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Scavenger Hunt

by Stephen Goldin

Scavenger Hunt - Stephen Goldin
Part of the The Society Universe series:
Editions:ePub: $ 4.99Paperback: $ 12.99
ISBN: 978-1448630752
Pages: 344

The idle rich of galactic Society had little to do that was productive, so they loved to invent useless little games to keep themselves occupied--and the greatest was the Scavenger Hunt, held only once every 20 years. Visit different worlds, pick up hard-to-get items that can't simply be bought, and have a fine time. A clever way to pass empty hours.

Tyla deVrie and her twin brother, Bred, follow the family tradition of entering the Scavenger Hunt. Their parents died during the last Hunt 20 years ago, and they mean to regain the family honor. But as they hop from planet to planet aboard Bred's decadent space yacht with its all-woman crew, fate seems to be making the Scavenger Hunt far more than just a game. It will irrevocably change their lives--that is, if it doesn't end them first.

Reviews:Linell Jeppsen on wrote:

Wow! Honestly, I could use every exclamatory word in the dictionary, and it wouldn't be a good enough word to describe how excellent this novel is. I picked it up yesterday- just to get a feel for it deep into the midnight hours and kept on reading until it was, I'm sorry it's over.

In the far, galactic future there is a ruling class of citizen. They are so wealthy, so elite, they've managed to wipe out any ambition whatsoever- why worry about ambition when everything in the universe is already at their fingertips? The only thing that really matters to this jaded "Society" is... The Scavenger Hunt- a hunt so costly, so deadly, it takes place only once every twenty years.

Bred DeVrie has reluctantly entered his spaceship, the Honey B, and his all female crew, into this years scavenger hunt, at the insistence of his spoiled twin sister, Tyla. Tyla is the epitome of high society with all of it's flaws (arrogance, entitlement, pride), but deep inside, she is just a young woman who feels the need to win the hunt for the sake of her family's honor and in memory of her parents, who died twenty years earlier, while competing in the hunt.

It was the hunt itself that took my breath away. Each contestant is tasked with the acquisition of rare and deadly objects from worlds scattered throughout the galaxy. From the dream booths of post apocalyptic, Lethe, to the forests of Ootyoce, the warring planet, Eclipsiascus, to the dragon world, Gondra, our intrepid crew meets each challenge with wit and unsurpassed bravery.

Enter the android, Jonathon, and a ruthless competitor, named Amber Jusser; a fantastically difficult challenge now enters a whole new level of though the risk of life and limb is not enough, love, revenge, loyalty and honor complicates matters, forcing the twins to grow up and to see their world and the galaxy with new eyes...

Too many to count. The editing is spot-on perfect, the dialogue, realistic and snappy.
Mr. Goldin's grasp of science is absolute, but instead of shouting his knowledge, and bamboozling the reader with a lot of high-tech goobledegook, his narrative is calm and thorough enough to teach me a thing or two about space travel.
His world building is breathtaking and sometimes too scary for comfort-

I'm sorry, but there are no negatives in this novel
Perhaps (if I stretch it) you could argue that there might be a little too much sex (I liked it)
and I can honestly say that I began to despair that one of the main protagonists might be irredeemable... but.

This is one of the best science fiction novels I have ever read. It belongs up there with one of my all-time favorites, Deathstalker by Simon Green. It is filled with pageantry, adventure, love, revenge and lots and lots of SPACE!

T. Jackson King on wrote:

"Stephen Goldin's scifi adventure novel Scavenger Hunt is one hell of a ride in adventure land! It takes Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous and transports it from star to star as the super-rich seek to collect rare items they need in order to win their society's creme de la creme event, the Scavenger Hunt. All else takes second place to winning, including morality, ethics, dealing with aliens, and intentionally trying to kill your opponents. That is, until Tyla de Vrie and her brother Brad enter the contest with a tough ship, an all-woman crew that loves to get laid, and a determination to redeem the death of their parents. But money is not everything, as they all come to realize when an android--a biological duplicate of normal humans--joins their crew. Johnathan the android turns out to be the joker in the deck of remarkable characters aboard the starship Honey B. The nasties are there of course, and well done they are. But the surprises of alien life found during the multiple stops of the Hunt are wonderfully developed, the alien cultures are distinct, and the high society's fixation on appearances and looks is delightfully punctured. While Tyla and Brad may be trillionaires, they don't act like super-rich folks. They act like people who can be conflicted, who need love, and who need a better reason to live than just to win a stupid contest. Goldin's Hunt reminds us of how hard the journey to discovering one's humanity can be, and how rewarding the eventual discovery can be. Outstanding story told wonderfully well."

NOTE: This book was originally published by Laser Books in two parts, Scavenger Hunt and Finish Line. The Parsina Press edition is complete in one volume, as it was originally intended.

About the Author

STEPHEN GOLDIN is a Nebula Award finalist science fiction and fantasy writer who was born in 1947 in the city of Philadelphia. When he was 13, his parents moved to California and, upon reflection, he decided to accompany them. It was a lucky thing he did, too; otherwise, when he went to college, the commute to UCLA would have been quite difficult. He eventually graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor's degree in Astronomy.

His first job out of college was as a civilian space scientist for the U.S. Navy. The urge to write was strong, though, and after several years he left to try writing full time. He only regretted the move every other Thursday, when he would have gotten paid.

After several years of genteel poverty, he took a job as writer/editor for a pornographic humor paper, the San Francisco Ball. In retrospect, this was a great crucible; because of deadline pressure, he had to learn to make his writing dirty, funny, and one draft.

At about this time, too, he began selling novels on a regular basis. While he has, from time to time, held down other full-time employment (he helped design the Star Trek: The Next Generation computer game "A Final Unity" for Spectrum HoloByte and has also written manuals and game design documents for Maxis), his real love is fiction writing and he continues to pursue it.

His first wife was fellow author Kathleen Sky. In the 10+ years of their marriage, in addition to their individual works, they collaborated on a pair of stories ("Painting the Roses Red" and "The Devil Behind the Leaves") about the diMedicis, a family of interstellar swindlers.

Mr. Goldin's current wife is fellow author Mary Mason. They currently live in the San Francisco East Bay area. So far they have co-authored two books in the Rehumanization of Jade Darcy series: Jade Darcy and the Affair of Honor and Jade Darcy and the Zen Pirates. More books in this series are planned.

Mr. Goldin is an atheist whose interests include Broadway show albums and surrealist art. He has lived with cats virtually all his adult life.

Mr. Goldin served the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America as editor of the SFWA Bulletin and as SFWA's Western Regional Director.