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Plague Ship (Solar Queen #2)

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  1,334 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
Told from the viewpoint of Dane Thorson, an apprentice-Cargo Master, a "lanky, very young man in an ill-fitting Trader's tunic," Plague Ship takes the crew of the Solar Queen to Sargol, where the enigmatic feline natives seem very reluctant to trade away their fabulous scented gemstones. When Dane Thorson discovers an herb that the Salariki are willing to swap for their ge ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published December 1st 2006 by Echo Library (first published 1954)
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Community Reviews

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Aug 18, 2015 Lyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Plague Ship by Andre Norton (North, Alice Mary Norton – Andre was a female writer) was first published in 1954 and is a great example of vintage Golden Age SF.

Very much reminiscent of Heinlein juveniles or Frederik Pohl or especially Poul Anderson and his Polesotechnic League series featuring Nicholas Van Rjin (Norton has a character, a trader also, named Van Ryche – though Norton’s Van Ryche does not come close to the personality of Van Rijn.)

The second in her Dane Thorson / Solar Queen series,
Aug 22, 2011 Sandy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Plague Ship" (1956) is the second installment in Andre Norton's so-called Dane Thorson series, and is a direct continuation of the previous volume, "Sargasso of Space." (A reading of that earlier novel is highly recommended before going into this one.) "Plague Ship" does everything that a good sci-fi sequel should: It expands on the possibilities of the previous book, deepens the characters, increases the action and leaves us wanting still more. It's a very fast-moving and suspenseful tale, ful ...more
Though I realized I have a TON of Norton/North books to get through, this is my favorite one to date. I read a lot of maritime history, and the worst thing that could happen when you’re halfway between to points is either a fire or a disease. If you stop to think about it, there really aren’t that many differences between a maritime vessel in the 1700’s and the spacefaring vessels of the future. Each planet would have to have strict rules to prevent the spread of other-worldly diseases. If you ...more
Jason Reeser
The second Solar Queen novel, this short but action-packed little novel is full of what makes Andre Alice Norton the master of 1950’s SF; alien worlds, alien species, and men who are determined to make their mark on the wilds of space. Like any good horse opera, her space operas take a tried and true formula and deliver a solid, fun story. Again, I’ll mention that her works are not hard SF, but something more in line with the original Twilight Zone or Flash Gordon serials of old. And that, in my ...more
Mar 23, 2015 Наталья rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Что мне нравится в книгах этой серии, так это динамика - постоянно что-то происходит, автор не дает заскучать и держит в напряжении.

А еще это персонажи. Главный герой, Дэйн - простой обычный парень. Он вызывает симпатию. И остальные члены экипажа "Королевы Солнца" такие разные, и каждый интересен сам по себе, и тем любопытнее наблюдать, как они дополняют друг друга в жизни-работе вольных торговцев.

Сама тема космической торговли также описывается очень увлекательно - законы, обычаи, ритуалы, т
Cedar Sanderson
Feb 11, 2017 Cedar Sanderson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
One of the Solar Queen series, these are space opera in the old school, and fun to read. In this adventure, the trading ship is stricken by a strange ailment, and unless they are fast and clever, they will be quarantined and abandoned to die. The ship's cat plays a pivotal role, an element I enjoyed.
Mar 09, 2016 Steven rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When one talks about the "Golden Age" of science fiction, many authors come to mind, including Andre Alice Norton. While her books are dated and weren't "hard" science fiction (you're not going to get three pages of why the shielding on a spaceship resists radioactive emissions), they were cutting edge back then. And, like many writers of that time she relied on characters and story arc more than wowing her readers with physics explanations.

The plot for this story is good and doesn't require rea
This book was incredibly good. Really, for a book written during the golden age of science fiction, you just can't get any better than this. A tight, fast-paced plot, a likable, mostly well-fleshed out protagonist, and interesting aliens make for a fun read.

Andre Norton's writing is crisp and intelligent. I kept picturing a teenage boy in 1956 reading this at night under the covers with a flashlight, dreaming of the day he could blast out to the Rim planets and make his fortune in Trade.

So good
Oct 10, 2012 Denis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: trade
A novel by the very successful pulp novelist that, unfortunately, is little mentioned when speaking of golden age ScFi authors. She is pre- le Guin and Tiptree Jr, and nearly as prolific as Silverberg. True, she tends to lean more towards fantasy and not considered "hard SF", but can spin a spaceship yarn right up there with Eric Frank Russel and, at times - dare I say, Heinlein.

Good solid adventure stuff.
Aug 28, 2010 Miles rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
A good book, but uncomplicated as SF goes. It was a little heavy handed in places. Were it written today it would be classes as young adult science fiction. Still, it's not bad for a piece of work brought from the far off land of 1956. Most SF doesn't have what it takes to survive a half century without completely losing meaning. Three stars.
May 07, 2011 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: podcast, listened-to
Nice scifi "listen" for someone not deeply into science fiction. Remember, I really don't review a book/podcast. I prefer to read the podcast/book's blip then listen/read and be surprised. I liked this one. (
Apr 15, 2013 Kelley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fast paced and suspenseful; a tale that was imaginative and entertaining.
Nebula Books
Apr 05, 2016 Nebula Books rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Plague Ship is the second novel in a seven volume series about the Free Traders – A crew of Merchants that explore new worlds and make contact with new species to open up trade. The story was published in 1956, and though it is almost sixty years old now, it has aged gracefully.

Set within its own clear continuity, it makes no specific references to style, language or culture that could otherwise date the book. The story makes no effort to try to explain the precise intricacies of its scientific
Part of the fun reading this SF novel from 1956 is rediscovering that in those times spaceships (shaped “needle slim”) could travel the whole galaxy back and forth by just having their crews press some buttons in the control cabin (yes, there is a mention of a computer twice). Conversations and events were recorded in “tapes” or in “microfilm rolls”, stored in a “library of recordings”; to view the latter the spacemen (no women at all in sight, not even distant wives or daughters mentioned or re ...more
I can't seem to find my editions of any of these. This follows immediately on Sargasso of Space, and is (so far as I know), the first introduction of the Salariki. It's interesting that a star-spanning civilization still can't effectively prevent the spread of plagues without abandoning plague ships to drift in space. Ok, granted, there're a lot of different ailments on all those different worlds, but'd think that people who had hyperdrive could manage reasonable preventive health ca ...more
Inge (Inge1990)
A spaceship with trades are trading among all different planets. However on one planet they get in a little bit of trouble with the native inhabitants, and a newbie tries to solve it by giving them some catnip. Not a big of a deal you would think. However, they do not know if the catnip is safe or addicting to the native inhabitants..
On their way back they find that they have a chameleon like animal on the ship which is a true plague. They are not allowed to land but do it anyway and a whole lo
"Exotic gems and valuable oils were the lures that brought the space trader Solar Queen to the new planet Sargol"... An Ace paperback, cover price 40 cents!! Found this and two others on a bus stop one morning! Read it in 1999 when I found the books, read it again today. Did I read it in the 60s? Who knows? I found it interesting that three-quarters of what was probably the U.S. is a radioactive wasteland.
Simple "classic" SF. Rocket ships that land on their fins. Blasters. Lots of space lingo. A few weird aliens. Basically, fun.

There was one funny, poorly thought-out item. The spacers return to Terra and land in the "burned out zone." It was the result of an atomic war generations before. Despite sending space ships around the galaxy, no one on earth new anything was alive there. Why not look down out of their space ships as they take off?
The second book about the Trade Federation or what-not. What I like best about this book is that the characters see nothing wrong with introducing addictive drugs to the people they're trading with, who are content to swap the entire produce of their planet for that year for said drug. That the people are cat-people and the drug is catnip simply makes the fact that the pushers would be applauded by Nancy Regan mildly charming.
B. Zedan
Jul 22, 2008 B. Zedan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Folks who like some light sf action
Traders! I enjoy this sub-genre (trading goods, being kind of explorers and sociologists and money-grubbers at once). This is second in a series, and now I've got to go find the rest. Solid fun, some social learnin' that isn't heavy-handed. See what happens when you let 'em have the first one free? They get hooked. It kind of weirds me out that there is a Jellico in this series, as there is a Jellico in one of David Drake's Hammer's Slammers books.
Mar 20, 2015 Frank rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened-to
(LibriVox recording, reading by Mark Nelson) Andre Norton writing as Andrew North was a staple of 1950's science fiction. The Plague Ship was for me a great part of my introduction to the genre. I recommend this as a look into what made science fiction intriguing for younger readers at the time.
The LibriVox recording is clean and well-done.
r gori
Nov 02, 2015 r gori rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The second book in the Solar Queen series, a good sequel to Sargasso of space actually a little better, but both are fun reads. Well written as always from Andre Norton, not to difficult to figure out what was happening but a good original story. If you enjoy classic si-fi you will like Plague ship.
Brian Layman
Dec 15, 2014 Brian Layman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2014
Having read this over a weekend while knowing nothing about the book, I thought it was a pretty good tribute to classic 1950s sci-fi... Well that's because it was 1950s sci-fi and Andre Norton was a woman who contributed significantly to the formation of the genre. Look her up. It's worth it.
Preston Ray
If I had read this in the 70s when I was a teen I probably would have loved it. Even now it compares well to a lot of what was written in the 50s for scifi. A quick easy read if you enjoy classic scifi from that time.
John Henderson
Amazing Story

An incredibly well written story with all the detail and intrigue expected from an Andre Norton novel. Great reading! I encourage young sci-fi fans to read this and any other they can find. You won't be disappointed.
Mar 01, 2014 Jerry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not bad for being written in the fifties

a good solid sci-fi story. good characters, interesting plot and story. a little predictable but still interesting. The author makes up some interesting space lingo. all in all a good book
Nov 29, 2010 Lindsay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, z2010, kindle
It's always nice to read a sci-fi book which has a bit more depth than simply looking at technology and aliens, and this book certainly does that. It has a nice political slant looking at the relationship between power and opportunity, and the characters are interesting and realistic.
Mar 22, 2015 Fred rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
The technology and gender stereotypes are extremely dated, but it's still a fun read. With satellite imaging and global positioning, and what we know about radioactive fallout, some of the plot devices lose all their credibility. You just have to let go of that.
May 18, 2010 Skip rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sword-and-laser
I read this as a kid and it was one of the books that hooked me on SciFi as a genre. It's a golden age space story, a great quick read. I can't wait for these books to come out in e-book format. They'd make great $1.99 pulps for summer reading.
Craig Brown
Jul 26, 2011 Craig Brown rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Audio book as I was traveling for work. I really enjoyed this. The story was fairly strong, I enjoy old Sci-Fi every now and then. This is a free audio book, Librovox, excellent reader. I highly recommend this to someone looking for an audio book.
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Goodreads Librari...: Editions need separating 9 25 Oct 22, 2013 09:02AM  
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Alice Mary Norton always had an affinity to the humanities. She started writing in her teens, inspired by a charismatic high school teacher. First contacts with the publishing world led her, as many other contemporary female writers targeting a male-dominated market, to choose a literary pseudonym. In 1934 she legally changed her name to Andre Alice. The androgynous Andre doesn't really say "male" ...more
More about Andre Norton...

Other Books in the Series

Solar Queen (7 books)
  • Sargasso Of Space (Solar Queen, #1)
  • Voodoo Planet (Solar Queen, #3)
  • Postmarked the Stars (Solar Queen, #4)
  • Redline The Stars (Solar Queen, #5)
  • Derelict for Trade (Solar Queen, #6)
  • A Mind for Trade (Solar Queen, #7)

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