The New York Times
Voyager to a Strange Planet
In the year 29477, at the distant end of a strife-torn galaxy, one of the most famous residents of the planet Rubi-Ka is a genetically engineered mutant called Thedeacon. He is an ugly mutant, prideful and lewd. The spectacle of his wealth is surpassed by the vulgarity of his tongue. He sexually accosts strangers - be they female, male or neuter - and is renowned for his undying fetish for feet. Thedeacon is also a kind mutant, a leader and beacon. Among Rubi-Ka's weaker citizens, he is revered for his generosity of mind, for sharing the information others need to prosper. Among the planet's elite, he is respected for his generosity of spirit, for comforting the lovesick and the lonely. Thedeacon does not physically exist, of course. In the year 2003, at the blue-collar end of Madison, Wis., he is a struggling, frustrated 27-year-old computer repairman called Richard L. Stenlund.