The Solar Queen

~ An Omnibus for the Solar Queen Series by Andre Norton


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The Solar Queen

 

 

 

Contains ~

  • Plague Ship [as Andrew North] (1956) Published by Gnome Press, HC, LCCN 56007843, $2.75, 192pg ~ cover by Ed Emshwiller
  • Sargasso of Space [as Andrew North] (1955) Published by Gnome Press, HC, LCCN 55005464, $2.50, 185pg ~ cover by Ed Emshwiller

 

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Synopsis ~

Write-up from an old Amazon.com posting ~

The Solar Queen is one of Andre Norton's best-selling SF series, with four original novels published between 1955 and 1971. Following the career of young Dane Thorson, who starts as an assistant to the cargo master, Sargasso of Space and Plague Ship are adventures that take the independent free-trader ship Solar Queen to exotic planets.
Norton captures, with great excitement and interest, the camaraderie of the diverse crew and the way they pull together, their wits and instincts to work through tight spots and beat seemingly impossible odds. Through these two novels, as Dane Thorson grows into his job, the reader is treated to vintage space opera with a sense of wonder about the mysteries that face humankind out in the galaxy beyond Earth.
As Dane Thorson and his crewmates deal with the special problems of a small interstellar cargo ship, readers will be glued to their seats, wondering how these plucky, determined spacefarers can get themselves through the nasty scrapes that dog the space-ways.

 

Write-up from the front flap of the 2003 dustjacket ~

Adventure in Space
In I955, Andre Norton introduced Dane Thorson, an apprentice cargo-master who signed on with the independent cargo ship Solar Queen looking for a career in all-world trade. Here are the first two star-spanning tales of Dane Thorson and the Solar Queen.
In Sargasso of Space, 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 salable goods.
In Plague Ship, the Queen travels to Sargol, homeworld to a race of sentient felines, the Salariki. Sargol promises a wealth of exquisite gems to trade—if the crew can overcome the natives’ mistrust. But their troubles have only just begun. When a mysterious illness overtakes all the crew except the four youngest, the Galactic Patrol labels the Queen plagued and orders it to be destroyed on sight. The apprentices discover alien beings aboard the Queen and realize that the illness may be connected to the aliens. With every ship in the galaxy searching for them, the crew has one chance to save the Solar Queen: broadcast their plight throughout the galaxy. But the one station able to do this is on Earth, at Patrol headquarters, which ordered the Solar Queens destruction!

 

Write-up from the back of the Tradepaper edition ~

Almost half a century ago, Andre Norton introduced apprentice cargo master Dane Thorson in Sargasso of Space and Plague Ship.
Dane signed on with the independent cargo ship Solar Queen looking for a career in off-world trade.
In Sargasso of Space the Solar Queen free traders win exclusive rights to trade with the planet Limbo, but the crew arrives to find most of the planet’s surface charred, with little signs of life. They find a valley with life, but other may still lurk. Worse yet, a strange force threatens to cripple the Queen. They must solve the planet’s mysteries if they hope to escape not only with tradable goods, but their lives.
In Plague Ship, the Queen travels to Sargol, which promises a wealth of exquisite gems to trade – if the crew can overcome the native feline Salarikis’ mistrust. But their troubles have just begun! When a mysterious illness overtakes all the crew except the four youngest, the Galactic Patrol labels the Queen plagued and orders it destroyed on sight. With every ship in the galaxy searching for them, the crew have just one chance to save the Solar Queen. But if their bold plan is foiled it would mean the end of the Solar Queen and its crew! 

 

Write-up from a fan ~

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

Plague Ship ~ 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

 

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Bibliography of English Editions ~

  • (2003) Published by TOR, HC, 0-765-30054-0, $25.95, 382pg ~ cover by Julie Bell {Orange Paper Boards}
  • (2004) Published by SFBC, HC, # 61654, $12.49, 382pg ~ cover by Julie Bell
  • (2004) Published by TOR, TP, 0-765-30055-9, $14.95, 382pg ~ cover by Julie Bell

 

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Non-English Editions ~

  • (2005) Published in Sofia, Bulgaria; by Orphee, 9544440577, PB, 244pg, ~ Bulgarian title Кралицата на слънцето [Queen of the Sun]

 

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Adventure in Space

In I955, Andre Norton introduced Dane Thorson, an apprentice cargo-master who signed on with the independent cargo ship Solar Queen looking for a career in all-world trade. Here are the first two star-spanning tales of Dane Thorson and the Solar Queen.

In Sargasso of Space, the Free Traders ofl 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 salable goods.

In Plague Ship, the Queen travels to Sargol, homeworld to a race of sentient felines, the Salariki. Sargol promises a wealth of exquisite gems to trade—if the crew can overcome the natives’ mistrust. But their troubles have only just begun. When a mysterious illness overtakes all the crew except the four youngest, the Galactic Patrol labels the Queen plagued and orders it to be destroyed on sight. The apprentices discover alien beings aboard the Queen and realize that the illness may be connected to the aliens. With every ship in the galaxy searching for them, the crew has one chance to save the Solar Queen: broadcast their plight throughout the galaxy. But the one station able to do this is on Earth, at Patrol headquarters, which ordered the Solar Queens destruction!