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Literature / World-Eater

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A 1983 novel by Robert Swindells. Late one night, eleven-year-old pigeon breeder Orville Copperstone wakes to find a tree having blown into the house of elderly neighbour Mr McDougal, who speaks fearfully of a strange new presence in the night sky. Recent worldwide freak storms have in fact been caused by the sudden, unexplained arrival in the solar system of a small planet between Mercury and Venus. While the Copperstones learn through news updates of the solar drama, Russian physicist Professor Valentina Petrova has an ominously pertinent new theory about black holes. Meanwhile, Orville befriends local journalist Brian Fox, to whom he submits a theory that the new planet, whose smooth surface is made of calcium carbonate, is some kind of egg...


World-Eater provides examples of:

  • Big Damn Heroes: Brian makes short work of Orville's kidnappers.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: On having been kidnapped for information, Orville suddenly flies into a rage at the thought of his distraught parents.
  • Intrepid Reporter: When searching for additional news material, Brian meets Orville.
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  • Oop North: Evidenced by the occasional "aye".
  • The Professor: Astronomer Professor Jim Hayle has just the right connections to circulate a persuasive new theory...
  • Starfish Aliens: Some kind of intergalactic species which has wings, lays eggs, and is very, very big.
  • Tears of Joy:
    • Orville, his mother, and possibly his father, when the crisis has passed.
    • Orville, on being presented by the Royal Pigeon Fancier with a pair of doridins as successor to his cat-slain Susie.
  • Unrealistic Black Hole: Revealed to be living things, one of which has just laid an egg in our solar system.
  • Would Hurt a Child: An unscrupulous journalist twigs that Orville knows something, and kidnaps him.


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