Synopses & Reviews
Over the course of thirty years, William Kotzwinkle has solidified his reputation as a versatile and enormously imaginative storyteller. After a best-selling foray into children's books with the beloved Walter the Farting Dog series, he now offers a rip-roaring ride through the future of the universe, his first adult novel since The Bear Went Over the Mountain
Deep in the bowels of Junk Moon, the finest scientists of Planet Immortal are nearing completion of a project that will unlock the secret of immortality, left by the Ancient Aliens before they departed the known world. Project Amphora is run by the Consortium, twelve of the planet's most influential movers and shakers. They aren't the only ones after immortality: Commander Jockey Oldcastle, a wise-cracking space pirate, has heard about the Amphora Project from a banished scientist who is convinced it will lead to the end of the world. Oldcastle sets off to find the project with Adrian Link, a timid botanist who wants only to tend to his plants on the Agricultural Plain, yet Oldcastle finds himself trying to unravel a strange mystery: It seems the Amphora Project is turning the citizens of Planet Immortal into crystal. As time runs out, it is up to Oldcastle and Link and Link's exotic, unlikely love interest to stop their mysterious extra-dimensional enemy before their world is lost forever. Hilarious, wildly inventive, and featuring a fantastical cast of mutants, quasi-human robots, intergalactic mercenaries, and two-thousand-year-old immortals, The Amphora Project is a novel that combines elements of science fiction and fantasy and transcends the boundaries of both.
"Kotzwinkle's first adult novel since The Bear Went Over the Mountain (1996) is a rollicking old-school space opera complete with sensitive robots, wily space aliens and secretive societies in turmoil. In a lab hidden inside the notorious Junk Moon, scientists on the Amphora Project strive to find the key to immortality from encoded data left behind long ago by the mysterious 'Ancient Aliens.' Stuart Landsmann, the project's chief scientist, tells Amphora's backers they must stop the research or risk bringing about the end of the world, but his warnings are ignored. Jockey Oldcastle, space pirate and rogue, teams up with mild-mannered biologist Adrian Link to uncover the truth about Amphora, as people around the project start dying, their bodies transformed to crystal. The story twists along at breakneck pace through a future of absurd decadence and immense possibility. Along the way, Kotzwinkle fans will find sharply resonant moments as well as pointed humor and insight into human nature at its worst and best. Agents, Elaine Markson and Ron Bernstein." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"An entertaining trip through an exotic future full of weird technology and plenty of heroics and adventure in the company of bizarre creatures." Booklist
"Science fiction with a humorous bent...Frothy, sassy entertainment." Kirkus Reviews
"Those who prefer hard science, however speculative, are advised to look elsewhere. But for a diverting tale and some good-hearted fun, this may be just the book for some readers. Recommended..." Library Journal
Before they departed the known universe, the Ancient Aliens left behind the secret of immortality. Deep in the bowels of Junk Moon, a satellite of Planet Immortal, the planet's finest scientists are nearing completion of a project that will unlock that secret. Project Amphora is run by the Consortium Guard, twelve of the planet's most influential movers and shakers, including the all-seeing, all-powerful chief of intelligence, the Autonomous Observer. She isn't the only one after immortality: Commander Jockey Oldcastle, a wise-cracking rogue space pirate has heard about the Amphora Project from a banished scientist who is convinced it will lead to the end of the world. Together with his crew including his mutant navigator Lizardio from Planet Serpentia, his young, timid botanist Adrian Link and Link's futsy robot sidekick Upquark he sets off to find the Amphora project. But as it nears completion, the Amphora Project begins mysteriously turning the citizens of Planet Immortal into crystal. An extra-dimensional enemy is using the Amphora Project and the promise of immortality to immobilize them and cyphon off their precious energy reserves. As time runs out, it is up to Oldcastle and his crew to stop them before their world is lost forever.
Hilarious, wildly inventive, this tale features a fantastical cast of mutants, quasihuman robots, intergalactic mercenaries, and two-thousand-year-old immortals involved with the quest to discover--or destroy--the secrets of immortality.
About the Author
William Kotzwinkle has written such classics as The Fan Man, Doctor Rat, Swimmer in the Secret Sea, E. T. the Extra Terrestrial, and The Bear Went Over the Mountain. He is a two-time recipient of the National Magazine Award for Fiction, and a Book Critics Circle Award nominee. He has won many other honors here and abroad, including the World Fantasy Award. His children's books include the best-selling Walter the Farting Dog series.