Eye of the Monster

~ A Novel by Andre Norton


Synopsis ~

Write-up from the back of the paperback edition ~

Rees Naper had never trusted the reptilian Ishkurians, in spite of the fact that many of the Terran colonists thought they had been wronged, his worst fears were realized when the Terran authorities decided to grant the Ishkurians self government and withdrew their protective forces from the planet.

It turned out that he was right-as soon as the last troops left the “crocs” went on a killing rampage.

Cut off from the remaining fortified outpost by miles of jungle and armies of crocs, Rees knew that his only chance for survival was to outwit the cunning reptiles. He had to learn to think like a croc, feel like a croc and see through the eye of the monster!


Write-ups from fans ~

The Space Patrol plans to withdraw from a planet inhabited with intelligent lizards, leaving small groups of planters and research scientists, who believe they are safe from native reprisal because they have always been fair with the "Crocs".  Hero does not believe this, because of his training for Space Patrol, interrupted when his parents died and his uncle, one of the narrow-minded bleeding-heart research scientists, gained custody of him.  Come the day of withdrawal, the Crocs rise up and begin a massacre of the off-worlders.  Hero has to make his way to the spaceport through the angered natives, rescuing a human child and two Salariki females as he goes. ~ SL


This is an odd one, folks--xenophobia to the max. For some reason known only to the plot, Terrans settled a colony on Ishkur where the dominant race is sentient savage and Crocodilian with killer cases of body Odor (and here we thought the Throgs in Storm Over Warlock were bad) Scattered around are trading posts, research stations and mines and a spaceport. Ishkurians (Crocs) even hate the machines that these humans have brought to their planet. However, as long as Terra has troops on the planet, they pretend to get along with the off-worlders. Due to budget cuts, the troops have been removed and a bloodbath ensues.
Rees Naper, and a neighbor boy and a pair of female Salariki (natives of Sargol from Plague Ship) flee for safety in a "roller" and after many trials and tribulations, get away. This is worth reading as she expands on the characteristics of the female Salariki. I wish she had written more about the Lady-cat. ~ PG


I learned a couple of useful lessons reading 1962’s Eye of the Monster. One was that, contrary to my belief that the Number 24 bus loops back to Westmount and Highland in ten minutes, it actually takes long enough for me to read a considerable fraction of a short—135 pages in the 1984 Ace MMPK—novel like Eye of the Monster [1]. The other lesson was that Norton could write books that reminded me of Jack Vance’s novels, but not in a good way.
The planet Ishkur! Once part of the South Sector Empire but now, thanks to…. ~ JN
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Various reviews ~ For more info and other listings see Articles Over the Years

1962 by P. Schuyler Miller, Analog Science Fact - Science Fiction, December - reprinted: in (UK) Analog Science Fact - Science Fiction, April
1975 by Charles N. Brown in Locus #175 (fnz), June 24
1975 by Cerrulia Kent in The Science Fiction Review Monthly #5 (fnz), July
2015 by James Nicoll, May, 08   Θ
2018 by Judith Tarr at TOR.com, Dec. 24


Bibliography of English Editions ~

  • (1962) ACE Double Book containing Eye of the Monster and Sea Siege, Published by ACE, PB, # F-147, $0.40, 80+176pg ~ cover of Eye of the Monster by Ed Emshwiller ~ cover of Sea Siege by Edward Valigursky  ~ Eye of the Monster - “First Book Publication” & Sea Siege - “Complete and Unabridged”
  • (1972) Published by ACE, PB, 0-441-22375-3, $1.25, 135pg ~ 1975 & 77 same #s, #22376 1980 $1.95, ~ covers by Dean Ellis ~ # 22377 1984 $2.50, #22378 1986 $2.75 ~ covers by unknown


Non-English Editions ~

  • (1963) Published in Rastatt, Germany; by Pabel, OCLC: 73753108, Utopia Großband 201, 79pg ~ German title Im dschungel von Ishkur
  • (1994) Combined with "Here Abide Monsters" ~ Published in Moscow, by Sigma Press and Zelenograd, by Zelenogradskaya Books, 5-863-14031-3, HC, 352pg ~ translation by A. D. Saveliev, and Y. Saveliev ~ cover by D. Avvakumov ~ Russian title Здесь обитают чудовища [Here Abide Monsters]
  • (2014) Combined with “Star Hunter” & “The Stars Are Ours!”, Published in Moscow by Eksmo, 9785699753215, HC, 704pgs ~ “The Stars Are Ours!” translation by D. Arseniev, “Star Hunter” translation by D. Arseniev & A. Kolesnikov, “Eye of the Monster” translation by D. Saveliev & Y. Savelyev ~ cover art by A. Dubovik ~ series: All Norton ~ Russian title Звёздный охотник [Star Hunter]


View the Original contract

View the Original ACE contract

View the 1986 ACE contract