Well, not exactly the end of the universe, but definitely the Restaurant at the End of the Wayfarers Series! While we’re speaking of restaurants, allow me to share with you one of the best (outside of Redwall, of course) feast descriptions that I have ever come across: “grilled quickbread, a hurriedly made batch of whitefish salad, tiny wraps of grain paper stuffed with nut butter and edible flowers, and the last of his smoked eel and crackers.”
So very tempting- and I can barely tolerate fish! This veritable smorgasbord is offered to a character who is having a very hard time. It has been prepared and offered by another character who is having a hard time. Part of the “hard times” involve the fact that the preparer, the eater, and the three other folks in this tale are ALL stuck in a hard time. They are all working through their own personal issues while also being truly stuck together.
Our restaurant – actually a hotel/motel/intergalactic truck stop/day spa/cultural center/natural history museum is the afore mentioned Five-Hop One-Stop. It’s a tiny bastion of life trapped under a bubble on a world that is really just one huge rock. No plant life, no atmosphere, no native fauna- this planet is just a rest stop on the way to other rest stops. Several weary travelers have put down anchor at the Five-Hop One-Stop: a familiar friend from Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, a Quelin with a very important date to catch, and and an Akarak- an alien with whom the denizens of the FHOS, the visitors, and the readers are not terribly familiar.
This is a story about tolerance. It’s a story about being open to learning. It’s a story about being a good person to everyone that you come across, not just everyone that you like. It’s a bottle episode that covers refugee crises and conforming to survive.
I can’t always speak my mind, not if I want to get the things I need or go places I need to go. Everything I do, every word I say, is calculated to make people comfortable. To make them respect me. None of it is a lie, but it is an act, and it’s one that gets very, very tiring.