The Prophecy Machine
By Neal Barrett, Jr.
Hooters, Hatters, and menacing evil
Even in a mystical world where centuries ago animals were magically changed into humans, the land of Makasar us considered strange. Its two major religions are Hatters and Hooters. During the day, Hatters, wearing hats of course, wander about jabbing pointy sticks into bystanders. The night is ruled by the Hooters, who hoot and set fire to people and things. Hospitality is considered a capital crime. And Newlies, the humanize animals, are treated lower than scum. So when Finn, the Master Lizard Maker, finds himself stranded in Makasar-along with his lover, an attractive Newlies named Letitia, and the grandest, most magical creation of his illustrious career, a talking, thinking, rather cantankerous mechanical lizard named Julia Jessica Slagg–his first thought is a quick exit.
But the Nuccis-strongman son, mad father, and ever madder grandfather-have other plans for Finn and his loyal companions. There’s an odd machine in their basement that needs fixing, and who better to do it than a Master Lizard Maker? There’s more here than meets the eye, however, and Finn soon realizes that the future he faces could be very dark indeed.