Astrophysics and cosmology play around with haphazard cheer in an experimental comedy that could be a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy for kids.
Joss is 13 (well, “more like a few billion and thirteen”) and lives in The Realms, a huge place “inside what you call dark matter.” As seventh son of the Supreme Overlord of the Universe, Joss’ job is to deliver pies. He only partially understands why it matters—after his deliveries, “[s]omehow the Powers That Be distribute the pies to the far reaches of the universe, wherever new star systems are forming”—but he understands the rule (like Star Trek’s Prime Directive) that The Realms “never interfere with the planets’ natural evolution.” That said, if any planetary life-form sees The Realms, the penalty is “immediate disintegration of the entire planet.” Yet when human Annika Klutzman spots a Realms pie-baker through a telescope, the PTB don’t demolish Earth—they rip it “out of the space-time continuum” so it never existed (sort of). Annika herself materializes inexplicably in The Realms, where she and Joss labor to rebuild Earth’s solar system. Chapters open with tantalizing quotes from the likes of Stephen Hawking, Neil deGrasse Tyson and, of course, Carl Sagan: “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.”
Science and absurdity frolic together to gleeful effect. (author’s note) (Fantasy. 8-12)