The Plot

(Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

The story is a quick-paced adventure that shifts back and forth among various groups and individuals. The first group, which is given the most attention, is made up of about a dozen people attending an outdoor flying saucer meeting in Southern California. They are in the middle of a discussion when a huge planet, in gaudy shades of purple and gold, suddenly materializes near the Moon in the night sky. This group spends the rest of the book trying to get to Vandenberg Two, home of the Moon Project and the U.S. Space Force’s newest base, which houses a scientist who can help them. The group encounters extreme tides caused by the new object in the sky, earthquakes and fires produced by flexing of the earth’s crust, roving gangs bent on mayhem, and medical emergencies.

The rest of the novel’s characters struggle in smaller groups or alone. One such group is composed of a young woman, a wealthy older man, and his African American assistants. Their story starts at a Florida beach, which they must escape to avoid the huge tides generated by the Wanderer, the name given to the new planet. They head inland, using money and weapons to help them avoid white supremacists and other malcontents.

A couple stranded in New York City by the huge tides spend their time eating, creating poetry, writing a play, and watching the drama unfold from the relative safety of a huge skyscraper. Three dope smokers wander throughout the same city in an attempt to make...

(The entire section is 509 words.)