I remember beginning a novel years ago whose name I need help in identifying.

The details I remember are:

  • It is about an alien planet with a moon that had a powerful engine on it that I believe humans called the Torch.
  • There was something about a planet sized star-ship that was "haunted".
  • On top of all this I believe there was a race of alien primates with 6 arms.

I never finished it and it has bothered me for years. Any clue you can give me would be great. What is the name of this book?

  • 1
    Please help us by specifying how many years ago you started this book.
    – Möoz
    Jun 16, 2014 at 4:11
  • 1
    I would say around 8 to 9 years ago.
    – Zazander
    Jun 17, 2014 at 1:55

2 Answers 2


I think you might be referring to the Doctor Who novel "Shining Darkness".

The Doctor investigates a deserted planet which has substantial machine elements, he discovers a ship called "the Torch" which contains a powerful engine. His efforts are stymied by a long-armed primate race called the Jafftee.

Dark Light enters the Sentilli system where the planets orbit a black hole. The four segments of the device are fitted together and put into space where the Doctor recognizes them as a ‘can-opener’ for opening black holes. When the device is activated it releases an enormous spaceship called The Torch from the singularity. Garaman tells the Doctor that it took an army of robots many years to build The Torch. Garaman is interrupted by Ogmunee saying that someone or something has arrived safely. This triggers an attack on The Sword of Justice, which has tracked them to this system.

The book is from 2008 which is probably a bit late for your timescale (6.6 years rather than 8) but not very far off.


Hmmmm... long shot, but maybe "Pushing Ice" by Alastair Reynolds?

It came out in 2005 and features an expedition landing on Saturn's moon, Janus, which is moving out of its usual orbit, and learning that it's actually a disguised spaceship off to an unknown location. The eventually meet up with an alien race, the Fountainheads, and later a less benevolent race, the Musk Dogs. I have not read the book myself, but I have not yet found references to the engine being named a "torch" or references to haunting or 6-armed aliens.

  • 3
    Can you expand your answer a bit? Why do you think this is the correct Novel? Jun 18, 2014 at 6:14

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