I only read this in Russian translation, but the original was in English.

It was either a small book (novelette?) or long story.

Somewhat oldish (even the translation was definitely from before 1980s, so the work may be more than that).

The plot was about a crew of a spaceship, who ended up on a planet that had some sort of space pirates/gangsters who robbed the ships which came to trade with them.

The ship managed to survive the gangsters in the end.

The overall impression was that this was kind of juvenile SciFi adventure type story.

  • Were the crew adults, teenagers, children? Did they fight with swords, guns, laser pistols, magic?
    – user56
    Mar 20, 2013 at 1:17
  • 1
    @Gilles - Adults. Definitely no magic involved, and it was a very typical space adventure. So while I don't recall that level of detail, probably some typical weapons (energy or guns), I'd likely remember if it was something unusual for the genre. I'd say the fact that it was translated to Russian before 80s is one of the biggest clues, not all that much English SciFi was in that timeframe. Mostly Asimov, Shekley, Norton, Harrison, Hamilton and Silverberg and may be a couple other big names. Mar 20, 2013 at 1:21

3 Answers 3


Sounds a little bit like Sargasso of Space by Andre Norton. Space pirates discover an ancient machine that causes space ships to crash on their planet allowing them to loot the wrecks. It was the first in the Solar Queen story series and was published under the pseudonym of Andrew North originally.

  • This sounds from the Wiki description like it was the book. Thanks! Mar 21, 2013 at 0:59

Might it be Larry Niven's short story The Borderland of Sol? It's from 1975, and features a pirate using a black hole to pop ships out of hyperspace so he can raid them.


I feel reminded of Space Viking by H. Beam Piper by this description. This was published in 1963, so this might fit, although I do not know whether it was translated to Russian.

In this story, the main character commands a ship in search for the man who raided his wedding and killed his wife-to-be. In the course of this, he arrives at a world that is repeatedly raided and decides to set up a base there. He contracts the raiders and builds up a stable base and economy there. From then on, he himself starts raiding other worlds as a space viking and to get his revenge.

  • Definitely not that, sorry. the "good guys" didn't do any raiding. Mar 20, 2013 at 11:17

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