Running from the Deity
by Alan Dean Foster
Review by Paul Haggerty
Del Rey Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 0345461592
Date: 25 October, 2005 List Price $24.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
As in previous novels, Foster sets out to create an alien society filled with aliens which are comprehensible enough to seem harmless, and yet different in enough ways to cause our hero untold grief. The planet Arrawd is a primitive world filled with warring nation-states just on the edge of the steam-age. As such the world is strictly off-limits to all galactic visitors due to Prime Directive type laws. Of course Flinx has never allowed himself to be put off by anything as silly as laws made by mentally defective bureaucrats. His ship needs repairs and the planet has the necessary natural resources. They'll be in and out without anyone knowing they were ever there. Of course, as with any plan, it's doomed from step one.
Running from the Deity is a tale of culture clash, where a lower technological society comes crashing into contact with a extremely high-tech society. While stretching his legs, Flinx manages to mildly injure himself and is found by a native Dwarran fisherman. Even knowing full well he should retreat to his ship and avoid any contact, Flinx is too interested in the natives to let the opportunity pass. Besides, what harm could come of it? But contact with the fisherman and his spouse leads to contact with other natives, and then more and more. Because Flinx's utility belt contains any number of fabulous devices the natives are hard pressed not to think of as magic, there is a considerable amount of awe, and a fair bit of speculation on just how Flinx can improve their standard of living. And while the only devices he'll readily demonstrate are the medical ones, this is more than enough to start the word spreading and the pilgrims flowing in. Within no time the cult of the Great God Flinx is spreading and Flinx is beginning to have a lot more respect for those wise and benevolent bureaucrats who so wisely laid down restrictions to keep bumblers from screwing up whole planets.
Running from the Deity is a pretty normal Alan Dean Foster story. Flinx gets himself in trouble, waffles for a while, and then finally pulls himself together and does what has to be done. If you've enjoyed the others in the series, you'll like this one. If you're new to the series, you should check out the first book For Love of Mother-Not, or if you're really dedicated, Nor Crystal Tears, the first book in the Humanx Commonweath series in which Pip & Flinx are but a small part.