Ship of Fools
by Dave Stone

Publisher: Virgin
ISBN: 0 426 20510 3


    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 horribly murdered).

    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 Shadow.

    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 of TARDIS

    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 Interludes.

    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.

    None, although Krytell was mentioned in Oh No It Isn't! and Beyond the Sun. The Cat's Paw was mentioned in Oh No It Isn't!, Dragons' Wrath and Beyond the Sun.

    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 Oracle.


    • 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.

    Pg 13 The Pit has a Fnarok doorman.

    Pg 26 Krytell's dogs are half bull-mastiff, half Chihuahua and half Sesquipedalian.

    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 Marek Dha islands, an invisible boat and Krytell's shuttle, present day to the Benny NAs.

    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 (page 180).

    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.