Sargasso of Space

~ 1st Novel in the Solar Queen Series by Andre Norton

Originally released under pen-name Andrew North


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Sargasso of Space

 

 

Synopsis ~

From an old Amazon.com posting ~

Wiser and richer space traders turned down this cosmic pig-in-a-poke, but the crew of the Solar Queen couldn’t afford anything more secure. And their trip to Limbo to see what they had got proved that the newly discovered world lived up to its ominous name in every way! The free-traders of the Solar Queen win exclusive rights to all tradable goods discovered on the planet Limbo. The crew arrives to find the planet's surface charred, signs of life sparse. Worse yet, a strange pulse emanating from the planet itself may keep the Queen from lifting off. The traders find a secret valley with life, but others may still lurk in rocky caves below. The traders must solve the mysteries of Limbo if they hope to escape the planet, let alone come away with some saleable goods.

 

Write-up fron the front and rear flaps of the dustjacket ~

A fascinating, swiftly-paced story of high adventure in the inter-galactic future: - the future in which newly discovered Planets are put up for sale to the highest bidder – in which each new Planet becomes the mad scene of a fantastic treasure hunt for the one year the bidder is allowed to exploit it.
In this vivid atmosphere, Dane Thorson, newly appointed Apprentice-Cargo Master on the trade ship SOLAR QUEEN, sets out for LIMBO, a newly discovered planet similar to Earth and located in a distant yellow star system. The star-ship SOLAR QUEEN, has successfully bid for exclusive exploration and exploitation of the new planet, but finds itself financially unable to take advantage of their charter.
Dr. Rich, a wealthy, independent, archeologist, offers to supply the necessary money to enable the SOLAR QUEEN to start on its far journey into space – but on the condition that he accompany the voyagers.
Planet-fall is eventually made, and instead of being a deserted planet, the members of the expedition discover that the planet is a strong-hold for a strong band of space pirates who are using weapons (left behind by an unknown but apparently advanced race, known as the Forerunners) to blast richly-laden ships out of space and hijacking their precious cargoes.
Dr. Rich, far from being a scientist, reveals his true colors and is only interested in securing for himself the treasury of the space ships that have been lost on Limbo over the centuries. But in this he is thwarted by Dane Thorson and his shipmates – in action and suspense that is a persuasive as it is interesting.
Sargasso of Space is a wonderful, intelligently worked-out blueprint of daily life in the far future: and the socio-economic life made necessary by inter-galactic affairs.

 

Write-up from the rear flap of Plague Ship ~

The future in which newly discovered Planets are put up for sale to the highest bidder – in which each new Planet becomes the mad scene of a fantastic treasure hunt for the one year the bidder is allowed to exploit it.
In this vivid atmosphere, Dane Thorson, newly-appointed Apprentice-Cargo Master on the trade ship Solar Queen, sets out for Limbo, a newly-discovered planet.
The star-ship Solar Queen, has successfully bid for the exclusive exploration and exploitation of the new planet, but finds itself financially unable to take advantage of their charter.
Dr. Rich, a wealthy, independent archeologist, offers to supply the necessary money to enable the Solar Queen to start on its far journey. Their arrival on Limbo precipitates a series of adventures for our hero and his friends, which includes the discovery of a lost city of the Forerunners, an old civilization that had covered the stars, and a band of space pirates.
Sargasso of Space is a wonderful, intelligently worked-out blueprint of daily life in the far future.

 

Write-up from the back of the early ACE paperback editions ~

For Sales to the highest bidder:
One planet known as Limbo
Population: ?
Resources: ?
Perils: ?
Wiser and richer space traders turned down this cosmic pig-in-a-poke, but the crew of the Solar Queen couldn’t afford anything more secure. And their trip to Limbo to see what they had got proved that the newly discovered distant world lived up to its ominous name in every way!
Andre Norton, writing as “Andrew North,” is first-rate in this novel of the Sargasso of Space.

 

Write-up from the back of the 1980s ACE paperback editions ~

“Worlds for Sale!”
Was the startling cry that electrified Dane Thorson of the space trader Solar Queen. But who’d be crazy enough to buy the newly discovered planet? The data is sealed: the planet could be a treasure trove or a radioactive desert – and only a crew as desperate as that on the Solar Queen would risk such a gamble. Somewhere out there, far beyond the Milky Way, was the world they had bought sight unseen, with the ominous name Limbo….

 

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

Sargasso of Space is the first of three novels that compose the Dane Thorson 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 Sargasso of Space opens, Dane Thorson has just been appointed apprentice Cargo-Master on the Solar Queen, but it does not take long for him to confront his first big challenge. A speculative voyage takes the Solar Queen to the blasted world of Limbo, a former outpost of the mysterious Forerunners, an extinct super race that destroyed itself in a massive war before the coming of man. Instead of trade cargo as they had expected, the spacemen find a treacherous band of space pirates using the enormous Forerunner complex with its forces capable of blasting ships out of space to land richly laden ship on Limbo and hijack their precious cargo ... turning Limbo into a Sargasso of space!
Sargasso of Space includes Sandra Miesel's delightful and comprehensive new introduction to the Space Adventure Novels of Andre Norton.
 

Write-up fron the front flap of the Gollancz edition ~

“Worlds for Sale!” That was the startling cry that electrified Dane Thorson of the space-trader Solar Queen. It was his first trip and the cosmic auction was taking place at an isolated port of call, far out in the Milky Way. Who buy this newly discovered planet? Or that one? The information was sealed – you might get a radioactive desert, a fabulous empire, or you might be stuck with an untracked, unconquerable jungle. Dane and his fellow spacemen took the risk. They bought a planet, sight unseen, who name was … Limbo.
Sargasso of Space displays the superlative imagination and narrative skill that have put Andre Norton among the top writers of science fiction.
 

Write-up from the back of the 1978 UK paperback edition ~

“Under his clawing hands he felt, not the gravel and earth of the valley, but something else… They had come upon the wreckage of a crash – a bad crash. The ship had jammed its way into the narrow neck of the valley as if it were a cork pounded into a bottle.”
Dane Thorson and his friends from the Solar Queen” buy a planet they have never seen – a place called Limbo. A series of strange events happen when Dane and his crew land on the mysterious planet – what is the “Sargasso of space” which seems to attract spaceships, pulling them with an overpowering force on to the planet Limbo, and smashing them against the rocks?

 

Write-ups from fans ~

Dane Thorson, a recent graduate from the Training Pool, is assigned to the Free Traders ship, Solar Queen as Apprentice Cargo-Master. On the first stop at Naxos, they encounter a Patrol "auction" of trading rights to newly-discovered planets.  The auction is unusual, both in its venue and haste, to free Patrol ships to search for one of their own.  Having spent most of their funds, including crew's wages, the Queen has little with which to acquire trade goods.  So they accept a supposed archaeologist's request to buy passage on their ship to the same planet.  But he's a suspicious character, who doesn't seem to know about the most important archaeological discovery lately.  When they arrive on the planet, they discover it had been almost "burned off" in one of the Forerunner wars. The "archaeologist" and his team immediately set up in some of the few remaining ruins, leaving the Queen's crew on their own to search for anything they can find to recoup their investment in the planet.  There are a few primitive life-forms and the Queen's crew finds their "gardens", one of which has been destroyed by an odd-sized machine. As they investigate, Ali Kamil (apprentice engineer) is kidnapped.  Trying to find and free him, the Queen's crew discovers several ships which have crash landed on the planet.  They eventually find their way into a vast underground complex which houses an installation capable of forcing these crash landings.  The "archaeologist's" crew is in control of this installation and are using it to "jack" ships so they can retrieve any valuable cargos.  Howver, one of these crashed ships is a Patrol ship--the same one whose disappearance led to the planet auction.  Frank Mura, Karl Kosti, and Dane manage to penetrate the underground maze, rescue Kamil, and shut down the installation.  The Patrol arrives in time to rescue them, and capture the -jackers.  As their reward the Queens' crew demands--and gets--the spoils from one of the wrecked ships, that of Traxt Cam, who held trading rights to Sargol. ~ SL

 

Sargasso of Space, the first of the four Andre Norton Solar Queen//Dane Thorson novels, this book starts out fast. In the first chapter, she introduces Dane Thorson and the Crew of the Free Trader SOLAR QUEEN and a quick overview of all the factions in this section of the galaxy. The excitement starts in chapter two with a Survey Auction of exclusive trading rights for several planets, some newly discovered. Well-written and fast-paced, it is a true page-turner. Deception and danger force the crew to think on their feet and improvise and tests their skills and stamina. I hadn't read this in a while and I'm looking forward to reading the other three. This is some of her best work and I totally enjoyed it. ~ PG

 

1955’s Sargasso of Space, which Norton originally published under the pen name Andrew North, is memorable because it is the first of the Solar Queen novels. These form a seven-book series1  about Dale Thorson and his fellow Free Traders, who ply their trade between the stars and scrabble for a living despite the fact the game is rigged against them.
The book is notable for me because it just so happens that I caused the text of the 2003 omnibus to be very slightly amended, a story I will tell later on.
Dane Thorson is a merchant trainee who…. ~ JN
Read More…

 

KIRKUS REVIEW ~ Kirkus Reviews Issue: 1955
Interesting conjectures about the future and inter-galactic life (a favorite theme of Andrew North's- better known as Andre Norton) create a vivid atmosphere for the adventures of Dane Thorson, apprentice-cargo-master for the trade ship Solar Queen some centuries hence. Setting out for Limbo, a planet similar to Earth in a distant yellow star system, the Solar Queen's personnel soon become aware that it has been ravaged by wars. Along with them is Dr. Rich, an archeologist who has come to explore Limbo's history. But as the work progresses, Rich turns into a crook instead- a man who is after the treasury of space ships that have been lost on Limbo over the centuries and which could better be turned into a tourist attraction than a base for illegal operations. Dane and the others capture Rich- not for the soft future their deeds may bring but as a step to enlarge the possibilities in the rather fascinating and provocative world Andre Norton has made for them. 

 

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

1955 Kirkus Review
1955 by Anthony Boucher in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, September
1955 by Hans Stefan Santesson in Fantastic Universe (fnz), December
1956 by P. Schuyler Miller in Astounding Science Fiction, January, reprinted in: (UK) by P. Schuyler Miller in Astounding Science Fiction, September
1956 by Floyd C. Gale in Galaxy Science Fiction, February
1958 by Calvin M. Knox in Science Fiction Adventures, March
1958 by S. E. Cotts in Amazing Science Fiction, April
1958 by P. Schuyler Miller in Astounding Science Fiction, June
1965 by P. Schuyler Miller in Analog Science Fact -> Science Fiction, February
1985 by Michael M. Levy in Fantasy Review, October

 

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Bibliography of English Editions ~

  • [as Andrew North] (1955) Published by Gnome Press, HC, LCCN 55005464, $2.50, 185pg ~ cover by Ed Emshwiller {Gray Cloth Boards}
  • (1957) ACE Double Book containing Sargasso of Space and The Cosmic Puppets by Philip K. Dick, Published by ACE, PB, # D-249, $0.35, 127+192pp ~ cover of Sargasso of Space by Ed Emshwiller ~ cover of The Cosmic Puppets by Ed Valigursky ~ Title is misspelled on the spine “Sagasso”

   Synopsis for The Cosmic Puppets ~  Yielding to a compulsion he can’t explain, Ted Barton interrupts his vacation in order to visit the town of his birth, Millgate, Virginia. But upon entering the sleepy, isolated little hamlet, Ted is distraught to find that the place bears no resemblance to the one he left behind—and never did. He also discovers that in this Millgate Ted Barton died of scarlet fever when he was nine years old. Perhaps even more troubling is the fact that it is literally impossible to escape. Unable to leave, Ted struggles to find the reason for such disturbing incongruities, but before long, he finds himself in the midst of a struggle between good and evil that stretches far beyond the confines of the valley.

  • (1964) Published by ACE, PB, # F-279, $0.40, 192pg ~ cover by Ed Emshwiller ~ “Andre Norton writing as Andrew North” ~ #74981 1971 $0.75 188pg, #74983 1975 $1.25 188pg covers by Jeff Jones ~ #74984 1978 $1.75 248pg cover by Don Brautigan, #75985 1981 $1.95 248pg, #75986 1983 $2.50 248pg, #75987 1985 $2.50 248pg covers by Walter Valez
  • (1970) Published by Gollancz, HC, 0-575-00516-5, £ 1.00p 20s, 192pg ~ UK printing ~ cover by Alan Breese {Orange Paper Boards}
  • (1978) Published by Gregg Press, HC, 0-839-82415-7, LCCN 77026135, $7.95, 185pg ~ Space Adventure Novels of Andre Norton 1 ~ Dust Jacket by Jack Gaughan, Frontmatter by Elizabeth R. Cooke, New Introduction by Sandra Miesel {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, 0-416-88290-0, £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)
  • (2012) Published by Premier Digital Publishing, eISBN 978-1-937957-49-0, DM, $3.99, 174pg ~ cover by Kib Prestridge
  • (2014) Published by Open Road Media, eISBN 978-1-497656-63-5, DM, $3.99, 174pg ~ cover by Kib Prestridge

 

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Non-English Editions ~

  • (1996) Published in Prague, Czech Republic; by Ivo Železný, PB, 80-2373-373-7, 175pg ~ cover by Karel Kárász ~ translation by Ingrid Vichnarová ~ Czech Title Sargasová planeta
  • (1955) Published in Paris, France; by Ditis, PB, OCLC: 459786487, 188pg ~ translation by Georges Camici and Michel Averlant ~ French Title Les Naufrageurs de l'espace
  • (1956) Published in Germany; by Balve i. Westf.: Hönne-Verl, OCLC: 73597936, DM 6.80, 256pg ~ translation by Heinrich F. Gottwald ~ German title Die Raumschiffe-Falle
  • (1958) Published in Rastatt, Germany; by Pabel, OCLC: 72941776, Utopia Großband 64, DM 1.00, 95pg ~ translation by Heinrich F. Gottwald ~ German title Die Raumschiffe-Falle
  • (1963) Published in Rastatt, Germany; by Pabel, OCLC: 73753110, Utopia Großband 202, DM 1.00, 79pg ~ translation by Heinrich F. Gottwald ~ German title Gefangen auf Limbo
  • (1972) Published by Boje-Weltraumabenteuer, 3-414-12710-5, DM 7.90, 219pg ~ German title Der unheimliche Planet
  • (1973) Published in Hungary; by Kossuth, 235pg ~ translation by László Szíjgyártó ~ cover by István Nyári ~ Hungarian title  Sargasso a világűrben
  • (1991) Published in Milan, Italy; by Mondadori, Urania Fantasy n. 1156, 176pg ~ translation by Antonella Pieretti ~ Illustrated by Vicente Segrelles ~ Italian title Limbo
  • (1972) Published in Japan; by Hayakawa Bunko, 41-501-0056-X, SF S47, 309pg ~ translation by Li ~ Cover by Reiji Matsumoto ~ Japanese title 大宇宙の墓場 ~ reprinted in 1979 & 2006
  • (2000) Published in Kaunus, Lithuania; by Eridanas, 99-869-5044-9, 222pg ~ translation by Nomeda Berkuvienė ~ Lithuanian title Kosmoso sargasai
  • (1989) Published in Poland; OCLC: 69502816, 157pg ~ Polish title Sargassowa Planeta
  • (1991) Published in Poznań, Poland; by Rebis, 83-852-0212-9, 245pg ~ translation by Urszula Zielińska ~ Polish title Sargassowa Planeta
  • (1969) Published in Moscow, by Mir, no ISBN, PB, 232pg ~ translation by S. Berezhkov and S. Vitina ~ cover by Yuri Makarov ~ Russian title Саргассы в космосе [Sargasso of Space]
  • (1989) Published in Moscow, by Publishing House of MAI, 5-703-50008-7, PB, 224pg ~ translation by S. Berezhkov and S. Vitina ~ cover by B. Shuttles ~ Russian title Саргассы в космосе [Sargasso of Space]
  • (1991) Combined with "Plague Ship", "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 "Plague Ship", "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 "Postmarked the Stars" translation by R.J. Sololov ~ Published in Moscow, by Mir, 5-867-40006-9, HC, 350pg ~ "Sargasso of Space" translation by S. Berezhkov and S. Pobedino ~ Russian title Суперкарго с "Королевы Солнца." [Supercargo of the Solar Queen]
  • (1992) Combined with "Plague Ship", "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 "Plague Ship", "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 "Plague Ship", "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]
  • (1992) Combined with "Postmarked the Stars", "Witch World", "Dragon Scale Silver", "Dream Smith" and "Amber Out of Quayth" translation by Yu Sokolova ~ Published by Alterpres, 5-874-98065-2, HC, 752pg ~ ""Sargasso of Space" translation by S. Berezhkova and S. Vitina ~ cover by A. Stolin ~ Russian title Галактический почтовый [Postmarked the Stars]
  • (1992) Combined with "The Currents of Space" by Isaac Asimov translation by Z. Bobyr, and "A Fall of Moondust" by Arthur C. Clarke translation by A. Zhdanov ~ Published in MA, by South West, 5-862-266004-6, PB, 256pg ~ "Sargasso of Space" translation by S. Berezhkov and S. Vitina ~ cover by Yu VA Basov ~ Russian title Приключения в космосе [Adventures in Space]
  • (1992) Combined with "The Space Merchants" by Frederik Pohl and Cyril M. Kombluth translation by NA Kuznetsova and T. Shinkar ~ Published in Moscow, by All For You, 5-865-64004-6 and 5-865-64001-1, PB, 336pg ~ "Sargasso of Space" translation by S. Berezhkov and S. Vitina ~ cover by AF Bulls ~ Russian title Сборник научно-фантастических произведений [Collection of Science Fiction]
  • (1992) Combined with several other novels and short stories by other authors ~ Published by Donetsk Society of Book Lovers, 5-770-71320-8, HC, 592pg ~ "Sargasso of Space" translation by S. Berezhkov and S. Vitina ~ Russian title Саргассы в космосе [Sargasso of Space]
  • (1993) Combined with "Plague Ship", "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 "Plague Ship", "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 "Plague Ship", "Voodoo Planet" and "Postmarked the Stars" translation by A. Malina ~ Published in Moscow, by Armada, 5-763-20301-1, HC, 528pg ~ "Sargasso of Space" translation by S. Berezhkov and S. Pobedino ~ Russian title Королева Солнца [Solar Queen]
  • (1999) Combined with "Plague Ship", "Voodoo Planet" and "Postmarked the Stars" translation by A. Malina ~ Published in Moscow, by AST, 5-237-01754-1, HC, 480pg ~ "Sargasso of Space" translation by S. Berezhkov and S. Pobedino ~ Russian title Королева Солнца [Solar Queen]
  • (1999) Combined with "The Day of the Triffids" by John Wyndham and "Mission of Gravity" by Hal Clement, both translation by S. Berezhkov ~ Published in Moscow, by AST and St. Petersburg, by Terra Fantastica, 5-237-03255-9 and 5-170-00844-2, HC, 608pg ~ "Sargasso of Space" translation by S. Berezhkov and S. Vitina ~ cover by A. Dubovik ~ Russian title Миры братьев Стругацких. Переводы [Worlds of the Strugatsky Brothers, Translations]
  • (2002) Combined with "Plague Ship", "Voodoo Planet" and "Postmarked the Stars" translation by A. Malina ~ Published in Moscow, by AST, 5-170-15683-9, HC, 653pg ~ "Sargasso of Space" translation by S. Berezhkov and S. Vitina ~ Russian title Саргассы в космосе. Зачумленный корабль. Планета колдовства. Проштемпелевано звездами.
  • (2004) Combined with "Plague Ship", "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 ~ "Sargasso of Space" translation by S. Berezhkova and S. Vitina ~ Russian title Королева Солнца [Solar Queen]
  • (2004) Combined with "Plague Ship", "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, 5-170-24016-3, HC, 1136pg ~ "Sargasso of Space" translation by S. Berezhkova and S. Vitina ~ Russian title Королева Солнца [Solar Queen]
  • (2014) Published in Moscow; by Eksmo, 9785699723812, PB, 320pgs ~ translation by S. Berezhkova and S. Pobedina ~ series: The Silver Fiction Collection ~ cover art by A. Dubovik ~ Russian title Саргассы в космосе [Sargasso of Space]

  • (2014) Combined with “Plague Ship”, “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 “Plague Ship” & “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 “Plague Ship” & “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 1957 ACE contract

View the 1969 Gollancz contract

View the 1972 ACE contract

View the Gregg Press contract

View the 1986 ACE contract

View the 1983 copyright renewal app.

View the 1985 Swedish contract

 

 

 

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The future in which newly discovered Planets are put up for sale to the highest bidder – in which each new Planet becomes the mad scene of a fantastic treasure hunt for the one year the bidder is allowed to exploit it.

In this vivid atmosphere, Dane Thorson, newly-appointed Apprentice-Cargo Master on the trade ship Solar Queen, sets out for Limbo, a newly-discovered planet.

The star-ship Solar Queen, has successfully bid for the exclusive exploration and exploitation of the new planet, but finds itself financially unable to take advantage of their charter.

Dr. Rich, a wealthy, independent archeologist, offers to supply the necessary money to enable the Solar Queen to start on its far journey. Their arrival on Limbo precipitates a series of adventures for our hero and his friends, which includes the discovery of a lost city of the Forerunners, an old civilization that had covered the stars, and a band of space pirates.

Sargasso of Space is a wonderful, intelligently worked-out blueprint of daily life in the far future.