The Mary-Sue Extrusion
Roots: Star Cops (Box). There is an extract from Baldassare Castiglione's Il Libro Cortegiano. There are references to Greek mythology, Sherlock Holmes, Stanislavsky, Strasberg, Buffalo Bill, Springheeled Jack, Now We Are Six, Oscar Wilde, Alan Turing, Bonnie and Clyde, and Finnegans' Wake.
Dialogue Disasters: "You look and smell like shit on toast with extra shit and no toast."
Continuity: The narrator is male and a Stratum Seven fully licensed security operative. He is also a time traveller and was born at the end of the twentieth century. He was originally female, but after being shot in the gut on twentieth century Earth, she woke up in a freshly cloned male body in the Catan Nebula hundreds of years later, her memory engrams having been stored in a Think Tank, apparently as some kind of experiment. He reappeared nine years ago with a subjective age of twenty-five. He was awarded the Keys to the Citadel on Dramos after helping to fight the Soldiers of Light, was decorated three times in the Hanoth/T'kuulk conflict (twice by one side, once by the other), and received a recorded vote of thanks from the New Barquentine Provisional Governance. He screwed up a job on Cantor Prime and also failed in a mission on Golgotha, during which he spent five months in the Skull Maze, due to the incompetence of his employers at the time. He rescued Sela Dane and her crew from White Fire terrorists in the Cool Star Hegemony. The character Moloch in The Matrox Conundrum, a True Adventure of the New Frontier, is very loosely based on him, much to his annoyance. He has translation implants. The events that take place here inspire The Dellahan Conspiracy, a True Adventure of the New Frontier.
Thanaxos is located in a neighbouring system to Dellah. It is essentially a Monarchical society. The Thanaxons are humanoid, with slate-grey skin and a crest on their foreheads. Most of the refugees from Dellah arrived on Thanaxos first. The R'Kanrak and T'galk are Thanaxon clans. Rakath is the capital city of the main landmass on Thanaxos. Ghouties are a cross between donkeys and three-toed sloths; their skins are used to make leather. The House Royal - 473 Years of Thanaxon Splendour is a tourist guide to the history of the Thanaxon monarchy. Meecham's The Little Sisters and the Nine Wide Swans is a painting in the Thanaxon House Royal.
The narrator recovers Bernice's journal from the ruins of St Oscar's University.
Following the events of Where Angels Fear, the spaceport and the Sky Pylon have been destroyed and Dellah is reverting to desert. After escaping Dellah, Benny travelled to the Proximan Chain and underwent a pseudo Mary-Sue, a mind wipe and re-build process that - in Benny's case - simply repressed and overwrote her true personality. She then returned to Dellah to rescue Wolsey. The Mary-Sue triggered as soon as she located him repressing her personality and thus protecting her from the control of the Gods. She wrote a Journal which she left on Dellah to help Jason or anyone else find her if things went wrong. Believing her name to be Rebecca (the name of her doll as a child - see Love and War) she then travelled to Beta Caprisis with Wolsey, which has been dead and abandoned ever since the Daleks attacked it. Whilst on Dellah before Benny rescued him, Wolsey was living on the local equivalent of rats, a species akin to six-legged iguanas.
The Gods want to possess off-worlders in order to spread and reproduce; one of them possesses the Thanaxon Prince Regent and starts to dominate the population until exorcised.
Jason and Mira (Oblivion) track the narrator down in the Proximan Chain. Kimo Ani is a contact of Jason's in the Proximan Chain.
The narrator, Jason, Mira and Bernice rescue Emile from a virtually lifeless rock, where he has been trying to control the God that possessed him in return for his resurrection on Dellah; having achieved some measure of control, he chooses to be returned to the unnamed planet after the entity on Thanaxos has been defeated.
Refined ginja leaf extract is highly addictive to humans. The indigenous and non-humanoid population of Dramos in the Horsehead Nebula use it for synthesising complex antixeno-carcinogens.
Alien species mentioned or seen here include Volonians, which are hermaphroditic, with a single eye, complex limbs that resemble caterpillar tracks, and which carry their brood of ambulatory pupae still attached to them by cartilaginous tubes. The Draal are bipedal arthropods. There is apparently a lemur-like species native to the distinctly shaped peninsula on the southern continent of Zarjax. Drolags are from the Cool Stars and resemble animated bundles of splintery sticks. Other species mentioned here include Spindlekings and Oroborous Worms.
Nova Kantar is in the Proximan Chain.
Links: Where Angels Fear. The events of Ship of Fools inspired Ship of Death, a True Adventure of the New Frontier.
Location: Luna port, on board the Star of Afrique, Thanaxos, Dellah, the Proximan Chain Habitats, Beta Caprisis, and an unnamed planet, c2595 and four months after the events of Where Angels Fear.
Future History: The Luna port is also known as Ptolemaeus Staging Port, Puerto Luminae, Earth Station Prime, Heng O's Refuge, Lunaville, and Colony One, amongst various other names. EarthSec are a privately funded security company responsible for policing Luna port; they have a great deal of rivalry with the hypercity Adjudicators. Fast food outlets on Luna port include King McOffal and one that sells ersatz Venusian kinu-sai.
Pseudopod Enterprises SA is a holding incorporation. News corporations mentioned here include DataDay and FNN. GalEx Courier Services use only Stratum Seven operatives.
The economy of the Squaxis Sulan colonies is built around heavy-metal mining and refining by convict slave-labour.
Unrecorded Adventures: Bernice recently excavated a bunker on the Moon containing an emergency storage facility for DNA, including that from many species now extinct, such as begonias, elephants, and ocelots.
The Bottom Line: "She went back for her fucking cat." Probably Dave Stone's finest work, a taut and restrained affair with great ideas, all told from the point of view of a narrator who is, of course, Dave Stone's very own Mary-Sue.