Plague Ship

~ 2nd Novel in the Solar Queen Series by Andre Norton

Original release under pseudonym Andrew North


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Plague Ship

 

 

NOTE: This title has entered the “Public Domain” and is therefore open to any publisher that wants to print it. Many “Print on Demand” publishers have started to release this title. This site has chosen to ignore these published versions and only concentrate on estate sanctioned materials.


Synopsis ~

Write-up from the front flap of the dustjacket ~

The further adventures of Dane Thorson and the Solar Queen. Dane and his friends travel to a new planet, Sargol, and meet the strange race of cat-men, the Salariki. Here they trade for the fabulous Koros stones, gems that are worth a fortune. They become friends of the Salariki when they aid them in a Gorp hunt. The Gorp are the most feared creatures on Sargol, killing the Salariki divers when they hunt for the Koros stones.
An IC trading ship appears on the scene and tries to cut in on their trading rights. They are forced to fight a duel with a representative of the IC ship according to Salariki custom, in order to keep face. They win but the IC ship leaves with a threat of further action.
The Solar Queen takes off for Earth and en route a strange plague strikes them. They suspect the IC ship but can’t prove anything. The order goes out they are to be destroyed on sight, least they infect civilized planets.
How they find a cure for the plague and escape destruction, makes for one of the finest adventures and a fit sequel to Sargasso of Space published last year.

 

Write-up from the front flap of 1971 UK HC ~

Readers will remember Cargo-master-apprentice Dane Thornson and his ill-fated ship, the Solar Queen, with its motley crew, from Sargasso of Space. Now the Solar Queen is on the look out for new business, and buys the right to trade on Sargol, a planet rich in exotic gems and valuable oils, inhabited by a sly feline people. But their most ruthless competitor, Inter-Solar, has arrived there before them. The Solar Queen's try to play fair, but it is only after take-off that the space-trader's most desperate hours begin.
The crew are struck down by a deadly, unknown disease; as a "Plague Ship" they are not permitted to land anywhere, and other ships have orders that they are to be destroyed on sight.
With this thrilling space story, Andre Norton justifies her position as one of the top writers of science fiction for young people.
 

Write-up from the back of the 1964 ACE paperback edition ~

Exotic gems and valuable oils were the lures that drew the space trader Solar Queen to the new planet Sargol – and also called forth their most ruthless competitor. The Solar Queen’s men tried to play fair – even according to the sly rules of Sargol’s feline people – but after takeoff the real assault began.
For the Solar Queen’s most desperate hours were to come whin the ship and its crew were branded pariahs of the stars – to be destroyed on sight. In the story of Plague Ship, Andre Norton, writing under the pen name of Andrew North, has produced a tense and terrific space adventure.

 

Write-up from the back of the 1977 ACE paperback edition ~

Lured by exotic gems and valuable oils, the crew of the space trader Solar Queen landed on the newly discovered planet Sargol, only to find their most ruthless competitor there ahead of them. Still, they tried for fair trade, even according to the sly rules of the strangely feline natives Salariki.
But after the takeoff they found they had a plague on board, the treachery of someone who’d been on Sargol. Although they’d begun to run out of supplies, they couldn’t land or they might start an interplanetary epidemic…
… And the galaxy had ordered that the Solar Queen be destroyed on sight!

 

Write-up from the dust jacket of the 1978 Gregg Press edition ~

Plague Ship is the second of three novels that compose the Dane Thrson Solar Queen series - a swift-paced series set in the inter-galactic far-future that recounts the high adventures of Dane Thorson, young apprentice Cargo-Master, and his ship-mates on the free trader ship, the Solar Queen. All three of the Dane Thorson Solar Queen books first appeared under the pseudonym, Andrew North.
As a results of their adventures on Limbo in Sargasso of Space, Dane Thorson and his crew have gained trading rights on Sargol, a planet rich in fabulous koros stones. But to realize the profit from this trade they must first negotiate with the cat-like Salariki people, fight the reptilian Gorp monsters, and discover the source of a mysterious sleeping sickness that cause the Solar Queen to be labeled a plague ship - forbidden to land on any world and ordered destroyed on sight!

 

Write-up from the back of the 1979 UK paperback edition ~

Dane heard the shrill of the riding beam, so tearing he had to move his earphones. They must be almost on top of the control tower to get it like that!...
They were riding her flaming jets down as they would on a strange world. Below the port must be wild. Dane counted off the seconds… just a few more and they would be too low to intercept… in the earphones was a crackle of frantic questions, a gabble of orders screaming at him. Let them rave, they’d know soon enough what it was all about….”
Dane Thornson and the crew of the Solar Queen have enough problems in the space-trade business, with competitors like Inter-Solar who don’t always play straight. But their real troubles start when they are struck down by the deadly, unkown disease—and then, as a “Plague Ship,”they are not permitted to land anywhere, and the other ships have orders to destroy the Solar Queen on sight….
The second thrilling space adventure about Dane Thorson and Solar Queen.


Write-up from the back of the 1982 ACE Paperback ~

Lured by exotic gems and valuable oils, the crew of the space trader Solar Queen landed on the newly discovered planet Sargol, only to find their most ruthless competitor there ahead of them. Still, they tried for fair trade, even according to the sly rules of the feline natives - whose beauty and grace were equaled only by their determination to drive a hard bargain with off-worlders.
But after satisfactory trading and uneventful take-off, the Solar Queen discovered a plaque on board, the treacherous work of someone who had been on Sargol. Now they are forbidden by Federation rules from landing on any inhabited planet - and their supplies are running dangerously low!

 
Write-ups from fans ~

The Solar Queen has recently obtained a valuable trading contract on the planet Sargol, Cam Trask's trading rights after helping the Patrol break up a "jacking" ring. The men of the Solar Queen are gradually building a relationship with one of the races on the planet, the cat-like Salariki, complicated by a Combine ship's crew, who want the Sargol trade for their company, until the Salariki are inadvertely introduced to catnip and other highly-scented plants and spices from Terra that are unknown on Sargol. The traders exchange what little they have for the rare and valuable Koros stones, and on the side collect a native red-colored wood to exchange at home. At the last minute the Storm Priests of the Salariki demand that the Solar Queen take a pre-paid contract to return within 6 months with more plants.  A few days after leaving the planet, several members of the crew suffer from an illness, which ends in a semi-coma state. Only 4 of the younger members of the crew including Dane Thorson are unaffected. Captain Jellico succumbs to the illness, but manages to set a hyperspace course to the asteroid belt of Earth before he falls into the typical coma. The four remaining members of the crew discover that pests have invaded the hydro garden, and are the cause of the illness. Ship's Cat, Sinbad, has "deserted in the face of the enemy" in regard to the pests but the Captain's pet Hoobat, avidly hunts them down.  In a desperate move, the young men land at an E-Stat run by the Combine trading company, and obtain emergency hydro supplies.  Then, to clear their name of being a carrier of plague, they land on Earth, kidnap a medic to certify the illness is cured, and move the Solar Queen to Terraport HQ to broadcast an appeal to the citizens.  After their eventual capture, Van Rycke (Cargo-master) makes a deal with Inter-Solar (Combine's chief rival) to take over the Sargol contract in exchange for a routine mail contract, since the emergency has left them with no time to return to Sargol and fulfill their contract. ~ SL

 

There are two major divisions in this story. In the first seven chapters, they pick up where they left off in Sargasso of Space. Using the trading rights they obtained from the Patrol on Limbo they landed on Sargol only to find a rival from Inter Solar, one of the Big companies trying to horn in on their legal monopoly. The Queen comes out on top in this struggle and everything seems to going OK. Then all heck breaks loose after lift-off when, one by one, all the senior officers sicken and fall into comas. Somehow, the I-S people report to the Patrol that the Queen has plague on board and the patrol has forbidden the Queen to land anywhere. These apprentices discover the cause of the illness but have to figure out how to convince the Patrol that they are not a plague ship. With all of civilization against them, they have to resort to desperate measures to win the day. Fast paced and exciting, it is another book that is hard to put down. Space Opera at Its Finest. ~ PG

 

1956’s Plague Ship returns to the adventures of the Free Trader Solar Queen in a little tale that illustrates the fundamental rule of the Solar Queen stories: Then Things Got Worse.
In the first novel, Solar Queen was forced by the Patrol to give up their trade rights with the planet Limbo. However, Captain Jellico managed to salvage something from that debacle: exclusive trading rights with the Salariki of Sargol. The Salariki are a race of warrior cats who can offer perfumes and rare gems to the skilled trader who manages to find a trade item that the Salariki…. ~ JN
Read More…

 

Various reviews ~ For more info and other listings see Articles about Andre

1956 by Hans Stefan Santesson in Fantastic Universe, May
1956 by Floyd C. Gale in Galaxy Science Fiction, October
1956 by P. Schuyler Miller in Astounding Science Fiction, October, reprinted in: (UK) Astounding Science Fiction, February 1957
1957 by Anthony Boucher in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, February
1959 by Hans Stefan Santesson in Fantastic Universe, July
1959 by Frederik Pohl in World of If, November
1959 by P. Schuyler Miller in Analog Science Fact -> Science Fiction, February
1971 by Magery Fisher in Growing Point #9, April

 

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Bibliography of English Editions ~

  • [as Andrew North] (1956) Published by Gnome Press, HC, LCCN 56007843, $2.75, 192pg ~ cover by Ed Emshwiller {Tan Cloth Boards}
  • [as Andrew North] (1959) ACE Double Book containing Pague Ship and Voodoo Planet, Published by ACE, PB, # D-345, $0.35, 178+78pg ~ cover of Plague Ship by Edward Valigurski ~ cover of Voodoo Planet by Ed Emshwiller ~ Plague Ship - “Complete & Unabridged” & Voodoo Planet - “Complete Novel”
  • (1964) Published by ACE, PB, # F-291, $0.40, 178pg ~ #66831 1969 $0.60 178pg ~ covers by Edward Valigurski ~ “Andre Norton writing as Andrew North” ~ 3rd printing #66832 1973 $0.95 204pg ~ 4th printing #66833 1974 $1.25 204pg ~ 5th printing #66834, 1976 $1.50 204pg ~ covers by Davis Meltzer ~ 6th printing #66836-4 1982 $2.25 204pg ~ 7th printing #66837-2 1985 $2.50 204pg ~ covers by Vincent Difate
  • (1971) Published by Gollancz, HC, 0-575-00643-9, £1.00, 192pg ~ UK printing ~ cover by David Smee {Tan Cloth Boards}
  • (1978) Published by Gregg Press, HC, 0-839-82416-5, LCCN 77025452, $7.95, 192pg ~ Space Adventure Novels of Andre Norton 2 ~ Dust Jacket by Jack Gaughan. Frontmatter by Elizabeth R. Cooke {Binding: 5.625 x 8.25 - Brown Cloth Boards with Gold Lettering (Publisher states the color is Burnt Orange), Orange End Papers}
  • (1979) Published by Magnet, PB, 0-416-88280-3, £0.70, 192pg ~ UK printing ~ cover by Tony Roberts
  • The Solar Queen (2003) Published by TOR, HC, 0-765-30054-0, $25.95, 382pg ~ cover by Julie Bell ~ Omnibus containing Sargasso of Space (1955) & Plague Ship (1956)
  • The Solar Queen (2004) Published by SFBC, HC, #61654, $12.49, 382pg ~ cover by Julie Bell ~ Omnibus containing Sargasso of Space (1955) & Plague Ship (1956)

 

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Non-English Editions ~

  • (1960) Published in Paris, France; by Ditis, PB, OCLC: 77482677, 189pg ~ translation by Michel Averlant ~ French title Fusée en quarantaine
  • (1958) Published in Rastatt, Germany; by Pabel, OCLC: 72941778, Utopia Großband 69, 95pg ~ translation by Ronald & Andrea Rauland ~ German title Gefährliche landung
  • (1957) Published in Milan, Italy; by Ponzoni Editore, I Romanzi del Cosmo n. 2 ~ translation by Stanis La Bruna ~ illustrated by Gianni Renna ~ Italian title L'astronave maledetta ~ with stories by Ray Bradbury and Giancarlo Ottani
  • (1961) Published in Milan, Italy; by Ponzoni Editore, Coxmo. I Capolavori della fantascienza n. 1 ~ translation by Renato Varchi ~ illustrated by Luigi Garonzi ~ Italian title L'astronave maledetta ~ 2 Volumes; Norton story is in volume 2, along with stories by Ray Bradbury and Giancarlo Ottani
  • (1973) Published in Japan; by Hayakawa Bunko, 41-501-0089-6, SF S48, 298pg ~ translation by Li ~ Cover by Vladimir Vysotsky ~ Japanese title 恐怖の疫病宇宙船 ~ reprinted in 1979
  • (2000) Published in Kaunus, Lithuania; by Eridanas, 99-869-5049-X, 237pg ~ translation by Nomeda Berkuvienė ~ Lithuanian title Maro laivas
  • (1992) Published in Poznań, Poland; by Rebis, 83-852-0237-4, 225pg ~ translation by Paweł Kruk ~ Polish title Statek Plag
  • (1993) Published in Poznań, Poland; by Rebis, 83-852-20270-6, 291pg ~ translation by Danuta i Piotr Tęczyńscy ~ Polish title Statek Plag
  • (1991) Combined with "Sargasso of Space", "Voodoo Planet" and "Postmarked the Stars" ~ Published in Moscow, by Novator, no 5-865-862019-1 and 5-865-86200-9, HC, 400pg ~ translation by A. Malina ~ cover by D. Yu Shcherbinin ~ Russian title Приключения "Королевы Солнца [Adventures of Solar Queen]
  • (1991) Combined with "Sargasso of Space", "Voodoo Planet" and "Postmarked the Stars" ~ Published in Moscow, by Tsentrpoligraf, no ISBN, HC, 478pg ~ cover by A. Waldman ~ Russian title Королева Солнца [Solar Queen]
  • (1991) Combined with "Voodoo Planet" and "Postmarked the Stars" ~ Published in Tashkent, by Impulse-Union, no ISBN, HC, 336pg ~ Russian title Королева Солнца [Solar Queen]
  • (1992) Combined with "Sargasso of Space", "Voodoo Planet" and "Postmarked the Stars" ~ Published in Angarsk, by Amber, 5-883-58016-5, PB, 480pg ~ Russian title Королева Солнца [Solar Queen]
  • (1992) Combined with "Sargasso of Space", "Voodoo Planet" and "Postmarked the Stars" ~ Published in Zelenograd, by Zelenogradskaya Books, 5-863-14005-4, HC 608pg ~ Russian title Королева Солнца [Solar Queen]
  • (1992) Combined with "Sargasso of Space", "Voodoo Planet", "Postmarked the Stars" and "Plague Planet" by unknown ~ Published in Tallinn, by Melora, 5-797-90412-8 and 5-797-90438-1, HC, 400pg ~ translation bt A. Snezhko ~ cover by Boris Vallejo ~ Russian title Скитальцы космоса [Space Wanderers]
  • (1993) Combined with "Sargasso of Space", "Voodoo Planet", "Postmarked the Stars", "Catseye", "Star Hunter" and "Plague Planet" by unknown ~ Published in Yaroslavl, by Nuance, 5-741-51030-2, HC, 768pg ~ cover by N.D. Shadura ~ Russian title Саргассы в космосе [Sargasso of Space]
  • (1995) Combined with "Sargasso of Space", "Voodoo Planet" and "Postmarked the Stars" ~ Published in Angarsk, by Amber Ltd. and Moscow, by Sigma Press, 5-883-58056-4, HC, 528pg ~ cover by Bruce Pennington ~ Russian title Королева Солнца [Solar Queen]
  • (1997) Combined with "Sargasso of Space" translation by S. Berezhkov and S. Pobedino , "Voodoo Planet" and "Postmarked the Stars" translation by A. Malina ~ Published in Moscow, by Armada, 5-763-20301-1, HC, 528pg ~ "Plague Ship" translation by A. Malina ~ Russian title Королева Солнца [Solar Queen]
  • (1999) Combined with "Sargasso of Space" translation by S. Berezhkov and S. Pobedino, "Voodoo Planet" and "Postmarked the Stars" translation by A. Malina ~ Published in Moscow, by AST, 5-237-01754-1, HC, 480pg ~ "Plague Ship" translation by A. Malina ~ Russian title Королева Солнца [Solar Queen]
  • (2002) Combined with "Sargasso of Space" translation by S. Berezhkov and S. Vitina, "Voodoo Planet" and "Postmarked the Stars" translation by A. Malina ~ Published in Moscow, by AST, 5-170-15683-9, HC, 653pg ~ "Plague Ship" translation by A. Malina ~ Russian title Саргассы в космосе. Зачумленный корабль. Планета колдовства. Проштемпелевано звездами.
  • (2004) Combined with "Sargasso of Space" translation by S. Berezhkova and S. Vitina, "Voodoo Planet", and "Postmarked the Stars" translation by A. Malina, "Redline the Stars" translation by E. Dobrokhotova-Maykova, "Derelict for Trade" translation by S. Anisimov, "A Mind for Trade" translation by M. Levin and "Plague Planet" by unknown ~ Published in Moscow, by AST, 5-170-24014-7, HC, 1132pg ~ "Plague Ship" translation by A. Malina ~ Russian title Королева Солнца [Solar Queen]
  • (2004) Combined with "Sargasso of Space" translation by S. Berezhkova and S. Vitina, "Voodoo Planet", and "Postmarked the Stars" translation by A. Malina, "Redline the Stars" translation by E. Dobrokhotova-Maykova, "Derelict for Trade" translation by S. Anisimov and "A Mind for Trade" translation by M. Levin ~ Published in Moscow, by AST, 5-170-24014-7, HC, 1132pg ~ "Plague Ship" translation by A. Malina ~ Russian title Королева Солнца [Solar Queen]
  • (2014) Combined with “Sagasso of Space”, “Voodoo Planet” & “Postmarked the Stars”, Published in Moscow by Eksmo, 9785699690169, HC, 672pgs ~ “Sargasso of Space” translation by S. Berezhkova and S. Pobedina, “Plague Ship”, “Voodoo Planet” & “Postmarked the Stars” translation by A. Malina ~ cover art by A. Dubovik ~ series: All Norton ~ Russian title Королева Солнца [Solar Queen]
  • (2015) Combined with “Sagasso of Space” & “Voodoo Planet”, Published in Moscow; by Eksmo, 9785699800254, HC, 576pgs ~ series: The Great Space Novels ~ Russian title Саргассы в космосе [Sargasso of Space]
  • (2016) Combined with “Sagasso of Space” & “Voodoo Planet”, Published in Moscow; by Eksmo, 9785699800285, HC, 576pgs ~ cover art by A. Dubovik ~ series: The Best Science Fiction of the XX Century ~ Russian title Саргассы в космосе [Sargasso of Space]

 

View the original contract

View the 1969 Gollancz contract

View the 1972 ACE contract

View the Gregg Press contract

View the 1986 ACE contract

 

 

 

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