Pan-galactic Homesick Blues
by D.M. Quintano

This is a fairly old novel, published thirteen years ago as Perfect, because the publisher didn’t want anyone to think it was science fiction, even though it is. To add another complication, it was written by me but under a different name because it is science fiction and that’s a very different genre to most of the books I was writing at the time. I didn’t want anyone to think it wasn’t science fiction just because it was by Dyan Sheldon. This Kindle edition has just come out, making it look and sound very much like what it is – but keeping the Quintano name.

Pan-galactic Homesick Blues is set in the present (or what was the present over a decade ago) and the future as it may very well turn out to be. In this story, the future makes the past look not-so-bad – which isn’t always an easy thing to do.

A group of teenagers arrive in Los Angeles. They are a very special group of six teenagers, picked by the producers of Top Teens, one of the most popular shows in television history, to compete for fame, glory and celebrity. Fame, glory and celebrity being something they feel they deserve. Meeting them at the airport is their chaperone, Mrs Fugosi, a very good-hearted woman who possesses the enormous amounts of patience and resilience needed to deal with spoiled brats with high opinions of themselves.

There are two other teenagers wandering around L.A. on that day, Ora Sonorious and Emiliano Shuh. Ora is the child of wealthy but absentee parents and is going through a phase of questioning the meaning of life. Emiliano is homeless and parentless, and lives by his wits. In their different ways, Ora and Emiliano have learned to fend for themselves. As unlikely as their ever being in the same place at the same time is, due to a coincidental series of events they are ­ and, possibly even more unlikely, they also find themselves in the same place at the same time as Mrs Fugosi and the Top Teens. At very much the wrong time.

All might have gone as planned – the Top Teens would have had dinner with the TV executives, Ora would have gone home and Emiliano would have found somewhere to crash for the night – if it weren’t for the fact that they are all about to be abducted. It turns out that it isn’t just the producers of the so-very-popular TV show who have picked the Top Teens. They have also been chosen by a human civilisation on a very distant planet in the very distant future. Due to its own mistakes and arrogance, this civilisation is on the brink of extinction. Its rulers are desperate and believe that the Top Teens are their last chance to replenish their gene pool and save mankind.

Mrs Fugosi started the day wishing she could go home, and by the end of it is very sorry that she didn’t. As, eventually, is everyone else.

Pan-galactic Homesick Blues

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