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The Tar-Aiym Krang

(Pip & Flinx #1)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  4,449 ratings  ·  132 reviews
Moth was a beautiful planet, the only one with wings -- two great golden clouds suspended in space around it.

Here was a wide-open world for any venture a man might scheme. The planet attracted unwary travelers, hardened space-sailors, and merchant buccaneers -- a teeming, constantly shifting horde that provided a comfortable income for certain quick-witted fellows like Fli
Paperback, 251 pages
Published November 1st 1995 by Ballantine (first published January 1st 1972)
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really liked it 4.00  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,449 ratings  ·  132 reviews

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Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My second Pip and Flinx novel was the first written in the series but it takes place right after book five. Confusing? Not really. I'm just reading them chronologically, so Flinx is only 17 here and he sure knows how to get into trouble!

What's most fascinating is how polished and fascinating and fast this tale is compared to the other one I had just read. It's the entry novel into the universe and I can see immediately how Alan Dean Foster hoisted himself into the SF field with such gusto and wh
Dirk Grobbelaar
I can’t believe the rubbish job Del Rey (Ballantine) has done on the current reprints of the well beloved Pip & Flinx novels. Gone are the magnificent covers illustrated by the likes of Michael Whelan and Bob Eggleton. Replaced by blurry monochromatic photos of... what's this? A Justin Bieber clone in coveralls? And isn’t Flinx, like, 17 years old? This kid looks about 11. Also - where's Pip? Presumably they were unable to locate a flying snake for the studio sessions?
It's ATROCIOUS to say t
3.0 to 3.5 stars. First book in the Pip and Flinx series. I enjoyed the relationship between the two main characters and the world-building was interesting.
Paul E. Morph
Jul 31, 2015 rated it liked it
The Tar-Aiym Krang (there’s a bewildering title if ever there was one) suffers a little from not knowing what it wants to be. It’s essentially a work of speculative ideas, and the ideas are pretty good, but it is dressed in a cloak of space opera.

This was the first book in the series Foster wrote, although he has since gone back and written books in the series that take place prior to it. As I’m reading the series in order of events rather than publication order, the relative immaturity of writi
Jul 03, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-on-tape
Fast-paced, full of fun and adventure, the Pip&Flinx novels by AD Foster are perhaps the best of a fine collection of works. Foster is imminently readable, though not deep and soul-satisfying like Le Guin's Dispossessed or Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land. Still, if I need a quick, light, thoroughly enjoyable read, Foster will be among my first choices. This is Science Fiction and for those of you smug idiots who think SF is not worth reading, Foster's contribution to the field gives su ...more
May 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2019
The beginning felt very similar to For Love of Mother-Not. For a while I thought I had mistakenly picked up that one. Which acts as a prequel and is the first Pip & Flinx book chronologically, but the fifth one written.

It is easy to read, although I confess to some skimming of various info dumps. They did not sit very well within the pretty light story. Some good ideas, but nothing was really fleshed out satisfyingly.

Same goes for the characters. They are all distinct voices, but they are al
Fred D
Feb 16, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Shelves: science-fiction
The second book by Alan Dean Foster I ever read. The first was Nor Crystal Tears. After reading that book, I decided to read his other Humanx Commonwealth books in the order in which he wrote them. Tar-Aiym was Foster's breakout novel. He wrote it in the early '70's. It was also his first Flinx & Pip novel, and the first one that I read. I really enjoyed this book. He introduces us to Flinx & Pip, a teenge human boy and his pet flying snake, with which he shares a telepathic bond. Very g ...more
Dec 30, 2014 rated it did not like it
Flinx isn't sure what to make of the strangers he meets one day while performing on a street corner, but he doesn't expect the map he recovers to be of much use, until a chance meeting with other new arrivals shows him what the map is for. Then he's off with a small group hunting the legendary Krang, an artifact by the extinct Tar-Aiym. No one is really sure what it is, or what it does, but one thing is crystal clear: they're not the only ones looking.

I had to look at the original publication da
An Odd1
Jun 26, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Orphan Flinx 16, his erratic psychic ability augmented by shoulder-riding mini-dragon Pip, finds a map leading to a planet with the Krang, an artifact from extinct vicious warring aliens, the Tar-Aiym. Human Bran Tse-Mallory and insectoid thranx Truzenzuzex, who fought the AAnn together, also enlist Malaika and his very fast armed spaceship for the expedition. Mal lost his leg by choking a carnivorous ice-monster and brings crew of pretty personal pilot Atha, jealous of concubine Sissiph, and bo ...more
Michael Lee
May 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book, and a good number of other Humanx Commonwealth books in my youth. I bought the novels, the GURPS books, the works. After a long dry period of reading only occasionally, I've dived back into the love of books. In addition to seeking out new realms to explore, I decided upon encountering Foster's books in a wonderful old bookstore that I would love to revisit old favorites.

True to Alan Dean Foster's form, The Tar-Aiym Krang is a smooth, uncomplicated romp. Young Flinx is a charmi
Jul 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sf
I had enjoyed a prequel to this book written eleven years later. I recall trying this first book (1972) of the series without success. Now I know why.

The universe described is fun, with bits of fascinating tech ideas.

However, like much early SF, it is horribly sexist. The only real female characters are the captain of a ship, portrayed only as a lovesick, jealous idiot and a sex lynx (literally). Neither take part in the action or plot.

It is also overly descriptive, and the characters are pret
Al "Tank"
Jul 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Book 2 of the Flinx series. Flinx is now a young adult and an accomplished thief as well as an entertainer. He keeps his thieving in bounds so as not to attract undo attention to himself and only when his needs can't be supplied by the income from his mind-reading act. He no longer lives with his adopted mother, but stays close (in fact his "stage" is next to her stall).

A series of incidents brings him into contact with one of the major traders on Moth and he's included in an adventure that take
Apr 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: good-old-sci-fi
When under stress, read. When under extreme stress, read all your old favorites. I just reread the entire Pip and Flinx series. I don't know why I like these books so well. I think it had something to do with a totally gifted person who has had a hard life and is clueless. ( wish fulfillment? Not that I am totally gifted, had a hard life or am clueless. But to fix the world's ills with a thought. hmmmmm) Like some of the Dorsai books without the blood and guts. Pip and his flying dragon Flinx ta ...more
Matt Shaw
Maybe 2.5 stars. Nice idea for a main character in Flinx, and this book also boasts an Ancient Lost Race, a Powerful Unknown Artifact, and a Treasure Map. Pity the writing is so bad.

I know it was published in 1972, and it was Foster's first book to see print, but the loooonnng info dumps, the painfully cheesy dialogue, and the stupidly useless female characters make this really kind of a shame. I doubt it would even get published as is today. Skip it.
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
A fun romp with lovable characters. Teenage Flinx and his pet minidragon Pip set out with rich merchant Malaika, scientists Tse-Mallory and Truzenzuzex, pilots etc. to find a huge artifact (the Krang) left by a vanished super race. Flinx is much changed by the experience and at the end is not sure where he will go next and what he will do. On to the next in the series!
Mar 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Tar-Aiym Krang is a good example of 1970's science fiction. If one is reading it for depth or subtlety, one will be disappointed. The characters are very simple and the plot is extremely straightforward and linear. Yet these characteristics are not flaws anymore than brevity is a flaw in a haiku. They're just part of the form. The tale is a fantastical one, with new worlds, new philosophies, and new technologies painted in with broad colorful strokes and then elaborated in great detail more ...more
Jul 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Flinx and Pip are becoming one of my favorite duos in science fiction, I enjoy their adventures quite a bit. I like that fact that the Pip and Flinx novels are not extremely long as well, most that I have read are about 300-400 pages or less, which is good because I have a lot of books to read. ^-^

That being said, I do wish The Tar-Aiym Krang was actually longer. The build up to the actual discovery of the Krang was quite long, and time spent after the discovery of the Krang was not long enough.
Andrew Staples
Sep 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf
This was one of the first science fiction novels I read, many years ago while a schoolboy, one of the books that got me into the genre, and I'm rereading it after many years. Would it stand the test of time?

I'm happy to report that it has. It's very much a light SF novel, an adventure yarn with SF trimmings. So much so that I wouldn't be surprised if Foster were to reveal he'd deliberately reworked Treasure Island.

I've noticed things my adolescent self never did, though. Malaika's use if Kiswa
Tom Rowe
My first readings of Alan Dean Foster were the books Alien and Star Wars: Splinter of the Mind's Eye and the Star Trek Log series. I did not enjoy any of these books very much but thought I would give Mr. Foster a try with his own material. Eh-

This book is an origin story. It is fairly uninteresting and appears to leave out information which is important to certain subplots. Maybe that is just he audio file that I was listening to because it also repeated one chapter twice in the file. I did not
The first 3 or 4 books of this series were out when I was younger, and Flinx fired my imagination with his psionic talents, his flying, venom spitting snake, pip, and him being an orphan raised on the streets.

This was the first Pip & Flinx that he wrote (He went back later and wrote For Love of Mother-not). He first meets up with Truzenzuzex and Bran Tse-Mallory, and goes with them to find an ancient alien device, the Tar-Aiym Krang. The story is actually kind of slow.

However, I wanted for F
Oct 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very good but I am starting to feel these books are on tad on the short side, the ending also seemd kind of abrupt and didn't seem to answer many question.

(view spoiler)
Jul 28, 2014 rated it liked it
I have to admit I'm not convinced yet. But I've been using it as background while at work so maybe that's why I don't feel 100% enthralled? I do enjoy some of the characters quite a bit but the plot was unsatisfying. It feels like a prequel rather than a novel.
Feb 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
There was a chunk of VERY obvious infodumping near the beginning of this that actually made me smile.


I KNOW that the young version of me would NEVER have noticed it. And it's only now that I'm grown and have tried my own hand at writing that I can realize what Foster did.
John Parvin
in reality, this is the first of the pip and Flinx books Foster had published, but for timeliness continuity, it is the second...

starting when Flinx, a young and very talented youth who grew up in the marketplace of Drallar, the capital city of the perpetually damp planet Moth, gets himself involved first in a deadly encounter with assassins, then a short while later with two very prominent figures who are seeking something created by the ancient and very war like race called the Tar-Aiym.

this l
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
ADF is mostly known for film novelizations: I read my first of his at age 12, for Star Wars. He's done many, many more. I can take or leave those (though is the subject of one of my very, very few conspiracy theories, which is that ADF actually wrote a lot of the first Star Wars trilogy after Lucas handed him the basic plot. To be elaborated on elsewhere....). Yet for his original novels I have a strong affection, especially Midworld, which I had dropped on me in my tween/teen years sometime. So ...more
Mar 10, 2019 rated it liked it
A solid space adventure with an engaging central character. The galactic civilization is sketched out enough to make it interesting, but most of the ideas are not new. The exception may be the close relationship between humans and thranx. A nice concept, but the explanation is quite thin. Characterization and writing are adequate. I'd say this was a perfect novel for teenagers, but the sexual content, even though not explicit, is not appropriate. ADF has written a book similar to a Heinlein or N ...more
Lucy Takeda
Mar 26, 2018 rated it liked it
My memory says I loved this series when I first read it. This was a reread. It was good, but I wasn’t jazzed.
Flinx has an unknown genetic background that appears to have granted him mental empathy/telepathy. He also associates with a poisonous mini/dragon that has a strong desire to protect Flinx. Flinx ends up being hired by a bigwig to track down a missing artifact from a powerful disappeared alien race. Interesting political interactions among a variety of races.
Jeff Ritterpusch
Aug 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
It's a fast, light, entertaining read. I'm noticing a pattern with the few books by this author that I've read so far. He wraps up his stories quickly, conveniently and sometimes a bit confusingly. I read For "Love of Mother, Not" before this one since chronologically, it's the first Pip & Flinx story. It's interesting how Pip has evolved from this story, backtracking to For the Love of Mother, Not. It was an opportunity for the author to hone the character.
May 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eh! A bit below par. Too much time describing hardware, weapons, ships, etc. We are told about the characters personalities & traits when it would have been better to have these revealed in dialogue and behavior. Also should have been edited to correct small but annoying inconsistencies and/or odd sentence structures. Mindless quick read with some entertainment value.
May 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun sci fi adventure, setting the scene for what seems like a exciting universe.
Maybe not for people who haven't read much hard science fiction, It did take me 20 pages or so to get into the writing style of the author but after that it was clear sailing.
I very enjoyable read overall.
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Bestselling science fiction writer Alan Dean Foster was born in New York City in 1946, but raised mainly in California. He received a B.A. in Political Science from UCLA in 1968, and a M.F.A. in 1969. Foster lives in Arizona with his wife, but he enjoys traveling because it gives him opportunities to meet new people and explore new places and cultures. This interest is carried over to his writing, ...more

Other books in the series

Pip & Flinx (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • Bloodhype (Pip & Flinx #2)
  • Orphan Star (Pip & Flinx #3)
  • The End of the Matter (Pip & Flinx #4)
  • For Love of Mother-Not (Pip & Flinx #5)
  • Flinx in Flux (Pip & Flinx #6)
  • Mid-Flinx (Pip & Flinx #7)
  • Reunion (Pip & Flinx #8)
  • Flinx's Folly (Pip & Flinx #9)
  • Sliding Scales (Pip & Flinx #10)
  • Running from the Deity (Pip & Flinx #11)
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