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The Zero Stone Mass Market Paperback – May 5, 1955


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Mass Market Paperback, May 5, 1955
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Ace (May 5, 1955)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441959652
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441959655
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,587,443 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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The adventure is well told and imaginative, and the story is a fast and very enjoyable read.
Tactitles
Starting with 'The Zero Stone' and then it's sequel 'Uncharted stars', these two books are a great Sci-fi ride.
Scott
Just some of the conversations with this character, and the manner is which it is done, is enchanting.
CoolDude42

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By the gunner VINE VOICE on September 24, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Zero Stone

"A Mysterious stone, born of worlds long extinct, is the key to powers unimaginable, to man--powers that could enable its owner to control the Universe. Murdoc Jern, gem trader, finds that possession of the stone has led him to the center of a web of intrigue ands murder.
With his companion Eet, an inscrutable feline mutant with phenomenal ESP powers, he is hunted through space, coming finally to a long forgotten planet inhabited by apelike "sniffers." There facing the predatory sniffers, the antagonistic Patrol and the laser guns of the Thieves Guild, Murdoc must seek the source of the Zero stone and bargain for his rights to pursue his destiny as a free man."

The Zero Stone (1968) is the first novel in the two book Murdoc Jern series. Murdoc is the son of Hywel Jern, a former prime assessor to a sector boss of the Thieves' Guild. Hywel migrated to Angkor and married the daughter of a local hock-lock operator. Shortly after the marriage, his in-laws. and many others in the vicinity of the port, died from disease brought by a plague ship, but Hywel and his wife survived and even performed some of the necessary governmental functions during the emergency. Some five years later, Angkor became a hub for interstellar trade in that sector and the Jern business thrived through Hywel's many off-world contacts, both legal and illegal, but he maintained a low profile, operating from the same modest hock-lock.

One day, the first officer of a space liner brought in a ring with a dull stone that was found in interstellar space, far from any star, on the finger of a space suited corpse. The crude stone is plain and cloudy, but has a remarkable hardness. The stone gives an impression of great power to Hywel and Murdoc, but not to the rest of the family.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Arthur W. Jordin on April 23, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The Zero Stone (1968) is the first novel in the Murdoc Jern series. Murdoc is the son of Hywel Jern, a former prime assessor to a sector boss of the Thieves' Guild who bought out when his patron was assassinated. Hywel migrated to Angkor and married the daughter of a local hock-lock operator.

Shortly after the marriage, his in-laws -- and many others in the vicinity of the port -- died from disease brought by a plague ship. Yet Hywel and his wife survived and even performed some of the necessary governmental functions during the emergency. Some five years later, Angkor became a hub for interstellar trade in that sector. The Jern business thrived through Hywel's many off-world contacts, both legal and illegal. But Hywel maintained a low profile, operating from the same modest hock-lock.

One day, the first officer of a spaceliner brought in a ring with a dull stone that was found in interstellar space, far from any star, on the finger of a spacesuited corpse. The crude stone is plain and cloudy, but has a remarkable hardness. The stone gives an impression of great power to Hywel and Murdoc, but not to the rest of the family.

Hywel is obsessed with the stone and arranges an apprenticeship for Murdoc with Vondar Ustle -- a master gemologist who searches for new sources of precious stones -- so that Murdoc can search for more information on the ring and stone. Murdoc is well satisfied with his life as apprentice to Vondar. Returning for a visit, Murdoc finds that he no longer fits into his family.

One evening, Hywel stays home to conduct some business while the rest of the family goes to a party. Leaving the party earlier, Murdoc returns home to find his father tied to his chair, bloody and dead.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By CoolDude42 on July 27, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Although I have read many Andre Norton books, this was one of the better ones. Do not give up on this book (as I almost did) until you meet eet. Just some of the conversations with this character, and the manner is which it is done, is enchanting. The way the zero stone itself is described strikes me as something out of a dream. Though against a sci-fi backdrop, there is only enough there to make the story.

Don't forget to read the sequel, Uncharted Stars.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By TrailsEndWild VINE VOICE on October 1, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Great science fiction continues to stay relevant regardless of the era. That is true about Andre Norton's Zero Stone. Regardless of the fact that the book is almost 40 years old, the story still carries though time. The depth of characters is staggering. The reader could probably use a little less information about the constant need to eat, but this is a sign of the times in which the novel was originally written: it does not detract from the overall story. Not as fast paced as some of the modern fare, but Norton's tale is true literature, while much of what is seen today is simply brain-candy. Highly reccomended to anyone who appreciates the classic sci-fi genre. It should be noted that this tale is part of a two-book series. Zero Stone leaves the reader craving the next installment.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E. A. Lovitt HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on August 6, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The late Andre Norton was best known for her fantasy novels, including the brilliant Witch World series. However, she also published 'hard' science fiction. The adventures of the Free Trader 'Solar Queen' are my favorites as well as "Beast Master"/"Lord of Thunder," and the 'Warlock' books.

"The Zero Stone" and its sequel, "Uncharted Stars" are a little harder to like. The plot hinges on a series of incredible coincidences such as when our hero, Murdoc Jern, an apprentice gem dealer launches himself into space with nothing but a space suit between himself and eternity--and happens upon an ancient Forerunner life boat that lands him on a planet which happens to have two caches of zero stones just like the one he inherited from his father.

As Murdoc Jern himself says in the sequel, the zero stone started "me on a series of adventures so wild that, had another recited them to me, I would have thought them the product of fash-smoke breathing..."

His companion, Eet was born of a Free Trader ship's cat after she had swallowed a curious black stone. Eet himself (or herself) is telepathic and seems to have swallowed a copy of the 'Encyclopedia Galactica.' Usually Norton's aliens are a bit more likeable or at least a bit more inscrutable than Eet. He's a sort of an obnoxious, know-it-all mutant cat. He's the master and Murdoc is the slave--a relationship that Murdoc acknowledges and tries to rectify in "Uncharted Stars."

The two reel improbably through space with the Thieves' Guild and the Patrol breathing down their rockets (as I think Norton put in another one of her SF novels), all in a race to learn the ultimate source of the Zero Stone.

I'd classify the adventures of Eet and Murdoc Jern as one of Norton's lesser efforts, but still a must-read for her fans.
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