I read this novel years ago as a kid, and have been looking for it again. I read it in the mid-90's, but it may have been published earlier (80's?).

Sugar was very valuable because it was a narcotic for some species of alien. A female ship captain marries an alien. The marriage was a marriage of convenience, but they developed actual feelings and attraction towards one another.


The book was Prodigy, by Jan Clark!

Uniting seven races on ten planets, the mighty Commonweath has only one enemy: the Procyons, a warlike race who thrive on aggression. A fragile truce between the two powers has ensured galactic peace - until Rieka Degahv, human captain of a commonwealth starship destroys a Procyon vessel in deep space.

Now charged with high treason, Rieka and her few remaining allies embark upon a desperate search that will take them into some of the highest political and military quarters - and into a high stakes duel of intergalactic intrigue that threatens to destroy far more than Rieka...

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    Nice! You can self-accept your own answer by clicking the checkmark on the left. Please do! :) – Jenayah Feb 2 at 20:13

It sounds like you might be mixing up a few stories as from my brief search I have only found Joe Haldeman's "A !Tangled Web" where sugar is a narcotic to some aliens. In it sugar gets !tangs "plastered".

He wanted her to bring back some Kentucky bourbon and Swiss chocolate. Their metabolism parts company with ours over proteins and fats, but they love our carbohydrates and alcohol. The alcohol has a psychedelic effect on them, and sugar leaves them plastered.

"A !Tangled Web"

This was initially published in Analog 1981, September and later in the anthology Dealing in Futures and it is also part of the Confederación series so it is possible one of those stories might contain the part with the ship captain and alien marriage.

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    Nope, that's not it. It was a novel, not an anthology. But thank you! – Kathleen Phillips Feb 1 at 16:33
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    The Troy Rising series has Maple Syrup as a narcotic to aliens, but there's no marriage to an alien. – FuzzyBoots Feb 1 at 16:58
  • Can you remember anything about the alien? Was it a Star Trek 'near human' type or was it some horrible looking tentacled slimey thing with six mouths etc? – DannyMcG Feb 2 at 5:34
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    I FOUND IT! Via slogging through about four thousand sci fi book covers on Google image. It's Prodigy, by Jan Clarke. – Kathleen Phillips Feb 2 at 18:13
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    @KathleenPhillips Please post that as an answer, and mark it as the accepted one! This will help future individuals searcher asking similar questions!That's great! – Lexible Feb 2 at 18:23

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