Book info

The Zero Stone (1985)

The Zero Stone (1985)
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Rating
3.97 of 5 Votes: 2
ISBN
0441959660 (ISBN13: 9780441959662)
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English
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ace
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The Zero Stone (1985)
The Zero Stone (1985)

About book: Talk about opening in medias res. Jern appears fleeing for his life from the killers of his mentor -- a cult called the Green Robes, which usually avoided off-worlders, this time selected "randomly" for human sacrifice two of them, a gemologist and his apprentice Jern.Jern's father had been deep in the Thieves' Guild, bought his way out, and then got Jern the apprenticeship that he might go farther, with a background having no links to crime. He also gave him the title stone, in a ring, before he was murdered in his office by someone who tortured him and tore apart the room, looking for something.And in the present day, he finds refuge in a sanctuary, and tries to book flight on a Free Trader vessel.He gets it. And there, on another planet, he finds something that the ship cat eats before giving birth to Eet. Whereupon Eet acts. A lot. Indeed, his role thereafter bears some resemblance to Watson in the wake of Sherlock Holmes. Plenty of action and adventure. Probably could have stood a bit more tight of a plot, but it can certainly bear you along.

A space opera in the classic sense. Murdoc Jern, gem trader, begins a series of strange and dangerous adventures not of his own volition but under the magical force of the Zero Stone and the mysterious guidance of Eet, a unique, telepathic being born - this time around - from a large seed swallowed and gestated by a cat before Murdoc's eyes. (Cats figure prominently in many of Norton's novels).Reminiscent of Heinlein's juveniles and full of the dash and romp of space adventures from the Golden Age of science fiction. Norton's use of formal language and poetic wording is beautiful and satisfying but sometimes does border on stilted and contrived.For a swift and lite summer read, the Zero Stone is an enjoyable pick.
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Reviews
Colin Powell
I read this book a long time ago back in the 1970s. I got the book from the school library. I selected it because I had read Andre Norton's Star Rangers and really enjoyed it. All I can remember of this story is Murdoc Jern and his rat or cat like creature that was telepathic. Its name is Eet and it might have been something living inside the Cat or rat type creature. I know I enjoyed the book, but I've read so many that the plot eludes me today. I can remember Murdoc and Eet inside a furry creature (cat/rat type thing)And I know I liked it simply because it involved space travel and was set in the future.
Randolph Carter
First long "chapter" book I can still remember reading and the first time I started keeping track of what I read, although I'm sure there were a few others before. This started me on science fiction which was my favorite genre for a number of years. Several years ago I found a first edition at a fine used book store in great shape with an intact dust jacket in a plastic book cover. Since I first read this in a library edition I bought this one. It had the same cover I remember. Had to have it at any price.I'm not sure it is really a five star book, but it was for me when I was eleven so I'm not changing it.
Valerie
This is the 1st book in a two-book series featuring Murdoc Jern, itinerant jewel merchant, and the mysterious feline mutant Eet.Most of the citiations for this book put the say the 1st edition was printed in 1000. Norton was long-lived, but I'd say this was a way of saying they don't know. Before 1968, anyway, when this edition came out.Minor orthographic note: these paperback editions abound with typos, but one is fairly consistent: apparently Norton thought 'stifling' had two f's. This series is one of the series set in a not very well numbered future. These books are set about the time when the Free Traders were becoming inbred, but when they still had ship's cats.
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