to the younger sections of the audience.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0982911939
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Tor