Edward is an average little boy with an obsession for collecting things -- everything from old car batteries to computer monitors to mountains of rubber bands. An eccentric young boy, he is an outcast among the kids in the neighborhood. Dr. Sprechtmachen is the mysterious little man next door. From his large, ominous house comes a continuous stream of strange noises and billowing dark smoke. These two meet, become friends, and blast off for an adventure in outer space. They travel to Pluto where they meet the Plutacians, purple jellybean people who seem very nice -- at first. Edward and Dr. S learn that there are two types of Plutacians -- those with an antenna on the right side of their heads, and those with an antenna on the left. These two peoples despise each other and, taking a clue from Edward's handheld video game, they declare war against each other.
Edward and Dr. Sprechtmachen devise a plan to stop the war by showing the leaders of each people just how silly they are being. They must race against time to stop the terrible devastation that is about to take place.
One subplot involves a clandestine love affair by two Plutacians from "opposite sides of the track." Another subplot is Edward's transition from insecure outcast to confident individual.
In the end Edward and Dr. S accomplish their task and bring peace to this faraway place. Back on earth, Edward figures out how to use this lesson to win respect and bring peace to his own neighborhood.