Jubilation sweeps planet earth after First Contact with extraterrestrials, the friendly and technologically advanced Djbrr—aliens with an attitude who love to party. Then catastrophe strikes earth’s greatest technological achievement, Grissom Base on Jupiter’s moon Io, and humanity faces a crisis of confidence. Earth’s top physicist responds, creating Excelsior, the craft he believes will travel faster than light, an achievement the Djbrr—like Albert Einstein—think is impossible. But the suspicious death of an Excelsior crewmember and an unknown scientist’s warning of hidden danger lurking behind the light barrier raise the question— Which is faster, the speed of light, or the speed of darkness?
Mingus strolled down the Las Vegas strip and into Caesars Palace, cool confidence in every stride of his multiply-jointed legs, cockiness in the carriage of his egg-shaped torso, and a piercing gleam in each of his elliptical sky-blue eyes. Catching his reflection in one of Caesars's mirrored walls, noting his crushed red velvet tuxedo, mauve shirt, bright pink bow tie and matching cummerbund (“Rat Pack with a twist!” his personal tailor called it), Mingus thought he looked like Frank Sinatra, Sean Connery, or perhaps even Clint Eastwood. Still admiring his reflection, he squinted his eyes, raised one of his six arms, cocked thumb and index finger, and whispered, “Do you feel lucky? Well do ya punk?
Seventy-two hours later, Mingus left Caesars without a credit to his name. The crowd had disappeared, the girls were long-gone, and a dozen exhausted dealers had returned home to their happy families, thousands of credits in tip money richer. Where did my system go wrong? he wondered. Well, there would be time enough to fix it. And when he did, Mr. Caesar better look out! First, though, he had other business to attend to. After all, Mingus was the Hero of First Contact, the first Djbrr Nobel Laureate, the first Djbrr celebrity, and the Science Officer on Excelsior, the first faster-than-light starship!
Move over Yoda, E.T. and Mr. Spock. The brilliant, hilarious, ovoid alien Mingus is a character straight out of Shakespeare's comedies—if the bard fast-forwarded a few thousand years. Mingus makes R2-D2 look like scrap metal!”
Lisa Brownell, author of the novel The Extraordinary Life of Sarah Bramble