The main character is the pilot who somehow picks up a symbiotic organism that helps him through many situations. (I vividly remember one episode where he needs to play a pipe for hours on end to mesmerize a bunch of giant spiders)

The ship is owned by either a wealthy person or a research organization. They go from planet to planet doing research. One of the other characters is a young girl who happens to be very intelligent.

I used to have the series in paperback years ago and lost them during one of my numerous house moves.

  • 1
    When was 'years ago' :) and any idea when the series might have been published.
    – Stan
    Commented Nov 24, 2013 at 12:58
  • 6
    Half my science fiction novels have Concorde like spaceships on the covers.
    – Mr Lister
    Commented Nov 24, 2013 at 13:33
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    Hi there. I would have read these some time between 1975 and 1985. I believe that the series was recent at that time. It was at a time when I was reading 3-4 books a week on the train ride to work. Remember e
    – user19904
    Commented Nov 25, 2013 at 13:00
  • The spaceship design was reminiscent of Serenity from Firefly - at least in the nose/cockpit area anyway
    – user19904
    Commented Nov 25, 2013 at 13:35
  • There is a Doctor Who book with an actual Concorde on the cover. The least said about the actual story the better, though. Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 8:30

3 Answers 3


Sounds like the Swan Songs series by Brian Stableford. From the "SF Site":The main character, Grainger, is everything the heroes of the 30s space operas were not. After surviving shipwreck on a remote planet where he picks up a symbiotic inner-voice entity, Grainger, to pay off the costs of his rescue, must indenture himself as the pilot of an untried new research starship, the Hooded Swan. He's doesn't give a rat's ass about the glory of his home world or of his "employer's" goals to collect alien technologies and knowledge, which send him, reluctantly, all over the known universe and other places besides, gathering up information or artefacts. The first novel Halcyon Drift's cover has a very Serenity like ship on the cover

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enter image description here Three of the four others in the series. Art for all by Angus McKie. In fact the art for Promised Land was also used on a 1978 Vanglis album called Hypothesis.

  • Probably should have just edited the extra cover shots into the existing answer.
    – Ellesedil
    Commented Jul 9, 2015 at 18:26

The Far Traveler (1977) by A. Bertram Chandler, the first book in the John Grimes: Far Traveller Couriers series.

From Goodreads:

The Far Traveler was a rich woman's toy constructed of gold and directed by an omniscient, dictatorial, and feminine computer known as Big Sister. John Grimes had become the vessel's captain and sets off to look for lost space colonies.

I think this is what you are referring to.

Book cover

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