I, Effing Feline, have spent the last month trying to become independent of humans by learning how to open cat food cans. I’ve decided there’s an easier way, though — Let Ed open the cans, fill my bowl, and clean the bowl when I’m done.
What’s that you say? That’s what I was doing before?
There’s a difference! Now I’ll accept the food like a proper cat — as though it’s my due and Ed is nothing more than hired help. To prove my point, I’ll even leave him a tip. Any suggestions how much I should leave?
Now a word from our sponsor, The Solid Gold Aliens. Naive shepherd Tresky Buffrum meets beautiful Ebbril and marries her the very next day. But she takes his money and abandons him at The Happy Louse Inn. He waits all day on a slotporch, in case she returns — and to his surprise, she does. Instead of apologizing, though, she defends herself aggressively.
“Let me tell you something about me, Tresky Buffrum. I’m a very moral person, possibly the most righteous person you’ve ever met, and I have overwhelming reasons for what I do — better reasons than you can imagine or even understand. It was necessary to leave you alone this morning, but I can’t, and won’t, explain myself.”
“But, Ebbril –”
“I won’t explain further.”
“No ‘buts,’ Tresky.”
He fumed, torn between wanting to quarrel and wanting to believe her proud declaration. It was hard, though, to imagine anyone more righteous than his mother, a respected rancher and matriarch who was too honorable to get someone drunk, rob him, and abandon him.
“But the Happy Louse,” Tresky said, hating the whine in his voice but unable to help it.
Effing Feline here again. I’ve decided on the tip I’ll leave. After each meal, I shall leave Ed . . .
A hair ball. Perfect, no?
The Solid Gold Aliens
For 500 years, the aliens were no threat. But they were just waiting . . .
All Tresky Buffrum wants is a taste of adventure before resigning himself to the life of a shepherd. What he gets instead is a mysterious wife, fiercely chaste, who drags him to the Midas Crater, where hundreds of the planet’s intelligent natives have been transformed into gold.
Everyone on the caravan has an ulterior motive — except Tresky, who just wants to make love to his wife. Spies are everywhere. An Offworlder hero runs mad and murders people. A grim policewoman becomes attracted to Tresky while struggling to capture the psychotic sniper.
Observing this bizarre trek across the desert is an old, mute, lion-like alien. After befriending Tresky despite stern taboos, Virtrillica seeks a reason for her people to spare humans from a blast of extinction. Can the two of them save humankind and defeat the interplanetary conspirators who seek to destroy the Midas Crater and its sinister yet liberating secret?