is Tom Holt's 19th comic-fantasy romp. For a change it leans (sideways, of course) towards the lunatic fringe of science fiction, with unlikely aliens and cloning techniques at the heart of its demented plot.
Nerdish hero David Perkins falls in love with a girl in a painting, Philippa, who was burned as a witch 400 years ago. By amazing coincidence a lock of her hair comes up for auction. By totally staggering coincidence, David remembers a seedy London shop called HONEST JOHN'S HOUSE OF CLONES. How very, very convenient...
The trouble with the cloned Philippa isn't merely that she comes expensive (Honest John asks remarkably little, but that lock of hair was £15,000). It's that she somehow knows too much about the 21st century and already has a boyfriend who isn't David. Was everything a setup by her alleged father, suspiciously resembling the one-eyed god Odin? And who are all these similar-looking chaps with a missing eye? Attack of the Clones!
David's rollercoaster adventures continue with police arrest for murder, escape after a one-eyed lawyer gives him (a brand-new ploy) a cake hidden in a file, and abduction for sinister experiments aboard what certainly seems to be a UFO. The only logical explanation, of course, is a race of highly evolved, space-travelling frogs.
Further story convolutions are largely indescribable. Key ingredients include frogspawn, dandruff and (the secret of interstellar travel) white sugar. Soon there's more than one Philippa in circulation. Froggy transformations abound. David makes astonishing discoveries about his true identity and enormous family. Libel lawyers advise us not to quote the Microsoft jokes.
Cheerful silliness in the characteristic Holt style. --David Langford
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Praise for Tom Holt: 'Uniquely twisted ... cracking gags' Rob Grant, THE GUARDIAN, 'Frantically wacky and wilfully confusing ... gratifyingly clever and very amusing' MAIL ON SUNDAY, 'Frothy, fast and funny' SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY, 'Dazzling' TIME OUT, 'Wildly imaginative' NEW SCIENTIST