Aboard a majestic cruise liner, Bernice finds that somebody is picking off the unlikely passengers one by one. Will Benny have to turn detective to get out alive?
Jason and Braxiatel both appear briefly.
Pg 12 "The Pit was one such bar." This is named after the Doctor Who book
of the name name.
Pg 13 "The proprieter of The Pit [...] was Nil, and he communicated by
way of an invective of grunts and curt expletives" Nil is named for Neil
Penswick, author of The Pit, whose sentences are infamous for being
extremely curt. (The Bekkar Boys and their industrial flame throwers
defending Nil and The Pit refer to an online fan who would defend the book
on rec.arts.drwho by unleashing flame wars on anyone who disliked it. Many
of the characters on The Titainian Queen are posters from
rec.arts.drwho, as Dave Stone ran a competition to see who wanted to be
Pg 17 "She had recently spent the last dregs of her depleted funds
looking for him, when he had disappeared and seemed to be in danger, only
to find that he had got himself involved in a squalid little criminal scam
and had subsequently found that it was too big for him." Beyond the Sun.
Pg 18 "So just what the hell had Jason really been up to, and
who or what had been behind it?" We find more about Jason's schemes in
later NAs. Basically, he's connected to the Knights of Jeneve.
Pg 22 "In an event-filled life - two lives if one counted a brief
period of being technically, for a variety of reasons, dead" Falls the
Pg 59 "Benny had not really known he rfather until relatively late in
life" Return of the Living Dad.
Pg 69 "It had been the bushel that had broken the Betelgeusian
womprat's back." A Gallifreyan womprat appears in Heart
Pg 70 "For a brief while a military grunt, then a military deserter" We
first learnt about Benny's military career in Love and War.
Pg 81 Sir Rupert Gilhooly. Dr Rupert Gilhooly appears in The Infernal
Nexus. It's not clear if they're the same person, given that the Gilhooly
mentioned here is in the 19th century, but in one of the unreliable
Pg 86 Doctor Po's time machine is a innocuous lacquered Chinese
cabinet. This is suspiciously reminiscent of Magnus Greel's time machine
in The Talons of Weng Chiang.
Pg 93 "Having seen more than her fair share of red giants in the course
of recent months" Oh No It isn't!
Pg 95 "A two-litre bottle of Elsyian Mescal" The Elsyian system
featured in Sky Pirates!
Pg 96 "It was entitled Lost Gods and the Fall of an Empire, by
Franz Kryptosa" Kryptosa was mentioned in Dragons'
Wrath and turns up in Down.
Pg 124 The poem refers to "my sister Laura" and on page 151 it's
revealed that the author of the poem was "Alison Tobin". Laura Tobin was
the woman who was later remembered as Compassion, the Doctor's companion,
first seen in Interference (published some time after this).
Pg 157 "She had one, for quite some time, had the acquiantance of a
being going under that particular medical sobriquet." The Doctor.
Pg 165 "If you'd like, I can connect you with our Mr Trask, who can
handle any queries you might have" This may or may not be the same Trask
who shows up in Alien Bodies.
Pg 237 "Braxiatel toyed idly with a digital wristwatch from the
Silurian period of prehistoric Earth" Doctor Who and the Silurians et al.
This is the first we hear about the Silurians having digital watches.
OLD FRIENDS AND OLD ENEMIES
None, although Krytell was mentioned in Oh No It
Beyond the Sun. The Cat's Paw was mentioned in Oh No It Isn't!, Dragons' Wrath
and Beyond the Sun.
NEW FRIENDS AND NEW ENEMIES
Emil Dupont, Agatha Magpole, Khaarli the Czhan, Sandford Groke, Detective
Interchange, Blaine/The Cat's Paw, Captain Crane, Krugor, Mrs Nerode,
Marcus Krytell, ARVID (although the last two are left facing certain doom
when we last see them)
Mira appears in a brief cameo with Jason on page 166. She later shows
up in The Mary-Sue Extrusion and Tears of the
- Pg 98 It's stated that humans first contacted aliens in the 22nd century,
but this contradicts a vast number of NAs. The Dying Days has contact with
the Ice Warriors in 1997 and Transit, set in 2109,
has a history of war with the Ice Warriors.
PLUGGING THE HOLES [Fan-wank theorizing of how to fix continuity cock-ups]
- This refers to peaceful contact, not warfare.
FEATURED ALIEN RACES
Pg 13 The Pit has a Fnarok doorman.
Pg 26 Krytell's dogs are half bull-mastiff, half Chihuahua and half
Pg 44 The Czhans, from the Dagellan Cluster, are boarlike aliens who
speak with archaic insults.
Pg 52 Poproganians, part of a septilateral gestalt entity. They are
vaguely humanoid and use bits of gravel in the place of teeth.
Pg 142 A slumped ambulatory mould of slime with seven glowing eyes
(although as it features in one of the interlides, this might be fiction).
Pg 171 A Zandacian waiter in a pressurised rubber simulation of a
tuxedo and an alien mariachi band.
Pg 187 Mutable humanoids, whose blood was mixed with faeries and the
Sidhe (again appearing only in an interlude).
Dellah, including the university, the Mos Venturi spaceport dock, the
islands, an invisible boat and Krytell's shuttle, present day to the Benny
The Titainian Queen.
Locations in the interludes (which are later revealed to be extremely
dodgy) include London's East End in 1934 (page 79), The Jade Shebeen,
time unknown (page 143) and a village in the Catan Nebula, time unknown
IN SUMMARY - Robert Smith?
Ship of Fools is utterly lovely and gorgeous in every way except one. The
unfunny Interludes, while tying in to the plot for once, really drag this
down into irrelevancy. But those aside, this is a hilarious and
exceedingly clever book, with an extremely witty mystery plot at its core.
It's also one of Dave Stone's most accessible books, written at the height
of his powers. Highly recommended.