|Author||Alan Dean Foster|
|Cover artist||Jerome Podwil|
|Genre||Science fiction novel|
|Media type||Print (paperback)|
|Preceded by||Running from the Deity|
|Followed by||Trouble Magnet|
Bloodhype (1973) is a science fiction novel written by Alan Dean Foster. The book is eleventh chronologically in the Pip and Flinx series, though it was written second, and it is an oddity for the characters since they only appear in the last third of the book. Foster originally started the novel as a stand-alone work, but was encouraged by his publishers to include the characters from his previous novel. Although it was written as a second novel, it logically falls -after- Orphan Star, where he meets the aliens who build him his ship, the Teacher.
The novel takes its title from a deadly and addictive drug, for which there is no known antidote, which causes instant addiction followed by a long, slow, painful death unless the user continues to take increasingly greater doses.
The Vom is an intergalactic intelligence described as a large black blob not unlike a gigantic amoeba, impervious to almost all energy and physical attack. Following years of battle with the Tar-Aiym it has sheltered on a planet where it has gone dormant for 500,000 years, waiting for an opportunity to escape the Tar-Aiym Guardian orbiting in space above it. Carmot MMYM a commander in the AAnn Empire discovers the Vom and brings it to the planet Repler for study at a concealed AAnn base.
Lieutenants Kitten “Kitty” Kai-sung, a female human, and Porsupah, a male Tolian, of the Intelligence Arm of the United Church have been sent to Repler to investigate the newly re-established trade in the drug bloodhype (aka jaster, silly salt, brain-up, phinto) as the most deadly and addictive drug in and outside the Humanx Commonwealth. Once on Repler they make contact with the drug trader Dominick Rose who are using Captain Malcolm Hammurabi and his ship, the Umbra, as unwitting transporters of bloodhype.
This trio tracks Rose to his base where they encounter Flinx, currently in Rose’s employ, who helps them escape when Rose’s men capture the agents. After they report Rose’s activities to the United Church, Rose escapes to the AAnn base right before the AAnn lose control of the Vom. Meanwhile, the agents have enlisted the help of Rose’s brother who has discovered the Tar-Aiym Guardian and his machine now orbiting above Repler. With the assistance of Flinx’s psychic abilities the Guardian prepares to fight the Vom again, while Kitty, Porsupah, and Mal prepare a raid on the AAnn base to capture Rose. The Vom escapes and the Guardian is forced to fight it in a psychic battle, but is slowly losing until Kitty and Mal manage to recover Rose’s supply of bloodhype and use it to poison the Vom. Now weakened, the Vom succumbs to the Tar-Aiym Guardian.
After the battle the Guardian self-destructs, Flinx leaves Repler on his ship Teacher, Porsupah gets drunk, while Mal and Kitty start a romantic relationship.