World – Pinkwater

Pinkwater (World 35)

Daniel Pinkwater (1941 – ; first SF publication, 1973) writes with little care for the facts of actual science; his juvenile stories emphasize the “F” in SF. That’s not to say that there isn’t a core of wisdom in his stories, especially a recognition of the difficulties of being different as you’re growing up. For example, the three lead characters of The Snarkout Boys & the Avocado of Death are Genghis Khan high schoolers Winston Bongo (heavy and thick, with hair that looked like it was clipped with dog clippers) and Walter Galt (shortest and fattest in school), and the girl they meet while snarking out: skinny, angular, greenhaired Rat. “Snarking out” is sneaking out at night to watch the all-night movies at the Snark Theater, but while they’re out they discover a sinister plot to take over the world. Among many others, we also meet dancing lizards (in Lizard Music), Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars, Yobgorgle: Mysterious Monster of Lake Ontario, and the intrepid adventurers who seek out The Worms of Kukumlima. Throughout Pinkwater’s stories, the names are ridiculous, the plots even more so, and it’s all highly entertaining, both for teens and the older generation.


An alligatron is a human-sized avocado, whose natural emanations are enhanced by lots of wiring until it
is a vegputer, capable of disrupting space aliens intent on conquering humanity. It can also be the prime ingredient of a beautiful salad. Every world needs an alligatron.


 The Worlds of “What If …?”
 Shelley (61)  Piper (21)  Cherryh (41)
 Verne (62)  Norton (22)  Gibson (42)
 Wells (63)  Dick (23)  Clayton (43)
 Williamson (64)  Silverberg (24)  Card (44)
 de Camp (65)  Biggle (25)  Hogan (45)
 Laumer (66)  Wilhelm (26)  Longyear (46)
 Bradbury (11)  Le Guin (31)  Brin (51)
 Heinlein (12)  Niven (32)  McDevitt (52)
 Pohl (13)  Killough (33)  Moon (53)
 Knight (14)  Foster (34)  Bujold (54)
 Schmitz (15)  Pinkwater (35)  Roberts (55)
 Anderson (16)  Robinson (36)  Asaro (56)