The Time of the Transference (Spellsinger, Book 6)
Alan Dean Foster
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In the talking-animal world of Foster's Spellsinger series, the songs of transplanted rock musician Jon-Tom make a powerful if often misdirected magic. The quests he undertakes for his wizardly mentor send him to distant countries, where he meets whimsical creatures speaking in outlandish accents. With more memorable and dramatic adventures behind him, Jon-Tom is off this time on the fantasy equivalent of a trip to the repair shop. The breaking of his magical duar is the occasion for encounters with pirates, cannibals, talkative porpoises, a flying horse who's scared of heights and the lovely, level-headed otter Weegee, who becomes the love of Jon-Tom's irascible companion Mudge. Though always amiable, this novel sounds more and more like an impromptu bedtime story that has been extended beyond the teller's powers of invention.
Originally published 1986 by Phantasia Press.
you, luv. It beggars understandin’, it does.” As soon as his friends had concealed themselves Jon-Tom stepped up on the porch of the building which was at least as old as the wiring he’d encountered below. Clearly this was not one of the tourist highspots of the Lone Star state. He rapped twice on the screen door before noticing the small sign set inside. GONE BOWLING – BACK IN A WEEK Someone who knew how to relax, he reflected. On a hunch he opened the unsecured screen door and tried the door
Jon-Tom took the sandwich. Droplets of jelly oozed from the edges. His stomach jumped. “Go on, mate,” Mudge urged him. “If I wanted to poison you I’ve ’ad a dozen better opportunities than this.” Jon-Tom closed his eyes and took a deep bite out of the sandwich. His mouth froze and his taste buds exploded. Raspberry. He chewed, swallowed the wondrous concoction, and took another bite. Grape. To his utter astonishment each bite had a different flavor. Huckleberry, cherry, lingonberry, pear and so
of what looked like flattened apples. “Look like benina tree but is something else.” “You mean ‘banana,’” Jon-Tom corrected him. “What ‘banana’? I mean benina. You never seen benina tree, man? Fruit is bigger and yellow. Peels this way.” He demonstrated. “You eat one, you can’t stop. Want to eat everything on the tree. That why it called what it called. We see someone come back with bad bellyache, holding stomach and moaning, we know he benina tree too long.” “And I suppose that’s not a
She sat up fast. Otters do not awaken gradually. “What’s wrong, Jon-Tom?” “Mudge has disappeared.” She was on her feet fast and he moved to wake Cautious. “Ain’t here.” The raccoon turned a slow circle. “Wonder what happened to him, you bet.” “He’s always hungry,” said a worried Weegee. “Maybe he’s just gone berry hunting or something. Let’s shout his name simultaneously and see what happens.” “Right.” Jon-Tom cupped his hands to his mouth. “All together now: one, two, three. …” “MUDGE!”
shin, the same one that Picket had sampled. He yelled. “Hello Talea, hello Talea—is that all you can say after years have gone by, you mindless son of a whore? Years! Not one letter, not one frigging postcard.” “But Talea my sweet, there’s no mail service between worlds.” She advanced on him and he backed up as best he could on one good leg. “Don’t give me any of your clever spellsinger excuses. Years I’ve been waiting for you, years hoping you would come back so I could tell you how angry I