Name that Oscar
Gordon gave to his longhorse.
(From the Latin adage ars longa, vita brevis: "Art [is] long, but life
[is] short." The name may also have been intended as a pun: "long arse,"
because of the animal's unusual length from a human perspective.)
Store in Heliopolis
Gordon rented camping gear and bought copies of the Herald Tribune.
[French, "at the least]
The destination of Oscar
Gordon, Star, and Rufo on Nevia,
through which they could reach Mile-High
Tower. The Gate was a means of travelling between planets and universes.
Specific Gates were connected only with certain other locations; travelers
could not use just any Gate to get to any destination.
Capital world of the Twenty
Universes. It was Earthlike, but lacked Earth's natural disasters. It
attracted tourists from throughout the Twenty Universes.
Cybernetic record of the experiences of all 203 Emperors of the Twenty
Universes. Each new Emperor had all the prior knowledge implanted in
his/her memory to provide continuity in the government. Star
Gordon to help reclaim it after it was stolen by a dissident faction.
Gordon returned to Germany one his way home from Vietnam, he hoped to
visit his mother, stepmother and siblings in Wiesbaden, but discovered they
had just left for the United States on their way to his stepfather's new
assignment at Elmendorf AFB in Alaska.
The term "emperor" is inaccurate for the rule and function of the leader
of the Twenty
Universes, but there is no accurate English translation for the true
Contraption that can hold a truckload of goods but fold in on itself to
the size and weight of a normal backpack, by "folding" the contents into other
dimensions. Rufo carried
one on the expedition through Nevia, but
lost it in the swamp.
Transport ship that Oscar
Gordon barely avoided taking to the U.S. (he wanted to be sent to Germany)
after his Army discharge.
Transport ship headed for Germany via Singapore; Oscar
Gordon hitched a ride on an Australian airship to catch it.
Global Association of Atomic Scientists
Organization to which Donald
Cargraves belonged, which enabled him to acquire atomic fuel for
experimentation (actually to load into the moon rocket).
(Rocket Ship Galileo)
Born Evelyn Cyril Gordon, a college football hero with fencing skills who
was drafted for the Vietnam "police action", and discharged after receiving a
facial scar in battle. While living in Europe, he answered an ad for "a brave
man" and was recruited by Star to help
her retrieve the Egg of the
Phoenix. He and Star were married during the journey; he learned only
later her true status and identity. He lived with her for a while in her
capital; but after realizing he had no useful function there he returned to
Earth. Finding life on Earth equally unsatisfactory he managed to contact his
other companion on the quest, Star's grandson Rufo, and
returned to the adventuring life. With a name like Evelyn Cyril, he acquired
several nicknames: "Easy" from E.C., and for his easy style of running;
"Flash", from his college football career, which he disdained; "Scar" after
his injury, "Oscar" being Star's version of this.
Large, troll-like golem designed to prevent travellers from entering Nevia
Valley. Not too bright and easily offended, he was goaded into attacking
Gordon headlong and was destroyed by shoving his foot in his mouth until
he'd swallowed himself and disappeared.
Gordon bought a ticket as a tribute to the Goddess of Fortune after he got
his discharge to Germany. He later won 52 more tickets in poker games; most of
them turned out to be forged, but after returning from his quest for the Egg of the
Phoenix, he learned that one of them had won him a substantial amount, of
which most went to state and federal taxes.
Jim (no last name)
[mentioned in passing] The husband of Oscar
Gordon's old girlfriend; he was away from home on business when she
invited him to dinner "for old time's sake".
Girl who sent Oscar
Gordon a Dear John letter, but contacted him after he'd returned from the
quest for the Egg of the
Phoenix. She was clearly interested in renewing their "friendship" in
spite of her marriage, but he backed out.
World that has almost the only Gates to Karth-Hokesh.
It is thus important to the Twenty
Universes, but Nevia has no interest in the outside world. The people are
generally friendly to outsiders, but the animal life is extremely hostile and
Gordon, Star, and Rufo
traversed its lands to reach the Gate. Star taught Oscar its language, "rich
in profanity and words for making love".
Old Nasty (no other name)
Gordon's name for His Wisdom CLXXXII, a predecessor of Star. His
memory imprint affected her badly. She described him as a brilliant success in
a critical age but a bad-tempered beast who hated the very people he helped.
Peasant who returned to the Doral
the longhorses that Star, Rufo,
Gordon had borrowed. Seeing his awe of the group, Oscar "knighted" him,
bestowing on him the name Lerdki 't Pug Easy. Privately, however, Oscar called
him "Manure Foot".
Those encountered on Nevia were
as large as wolves, and hungrier. Oscar
Gordon had a phobia about them, stemming from unpleasant childhood
experiences; one of the Eater of
Soul's attacks was an hallucination of a rat swarm.
Renault (no first name)
Employee of American Express in Nice, France, who confirmed that Oscar
Gordon's winning Irish Sweepstakes ticket was counterfeit.
grandson and a comparative culturologist. He acted as Oscar
Gordon's groom on the quest for the Egg of the
Phoenix. After Oscar returned to Earth and realized he was not happy
there, he contacted Rufo and they set off searching for another adventure.
Some of Rufo's colleagues called him "the Mad Scientist" for his radical
Name most commonly used by the Empress of the Twenty
Universes. The Egg of the
Phoenix, which contained the memories of all her predecessors, was stolen
just before her reign. She recruited Oscar
Gordon for the quest to retrieve it; they were married during the quest.
After retrieving the Egg, she returned to the task of absorbing the memories
of all her predecessors and making decisions for the worlds within the realm.
Her official title is Her Wisdom CCIV, and her given name has numerous
variations, including Aster, Esther, Estrellita, Ettarre. The Doral
called her Ettyboo and various other nicknames; Oscar usually called her
Guest at a party Oscar
Gordon and Star
attended on Center. A
student food designer and mathematico-sybarite, she was disappointed when
Oscar turned down her proposition but delighted by the sandwich he'd made
himself. She was particularly entranced by Lady
Sylvester (no first name)
Couple mentioned in a conversation overhead by Oscar
Gordon on a bus; cited as an example of everything he no longer understood
about Earth culture.
Domain that extends through various dimensions, encompassing a number of
worlds within the dimensions. It is not explicitly described, but it is ruled
by an "emperor" (see Star) who
cybernetically absorbs the memories and experiences of all previous emperors.
The capital world, Center, is
a cosmopolitan crossroads for the many species that inhabit the Twenty
Establishment in Paris that Oscar
Gordon frequented while waiting for Rufo to
answer his personal ad.
Gordon's name for the longhorse
loaned to Star by the
[From the Latin saying, ars longa, vita brevis: "Art is long, but life
is short"; Oscar called his own mount Ars Longa.]
Rufo's description of a hit on a dragon when he, Oscar, and Star fought their way through the dragons of Nevia to the Gate. The term refers to hitting a circular target on the inner edge of the sixth ring toward the bullseye, almost but not quite in the seventh ring.
J. L. Weatherby
Original owner of a winning Irish Sweepstakes ticket; he lost it to Oscar
Gordon in a poker game.
Society was founded by Virginia Heinlein on behalf of her husband, science
fiction author Robert Anson Heinlein, to "pay forward" the legacy of Robert A. Heinlein to future generations of "Heinlein's Children."