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Quofum Hardcover – October 28, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; 1 edition (October 28, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345496051
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345496058
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,917,553 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Setting the stage for the final book in the popular Pip and Flinx series, this intriguing first contact mystery ends on a cliffhanger without resolving a thing. In an otherwise unremarkable star system outside Commonwealth space, the planet Quofum seems to appear and disappear at will. A crew of xenologists sent to study the life forms that enjoy Quofum's earthlike atmosphere and alcohol-laced water oceans are shocked to discover four primitive intelligent species so unlike one another that they couldn't possibly have evolved on the same world, as well as a vast underground complex full of mysterious technology. While this novel may fill in background details for Flinx Transcendent, expected next year, it's hard to see why one needs an entire book of what is, essentially, backstory. (Oct.)
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From Booklist

The lead-in to the end of the Pip and Flinx saga tracks a scientific expedition to Quofum, which doesn’t always exist. It moves, and its astonishing riot of life-forms—everything from predatory plants to many intelligent species—with it. While the science crew studies the natives, the maintenance tech, who’s actually a debt collector, leaves the planet, marooning everybody else. They keep collecting data, anyway, and discover why the planet sporadically disappears and the promise of a terrible threat to come. Foster clearly enjoys imagining Quofum’s profuse biota, so much that the book is tantamount to a stand-alone, though certainly significant in the greater epic. --Regina Schroeder

Customer Reviews

I have read and enjoyed Alan Dean Fosters books for many years and thoroughly enjoy them.
Ken Kendall
I expected a sequel in the Pip & Flinx series, this used the same setting (time and premises) but did not share characters.
J Huppler
Most of his stories though have an annoying drawback, they are not tightly woven and they leave threads dangling.
Nash Android

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Barr on March 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is sub-par for Foster (a great author in my book). He's one of my favorite authors, but the last few books don't even sound like they were written by him. The same elements are there but all the magic is gone. There's no suspense, the characters are flat, and the whole book reeks of deus ex machina intervention.
This book was below the bar even as a random read from the bookstore shelf, much less from an author with the ability to produce truly excellent work. I bought the book without even looking further than the by-line, and it was an incredible disappointment.
Skip this one.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on November 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The Humanx Commonwealth is intrigued with the unique planet Quofum, which is outside their sector, because the orb appears to vanish and reappear off their monitors. Captain Boylen is assigned to escort four xenologists to study the planet especially the life forms since the oceans contain alcohol.

Thus he and his crew bring two men, one woman and a Thanx to the mysterious planet. Upon arrival they find three shockers. First there are several primitive but intelligent species that are so dissimilar they could never evolve on the same orb. Second they encounter thousands of other various life-forms never seen anywhere else. Finally as mysterious as the diversity findings prove, the visitors have no idea who made a gigantic underground compound containing technology and gadgetry none of the scientists recognize.

This is a well written tale crucial to the expected final Pip and Flinx novel though the two stars never appear in QUOFUM. The story line is fast-paced and exciting, but disappointingly never finishes any key thread; instead it sets the background for that Pip and Flinx finale. Consequently fans of the saga will have mixed feelings about the trip to QUOFUM.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Gary Shea on April 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover
At two key points I was slapped into recognizing that Alan Dean Foster writes book series. I know I know it says A BOOK OF THE COMMONWEALTH on the dust jacket. What was to me a Greek middle (i.e. coming from out of nowhere) might not have been if I had been familiar with Foster's universe. I find that I prefer a novel that can stand on its own especially in terms of plot and resolution. I think I can handle a trilogy - especially if I know a book is part of one. The ending of QUOFUM is deferment, which is definitely not fulfilling. A book should be able to be both - part of a grand series and a rich work in and of itself.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By David A. Lessnau on September 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Alan Dean Foster's "Quofum" is a book that goes nowhere. Oh, technically, the writing's very nice. But, there's no point to the book. Outside of a whole lot of descriptive prose describing what the science team at the core of the book is doing, nothing happens. Worse, the mechanism used to leave that crew to their own devices (about the middle of the book) just comes out of the blue and is nonsensical (it's so silly that I almost stopped reading there (I wish I had)). For the coup de grace, the rest of the book consists of even more pointless descriptive prose followed by 10 pages or so of deus ex machina that fails to even tie anything up. If the writing were technically bad, I'd be happy to rate this at an Awful 1 star out of 5. But, in all honesty, I can't do that. So, I'll bump it up to a Bad 2 stars out of 5.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ronald Stepp on February 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Pip and Flinx used to be my favorite series for Sci-Fi and the early books (Tar Aym Krang, etc) rocked.

Today I have no idea where ADF is going with the characters, they're just not interesting at all and I have no idea what the latest book is any more, since he keeps dribbling the books out based on some arcane schedule. The first couple of Commonwealth books were also something I looked forward to, but with this rambling, incoherent, and bland book Qofum it just has lost any interest for me.

Even the opening of most of ADFs early books really drew you in, this one just made me start to wonder why I was going to invest any time in it.

I think David Weber also has the same problem, the latest Honor Harrington Books seemed to be cheap and flatly uninteresting and seemed to bank on the fanbase established in the good old days.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Baruch Spinoza on December 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Quofum has no plot, no long-term antagonist (think bad sentient), boring protagonists (think good sentients) and spends nearly all of its content describing alien life forms and an alien planet. The mysterious evil approaching the commonwealth continues to be a vague stereotype and I am hoping that it will rapidly swallow Flinx, Pip and ADF's future horrible writing.

What few plot lines exist are quickly terminated or go nowhere such as the assassination of the mission leader by a Quarm, a romance, connecting with several other species on the planet, and the discovery of and subsequent eternal imprisonment within the planet's technological core. Foster provides the planet's secrets in a rush in the last pages and we are left with three boring sentients as planetary prisoners eternally waiting until they are either consumed by this unknown evil racing towards the Commonwealth or until they unlikely provide some sort of miracle.

ADF has the capacity to write well as proven by the Tar Aym Krang, Excerpts to Reality and a very few other books but otherwise he often writes poorly when it comes to plot. Quofum sadly is an example of his poor writing and it makes readers like myself disappointed that Flinx, Pip and the Commonwealth story became so utterly bad and boring over the decades.

I would not recommend this book to anyone and I am astonished that other reviewers actually found it in any way enjoyable or well written.
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More About the Author

Alan Dean Foster's work to date includes excursions into hard science-fiction, fantasy, horror, detective, western, historical, and contemporary fiction. He has also written numerous non-fiction articles on film, science, and scuba diving, as well as having produced the novel versions of many films, including such well-known productions as "Star Wars", the first three "Alien" films, "Alien Nation", and "The Chronicles of Riddick". Other works include scripts for talking records, radio, computer games, and the story for the first "Star Trek" movie. His novel "Shadowkeep" was the first ever book adapation of an original computer game. In addition to publication in English his work has been translated into more than fifty languages and has won awards in Spain and Russia. His novel "Cyber Way" won the Southwest Book Award for Fiction in 1990, the first work of science-fiction ever to do so.

Foster's sometimes humorous, occasionally poignant, but always entertaining short fiction has appeared in all the major SF magazines as well as in original anthologies and several "Best of the Year" compendiums. His published oeuvre includes more than 100 books.



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