The story goes like this:

  1. Evil spaceship captain strands colonists on alien planet.
  2. Colonists survive by consuming a native plant that incidentally gives them a superpower.
  3. Evil captain returns to the planet and colonists use superpower to gain control of said captain's spaceship.

I thought it might be a Frederik Pohl story but after some digging appears not to be.

  • 1
    The original Star Trek series episode, "Plato's Stepchildren" has similar elements, though clearly not what you were looking for. – Gary Walker May 5 '15 at 4:41

This seems fairly similar to Tom Godwin's Space Prison. 1 - The evil captain would be evil enslaving alien captain, 2 - they gain strength from the planet's harshness, not from a specific plant (yet powerful they remain), 3 - they lure the evil aliens back, take over their ship, then world (then empire).

The differences I can see are, the colonists don't use a specific plant - they grow strong by harnessing all the things on the world that were supposed to kill them, and making them allies. And the return is generations later, so the enemy is the same culture and attitudes (in enslaving alien empire), not the same individual.

It's not quite the same, but similar enough I hope it helps.

  • I'm pretty sure that is not the story I am looking for. The Godwin book is more military SF and not survivor story I remember. Thanks, though. – Mark Probert Jan 20 at 8:37
  • 1
    @MarkProbert You need to merge your accounts, then you'll get back the ability to comment on comment on posts under this question. – Laurel Jan 20 at 9:04

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