D. W. Chong
Algernon Hent: My Life, Your Dimes by D. W. Chong Summary
Who killed Dr. Laurel Hent? Algernon Hent wants to know, and he's been asking the only survivor and witness of the brutal murder to spill the beans for the last thirty-two years. Just one little problem: that witness is Algernon Hent, and he isn't talking. The doctors call it 'hysterical amnesia'. Real Problem: Algernon is about to get his answer. With Congress threatening to cut NASA's funding for their Manned Mars Mission, the Into Known Space Group kicks into high gear and buys a salvage yard single stage to orbit shuttle all their own. Now all they need is a hundred sixty million dollars to refit it. Enter Algernon Hent. A fervid pro-space advocate and professional Science Fiction writer who has been roving the continent in his thirty foot RV, Wally the Wonder Wagon, for the last eighteen years, Algernon arrives at the 77th annual World Science Fiction Convention, currently in progress at the Orange County Convention Center in Anaheim, Ca. to host an auction of items to benefit the Into Known Space Group, with the aim of getting their shuttle off the ground. The two flies in this ointment labelled 'blissful weekend spent among friends and fans' are 1)Trish Mulhouse, a reporter who blows the lid off Algernon's decades-long disavowal of bloodties to Dr. Hadleigh Hent, renowned genetic research scientist and founder and former head of Hent Laboratories, one of the foremost gene therapy clinics in the world, and 2)Alger's middle sister, Honoria, current head and chief researcher at Hent Labs, who has had it in for Alger ever since a youthful indiscretion with his older sister, Lenore, resulted in an unplanned addition to the family tree and Alger's own attempted suicide. After two years in a Rehabilitation clinic, Alger left home, only to have Honoria hire a pack of goons to track him down for the sole purpose of putting a powerful hurt on him, which has landed him in the hospital five times to date. He has tried, for that reason, to keep his whereabouts a secret from his family ever since, but, like a deer caught in Trish's headlights, things go from bad to worse when Honoria spots him on Trish's live broadcast and calls to put in her two cents worth on global TV. Alger has no choice but to bolt and run. But Honoria and her goons aren't the only ones who have been chasing Alger. His High School sweetie, Sydney St. Croix, and her current husband, Avery Norris, owner and chief researcher for Gene-tech, Hent Laboratories's biggest and most vicious competitor, and Laurel Hent's former paramour, are also after him. When they catch him, they send him on a drug-assisted journey back in time to reconstruct his repressed memory, which reveals, at long last, the identity of his mother's murderer plus a whole raft of Hent family secrets. When the skeltons start rattling, Honoria takes lethal steps to throw them back into the closet where they belong. And as the body count rises, Algernon has to think fast to save his life and bring his mother's killer to justice!