Author: Alan Dean Foster
Publisher: Ace Books/The Berkley Publishing Group
Glory Lane is one of Foster's many one shot novels (which, quite frankly, were generally his best) written between the late 70's and early 90's.
The novel concerns two brothers, Seeth and Kevin, from Albuquerque, who stumble upon an alien fugitive and his strange interdimensional pet one night in a bowling alley, on the run from alien bounty hunters. Their involvement with him leads to romance with a cheerleader, a punk rock band formed of Seeth and a number of Cromagnons, and the near ending of the universe.
The book is a series of fairly fast and fantastic images, and is a very entertaining read. Some of the best lines from it:
"He paused to consider the cacophany thoughtfully. When you thought about it, bowling was nothing more than subliminated destruction. When he and his budies smashed a car window or busted a few bottles in the park, they called it vandalism. When here, in this temple of violence, hour after hour, day after day, the good citizens delighted in heaving fifteen pounds of hardened plastic at innocent immobile targets. The fact that the pins didn't shatter in no way mitigated the delight the bowlers experienced at knocking down something that coulnd't fight back.
Invent bowling pins that screamed and bled, he thought, and you'd make a fortune"Italics mine
'Kevin looked thoughtful. "You know, when Arthwit here introduced himself properly, we thought he and his Prufillians were super-powerful. Then we started wondering if maybe it wasn't the Oomemians. Next the Isotat hsowed up, and then the Sikan. Now you guys talk about moving worlds around like cookie crumbs, commuting between galaxies and studying eleven dimensions.
"I was just wondering what's next up on the scale? I mean, the Pruffilians were watching the Oomemians and the Oomemians were watchign everybody in their neighborhood and the Isotat were watching everybody and the Sikan came over to check out them. Who's watching you? Are there others above the Halet, or are you the ones on the top rung of the ladder of intelligence?"
"We don't know," said Brittle, spreading his hands. "We suspsect, but we can't prove anything. If there's anything or anybody else out there watching us and keeping a jaundiced eye on what we do, it's superior enough to move around incognito. But we do suspect there's something more."
"You mean, like a deity?"
"Hey, I know a wild deity." Seeth reached for his instrument.
"Not ditty, deity." Kevin shook his head sadly. "The fate of whole races, whole galaxies is at stake here and you make jokes?"
"About the best thing to do, actually," Odenaw declared, "according to the evidence we've been able to put together." Symbols began to appear in the pearlescent atmosphere.
"You have your E = MC?2. The Prufillians and Oomemians have their pure catastrophe theory. The Isotat and Sikan know dimensional causation. We've gone a bit beyond all that. Our most brilliant and innovative minds working together down through the eons have succeeded in producing this."
Kevin stared at the ranked, indecipherable symbols that glowed in front of him. "What's it mean?"
Brittle sounded proud. "That is conclusive mathematical proof that whatever exists on the next level of intelligence above us possesses a terrific sense of humor."