The sequel to Plague Ship, Voodoo Planet features Dane Thorson, a young man fortunate enough to land a job on the Free Trader ship, the “Solar Queen.” Plying their trade among the stars, Free Traders visit planets–known and unknown–in search of profit. Captain Gaelic and the ship’s medic, Tau, are invited to Khatka, a world settled by African refugees, to help unravel the secret of a witch doctor’s growing power. Dane is invited along as cover, much to his delight. Khatka has been set up as an exclusive hunting preserve for the rich. With mysterious, possibly supernatural deaths at the hands of otherworldly creatures, disappearing equipment, and a witch doctor’s “magic” (not to mention poachers!), it may be more than the crew of the Solar Queen can handle!
“From between the two shuffling dancers padded something on four feet. The canine-feline creature was more than just a head; it was a loose-limbed, graceful body fully eight feet in length, and the red eyes in the prick-eared head were those of a killer…. Words issued from between those curved fangs, words which Dane might not understand….”
“Dane slid his blade out surreptitiously, setting its point against the palm of his hand and jabbing painfully; but the terrible creature continued to advance…. There was no blurring of its lines….”
Dane Thorson of the space-ship Solar Queen knew there was only one way to win out over this hideous thing–a battle to the end between his rational mind and the hypnotic witchcraft of Lumbrilo, the mental wizard of the planet Khatka.
Talk of heat—or better not—on Xecho. This water–logged world combined all the most unattractive features of a steam bath and one could only dream of coolness, greenness—more land than a stingy string of islands.
The young man on the promontory above the crash of the waves wore the winged cap of a spaceman with the insignia of a cargo–master and not much else, save a pair of very short shorts. He wiped one hand absently across his bare chest and brought it away damp as he studied, through protective sun goggles, the treacherous promise of the bright sea. One could swim—if he wanted to lose most of his skin. There were minute organisms in that liquid that smacked their lips—if they had lips—every time they thought of a Terran.
Dane Thorson licked his own lips, tasting salt, and plodded back through the sand of the spaceport to the berth of the Solar Queen. This had been a long day, and one with more snarl–ups than he cared to count, keeping him on a constant, dogged trot between the ship and the fitting yard where riggers labored with the slowest motions possible to the human body—or so it seemed to the exasperated acting–Cargo–Master of the Free Trader. Captain Jellico had long ago taken refuge in his cabin to preserve the remnants of his temper. Dane had been allowed no such escape.
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