Sarah's bar doubles as an interplanetary waystation for visiting aliens. When a cat, a crow and a four-foot blob of talking green goo walk into the bar, and the gooball informs Sarah and her otherworldly bartender that it needs transportation off Earth right now (or the Earth is doomed -- of course), her only recourse is the emergency portal in the basement. The one she calls "The Vortex of Hell."
Planets made from cake existed only in the picture book Daren and his wife read to their young daughter. Just a fun fantasy, even on an exploratory space ship. But when an explosion cripples the ship's drive, sending them to an odd planetary system, Daren must choose between a slim chance of returning home, and keeping his promises to his wife and daughter.
Charlie would get into a lot less trouble if he didn't listen to his Egg. Sure, the Eggs said they wanted to help humanity, but Charlie's just seemed to like making mayhem. With Charlie caught in the middle. But when it offers to take him to the moon, what choice does he have? The alternative would probably kill him. Margaret Castle offers a snarky look at a — supposedly — benign alien invasion.