Please help me identify this book

I remember very little about the plot of this book, however, I remember the beginning pretty vividly.

The perspective moves between one or more humans and the natives of the planet. The world is a very cold world. In my mind's eye it's a frozen place like one of the Galilean moons or Titan.

Humans must wear special suits (I don't recall whether these are full up space suits or thermal suits with respirators) to protect themselves. The protagonist is a very rich trader on a trade mission and is pretty arrogant and hard to like.

The aliens partially see in the infrared, so humans appear to glow "hotly". My impression is that the aliens are bipedal and possibly have jackal or hyena shaped heads (but I could be mistaken about this). The natives are pissed at the humans for some reason and attack and decimate the human trade delegation and ship crew.

The human protagonist survives.

My impression is that he had to trek cross country for safety but I really don't recall any more of the story. I think the natives were hunting him.

  • 2
    Dang, this almost sounded like Ursula le Guin's Left Hand of Darkness. But then no. You should read Left Hand of Darkness though. :)
    – Lexible
    Mar 30, 2015 at 4:20
  • This could possibly be it. I read it long ago and I might be mixing two stories. You are right though, now I'll have to read (or reread :) ) Left Hand of Darkness.
    – Jim2B
    Mar 30, 2015 at 4:31
  • 1
    This could be Alan Dean Foster's IceRigger series.
    – GeezerGeek
    Mar 30, 2015 at 17:20

1 Answer 1


This could be the middle story (Territory) from Trader to the Stars by Poul Anderson.

The protagonist (Nicholas van Rijn) fits the description of rich, arrogant, and hard to like.

The story involves a trade mission attacked by natives. There was some ecological angle to the planet (it may have been frozen). I can't remember details of the natives. Unfortunately I can't find my copy at the moment (it may be in a box in the loft).

  • I thumbed through this, and it is indeed set on a cold planet. But I didn't see any viewpoint switches to the aliens. Mar 30, 2015 at 11:51
  • I'm digging around for a link to a summary of the story but haven't found one yet. This seems right because my mental image of the trader fits nicely with the persona of Nicholas van Rijn but I just can't say yet.
    – Jim2B
    Mar 30, 2015 at 13:57
  • 1
    @Jim2B - I may have got the correct character but the wrong story. There are a few Nicholas van Rijn stories. (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicholas_van_Rijn)
    – Fruitbat
    Mar 30, 2015 at 13:59
  • @Fruitbat: Is there any particular reason you removed the link to a legit electronic copy of the story you're citing? :)
    – FuzzyBoots
    Mar 30, 2015 at 15:08
  • 1
    @Sean Duggan - The link was to a review of "David Falkyn: Star Trader". I couldn't find "Trader to the Stars" on that website.
    – Fruitbat
    Mar 30, 2015 at 15:14

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