I am looking for a novel which is at least 17 years old. It had a picture of a pirate ship with a scorpion tail on the cover. I think the book is aimed at teenagers. There are three books in the series. It is about space pirates who's ship has a scorpion tail which is the gun. There is something about a plague (one of the initial symptoms of which is waving your hands as though to wave away flies which aren't there). At the end of the book one of the main characters brothers is waving away non existent flies.

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    – Politank-Z
    Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 8:47
  • I recall this series! It's a 3 book series, sci fi, featured a narcotic called Dream Leaf, the pirate captain had a robot arm, there was a planet called Tartaros(?), a super rich chick with her own planet and she had a snake that kept her young, The main protagonist was maybe named Dan? He was searching for his father, there was a galactic wide plague that sent those infected insane/crazy and Dan's step-brother had become infected. I think near right at the end of the series everyone flew home in a big space whale. I first read it somewhere between 1991 and 1994 back in high school.
    – Kayb
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 7:24

2 Answers 2


Is this fantasy or sci-fi? My initial thought is something from DnD's Spelljammers series, as that was around in the early 90's and had a scorpion ship with a catapult in the tail

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There were numerous novels and game accessories, including a 6 volume "Cloakmaster Cycle". One of the novels had a cover with a similar ship (the famous Spelljammer itself)

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However I can't find any plot synopses of the 6 novels in this series that feature a plague.

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    Oh man, that brings back memories... I only ever read the first book, but there was a wonderful bit with an illithid captain trying to explain a work of art that had a color that the protagonist couldn't see, made me really think about how much color is tied to individual perception.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 14:41

Well as luck be have it, I have an actual answer now...

I found it!

Star Pirates, by Nathan Elliot Book 1 'Kidnap In Space' Book 2 'Plague Moon' Book 3 'Treasure Planet'

This ebay listing has a good picture of the backs of the first two books. The summaries read:

Dan Hawkes is on a dangerous and terrifying mission.

Together with his pilot, the intrepid Ultra Violet, he is travelling through space to find his father, who has mysteriously vanished. However, things go badly wrong when they are captured by Black Jack Argent, the leader of a notorious band of space pirates. Their quest becomes more perilous as, threatened with death, they are forced to help Black Jack hi-jack a space craft.

Somehow Dan and Ultra Violet have to escape the pirate's clutches, and somehow they have to get on the trail of Dan's father before it grows completely cold.

and the second book:

Dan Hawkes is trapped.

Press-ganged into a band of ruthless pace pirates, escape seems impossible. Even if he could get away from the cut-throat crew, Dan is a hunted man, accused of murder, and wanted—dead or alive.

Dan must get away though, he must find his father who has disappeared without trace. But when the pirate crew mutinies and he is marooned with the captain, swashbuckling Black Jack Argent, on a plague-ridden planet, it looks as if Dan’s adventures are about to come to an abrupt end …

book covers from ebay

  • Good job finding this! Please could you edit this answer to give a brief description of the book and (most importantly) how it fits the description given in the question? That way, your answer will be useful not just to the poster of this question but also to anyone else who comes looking for the same book.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 9:29

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