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October 27, 1985|SUE MARTIN

CHILD OF FORTUNE by Norman Spinrad (Bantam: $16.95). This colorful tale of the wanderjahr of Moussa/Sunshine/Wendi Shasta Leonardo (she acquires names along the way) is flamboyant, verbose, imaginative (and erotic). Entertaining if you read it in long stretches, but picking up the rhythm of the in-house jargon, a pastiche of German, French, Spanish and Hindu (I believe) takes some getting used to. In Spinrad's neck of the Galaxy, young adults take off to the stars, backpacking and hitchhiking through the Galaxy accruing information and lovers and generally having a good time before they settle down and become responsible. Spinrad takes us and the character on splendiferous travels by Void Ship to a wide range of planets wherein Shasta Leonardo discovers Why She Is Here, with the help of a veritable carnival of characters.

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