THE QUEST FOR THE PERFECT PLANET
First Published on 22nd March 1961 - 157 pages
This book starts with a short forward that discusses certain space related issues and defines certain terms. The book then commences with Professor Lucius Brane bemoaning the fact that, despite their extensive travels, they had yet to find an uninhabited world comparable in every respect with the one on which they had the good fortune to be born. Operating the signal lights to summon Vargo, the Professor also wants to find out more about the extraordinary life span of the Dacoonians. Judkins gets the tea ready for Vargo's arrival and Vargo arrives shortly afterwards. In the Tavona, Vargo, Gator, the captain and Borron, the navigator, agree to ask to be able to assist the Professor in a search for a planet that would be a suitable alternative to Earth. They start by discussing the world, Zora Ten, a planet that has shifted its orbit from the solar system Zora to the system Thenus and resolve to go there. Going firstly to Mars and the City of Utopia, they are amazed by the amount of work that has been done. Rex meets the dour Rolto again and then they continue on to Mino where permission will be asked from the High Council to go on the quest. The first planet they actually visit is known only as X 1001, a planet infested with snakes. Investigating a cave, they find a stream containing small inverted 'V' like shapes which acts likes a charged battery. Our heroes go on to land on various unnamed planets. On one in the Third Region, they find troglodytes and strange elephant like pachyderms. Often after landing, our heroes are unable to get out because the atmospheric conditions are totally unsuitable. On two occasions the shell of their ship is penetrated by pea sized meteorites. The next planet they land on has spiders with bodies the size of turtles and pig like creatures which have become inebriated after eating fermenting plums. There are friendly giant human like inhabitants here, whose staple item of food appears to be a giant form of celery. The Tavona speeds on, in the general direction of Zora Ten. Landing on another unnamed world, apparently perfect, where the only form of life is vegetable, our heroes all begin to laugh for no reason at all. Toby realises just in time that they are being poisoned by Nitrous Oxide. Landing on another planet, prehistoric creatures are found. Here a group of prehistoric human-like creatures attack and kill a giant sloth. The next planet visited is Flentos, which means, in Minoan, 'the Place of the Monkeys'. Here there are two species of creature, monkey and ape and our heroes witness them fighting savagely. The apes win. Moving on, more curious adventures occur, some trivial and some frightening, such as a planet where spiders are the dominant life form. Approaching the constellation of Ledon, a system with five suns, they find a planet that does not revolve. It is held in the gravitational grip of the suns. The side which faces the suns is in perpetual daylight and is desert, the other side is in perpetual night. Here the trees and animals are all white. The Tavona at last arrives at Zora Ten. Here they find a civilization destroyed by vast winds. Exploring, our heroes are soon caught in a windstorm and they realise that they are on a world in convulsions. Luckily, Gator and Borron have remained with the Tavona and are able to rescue them. Gator insists on returning home and the Professor doesn't protest. Gator says that if ever the Earth needs to be evacuated the population could move to Mars, which needs to be repopulated. The Tavona turns for home.
The Quest for the Perfect Planet
Subtitle - Doctor Lucius Brane believes the degree of civilization on any planet depends on its age, so as some worlds are older than Earth, somewhere there should be the Perfect Planet. With his usual companions he sets out to find it.
Publication Details - published by Hodder and Stoughton
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Original First Edition Boards
“Children’s Book Club” edition reprint – click on the above picture to find out more details